Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Outlet Shopping Challenge

I had such a fun time spending last weekend in NYC - one of the reasons for my trip was to participate in a shopping challenge (something I'm always up for) with People StyleWatch & Tanger Outlets.  They selected a small group of influencers and asked us to find the best spring deals for under $250.   It was so fun to catch up with other bloggers I hadn't seen in a while & finally meet a few in person that I've conversed with online for years.  They piled us onto a bus & drove us to the Tanger Outlet Mall in Deer Park, NY, where we were given two hours to shop.  

I wanted to make the money stretch as far as I could and since my closet has been in need of a few more dresses for the season, this was the perfect opportunity to find one.  I was thrilled when I came across this printed sundress at Saks Off Fifth - the pattern & colors instantly caught my eye and I love that the cut is so classic & feminine.  This will be easy to dress up with metallic heels & a statement earring for evening or down with a denim jacket & flat lace-up sandals for the weekend.  And the best part is that it was on sale for less than $50, so I had plenty left over to splurge on this designer handbag (under $150 from Last Call) + some fun accessories!

Even though we only had time to visit a few stores, I was amazed at the selection we discovered.  The warm weather months are the perfect time to drive a little outside of town & visit your nearest outlet mall.  Outlets are such a great place to score deals, but it can also feel overwhelming, so here are a few of my tips for a successful shopping trip:

1) Set a budget & make a wish list
In my opinion, this is a healthy habit to develop for all your shopping excursions, but especially when it comes to the outlets.  It's easy to be enticed when you see the incredible discounts, even if it isn't an item you need.  If you have a set dollar amount and a specific list of items you're searching for, it will eliminate those impulse buys that you might regret later.  If you're at a store and find you're on the fence about something, put it on hold and move on to the next retailer.  If you're still thinking about it at the end of the day, you can always go back and buy it before you leave.

2) Check for sales & coupons
Though there are always great deals happening, some weekends are more advantageous than others.  We found it helpful to download the Tanger Outlets App, which enabled us to check our gift card balance while shopping & also gave us access to special coupons & deals so we could get the most for our money.  At Last Call, there was an extra 10% off coupon that helped knock even more off a few of our purchases.  Just be sure to check the tags and/or ask the cashier about their return policy, as some items at outlets are final sale.

3) Get a map & plan your route
When you're heading the outlets, I think it's important to look at the map/directory before you go and make a game plan.  The stores you're interested in visiting might be spread out, so plan accordingly and try to work your way from one end to the other (and don't forget to grab a bite to eat!).  I also recommend taking a friend along - I couldn't have done it without Abbey by my side & it was helpful to have a second opinion/voice of reason to keep me on track and weigh in on my purchases before I pulled the trigger.

Personal note: They gave us the May edition of People StyleWatch to look through while on our bus ride and I was overcome with joy as I flipped through the pages & saw so many women of different sizes being featured.  I absolutely love when magazines choose to celebrate ALL shapes, provide helpful tips for accentuating the positive & encourage women to be confident no matter what.  If you haven't read the latest issue yet, I highly recommend picking it up!

What I'm wearing:

Thank you to People StyleWatch & Tanger Outlets for a fun shopping experience.
* Though a gift card was provided for these items, I was not compensated for this post.  
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.


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