I'm doing this weeks Monday Piece on Bicester village, a little designer outlet place in Oxfordshire. As you may know it was my Birthday on Saturday, so on Friday me and my boyfriend ventured down to Oxfordshire to visit the designer outlet we'd heard SO much about! I'd never been before but have been told lots about it from lots of different people. I'm not really familiar with designer outlets as I'm usually a high street shopper and if I want something a bit more fancy or I want to treat myself then I head to Selfridges. I was really looking forward to going to Bicester and had huge expectations...luckily the expectations and anticipation all paid off as it was nothing less than amazing!!
Every store is either high end high street or designer, ranging from Ralph Lauren to Mulberry, Dior and my favourite...Gucci. We drove down and got there at about 10.20am, the shops open at 10, we didn't have to queue to get into the complex, and there was loads of car parking spaces (all parking is free). So by the time we got out the car and got our coats on we headed down to the village so it was about 10.30 - everyone had told us to go early and be there for 10am as they said you will have to queue to get in, then queue some more to get into the shops! I was scared and dreaded waiting outside just to get into a shop, well fortunately there were no queues anywhere, and considering it was 'Black Friday' it wasn't that busy and we could browse all the shops with no elbow barging or people rushing around. The layout is so lovely, it's like a posh high street with the shops lined up opposite one another, inside the shops are very boutiquey, if thats a word - the staff were really friendly and the choice was also amazing and would suit almost everyone. There's also a few cafes and restaurants, as well as a little crepe stand that have a gluten free option - it was super yum.
As its a designer outlet, the prices are obviously going to be more expensive than the standard high street shops - to be honest they were a bit all over the place but EVERYTHING was considerably reduced. Heres my low down on the prices in some of my favourite stores; Mulberry, the cheapest bag was around the £425 mark, though they did have Bayswater bags for that price which were half price however there were no major bargains (the store was being refitted so they didn't have the full selection available). In Jimmy Choo, prices ranged from £90 for scarves to £195-£500 for shoes, there was quite a large choice and the bridal section was gorgeous. Alexander McQueen, scarves and clothing from £90 upwards - they even had some couture pieces that were still thousands of pounds!! Ralph Lauren was enormous, you can pick accessories up for just a few pounds and cosy knitwear for around £20. MaxMara was mega luxurious, they had real fur coats and scarves, but I spotted a sportmax holdall for just £15.00, super bargain. Michael Kors had handbags for under £100 and watches starting at £100, there was a large selection there too and seemed very popular with the other shoppers. Prada and Dior were still quite pricey, though both had leather purses and accessories starting at about £100, D&G was reasonable and had lots of clothes, shoes and bags - prices starting at £50, there were gorgeous classic handbags for around £250 reduced from £700. Finally...GUCCI, again a fab selection and some major bargains to be had there, proper women's handbags starting at less than £100, and scarves and hats for just £50 reduced from almost £200.
Well obviously I didn't come home empty handed, it was my birthday so was treated by my family and boyfriend to this stunning GUCCI handbag. I chose this classic one, it's kind of slate grey in colour and is just gorgeous, sorry for the poor picture quality, it will be featuring in lots of outfits to come so more snaps to follow!
I hope you've found my Bicester village guide helpful, I definitely recommend it as a day out :)