Sunday, November 1, 2015

New Outlet Mall

A new outlet mall opened up last Thursday one exit up from where I work. Uh oh. Owned by the same group as the awesome outlet mall in Orlando, I was hoping for some of the same high-end stores like Prada, Tod's, Kate Spade, etc. No such luck. This outlet mall has the usual suspects of most outlet malls. So I thought, "well I'll take a look and at least there's a J. Crew."

Of course there were traffic backups, hard-to-find parking spaces, and tons of people on opening weekend. And at first glance, I was rather unimpressed with the store selection but really impressed with how resort-like the mall felt. They built it in a Key West style and did a great job capturing the style on the store fronts, water features, and lounging areas. And yes, they did include an Ebola section (e.g. Kids Zone) but placed it way off to one side.

I didn't think I'd be there for more than an hour but turned out I spent about four hours darting in and out of stores, such as Off Saks, Bass, Coach, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Loft, Banana Republic, Gap, etc. And although the outlet mall is named Tampa Premium Outlets, it's actually located in Lutz (pronounced "loots"), which is a section of north Tampa, and quite a drive from downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Area is so crowded that it makes sense that the developer couldn't find enough land unless they went way north of Tampa proper.

So will I frequent the mall since it's close to work? I can see maybe a lunchtime jaunt every now and then when I'm on the hunt for a specific item. Or a little shopping adventure after work but I much prefer my usual International Plaza or Westshore Plaza malls near Tampa airport. They're just more convenient and have other stores nearby, such as Trader Joe's, Total Wine, and other places I go to on weekends when running errands.

Heres the damage I did at the new outlet mall. When I was in high school last year ;-), I wore these suede Bass Bucks to death. Figured since they are still around, might as well bring back the trend. Plus I've always loved dude Oxford shoes. Dude shoes, blazer, and jeans and I'm a happy girl.

The backpack looks more expensive than it was. I paid $82 for this bag at Saks. It's not a brand I've ever heard of but I love the look. And my Ray Ban sunglasses have been dropped so many times now that I decided to get some new shades. I love these Gucci sunglasses. Really comfortable fit and tinted just right for Florida's blinding sun. And yes, it's still 90 degrees here. In November!

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