20/11/2011

Bicester Village: the fashionista's answer to the crisis

In these uncertain times, it is the fashionista's duty to keep stylish and carry on shopping,... who else will keep the retail industry afloat? More seriously, it is true that like everyone around, I'm much more careful with shopping now than I was a few years ago, when the world hadn't gone crazy and I didn't have a little baba to take care of. Times are hard, and it is not the time to spend foolishly.


Now, you know me, just because I'm being careful doesn't mean I'm giving up on style altogether. Instead, I've developped a few coping strategies.... such as, you guessed it, outlet shopping! I've been going to Bicester Village every few months in the last couple of years, and honestly so should you: if you don't mind the crowd and the Disneyworld-like decor, it is a great place for some serious bargains. And a wonderful place to do an express shopping where you can find a lot of brands in one place.

For instance, I got some Sergio Rossi suede boots at just over £250 today, a fraction of the original cost. Similarly I adore Bonpoint for Monsieur Baby, its boho vibe and French quality are wonderful but still don't justify the eye-watering prices they have in their main boutiques (especially considering babies wear clothes for at most 6-7 weeks), so it's usually our first stop whenever we visit; today's haul cost us just shy of £300, whilst we could have left well over £700 in the Kensington shop. Welcome to Fashionomics 101...


We found most of our Christmas gifts for our family  (did I tell you about my plan to finish all gift shopping this year by December 1st? I'm making good progress!), which is good, seeing as it was incredibly busy with customers and I can't bear to imagine how crowded this place will be in a few weeks' time!

My top boutiques at Bicester:
Tod's: The men's selection is excellent, as is the women's one. Bags are a bit meeh...
Ralph Lauren: Best come here during the week as on week-ends this store is litterally assailed by customers, but the discounts are well worth it!
Bonpoint: 30% discounts and more for baby cashmere... the prices during the sales weeks are even more amazing.
N.Peal: The most luxurious British cashmere there is, you'll find really gorgeous gifts here!
L'Occitane: Come here for bulk-buys of essential oils shampoo and shea butter body balms...
DVF: I bought a New Jeanne wrap dress from the 2011 collection at £183 today, that should be enough to make you run there!
Sergio Rossi: Fab fab shoes, fab fab prices.
Anya Hindmarch: Great collection, even more since they moved to a bigger outlet, but the discounts are not so great!
Le Creuset: Ovenware at its best, but plan to visit at the end of your shopping day as it could be a bit tough hauling the bags all day long!
Vilebrequin: If you can ignore the horrible staff and help yourself to the sizes you need, you'll love this place and the discounts!
La Perla: Really the only times I buy this name is on sale or in outlets, it's too expensive otherwise...

The one shop that never fails to disappoint me at Bicester is The White Company, the choice is really small and the products are such low quality it's clear it's second choice only that comes to this outlet, don't waste your time...

Bicester Village
Bicester
Oxfordshire OX26 6WD
http://www.bicestervillage.com/

Before you go, click here for my Diptyque Giveaway

5 comments:

Stephanie said...

Thanks for this post. Maybe I'll pop over to Bicester Village beginning of December, while I'm in London for 6 days :-) I need to check out how to get there...

Which print did you got for the Jeanne wrap? I'm a big fan of DVF wraps and £ 183 sounds like a very good deal !!

take care

LittleS said...

Hi Stephanie, there are coaches from London as well as buses from Oxford which you can reach from London by train. It's a lot of fun! I went for the Petal Dance print in bright magenta, will be lovely come summer!

stephanie said...

perfect dress - we're twins on this one. This is from the brand new resort collection (only launched 2-3 weeks ago!!). I already wore this dress twice and it's so nice and fresh. ciao

btw: and thanks for the directions. Will check whether we'll have enough time...

Mona P said...

Great post, I love Bicester Village even more now than before! It looks so much better than it used too years ago.

I was there about a month ago and just got stuck at Missoni :) Needless to say, an hour(!)later I came out a happy customer :)

LittleS said...

Mona, you're right, Missoni is also there! For me it's a bit hit and miss there, sometimes they have nothing sometimes they have loads of nice stock... Likewise with YSL...