This weekend my wife & I took a drive to Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, NY.  This outlet center does not have the choices that say Woodbury Commons (Central Valley, NY) has, but for us it’s a fairly easy drive, and they have a huge Williams Sonoma outlet that we both like.

For those of us who consider ourselves to be sophisticated and educated shoppers, outlet shopping can be very hit or miss.  My wife is quick to point out items that are 3-4 seasons old.  And stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic have design teams who create merchandise specifically for the outlet stores making the stores less of an outlet, and more a cheaper knock-off of the real thing. (Note: for certain items there is nothing wrong with buying original outlet designs. I personally just purchased a spring jacket from the J.Crew Factory Store.)

This weekend, pickings were slim, but the deals on what we did find were fantastic.

At Sperry Topsider, for instance I found this pair of navy suede, slip-on topsiders for a mere $29.  I practically live in Sperry’s over the summer.  I already had a pair in blue leather (which had seen better days), but at this price they were hard to pass up.  Esquire magazine suggested in their March issue that we shelf the Sperry’s this year – implying that they were last summer’s fashionable shoe.  I love reading Esquire, but considering I’ve been wearing this style shoe since high school (in the early-mid 90’s) I have no intention of stopping now.

My other sweet score was a spread collar, Regent Custom Fit blue dress shirt from Polo Ralph Lauren on clearance for $20.  Why this shirt was on clearance for next to nothing is a mystery to me.  They had probably about ten of these in various sizes, all in fine shape.  True, it’s not the most interesting of shirts, but it’s one of those classic colors that goes well with a blue or grey suit, so how could I pass it up?

This was one of those rare trips where we didn’t spend a bunch at Williams Sonoma even though they had plenty of delicious marinades, gadgets, and knives that I just don’t need but find hard to resist.  Next time…