Get The Most Out of Designer Shopping

Outlet shopping is not what it used to be. At its inception, it was comprised of overstock and closeout items from big-name brands and designers. Now, most items featured at an outlet store are produced specifically for it. In other words, the shirt you picked up at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets may have never been for sale at the designer’s boutique. It was made for Polo Ralph Lauren.

“Shoppers have demanded a range of mass to luxury labels, and retailers have responded. International prestige brands as well as designers all have some form of outlet business, and it’s not a surprise that an unspecified percent of retail shops stock outlet exclusive products,” according to noted retail expert and published author Tom Julian. “The sales strategy is to accommodate all shoppers with all prices and with a range of distinct products.”

However, among the outlet products, treasures do exist. Follow Julian’s advice: Know your designer. Familiarizing yourself with a collection will make it easier for you to spot a bargain should it happen to make it to an outlet mall. And focus on Italian labels, as they don’t shortchange on their range of handbags, shoes and apparel merchandise. “Any look from Zegna, Armani, Ferragamo, Dolce, Gucci and Versace will be a true value purchase,” Julian confirms.

Local sales roundup: Through the end of the month, buy one pair of Swarovski stud earrings at TAGS Evolution at Miracle Mile Shops, get the second pair free. Celebrating Chinese New Year, Ritual Salon and Spa offers three amazing services for only $88 each from Jan. 23-30: haircut, deep conditioning and brow wax (a $114 value); 80-minute blueberry detox facial ($190 value); or an 80-minute aromatherapy massage ($150 value). Two locations: 9480 S. Eastern Ave. and at Tivoli Village 302 S. Rampart Blvd.