Since my carpool group isn't that big into gambling, and walking around isn't much fun, we had to come up with things to do. Not surprisingly, I suggested shopping. I knew there were great outlets in the Vegas area, but since I was busy with finals, I didn't have time to look into it. Fortunately, my dear roommate did the homework and found a couple of outlets to hit.
On our way to Vegas, we stopped by the fashion outlet mall in Primm, which is on the California-Nevada border. That place was great--I did the bulk of my shopping there. When we got there, we thought we'd spend an hour or so there. Instead, we ended up staying there for a couple of hours until the stores closed. I got some clothes for family, stocked up on Bath and Body Works stuff for future b-day gifts, got a Pottery Barn picture album set for another aunt, $7 Fossil cuff links for a cousin, just to name a few. Being singularly focused on getting Christmas gifts, I didn't get anything for myself there. As a bonus, many things I purchased ended up being cheaper than the marked price. My friends did pretty well too. They all got some great gifts, and one of them scored big on work clothes. She had a hard time finding things that looked good, fitted right, and priced well until she found the outlet. We all agreed that the Primm outlets is a must-visit attraction the next time we go to Vegas.
The next day, we were already in Vegas, so we went to the Las Vegas Outlet Center just outside of town. I didn't think the stores there were as good, but there were a few stores with lots of goodies. I found gifts for the hardest-to-shop-for members of my family, and I even bought gifts on behalf of my parents because (I hate to say this, but) they're a bit clueless about what's cool for teens. Even though it was completely unexpected, I ended up spending money on myself. I bought 3 things:
The pair of Vans was the first thing I bought. I wore flats to go shopping in the morning, but walking was painful because the shoes were stiff and my feet were swollen and calloused from breaking in new shoes the night before. I went into Vans to buy things for family when I saw a few pairs of shoes on the $9.99 table. Whaddaya know? The green/white checkered pair was the last pair of its kind, and it was in my size. They were really comfortable. As soon as I walked out the store with them, I decided to wear them. My feet felt much relieved, and off I went to buy things from other stores.
One of my last stops was the Adidas store, where I found a gift for my sister and a couple of things for myself. I've been looking for a zip-up hoodie for a long time, and while $23 isn't cheap, the price was very reasonable and it's hard to find something lower and of the same quality. The bag is a "want" more than a "need," but it was just so "me." I really dig the metallic green trim, and isn't the heart-shaped reflector cute? I love the Stella McCartney line of Adidas products because it embodies the perfect fusion of form and function, but it's always been too expensive for me. At $10 instead of $80, this bag was affordable and perfect for my needs. I overheard a salesperson tell a customer that the Stella McCartney sale starts Monday. Bummers...I couldn't take advantage of it, but I got a good deal nonetheless. I started using it right away in place of my little quilted bag because the shoulder strap made things much easier. I call this a bucket bag because the bottom is round. Round is good because it increases the capacity; I was able to put in a bottle of water later.
One thing I learned is that outlet stores of the same brand are not created equal. For instance, the Fossil outlet at Primm had way more and better stuff than the one in Las Vegas proper.
An interesting observation: I didn't expect to buy anything from the Coach outlet, but I wanted to check it out. I was surprised by how many people were in there pawing at stuff as if they were free. On the contrary, everything was quite expensive in there, though I liked one of the pouchettes. The patchwork purse, however, is something to avoid. It may look cool in a weird sort of way right now, but it'll be so out by next year.
Good thing my friend's little hybrid SUV had lots of room in the trunk to fit both our travelling bags and all our purchases. Everything was piled high, but they fit. Our guy friends (including the groom) shook their heads when they heard we went shopping that first night and again the next day. Oh well, they've got their gambling, we've got our shopping. Works for me.