Today’s Fashion Friday Post is courtesy of Chandler Carr, a fellow AG, who has her own fantastic fashion-focused blog, Hot Coffee with A Straw.
Ten days ago I went on an exploration, not only venturing outside the circumference of Chelsea, but past the London City Limits. Boarding a train at Marylebone Station, I made the pilgrimage, seemingly having become mandatory for English fashionistas, and knowing visitors to the area. Bicester Village, a mere 40-minute train journey away, greeted me with chilling winds and spitting snow. Did that stop me from shopping? Goodness no! I’m a professional after all…
In fact, I shopped (with my mother by my side) till we both nearly dropped. In Bicester you will discover last season’s product at a significantly reduced price… so, needless to say, you certainly feel that you’re getting the greatest “bang for your buck”. You’ll see all of the big names, and many of the smaller ones too. I found items that I simply “couldn’t live without” at places ranging from L.K. Bennett, to Lulu Guinness; Burberry to Cath Kidston; and even bought my dad’s birthday gift well in advance at Tod’s. But, where did I really clean up? Smythson. They carry in Bicester Village all of the current styles in colors which the company has retired, and even some styles that have been replaced, as well. (read: covers for outdated phones, kindles, etc. â€“ if you can’t seem to give up that blackberry, and want to stay chic â€“ this is the place to go.)
Two of the additions to my Smythson collection â€“ see more about it here.
But that’s not to mention all of the other shops these two ladies perused: Prada, Gucci, Ted Baker, Max Mara, Coast, Coach, Fendi, Mulberry, Marni, Valentino, and more. I actually managed to spot a bag in the Gucci store that was very similar to one my friend recently bought. She has a few Gucci replicas in her handbag collection and it was amazing to see the design that her latest replica handbag was based on up close. There is no way that I would have been able to tell the difference! Designer handbags are undoubtedly gorgeous, but they’re just so expensive. These days, I find it’s better to buy a handbag that you actually think looks beautiful instead of purchasing for the brand name. Especially when there’s bags over here on sites like Parker Clay that are not only stunning, but are sustainable and for a good purpose. Anyway we did take a lunch break choosing the Grand CafÃ© Villandry, of the five restaurants on site, not to mention Starbucks too, so there is no chance of feeling famished at the cost of fashion. All in all, an extraordinary experience I would recommend to others. You could indeed also heed the lead of those who drop a child at school to head straight out the M40 and return just in time to collect their little darling after classes: be certain you have a full day blocked off, or you’ll be disappointed with your time constraints.
Might I take the chance to also mention to those of you who are fashion fiend â€“ travel aficionado hybrids, that Value Retail (the parent company of Bicester Village) owns 7 more villages across Europe with one more to open in China within the next year. Don’t miss the other retail experiences waiting in Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Munich.
About Chandler Carr:
Chandler Carr writes a fashion blog entitled “Hot Coffee with a Straw.” A native of Texas, she in fact enjoys a hot coffee every morning, with a straw. Each Wednesday she features Words of Wisdom to inspire her fellow fashion-loving readers, and each weekend she writes an editorial commentary on a style, a trend, a brand, or current event in the sartorial world. Additionally she covers the shows of both men’s and women’s fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. We hope you will follow the link to her blog here : www.chandlercarrblog.com.