A village of outlet shops. Your worst nightmare, yes?

I find shopping easy. For example: I need a jumper. I go to some shops. I walk into a shop, have a look around (10 minutes max.). I see something I like. I look for my size. It’s there. I try it on. (another 10 minutes). I decide if it is worth the money. I buy it (another 10 minutes).

There you go. Half an hour at the very most.

Alternatively, if, after the first 10 minutes ,I see there is nothing that I really like in the shop and I leave and go somewhere else.

Not everyone is like that, I’ve learnt.

A&F certainly aren’t. Sunday afternoon/evening was spent at Vicolungo which is one of those out-of-town shopping outlets that are everywhere around Milan. Created on wasteland (or, perhaps, free land) very near a motorway exit, they build a pseudo-village. It’s not real but it’s meant to give the feel of an old town centre. But everything is clean. No traffic to snarl up the ‘high street’. Lot’s of benches. CafĂ©’s at regular intervals. In fact, the perfect village/town.

But, no one lives there, in spite of the idea that there are flats above the shops. The windows upstairs are just for show. Just for the feel. More like a disneyworld of shops. Nothing is real.

The prices, supposedly discounted heavily are still outrageously expensive. The styles are, more often than not, last years season, not this.

You won’t find some unusual shop that sells something different. It’s true ‘high-street’ or designer stuff here. No butcher, grocer, etc.

A&F want new stuff. In the end we go to two shops only from the 100 or so that are there. We arrive at about 2.30. The first shop was one that F found all her purchases in last time. Many clothes are tried on. It would have been so much quicker if we had just gone in and said – ‘please give us 1 of each thing in this size’ and be done with it.

We leave, after a few hours (no, really – a FEW hours!) with no bags. Nothing was quite right.

We go round to the area that was being built last time. This time it is almost finished and most shops are open. We go into our 2nd shop. Again, it would have been quicker to have said ‘we’ll try one of everything’. After about 4 hours we come out with bags.

It’s hard to explain the method by which shopping becomes no pleasure, merely boredom. Why ask me what I think if it’s not the answer you’re looking for? I mean, I can be diplomatic but I won’t say something looks nice (on or off the hanger) if I don’t think it DOES look nice. Of course, I may not be able to say the whole truth – that might hurt your feelings – but there are ways to say ‘NO’ without saying that it looks fine on the hanger – it must be you.

But I’m also aware that some clothes are for some people and some aren’t. Sometimes, we have been to an Armani store. And sometimes, rarely, I have seen something I like. It looks my sort of thing and it looks good on the hanger but, when I put it on, it looks dreadful (or, should I say, I look dreadful in it). After a few times, I stopped even bothering to try anything made by Armani.

But some people just don’t seem able to see how truly awful they look in something. I realise that, if you see something you like, you want it to make you look good but, when it doesn’t just accept that fact and move on.

We were the last (I think) shoppers to leave the place. It is October. It is cold at night.

Anyway, for those of you who like the whole ‘shopping village’ idea then I’m certain that you’ll like it. In my opinion, it’s better than Serravalle (also about an hour from Milan) and better than the one near Oxford (Biscester) as at least the weather is, generally, better.

6 thoughts on “A village of outlet shops. Your worst nightmare, yes?

  1. I know how you feel about these places. We have one reasonably close to use, except it’s a retail outlet village. All laid out just like a high street and town, and I agree about the discounted prices yet still outrageous prices.

    Also, I shop in a similar way except I don’t try things on. If it doesn’t fit, I take it back, but more often than not it fits.

  2. Hi TSM.

    I have to try stuff on but not everything in the b%**&! shop!! As I say, I find that something that looks good on the hanger doesn’t always look so good when you wear it.

    V used to buy shoes without trying them on and then the shoes would be too small. Now it’s changed but not before the damage had been done.

  3. Hi Andy,
    Your wonderful description of the ‘disneyland’ shopping village was amazing. I could see and feel your experience.

    Personally, I REALLY hate shopping. I am a ‘card-carrying’ catalog gal. Tried and true.
    I have one question from across the pond. What is a “jumper” in your world. Here, it is a sleeveless one piece dress often decorated with appliques or ruffled shoulders and ‘cut’ with a high waist. Clearly, you can understand my wonder. :-)


  4. Ah, yes. a jumper might also be called a pullover or sweater in the States.
    I’m afraid I just can’t do catalogue shopping. Sometimes I wish I could as it must be easier. I’m not even that good on e-bay!

  5. LOL, MoR. A badly dressed Italian? I can hardly believe it! OK, so I’m joking. Though I must admit that, until we had been here a little while, I did think that every Italian dressed well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.