saks fifth avenueI recently ventured over to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets for what I thought would be an exciting day of bargains and fun.

Boy was I wrong. Although they were outlets, they were mainly discounts in the sense that you could get 10% off a $200 Burberry scarf. Nearly all the stores at the Wrentham Outlets were decidedly booshie: Barneys, Burberry, DKNY, Guess, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Coach, Swarvoski, etc. There was even a Vitamin World outlet that sounded intriguing, although it made me a little nervous. What exactly is a vitamin outlet? "The ones the FDA said we couldn't sell"?

In any case, these seemed more like designer stores rather than outlets, with clothes that you only knew were a "bargain" because they told you they were 20% off their regular prices.

The New York Times reports on this emerging trend of the deluxification of outlet shopping. Top designers see it as a way to better manage their own inventory, and shoppers flock for a whole store of True Religion products rather than just a few racks at the department store.

Bottom line: Outlets aren't what they once were -- places to get really inexpensive name-brand clothes. If you're a label whore, it's probably cheaper than buying stuff in the department store. But for the truly budget-conscious shoppers among us, Filene's Basement, Marshall's and the thrift store reign supreme.



Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum