In a blogger’s career it becomes a dream to work with some of the coveted publications that you grow up reading and admiring. When I was asked to work in partnership with InStyle Magazine, I jumped at the opportunity and squealed when told our assignment was to challenge ourselves to find an entire outfit for $250 that embodied the readership of InStyle.
Inspirational, Fun, Celebrity Style were keywords to help guide us to style success. In such a technological age, where apps and immediacy are high valued; it’s such a nice change of pace to head in-store for some destination shopping. Shopping at Tanger Outlets became a place to fulfill all your needs – wide selections, the tangible and tactile feeling of fabrics and quality, to discover upcoming designers and hidden gems or familiarize yourself with the designs of old favorites, finding the perfect fit and most of all, the deep discounts and value savings that make shopping a pleasure.
Twenty-five bloggers and guests were selected and we started the day at the Time Inc. headquarters in downtown Manhattan. Upon entering the shiny lobby into the beautiful offices, you could feel the creativity buzzing about amongst employees.
After checking in, a full spread was laid out for a Blogger breakfast, where I ran into some old friends and was introduced to many new friends. A spread of healthy options were available to not weigh us down during our shopping session because who wants to battle the bloat when you’re in full on power shopping mode. The wonderful thing about these opportunities is the chance to meet more like-minded bloggers, creatives, and editors that share the same vision as we all navigate the future of digital and media. We embarked on our challenge, feeling inspired and optimistic, even in the wake of the political aftermath.
We all joked about having mini Oprah moments are we each unveiled the contents inside the fabulous goodie bags were filled with surprises galore! Also, as a bonus to keep us up-to-date, all the latest issues of Time Inc. magazines were included – Real Simple, People, Style Watch, InStyle, and Southern Living.
One of my favorite moments of the experience was the panel and face-to-face time to get to know all the hardworking members behind the magazines. We were introduced to a line up of editors and marketers from Time Inc. with a long history at some of the most prestigious and glossy publications. My contact was Dana Cohen, editor with an illustrious career and experience from InStyle Magazine.
After all the blogger bonding, we made our way out onto our adventure. Tanger Outlets is located in Deer Park, New York out in Long Island, just a bus or train ride away. An easy drive for those in any borough of New York and a well kept secret of Long Island. The Arches is conveniently located a short distance from the Deer Park LIRR Train Station. There is a special package that includes rail fare to Deer Park station, where you can board the Tanger Outlet Shuttle for a short ride to the center. Turn in the voucher stub at the Tanger Outlets Shoppers Services Center for a coupon book worth hundreds in savings.
After a scenic bus ride with expansive views of New York City over to Tanger Outlets in Deer Park, a styling room was set up as a shopping haven for breaks in between hauls and photo worthy set ups to get that perfect flat lay for Instagram. We snapped, Insta-storied, primped and posed for that shopping selfie all in the midst of all the bargains to be had.
I grew up watching the television show, Supermarket Sweep where it was testing savvy shoppers to grab bargain buys while figuring out trivia and running around to beat the clock. This #TangerStyle challenge felt as close as I was going to get to my childhood gameshow. With a budget of $250, in between clicks of the camera and smiling for video shoots, I was sweating and running in circles trying to put together an InStyle worthy ensemble.
Off Saks Fifth Avenue had the most impressive selection of shoes that beckoned me. My natural instinct was to blow my budget on high-end designer shoes, but I didn’t want to walk away with not much else. Jimmy Choo, Saint Laurent, Prada, Alexander Wang, Charlotte Olympia, Christian Louboutin all enticed with chic footwear designs and lines such as Stuart Weitzman, Kendall & Kylie, and other contemporary designers kept it wallet friendly.
My shopping haven and where I found the most luck was Neiman Marcus Last Call; they had the deepest discounts with bonus coupons that allowed me to maximize while trying to make the most of getting the most bang for my buck. I couldn’t believe the steals and deals on such lovely designer items. The store was strategically laid out and well merchandised that helped me visualize outfit ideas with wintery coats and jackets.
The staff and sales associates of all the different retailers were such a dream and extremely helpful as I power shopped. In the midst of it all, I found myself frazzled at times and uncertain of how an item would be incorporated into a look. Somehow, there was always a helping hand and superhero sales associate that would swoop in with reassuring advice on how to proceed. Many suggesting new styles, pointing me in the direction of items in the similar style as I was dressed, pulling sizes to ensure the perfect fit, and notifying me of additional savings and coupons. The ease of it all took out the stress normally associated with Holiday Shopping.
Overall, my head-to-toe look was $250 with a bonus $100 gift card to Off Saks Fifth Avenue. It consisted of:
- Alexander McQueen Sandals – $90
- Finders Dress – $100
- Microsuede Trench -$75
- Alexander McQueen Sunglasses- $85
Along for the adventure was my friend, Damon who made out like a bandit and shopped at various retailers that made me wonder if he tapped into time travel or sprinted from sale to sale. His finds came from Off Saks Fifth Avenue, Express, Sunglass Hut and Nike all for under $250 – a leather jacket, black pants, Calvin Klein shirt, polarized Ray-Ban sunglasses, printed socks, and Nike Roshe trainers.
Tanger Outlets was beautifully illuminated and adorned for the season. It felt so festive for the Holidays with all the decorations – a splendid and ornate Christmas tree, Nutcracker Soldiers posted at corners and welcoming you into promenades, reindeer playing their reindeer games around lush greenery. It was pretty much the best backdrops for so many bloggers OOTDs and all their new purchases.
I can’t wait to return to Tanger Outlets and all its retailers because it’s perfect for Black Friday and upcoming Holiday shopping. When you thinking of all the loved ones in your life, don’t forget to splurge a bit on yourself! After all, Tanger Outlets offers a huge amount of savings!
Photo Credit: Damon Nam & Steven Duerte