I’m not going to beat around the bush, I love designer items, but what do I love more than designer items? A bargain. Put the two together and an outlet is born. Music to my ears.
My all-time favourite is Bicester Village in Oxfordshire which currently has a summer sale across most of it’s designer brands. The sale lasts until August 17th and you can find up to 60-70% off on top of outlet prices.
I visit once a month on average and recently went to try and get my hands on some mega summer deals. I can safely say I’ve cracked the code for how to find the best deals across many luxury brands such as Gucci, Celine, YSL, Sandro, MaxMara and Loewe, so stick with me!
You won’t want to step foot in an overpriced designer boutique ever again (unless of course it’s for Chanel, in which case you may be excused). If you’re still not convinced, then let me explain how it’s done…
More on designer buys:
- 4 designer items I regret buying – and the ones I should have bought instead
- 23 of the best chic designer bags under £500, according to a Fashion Editor
- The best Prada bag dupes to buy now while they’re still in stock
When is the best time to shop at Bicester Village?
I’ve visited Bicester Village come rain or shine, and just like shopping on the high street, there are specific times in the year in which outlets have sales on top of their already discounted prices.
My most recent visit was last weekend and the summer sale was incredible. I managed to snap up some fab deals in Sandro where I bought a cardigan (original price: £240, outlet price: £166, sale price £60) and a satin dress from MaxMara (original price £360, outlet price: £194, sale price: £115).
While larger brands like YSL don’t tend to join in on sales, I still managed to find a pretty good deal on a designer belt which was £190 cheaper than online at Farfetch.
Back in the Christmas sales I left with a pair of Jimmy Choos which had been reduced a second time, taking the overall price from £650 to £200, a Dior belt which came to 50% of the original price if you were to buy one from dior.com, and the cutest Loewe sandals for £170, which I can’t wait to wear now it’s summer.
Top tip: make sure to visit halfway through a sale period so that sizes are still in stock but also so that prices have dropped further than when the sale first started.
Can’t get to Bicester Village right now? Try these expensive-looking shoes you can buy on the high street now:
Which luxury brands participate in seasonal sales?
If you’re planning on visiting during a sale time, then you need to make the most of an extra 60-70% discount.
Currently, the brands which are participating in the summer sale include: Sandro, Coach, Jimmy Choo, DKNY, Max Mara, Acne Studios, Versace, Maje, Manolo Blahnik, Axel Arigato, Vivienne Westwood and more.
I would highly recommend going into Jimmy Choo whenever there’s a sale as the brand does amazing discounts. I’ve visited both the summer and Christmas sales and prices drop from around £600 to between £400 and £200. I know!
It’s always worth checking on the Bicester Village website if the brand you want to visit has a summer sale so you aren’t disappointed when you get there. I can still guarantee you’ll find amazing deals.
Expensive-looking accessories you can buy on the high street:
Can I find new-season designer buys at Bicester Village?
If there’s a specific product you are after and if it’s from a new season collection, then an outlet might not be the place for you.
However, if like me you are after staple, good quality designer pieces which you can wear for years to come, then Bicester Village is where it’s at. When looking around a shop you need to act quickly. It’s not always easy to find the best deals, let alone the right size and design you’re looking for. Sizes are hard to find, especially if there’s a sale on top of outlet prices. Items on shelves might also be the last ones, so if someone else picks it up, it could be too late.
It’s always worth doing a quick google to compare prices on the brand’s own website to make sure you’re getting a good deal. I did this before buying a pair of nude low-cut heels from YSL. I saw the original price online was £630, so buying them for £170 was a no-brainer. This was also the case with my recent animal print belt purchase in YSL which was £390 online and £211 at Bicester Village.
Which designer brands can you save hundreds of pounds on?
It goes without saying that the main item you will end up saving the most money on, at an outlet, is a designer handbag. I’ve made four purchases in the past but the biggest saving I made was on a small canvas tote bag from Prada which I bought for my birthday (got to treat yourself, ladies) last spring. On Prada’s own website a similar bag in black costs over £1,400. The one I bought as a spring / summer investment piece cost £625 at Bicester Village. Alongside Prada, I have found similar savings on Gucci and Chloe handbags.
My second most impressive saving was on a pair of black Celine boots. I’d been on the hunt for a classic pair of black boots for a very long time, and when I came across this leather pair for £290, instead of £830 online at Celine, it was a dream come true.
Although you still have to be prepared to spend a lot of money, it’ll be nowhere near the same amount as the item’s original price, which is how I’ve managed to save £7,600 over two and a half years on most of the designer brands at the village.
Don’t get me wrong, even with outlet prices and sales, these new figures are still high. After all, we end up paying that bit extra just because the items belong to luxury brands.
However, if you like to have a mix of high street and designer pieces in your wardrobe, but don’t want to have to take out a mortgage when investing in those more expensive brands, then head to Bicester Village right now and thank me later when you get to keep that extra cash in your pocket!