Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A trip to Bicester Village

When Bicester Village first opened it was a veritable treasure trove where it was possible to pick up an Anya Hindmarch bag for £60, Burberry trousers for £5 and Atelier Versace (the £3000+ red carpet dresses) for £150. Now it is so well known that bargains like these no longer exist, added to this it is no longer 'last chance saloon' with brands able to off load unsolds to TK Maxx or online, Bicester is able to keep its prices higher.
The bargain of the day were these £2200 python bags reduced to £695.
Agent Provocateur had clearly overestimated the demand for men buying red underwear for Christmas and Valentine's, the bras were all now £30.
Thank goodness for our friends from Asia and the Middle East who were plentiful and buying everything.  Some even had trolleys, that you would take to a market and were piling up £600 Dior bags like they were oranges!
Smythson had some really beautiful boxes of notes and cards that were £19 (usually £30),
Tory Burch is a fab new addition, the clothes are all so wearable, that even the outlet lines would be suitable for any occasion and are comfortable but with a trendy/luxe touch to not be too mumsy.
7 was quiet, the jeans here used to be about £20-£50, now they are all £100+, I would just buy from a regular boutique.
Not sure that most of the Brits 'get' Moncler, all the customers seem to be from abroad, and with jackets starting from £450 and up, it's not really outlet pricing.
Burberry is a perennial favourite of the Asian customers, I wish I could have got a photograph of someone with the piles of bags, as that was the norm, thank goodness they are buying and supporting all of those jobs!
Roberto Cavalli had some good discounts of up to 90%, but it really was only on the dregs, some of these embroidered coats were exquisite, there was a black shearling with heavy gold military style embroidery reduced from £7500 to £2250, if I was on a big splurge, it was the only thing that I would have bought that day.
There are two distinct 'tribes' who shop at Bicester and it was fascinating to sit in Pret drinking frothy coffee and observing.
In Cavalli were the 'Juicy girls' they love Versace, pink and Marbella, their hair and make up are impeccable. Hair is blonde, luxuriant and blowdried, nails manicured, eyelashes extended, make up full and with a freshly applied look, clothes and accessories all designer, but they come to buy from French Connection and Karen Millen while dreaming in Cavalli, Dior and D and G.

The other tribe are the 'Faux naturals', they wear tans, browns and greys, carry Anya Hindmarch, hair is close to natural colour (but actually demands as much attention as the Juicy Girls), they shop in Hobbs, LK Bennett, Jigsaw and the White Company, but they dream in Missoni, Max Mara and Marni.  Clothes are a  uniform of tight trousers, flat boots, fur edged puffas or shearlings.  The look is expensive, but no where near as much fun for the observer as the Juicies!

Amanda Wakeley was the only other retailer offering great prices (80-90% off the whole range) on wearable, beautiful clothes.


  1. I love the tribes! And er yes keeping my hair dark is just as much work now as it is for a fake blonde to say blonde.

    1. In my heart I would be a juicy as it is so much more fun, but my head says, tall, lanky, pancake boobs and mousey thin hair, you are born to be a faux natural. I just look like I am manning a fairground ride when I adopt velour and bling!

  2. I used to go to Bicester village quite a lot but have not been for some time. It has got very crowded and not nearly as good for bargains as it was.

    1. Yes it has to be midweek and I am not sure is really worth the trip, on my last visit to TK Maxx at Clapham Junction there were some amazing finds, mainline Cavalli evening dresses for £250 and lots of more obscure, surprising labels, like Balenciaga and Blumarine. So if you are near (and have an hour...or 3) it might be worth a rifle!


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