@MusingMutley: How to shop up a storm without breaking the bank

@MusingMutley: How to shop up a storm without breaking the bank

Smart fashion

Text: Norman Tan

Why you should be hitting up the luxury outlet malls

Buenos dias chicas y chicos!

Current location: Madrid. Seated in the sun lounge of the Urso Hotel & Spa. Strawberries to my left, and a glass of cold lemonade to my right. 

Current situation: Sun's out, brim's out. It's a cracking 33-degree day. Glorious blue skies and a dry summer breeze. Whipped out the Borsalino Panama. Naturally.

Current mood: Blissfully ballin'. Steezing hard with my double-breasted two-piecer from Polo Ralph Lauren. These peak-lapels are so on point, you better watch yourself before you cut yourself. Sharper than a Japanese katana.        

I'm in Spain courtesy of Chic Outlet Shopping — invited to check out the luxury shopping malls in both La Roca Village (Barcelona) and Las Rozas Village (Madrid). I know what you're thinking: Outlet shopping? Discarded fashions at discounted prices? My initial thoughts exactly. But, let me tell you, it's like shopping along Orchard Road in Singapore: Designer labels, kitted up luxury stores, and great customer service. Actually, scratch that, better customer service than Singapore. The discounted prices? Merely the cherry on top of an overall impressive shopping experience. Truth. 

Personal challenge: Create two looks with only 500. Being a self-confessed shopaholic, I wanted to see if I could still snag some killer pieces without breaking the bank. The only caveat? I could combine existing pieces from my wardrobe, but the hero pieces for each look had to be purchased from La Roca Village and Las Rozas Village. In short, one unique look per village. Sceptical? Here are the results.


Norman Tan wearing a Polo Ralph Lauren linen suit in La Roca Village, Barcelona

What: Double-breasted suit in a cotton and linen houndstooth plaid, Polo Ralph Lauren, €250 
Where: La Roca Village, 45-minute drive from Barcelona 
Why: Super versatile suit that you can dress up with a crisp white shirt, tie, and brogues (the perfect outfit for a decadent dinner — try 2-Michelin star restaurant ABaC by chef Jordi Cruz in west Barcelona); or dress it down with a classic white tee and slides (for exploring rooftop terraces — try Casa Camper). 

La Roca Village pro-tip: With more than 
140 shops — including the Barcelona Designer's Collective pop-up store showcasing the best local talent (running until 15 August 2016) — you're guaranteed to rack up a number of shopping bags at La Roca Village. But why burden yourself with all that luggage? Opt for hands-free shopping and your bags will be kept secure in-store, allowing you to shop unhindered. A personal assistant will pick up, and deliver all your bags to you, when you're ready to leave the village at the end of the day. Sorted. 


Norman Tan wearing an Emporio Armani duster coat in Las Rozas Village, Madrid

What: Zip-up cotton and silk duster coat in a black-and-white geometric check, Emporio Armani, €285 
Where: Las Rozas Village, 30-minute drive from downtown Madrid 
Why: Because billowing duster coats are the jam right now. Also, comes with two side zips that open up from the bottom of the hem to the hip; further adding to the drama when you walk. Lit, louche and legit.

Las Rozas Village pro-tip: 
With just over 100 stores, Las Rozas Village might not have as many outlets as La Roca Village, but what it lacks in stores it makes up for with a sophisticated boulevard of well-stocked luxury labels. Favourites include Loewe, Burberry and Missoni. And for a great place to rest and recharge? Grab yourself a lemon granita and head to the newly renovated summer terrace (located next to Burberry) for great views of the surrounding area. #Gorg 


Scored myself two different looks for a total of €535. Slightly over my budget, but super pleased with my purchases.

Okay, confession. In addition to the above — but not necessary to complete my two looks — I also picked up a Gucci weekender bag for a steal (diamante canvas with luxe leather deets); several pairs of Calvin Klein briefs (good underwear is a necessity); and a few button-down Oxfords from Polo Ralph Lauren for just 
€50 a pop. Win. This shopaholic left smiling from ear-to-ear.

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Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.

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