I am a woman.
I love to shop.
Don’t expect me to apologise for it either because the truth is I am inspired by pretty and sometimes completely impractical things.
Whilst I do love to shop, I also LOVE finding a bargain. Something that is special, beautifully made but doesn’t have the price tag to match.
Outlet shopping is something my mother introduced my sister and I to when we were very young. There was a Country Road outlet near where we lived and whenever mum felt the urge to buy something special (but not pay full retail price) my sister and I would happily accompany her to the store hoping that we would perhaps end up with something too! (hence my orange.. YES orange slogan Country Road jumper that I wore almost every day of my freezing cold three years at UNI in Bathurst)
A couple of times a year my sister and I put our saved up dollars into our wallets and head into the deep dark cavern that is ‘outlet shopping’. Over the years we have frequented Birkenhead Point in Sydney among others, but recently a new player has come to our attention – DFO at Homebush.
Now ‘outlet shopping’ brings to mind piles of clothes and women fighting and grabbing and pulling right? But when we arrived at the recently updated DFO, that was totally not what we found.
It was civilised.
We entered the top level where Sass & Bide, Burburry, and Oroton are at 10.30am. There we stroked leather bags that in my dreams I own and tried on almost everything in Sass & Bide (shout out to the gorgeous shop assistants in there who are beyond lovely) and slowly we analysed, discussed, proed and conned a tonne of items before we made our first purchase.
Ahh and no it wasn’t the Armani red velvet dress that was far too similar to a wetsuit for my liking,
In a dream like euphoric state we took an escalator downstairs and ate Japanese whilst visiting OZ designs where we fell in love with this painting.
Since we weren’t there to look for home wares she was sadly left behind.
Back upstairs store after store presented us with dilemmas - “do we need you?” “can I live without you in my wardrobe?” Often something we loved hit the no pile after a serious and intense discussion about “where would you wear it?” “how often would you wear it?” and “will you think about it in years to come and wish you had bought it?”
I decided that I simply couldn’t live without a $60 dollar pair of gold leopard print #converse, a grey sleeveless coast from Portmans $99, a pair of Sass and Bide sandals $150, a leather t-shirt from Forever New for $72 , or my gorgeous new silk lingerie from Oroton (they are silk) – and all for $107. I know can you believe it!!!
My sister and I suddenly realised it it was getting close to 6pm and that we had been sucked into the shopping vortex for hours, and although we still had shops to visit we decided we had better flee the scene of our shopping crimes.
We laughed giddily in the car on the way home and whilst we had to admit to our hubbies that yes we had indeed lost a whole day inside DFO – it was worth is as we were coming away winners.
There is nothing like that retail high is there.
1. Take cash and set a budget at the beginning and stick to it.
2. Write a list of what you are looking for (not what you need… I know boring)
3. If you love something buy it because things move quickly here.
4. If something is questionable- don’t buy it
5. If something is silk and is $14.95 but they don’t have it in your size, buy it in a bigger size and have it taken in!
6. Always buy if your heart is beating out of your chest with love for something.
7. Always take a friend to help you navigate the highs and lows and to stop you from nearly buying bus drivers shoes (Emma!)
8. Don’t ever think you will be there for two hours because most likely you will be there for seven or eight
9. Share the spoils. Buy your husband a pair of his favourite shoes for 1/2 price and even though you said you would be home at 3pm and got home at 6.30 – all will be forgiven!!
Have you been outlet shopping lately?
Any good secret spots in Sydney I should know about?