Everyone knows that I simply adore a good shop. I am always asked where I shop and how I find so many bargains. As much as online shopping has its place in the world, there is nothing like the immediate satisfaction of falling in love with an item and taking it home. In saying that, discount shopping does not mean stalking people for a car space on Saturday mornings at your local DFO or finding the same stock from a retailer in their flagship store vs their outlet. In fact if you know where to shop and hidden stores perfect for sourcing new pieces, you will find you will not discount shop every again.
In this post I am going to take you on a little adventure inside one of my favourite hot spots for unique, quality goods and finding a stellar bargain or two that is located about 15 minutes from Melbourne CBD. This location always has the goods and I can honestly say I have never walked out without at least two pieces (and I visit fortnightly).
Factory outlet shopping does not mean you need to be digging through a bin or trying to find your size in a pile of twisted garments whilst being starred at by an angry shop assistant. The store layout is beautifully managed, catagorised to assist with ease of shopping, merchandised with expertise and it is clean and lit very well. Almost like you are in a higher end store, just with more stock! You will be pleasantly surprised by the level of professionalism, passion, product and people in this one stop, must shop destination. This location is not just for the fellas. So ladies, grab your tote, slip on your shoes and head on down.
One of Melbourne's best kept secrets is Flair Industries in Preston, Victoria. Ted Baker, Hugo Boss, Wolf Kanat and Flair Industries goods are on offer at massively discounted prices. The "normal" discounted shopping experience does not apply here. The staff great you with warmth and personality and offer to guide you through the rather large store. Their passion for the brands shines through with their product knowledge for each brand and upcoming stock and sales coming to the store and helpful styling tips.
Personally I am a major fan of Ted Baker. The quirky style, use of bold colours, fabrics and prints suits me perfectly. There is a timelessness to Ted Baker and it's Glasgow roots that allows for items not to date whilst providing a freshness and uniqueness that is not like other designers. You know I am not afraid to wear a rocking print or super colourful items. One of the hidden gems of this location is the samples. I personally love finding sample pieces as they are not mass produced items, they tend to be more fearless in creativity and there is an exclusivity to owning them. There are samples everywhere in this location and its one of the major drawcards for me. If you want to carry a bag that no on else has, then this is the place for you. You need some new shoes but want something a little quirky to stand out from the crowd, step right up, take a seat on the nice benches and try them on. I kid you not, this place is a shoeaholics dream!
Being a serious shopper for a very long time, I cannot understand why anyone would opt for run of the mill budget brands when this outlet has reasonably priced 'no ordinary designer' looks. Most shirts at the outlet are $40-$70 dollars and the quality is far superior, there is more variety in prints, colours and sizing. Shoes range in price from $70 dollars upwards (even cheaper with their twice yearly sample sale). My love affair with beautiful things can flourish in store as I try on sample shoes after sample shoes, all amazingly created with uniqueness.
Desire and passion go hand and hand, and at the Ted Baker outlet, you can literally walk out with all that you're craving (or if you're anything like me, so much more). Ted Baker's passion for quality shines through in the smaller details, such as buttons, stitching and fabric choices. I challenge you to pick up a bag and inspect the finer details of the hardwear, the two coloured shoe laces on the shoes, the collars on the shirts, the details are completely exquisite. If you don't walk out with something, you clearly need to seek help.
Let's delve a little further and look at the in-store gems that are available. Their are gorgeous suits and I mean gorgeous. Waistcoats, trousers, jeans oh my. Shirts, polo's, jackets, blazers and coats. Did you say accessories? Well belts, gloves, bags and shoes........honestly there is everything! I have fallen in love with many suits that you just do not see in mainstream menswear lines in Australia. These suits are perfect for weekends in Portsea, destination weddings in exotic locations and red carpet events. And men, this is just not for you, grab the girls and head in as they have just as much for women! Yes this location has a massive amount of women's wear. You could easily spend a good hour to two in this store. There is so much to look at and try on in the spacious change rooms and the hardest decision will be, "do I buy it all?"
The richness of this discount shopping adventure is superior to the after hours mobile online shopping. Online shopping has become an everyday part of our lives and I personally find it very soul-less. I adore the shopping experience of trying items on, falling in love with the quality of a leather, engagement with staff and grabbing that bag after swiping the credit card. As much as I like to shop online (purely as I cannot find what I want in Australia) there is nothing like physically being present and experiencing the passion, products and people associated with such great brands like Ted Baker. Brand loyalty is rare these days as the fashion industry has evolved and tries to cater for everyone's needs and desire to mass produce rather than be original. Its brands like Ted Baker that consistently deliver with creativity, quality and style and all this is wrapped up in great pricing and a positive shopping experience with wonderful interaction from staff. How can online compare?
You could easily be distracted by the other brands on offer at this location. Especially Wolf Kanat, the tailoring and exquisite fabric choices are refreshing to suiting in Australia. If you are from Melbourne, or visiting, I would highly recommend a trip to Flair Industries on Albert Street, Preston. The staff are friendly and highly skilled, the stock is amazing, and the bargains are out of this world. I challenge you to find a better discount store in Melbourne that offers everything an A-grade shopping experience should be. This is why I am a Ted Baker devotee.
Flair Industries is located at 6 Albert Street Preston