People come to Orlando from all over the world, looking to save big at our amazing outlet malls. Don’t get distracted by the many fake outlets scattered around the tourist areas, for the real deals you need to head to one of the Premium Outlet Malls. We have two of them, one on the North end and one on the South end of International Drive.
My favorite of all the Orlando outlet centers is Premium Outlets International Drive, just a stone’s throw from Universal Studios. This center is a treasure trove of real factory outlets with amazing deals. I shop at this outlet mall at least once a week, and I can give you the advice you need to find what you’re looking for at the best price possible.
START YOUR TRIP RIGHT: GET A COUPON BOOK!
Before you begin your shopping adventure, stop by the Customer Service, which is located on the side of the Neiman Marcus store (conveniently, right next to the restrooms!) Here you can get a center map, and request a coupon booklet. It is free if you have a AAA card, or with a voucher you can download from the Premium Outlets website before you go. The discounts in these coupon books are substantial, with big $$ off and percentages off at most of the outlet stores.
These coupons can usually be combined with other outlet discounts, which can help you score a really big deal. If you’re looking for a specific item, shop around before you buy to make sure you get a real bargain. My outlet shopping rule is to not pay any more than 25% of the original retail price for anything.
BEST OUTLET OF THE BUNCH: VICTORIA’S SECRET
The absolutely best store at this outlet center is the Victoria’s Secret Outlet. It’s the only one in Florida, and the best thing about it is the flat pricing structure. They carry clothing, lingerie, bath and body, and other overstocks from the Victoria’s Secret catalogs, and from their retail stores. I wrote a full article just about this store, so check it out if you want to learn more!
MY FAVORITE STORES FOR AMAZING DESIGNER DISCOUNTS
Another great store at this center is the Off Fifth Saks Fifth Avenue outlet. The best deals are in the clearance sections, which are frequently marked an extra 50% off the lowest price. It can take a lot of digging, but it’s worth looking at everything they have in your size, since there are some real treasures here. They have a great selection of designer denim, and some spectacular shoes from luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, Tory Burch, and Manolo Blahnik. The fine jewelry cases offer a tempting selection from brands like Damiani, David Yurman, and Gucci.
Looking for designer watches? Your best bet is Watch Station, which carries Michele, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, DKNY, Burberry and other designer brands. They have a selection of Emporio Armani and Diesel jewelry as well, and they’re usually marked down at least 75% off.
Express is a mall staple that is a great source for business and going-out attire. They are known for their expert tailoring and high-quality fabrics. They’ve recently opened an outlet in this mall, located right next to Victoria’s Secret, which offers big markdowns and a huge selection, much bigger than any regular Express store.
Chico’s is another popular brand, known for creative prints and unique jewelry and belts. It’s a great source for gifts and comfortable clothes for travel. Their Soma line of lingerie is exquisitely crafted, with many pieces made of pure silk, and all of the Soma merchandise is usually an extra 70% off at this outlet. Don’t forget to use your $20 off coupon in the brochure!
White House Black Market carries only clothes in shades of black and white, and they create some great prints every season. It’s a perfect source for finding workwear basics, and they have a great selection of fun, pretty dresses as well. They often offer flat-price sales where all pants and tops are $29 and all dresses are $39, which works out to a huge discount, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
Banana Republic outlet offers huge markdowns on a broad assortment of classic sportswear. They often mark down the entire store by an extra 40%, and that offer can be combined with markdowns AND the 10% off coupon in the brochure. Stacking all of these discounts on top of each other can help you revamp your entire wardrobe for under $100. The clothes here are made just for the outlets, but they are still very high quality, especially the jeans, suits, shoes, and dresses.
Handbag shoppers will be in seventh heaven at Premium Outlets International Drive. Michael Kors, Brahmin, Dooney & Bourke, and Kate Spade all offer big markdowns at their stores, and there’s a big Coach outlet store that’s always full of eager customers. For all of these brands, the best deals are in the clearance sections, especially when they’re offering an additional percentage off.
DON’T FORGET THE FOOD COURT!
This is one of the few malls I’ve found that actually has food that’s worth the trip all by itself! The Red Brick Pizza is delicious, quick, and inexpensive, and the Pinkberry frozen yogurt is just perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. Even the food court is better than most, it has the world’s best chicken fingers at Chicken Now, and the best hamburgers EVER at Five Guys.
A FEW MORE TIPS…
It can be really hard to find a parking space at this mall, but there’s usually a spot around the back near the Off Fifth Saks Fifth Avenue. If you want to avoid circling the parking lot for hours, it’s best to arrive at 10am when the mall opens. Most of the upscale shops are on this side of the mall, but if you’re looking for trendier clothing for a teen, the north end of the mall is your best bet. Plan your trip wisely so you can come home with brag-worthy shopping scores at Orlando’s best outlet mall!