Monday, August 31, 2009

Best outlet that no one knows about-Vanity Fair

The Vanity Fair outlet is a treasure trove of quality brands for great prices. It is hidden in the Lake Buena Vista outlet mall (yes, another outlet mall!) on Route 535 near Disney.

Vanity Fair is a MANUFACTURER of many brands.  They include:  Lee | Wrangler | Jansport | Riders | Nascar | NFL | L.E.I. | Union Bay | New York & Co. | Engergie | Reef | VF Outlet | and others, including Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger women's lingerie.  Plus well known children's brands.

There are some other good outlets in that mall- OshKosh and Carter's used to get a lot of my business, then the boys grew up.  :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Insider tip- Premium Outlet Coupons

According to the college kids who work at the Premium Outlets near Disney, the secret is to go online and print out coupons before you shop.  They say people are saving hundreds of dollars by using coupons.

The coupons are on the VIP club section of the Premium Outlets web site.  There is a coupon book as well as a list of individual store coupons.  You print them out yourself.

Wanted to mention the Oilily outlet right past the Adidas entrance in this mall. If you have grandchildren, this is a must-visit.  Very, very cute, but not silly-cute or preppy-cute, baby and toddler clothes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Looking for WiFi?

All Barnes and Noble stores now have ATT WiFi in the cafe!  There is a Barnes and Noble on Sand Lake Road, close to the theme parks.

Panera Bread always has WiFi.  There is a new Panera Bread on the same road as the Premium Outlets near Disney.

Ebel, Lacoste and Juicy watches

For a great new watch at 20% of original prices, run to the Movado outlet at the Premium outlet mall.

In the back are two big cases of Ebel watches.  A solid 18K gold women's Ebel is marked down from $20,000 to a few thousand.  If your budget is a bit smaller, an 18k and stainless steel version of the same is marked down to $850 from $3000.

Movado makes ESQ, Juicy Couture and Lacoste watches.  The outlet has a good selection of all three plus lots of Movado- brand watches.

This outlet is close to the center of the mall and the food court.  In the food court, stop at the candy store for large free samples of candy apples and pralines.  There's a Starbucks there too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Handbags/ Designer Purses

Looking for info on the best places to buy handbags in Orlando.

According a new book about style on a shoestring, your purse is the flashing badge of your social status the 21st century.

My large leather black and brown Brighton tote, which I love, sends all the wrong signals, i.e.- boring suburban mom.

By contrast, my more stylish faux Louis Vuitton and authentic mid-level designer purses are so big that they take up their own seat in a restaurant.  On a trip to the  mall, they become anchors... too heavy and too large!

Help, Orlando fashionistas... need some ideas.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Premium Outlets in Lake Buena Vista

OK, let's clear up the confusion. There are TWO big outlet malls on International Drive, one at each end.

The big outlet mall near Disney World in Lake Buena Vista is the Premium Outlet mall.  The even bigger outlet mall on the far end of International Drive near Universal Studios is the Prime Outlet mall.

They share some stores- both have Nike, Adidas and Reebok, Nautica, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger- but they also have some big differences. More on the differences in another post, but if you are looking for Saks Off 5th and  Neiman Marcus, you need to go to the Prime outlets.

Near the Prime Outlet Mall, you will also find some great peripheral shopping.  In Festival Bay Mall about a 1/4 mile down the road, you'll find a BASS Sports superstore,  Ron Jon's Surf Shop,  Sheplers Western Wear and a Van's Skate Park and shop.  There's a very good pizza spot right in the center of Festival Bay, great for tired children and their parents.

Mall of Milennia

For visitors, a top shopping destination is the Mall at Milennia, Orlando's most upscale mall. Here, you'll find the only Bloomindale's and Neiman Marcus stores in the area, plus the upscale tony retailers including Tiffany's, Gucci, etc.  If you need to stock up from standbys like Victoria's Secret or Williams Sonoma, you will find them there as well, plus a huge Macy's.

Some new finds include the Rock and Republic cosmetics in the front of the Neiman Marcus store on the mall side. Try the amazing sheer blush in colors that don't look wearable but are.  At Neiman's, they still believe in service; and it shows.  You will love shopping there, and you can still find bargains.  Even if it's not on sale, it's usually worth it at Neiman's...

Bloomingdales carries hard to find YSL cosmetics. YSL Is the main reason why French women look better than we do...  Look for the "promotional" bronzer, featured in a lot of magazines this summer.  It's large enough to use for face and body; and it delivers a real-looking glow (no sparkles).  Use the application tips that were in Allure from Mally- put blush all around the edges of your face and on your neck.  Then use a true hot pink blush (not a whitish or dusty one!), like the one from Rock and Republic, high on your cheekbones after the bronzer to fake a day in the sun (technique compliments of Bobby Brown).

Bloomingdale's also has great costume jewelry clearance tables, located on the way in from the lower parking lot.  Don't miss them.

If you're hungry at the Mall at Milennia, you can stop in at local favorite Brio, for a refreshing Chardonnay and some bistro-style Italian food. It is a pretty and can be quite romantic in the afternoon... There's also a Cheesecake factory, great if you have a big group.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Best restaurant near the Prime Outlets

The best "real" restaurant near the Prime Outlets is Texas de Brazil, a Churrascaria.  For the uninitiated, this is a Brazilian- style steakhouse. The atmosphere is festive and upscale. The restaurant is expensive, but the meal includes an extensive first-course buffet that features salads and appetizers.  The main course is served by roaming waiters who appear consistently with different grilled meat offerings. Restaurant for red meat lovers only.  Chicken sightings will be infrequent; and anyone who avoids red meat will not get their money's worth. For the rest of us, it's a great restaurant for celebrating special occasions or a great vacation.

Try a new treat at Prime Outlets in Orlando

The strangest little restaurant has opened in the Prime Outlets.  It comes to us from Japan and is called, My Papa's Beard.  They serve three kinds of cream puffs and about ten flavors of rice coated ice cream balls.  And that's it.  I tried the "eclair" version of the cream puff.  You can get vanilla or chocolate cream.  With vanilla cream, the cream puff is a cool creamy treat. The outside of the puff is reminiscent of pie crust... The overall impression is that of a gourmet Boston Cream pie...   Next time, I'll try the rice ice cream.

Calypso by Christine Celle

New arrival on the upscale side of the Prime Outlets (near Off 5th by Saks Fifth Avenue) in Orlando- Calypso by Christine Celle.  There are dozens of these boutiques in ritzy areas in France, the US and the islands. The clothes look the part- comfortable, creative and artsy with interesting trims and cuts...  CC is an artist who sold her boutiques to a corporation so she could be an artist again.  This is a REAL outlet.  Today, a rack of gorgeous blue green watercolor dresses  with long scarf-like sashes dazzled shoppers.  Originally $226, the outlet price of $89 was marked down to... $19. Amazing.  Teens and their moms were shopping together here. A lovely children's line is displayed in the back.  If you are already a fan of the Calypso boutiques, the outlet carries all of the Christine Celle candles and eau de toilettes, at the regular prices.

Monday, August 24, 2009

50% off Cole Haan at Prime Outlets

If you love Cole Haan, rush to the Prime Outlets in Orlando.  The Cole Haan outlet has 50% off of everything in the store.  You don't need a coupon.

I am going today!  Hope to score a pair of Cole Haan high heels with Nike technology (originally over $300).

Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th Outlet- Savings for Back to School!

Go to this link for BIG savings at the Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th outlet (located in the Prime Outlets):

Sunday, August 23, 2009

7 for All Mankind and Lalique!

7 for all Mankind jeans are worn by your favorite celebrities and, until now, were available only at tony retailers, like Bloomingdales. 

The big news is the opening of one, and only one, 7 for All Mankind outlet store in the U.S. It is in Orlando in the Prime Outlets. 

The Prime Outlets are on I-Drive near Universal Studios.  This center is the largest of the Orlando shopping meccas.  

Prime also has the only Baccarat/ Lalique outlet in the United States.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Orlando has lots of hidden designer jean sources. I'll be updating you on the best ones, including the secret one-of-a-kind Orlando outlets, this week.

Check out the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall near Disney, where you'll find an outlet for my favorite jeans brand- Joe's Jeans.  Joe's Jeans has several great fits, clearly marked on the tag.  My favorite, the Diva fit, is curvy and very flattering. The service at this boutique-style outlet is very friendly.

You'll also find Lucky Brands and AG Adriano Goldschmied stores at the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall, plus a real Armani outlet.

A fun side trip between Disney and Unversal Studios is the Ocean Drive boutique on Sand Lake Road. It's a trendy spot with multiple brands of designer jeans and hot tops to go with them. They always have a sale rack. Plus the best selection of top quality designer replica bags (expect to pay at least $200 for an A+ replica, indistinguishable from the real thing) and accessories in Orlando!  Sand Lake Road is also known as Restaurant Row, so grab a great lunch or dinner while you are there.  If you need some caffeine, there's also a Starbuck's, a Barnes and Noble and a Panera Bread (if you need Wi-Fi, Panera has it!) nearby.

Get ready for your trip!

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