Ditching the Jeans, Doin’ the Darn Dress Code #TangerOutlets #Haul

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Just in case you did not read through the above disclaimer, I received a $50 gift card, plus a BUNCH of 20% off coupons as well as a coupon booklet to facilitate this post, in exchange for an honest review and to assist in promoting the Taste and Style Food Truck Festival at Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove, Georgia this weekend (7/27 – 7/28/2013).

back to school

There’s still one full day of food trucks and great savings on your back to school shopping needs or for whatever your little heart may desire.  Wait until you see how much money I saved!

Before I get knee deep in clothing, let me tell you that my significant other balked when he heard we were going shopping nearly 50 miles away, BUT the Tanger Outlet Center in Commerce, Georgia, is the SAME distance from our home.  The fact of the matter is that we HAD to go shopping because my office has decided to move away from casual attire Monday through Thursday, beginning 8/1, to business casual (which means NO JEANS).  I figured I could also snag some back to school duds for my son while he was down there.  Not to mention, my S.O. needed some new clothing as well.  It’s been awhile.  He works in a warehouse so his clothes tend to wear quickly.

We have also been dying to go to the Atlanta Food Truck Park, but have not yet done so.  We killed two birds with one stone.

I spent more than what I had planned on, but realized that I could not even compare the deals I got to where I planned on scoring brand names like Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, Pacific Sunwear, American Eagle and more; which was the local Goodwill.  The local Goodwill has an amazing selection of gently used clothing.  In the area we live in, the brand names tend to be more upscale, BUT at Tanger Outlets, I got BRAND NEW clothes of similar style and quality for LESS!! While I spent more, I got a much better bang for my buck than I expected.

Without further adieu…

The Goods!

Tanger Outlet Taste and Style Back to School Shopping

 

I received a $50 gift card in exchange for posting an honest review and promoting the Taste and Style Event at Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove, Georgia.  Stop by tomorrow, Sunday, July 28th for a piece of the action; savings and yummy food!

Not only that, but I was surprised when I received a gift bag which including a coupon booklet, with a specific coupon for each store, plus 5 or 6 coupons for 20% off at participating stores (on top of the one that I already got before heading to Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove), PLUS a Curtis Stone set of white melamine measuring spoons.

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

We popped in many of the stores.  My specific missions were to prep for the dress code change at work and possibly score some good deals for back to school attire for my 1-year old son.  Most people think of outlets as second-rate goods or out of season styles, but Tanger Outlet stores have in-season, fashionable clothing and footwear at manufacturer’s direct pricing, as well as on clearance.  I did not encounter one piece that I thought to be slightly off kilter or out-of-style.

However, the current trend seems to be lots of sheer and lots of lace.  With it being summer, that also meant lots of sleeveless, lots of shorts, lots of capris and lots of bright colors.  I did find a sufficient amount of items that would be suitable for all seasons, or at least carry me through the fall.

What Not to Wear to Work

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping Denim

 

Considering my current wardrobe (partially above; not counting what is currently being laundered) consists of denim, tees, polos and a bunch of outdated pieces, my closet was in need of some major love.  Denim, denim, everywhere! Almost everything in my closet needs replacing.  I AM MOM! It’s not atypical for mothers to put their own needs on the back burner.  I was so successful in my wardrobe overhaul that I did not make a dent in my son’s back to school wardrobe budget.

 

Casual Fridays

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

Our new work dress code still includes casual Fridays, thank goodness.  I live in jeans and t-shirts.

Most of the tees that I’ve been wearing are either old or they no longer fit well (i.e. Momma needs to lose some weight).  When I saw $3.99 v-neck and scoop neck tees at Papaya in a wide array of colors, I grabbed as many as I could find in my size.  On top of that, I had a 10% off coupon, making each tee $3.59.

I got 7 tees at $3.59 each for a TOTAL of $25.13.  Casual Fridays = CHECK

 

Bottoms for Business Casual

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

1-Tanger Outlet Taste and Style Event - Locust Grove 20130727-0728_015

 

I scored some great deals on pants for business casual attire.

The khaki and light khaki colored pants both came from American Eagle, my FAVORITE place to buy bottoms.  They normally run $39.99 each.  The outlet sale was 25% off, plus I had another 20% off coupon making each pair $23.97 each before tax.  They’re currently $39.95 online.  Even if I used a cash-back shopping site, I could not have beat this deal.

Both pairs of black pants came from Old Navy.  They are the Diva style.  I have to say it’s the first time I’ve found pants at Old Navy that fit so wonderfully.  I love the lower rise on the Diva Style.  They were normally $24.50, which is a great deal to begin with.  I got one pair for $13.59 (On sale for $19.99 + 20% off  + 15% off) and another pair for $16.99 (On sale for $19.99 + 15% off).  They actually fit so well, I’m thinking I might be able to replace my higher priced American Eagle preference with them.

4 pairs of pants for business casual = $78.52

That’s less than $20 a pair!

Tops for Business Casual

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

These are a bit more casual, but I feel they are appropriate for a business casual environment, when paired with the above pants.  Even if they only pass for casual in my boss’s eyes, I’ve scored by getting each of these for only $3.39 each at the Old Navy Outlet at Tanger using a 15% off coupon.  4 more shirts to add to my wardrobe.  They’ll look cute with khakis.

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

At Ann Taylor Loft, they had a bunch of nice things and a HUGE clearance rack.  I probably should have snagged more, BUT many of the items would have cost me over $10.  They still would have been GREAT deals, but considering my mission, I knew I had to be sure that no (top) piece exceeded $10.  In all reality, my goal was to find DRASTICALLY reduced prices, which you can see I’ve already done.  I’d definitely go back to the Ann Taylor Loft Outlet Store at Tanger Outlets again, perhaps in a few months to continue building my new wardrobe.

I purchased both of these sweaters at $9.99 each (before tax).  They normally retail for $39.99 each.  I’ve worn the Ann Taylor Loft brand before and currently own a few pieces from the brand.  They are high quality, timeless and fashionable pieces.  I’ll be able to wear these during any season.  For winter, I can simply dress them up with a nice business casual jacket to keep warm.

 Puttin’ On the Ritz

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

These two pieces will go together.  The top two photos are of the front and then the back of a dressier top that I purchased from Papaya.  Normally $11.00, on sale for $7.99, I got it for $7.19 with a 10% off coupon.  I scored the cami at Old Navy for $2.97 after 15% off of $3.50.  I can wear the black cami with other items.

$10.16 for a dressy top, when combined with the cami = NOT BAD!

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

I don’t normally do “PRINTS”.  I’ve often found that I end up hating them after I purchase them and wear them a few times.   This piece called me for some reason.  I love the contrast of the blue on black and white.  Black and white are my thing.  It will look great with my existing wardrobe piece of second-hand Banana Republic dress pants.  I got it for $13.49, normally $22.00, on sale for $14.99 with a 10% off coupon.

 

For the Kiddo

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

My ability to shop for my son was limited by the fact that he was not present.  He is with his Dad.  When I saw tees and ringer tees at Old Navy for 50% off, I couldn’t resist picking them up.  Regularly priced at $7.94, I got 5 at $3.39 each with a coupon for 15% off.  I also snagged him a pair of shorts to wear around the house for just $6.75 (normally priced at $7.94 also).  Combined with his Dad’s back to school shopping, there is still some left to do, but you can’t go wrong with these tees.

The Big Boy

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

Tanger Outlets Locust Grove Taste and Style Event for back to school shopping

 

 

As previously mentioned, my significant other was in desperate need of replacement clothes.  I tried to get him to commit to more items.  Despite all of my shopping antics, he only left with a pair of pants, 3 shirts and a hat.

Tanger Outlet Taste and Style back to school hats

 

Pants = $16.15 (normally $29.50)

Shirts = $15.29 (normally $17.99 for 3)

Hat = $15.59 (normally $19.99)

While We Were Out

Tanger Outlets Kitchen

 

We were in need of a few kitchen goods.  Our spatulas are all plastic and wilting.  We added a metal spatula to the mix.  We needed tongs, as ours have been in the kitchen graveyard for awhile.  I also found a halfmoon strainer, which will reduce the number of times per week we have to wash our large strainer.  Heck, it might even eliminate the large strainer! We snagged all three pieces for $13.62 INCLUDING tax!  All three pieces felt durable and worth at least double the price we paid for them.  A happy home is a happy kitchen, especially since I have a teenager in the house.

Overall – Our #TangerOutlets Shopping Haul

Overall, we spent more than I expected to spend, BUT I got a lot more than I could have ever imagined.

What we would have spent in store = AT LEAST $447.40

What we spent = $261.82 – $50.00 gift card = $211.82

That’s a 53% savings and it’s REAL.  As a dealmonger, I can honestly tell you I could not have scored such great deals outside of Tanger Outlets.  There’s NO WAY!

Ouch!

It kills me that I have more shopping to do, since this time of year is mostly dedicated to back to school shopping versus updating my work wardrobe.  If you look at the bigger picture, I purchased 30 items.  That’s an average of $8.72 per item.  Overall, I’m pleased with this figure.  You can’t find most of these items in regular retail outlets for this average price.

The Taste and Style Event

Tanger Outlets Taste and Style Event back to school shopping

Not only did we shop, but we also got to hear a live band, The Regulars Band, and taste foods from the Atlanta Food Truck Park.  I got to try Chicken and Waffles for the very first time, plus we had some great Filipino food from The Filipino Food Truck.

Check out my pictures on Instagram to see the yummy goodness!

 

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