My sister can attest to my affinity with outlet shopping (I heart Harbour Town in Australia!) and this recent trip to a shopping mall located outside Manila (northern part of Luzon) seals it. I still can’t believe that my friends and I went out of our way to especially go to Robinson’s Starmills in Pampanga. Call us crazed shoppers out to bargain hunt! Twas definitely one helluva roadtrip we took last Saturday.
We were all looking forward to great fashion finds at fabulously friendly priced deals esp after having read a few fantastic shopping stories about the place. Personally, I was hoping to buy shoes and a few items in apparel; all within a set budget. Actually all three of us had set a certain amount of just how much we were planning to spend. The budget (inclusive of the number targeted items for purchase) was calculated based on the purchases mentioned in reviews of the place.
However, let’s just say I came home filled with shopping stories of my own but, in some ways, disappointed, too.
Primer on the shopping stories, which will later be posted in succeeding posts, is my take on the shopping trip as a whole. First of all is the fact that it’s a blast shopping with these girls (wherever it may be) simply because we enjoy each other’s company without all the B.S. Exchanging views on fashion, managing the shopping budget and their ready demeanor (patience as well!) to scour the mall in all its entirety for hours on end have been key things that made the whole shopping trip worthwhile. We actually shopped, save half an hour when we stopped for lunch, for around 5 hours!
Second, I actually spotted only a handful of outlet stores instead of finding the entire place full of it so it was a bit disappointing. Add the bit that even when it said OUTLET on the store window, prices aren’t reflective of it plus the fact that the selection ain’t grand. It felt like I was perusing racks of outdated or off-season pieces. Sadly, I’m referring to the Mango Outlet Store. As far as experience goes, when you say Outlet, it doesn’t mean that the available items ought to be leftovers from last season’s inventory. Take for example American Rag, a store that sells shirts for as low as Php300 and jeans would go as low as Php450. Now, that’s outlet shopping. However, the store’s a complete waste of space, though. Too roomy and spacious, showcasing repetitive selections. I mean, summing it up, they mainly sell shirts and jeans in a BIG store.
Another disappointing thing that I experienced is that though you will find great pieces at great prices, I really can’t say you’ll only be spending around Php500 for a pair of shoes or Php100 for a top or Php400 for a pair of jeans. It will depend on what’s available on your visit on selected stores.
However, if you allot a budget of around Php 2,000.00 for shopping, you’ll get far. You’ll be able to buy 5 tops, 1 skirt and a belt at most, 3 tops if you splurge on a high fashion brand or 1 pair of shoes. But again, this will depend on what’s available when you visit. So, as you can see, it’s not all too different from Manila, cost-wise. You might even find better deals (and better selections) here. Though if there’s a store that will cause me to go back, it’s Brandsmart. It’s where brands like Lacoste, Anne Klein, Armani Exchange, Nine West, etc converge with 80% max slashed off from the original price (think Php 10,000.00 marked down to Php 2,000.00 so as to level your expectations).
Don’t get me wrong, I did find a few reasonably priced items which made up for the disappointments I encountered. I guess, I was expecting more largely due to what I’ve heard about the place. I reckon that’s why it’s best to read up well. Anyway, twas great to have done it (this shopping trip), that way I got to experience the whole thing and see for myself.
Other stores we checked out are Trod (they carry Diesel shoes), Levi’s, Mojoola/Mogao, Space, Plains & Prints, Saizen, and Toys R Us plus my friend Mayi checked out the bazaar found in the 2nd floor where she was able to score a fab black Esprit dress.
I’ll tell you about the stuff I bought (and then some) on later posts. Any of you folks been to Robinson’s Starmills in Pampanga? How was your experience? What are your great fashion finds? Meanwhile, here are notes on what I opted to wear for this shopping trip up north:
Cargo Flea Market
Flip Flops Havaianas Slim
Earrings (not seen in photo) Equip
Watch Hand me down from my sis
Bag (not seen in photo) Promod
What was in my shopping cart: