I adore outlet malls. I live for outlet malls. Every summer, I shop at, if possible, multiple outlet malls. Premium outlet malls are the only outlets worth going to, and for that matter, going to the right one defines your whole shopping experience. The best Premium malls are in California and New York, not that there aren’t good ones elsewhere. These just have the most stores, which means the most selection.
Outlets are great; there are even discounts within outlet stores. Mostly everything at outlets are cheap (There’s BCBG and BCBG Final Cut?) and on sale. Department stores have special outlet stores that stock designer items at very low prices; Neiman Marcus Final Call, Barneys, and Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth all have these special stores.
Outlet stores carry wide varieties of style that aren’t even “out”. They are pretty much like the real stores, only some shopping bags have Outlet stamped on them. Also, most (basically all) outlet malls are outdoors, which could be a plus or a minus, however you want to look at it. Outdoor malls are a good excuse to wear sunglasses, but it’s also annoying to have to take your sunglasses off every time you enter a store. If it rains, you are in deep trouble, and if it’s hot, the only option is to sit in a food court for rest. The store keepers don’t bother you as much as they do in malls either. Another benefit is that you can print coupons for the outlet stores off the internet or if you are a tourist and show your passport, you can get a coupon book. The high end designers usually don’t have coupons, but the coupons work for most other stores.
The Coach stores at outlet malls are always packed to bursting with store keepers letting people in one by one like bouncers at a club. I always find this extremely funny (I also go in anyways). If you get tired, you can just sit on a bench and watch the tourists lugging along giant suitcases to put their shopping in (why didn’t I think of that?) and running hurriedly back to the tour buses at the end of the day.
One problem is that I often read how designers create clothes specifically for outlet malls using lower quality materials. I haven’t found this to be true, although I probably wouldn’t know if it were. I suppose that the same shopping rules apply for outlet malls, in terms of quality and especially quantity.