Here’s a fun fact; Bicester Village is the UK’s second top attraction for Chinese tourists. Yep, apparently cut price designer handbags are only slightly less interesting than watching the changing of the guard outside Buckingham Palace (which still reigns supreme as the top tourist spot). I was totally lured in by Bicester Village; so many people go on about it being a shopper’s Shangri-la that I was kind of excited to make the pilgrimage myself and y’know, see what all the hoo-ha was about. 🙂
A few weeks ago Sunny was Oxford-bound with his Dad for a Charlton Athletic game, so we made a very gender stereotypical family day of it – the guys went footballing and the girls went shopping.
I wasn’t exactly expecting to come home laden with bags full of designer bags (no 5p charge in Bicester for fancy bags…), but I had no idea quite how out of my league price-wise everything was going to be – even with 50% off. I was expecting cold, hard BARGAINS, people. But alas; bargains there were none. Not unless your idea of a bargain is a Versace chinchilla coat at an eye-watering £11,000, even after taking 20% off (!!!!!).
We drifted from store to store flipping tags and gulping, while Chinese tourists were loading up on whatever they could carry.
I’m firmly in the “love the look not the label” camp when it comes to fashion. I’ve got a beautiful Micheal Kors purse in my £7.99 H&M handbag (the only fancy-pants designer item I own), and a Zara dress I bought when I was 19 that I still adore and wear every summer – it was a bit pricey at the time and my student loan took a hit, but it was worth it because I’ve worn it thousands of times and probably will a thousand times more. But I can’t see myself – even if I was overflowing with cash – ever spending £200 on a handbag purely for the name on the side of it. I’d have to love it. Like, really, love it. Love it, marry it, have babies with it – love it. And, meh, I don’t think I could pull it off anyway. It’s just not me.
No offence, Bicester, but give me the great British High Street and a bit of Primani any day 😉