For my inaugural post, it only makes sense to share my thoughts on Woodbury Common Premium Outlets which is in my opinion the best outlet mall in the US. In addition to the standard fare found at other outlets, Woodbury Common's specialty is 5th Avenue designers: Gucci, Prada, Armani, Ferragamo, Tod's, Burberry, and luxury touches La Perla, Frette, and Pratesi (and much more). This wondrous place is approximately an hour outside of Manhattan and can easily provide entertainment for the entire day, provided you have the stamina and credit limit.
Currently they are having fantastic sales on their summer merchandise. For the month of August, Burberry has opened a Burberry Clearance Outlet (Sample Sale center) separate from their regular outlet store. This store includes a hodgepodge of coats, bags, wallets, mens and womens clothing, some scarves, hats, remnant swimwear separates, buckets of shoes, and damaged umbrellas.
The store opens at 10AM, but people begin lining up at 9:20 or so on weekends. This morning the line consisted of mostly tourists - European and Asian, all reveling in the weak dollar. I didn't get any good finds for bags although I've heard of women who got $1800 Prorsum bags for $150. I did score a cute spring trench coat for $299 which I estimate would retail around $550 or $600. There were many raincoat-type trenches but many were missing a sash. There were also short windbreaker/raincoat-type jackets, but for $199 I thought they were still a bit pricey. Men's short coats are $199, and the long coats cost up to $399 depending on the fabric, and shearling is $499 (but I didn't see any). Get there early to get first dibs on the goodies. I think they restock every few days.
Other good sales going on are Etro, Prada, AG Jeans, Williams-Sonoma, adidas, and many others, but you're going to see the biggest sale season over Labor Day weekend. Get in the car EARLY. Three years ago I made the trek with some friends from out of town, but we didn't even think of the potential traffic and left the city at noon only to get to the stores at 4PM. The beautiful afternoon was spent in dead-stop rush-hour-like traffic on the road through Harriman State Park, watching the deer go by. My advice is to go early morning and take the highways. My bladder still hasn't forgiven me.
What: Woodbury Common
Where: 498 Red Apple Court, Central Valley, NY 10917, approximately 57 miles from West Village
When: everyday, 10AM-9PM, but special holidays and sales warrant different hours (sometimes even 24 hrs/day)
How: my preferred method is Zipcar, but if you don't like driving, there are also buses that leave from Port Authority