Being a Monday with biblical downpours (Bicester is all outside), we’d naively assumed it’d be quite empty, but I can assure you that was not the case! The coach parties were clearly out in force, shopping till they dropped.
Anyhow, we started off with our usual route through the village, starting at one end and working our way through to the other. I found a leopard print Karen Millen coat reduced from £225 to just £60 which fit like a glove. It’s too warm to wear it at the moment, so I’ll be keeping this bad boy back until autumn, when I’ll be happily wrapping up in my new bargain coat.
My next purchase was a beautiful grey leather bucket bag from Furla, who also had some incredible discounts on. I’d been looking at bucket style bags for a while now and the buttery soft leather on this one and dual strap options totally sold it to me. I’d initially thought about getting the pale pink one instead of the grey, but my practical side won out and the grey won. It was around 45% off of the usual retail price (£169 from £315), although they had some even better discounts on some of the sale lines.
We popped into Michael Kors where Grace found a really lovely light blue bag (might have to borrow this one!) and I picked up a cute little pouch style clutch for just £39. These normally retail for £80+, so it was a really good saving on the usual price.
My last purchase of the day (other than a Lola’s cupcake, yum) was a small Marc by Marc Jacobs cross body bag in grey with a neon yellow trim. I’d originally seen this in Selfridges a while back but couldn’t justify the purchase at the time. But on the day we went it was reduced from £175 to just £79 so I handed over my bank card quicker than I’d care to admit.
Most of the stores at Bicester are never going to be bargainous in the true sense of the word, but if you’re on the hunt for a designer item and love a good discount, I’d always recommend a visit.
If you can avoid going at the weekend, then do yourself a favour and go midweek – traffic, parking and general volume of people on a Saturday or Sunday is just unpleasant. I’ve previously made a bit of a ‘trip’ out of it by travelling up on the Sunday afternoon and staying at the Premier Inn 2 minutes’ drive away. This way you miss most of the traffic and can head into the Village bright and early on the Monday morning feeling pretty smug. If you book in advance, the Sunday nights seem to be super cheap (I think we paid £39 for the room last time) so if you’re going with a friend, it’s a cheap and cheerful way to make a bit of an event out of it.
The stock is always changing at Bicester as new lines come in and old ones get discounted more heavily so they can clear them out, so you’ll never quite know what you’ll find, but most of the stores are very helpful over the phone if you want to see what’s in stock before you go. Also bear in mind that returns can be a bit tricky if you live a long way away as most stores will only accept them to an outlet store (and many only offer a credit note), so do be sure of your purchase before handing over your card.
That’s definitely my handbag splurge over and done with for a while now. Well, at least until Christmas!