Taking a trip to the Camarillo Outlets isn’t like your average trip to the local mall; meandering around without a game plan just won’t fly in such a high stakes environment. Are we being hyperbolic? Maybe. But we take our outlet shopping seriously, which is why we would like to pass on our infinite knowledge and experience to you. Outlet shopping is not for the faint of heart; to succeed, you must be committed to your goals, focused, patient, and well-fed. Luckily, we’ve put together a handy survival guide to master this overwhelming shopping experience.
1. Have a game plan.
Before you go, have a plan in mind. Make a mental list of what you want to buy and give yourself plenty of time. It’s also important to figure out which stores you want to hit and which ones to pass on. We suggest going for the higher-end stores, which will have deals you can’t get anywhere else.
2. Go for necessities and unique pieces
The outlets are a great place to shop for quality basics. With plenty of designer jean outlets (Joe’s is one of my favorites) and department stores that carry brands like Vince, Equipment, and T by Alexander Wang, you never have to buy another full priced designer basic again! Who cares if it’s from last season if it’s a basic pair of skinnies? Once in awhile, you may stumble on unique, interesting pieces for excellent prices that you just cannot pass up—recently, I got a FANTASTIC jumpsuit from Theory for $80. It fits great, looks sophisticated, and from the original $300 price, was a STEAL. If you can't get it anywhere else for that price, then get it! Which leads us to our next tip…
3. Be familiar with a brand's price point and quality.
Just because it’s at an outlet does NOT mean it’s a bargain. Some brands produce items just for the outlet in a lower quality to match the lower price. Though you may be getting a pair of J. Crew pajamas that seem like an excellent deal, they may not be as nice as PJS from the normal stores. Though it's difficult to tell the difference, do your best to be a savvy shopper and really examine the differences in quality and price. If you can get the same thing in the store for the same price, in a style that is part of the current season, then you can pass without buyer's remorse.
4. Have a good attitude.
Though this applies to shopping in general, you’re not going to have any fun if you go in with a defeatist attitude. Fears that nothing will fit your "different" body (everyone's body is "different") will undoubtedly rear their ugly head...if you let them. Be positive but realistic; not everything will fit or look good. Some things you'll have to pass on, others you may have to get tailored. You could walk away with only one thing that fits, or nothing at all. And that's OK! Try to see every shopping trip as a learning experience that teaches you more about your tastes and the brands that work for you. *Side note: Sometimes, simply wearing a flattering outfit to shop in (but is still easy to take on and off) and putting on a bit of make-up (that dressing room lighting won't do you any favors) will boost your confidence during all of those grueling fitting room visits. Feeling better about yourself and your body throughout the day will provide a better outlook on shopping in general.
5. Bring snacks.
We cannot stress this enough: fueling up is VERY important. Not everyone is a natural born marathon shopper whose camel-like abilities allow them to walk around all day without a bit of water or grain of food. Water, Gatorade, protein bars, fruit, and crackers will keep you hydrated, energized, and in a good mood. No one likes a cranky shopper.
6. Only buy things you really like or love.
Outlet shopping can get really out of hand when you're hitting up every store and buying everything that’s 50% off-- just because that Theory top is only $50, it doesn't mean you should buy 5 of them! Try to pass on things that you just like (like those cute black sandals that are similar to the 3 other pairs you have)--you'll only wear them a few times, and though they may be cheap, all those pieces can add up. Save your wallet, your closet space, and your time.