Thursday, February 2, 2023

The 10 Best Outlet Stores in South Florida

There is nothing chicer than a good deal. On top of perfect weather, picturesque beaches and a vibrant culture, another major perk of living in South Florida is access to world-class shopping. Sawgrass Mills mall (12801 W. Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise) and Palm Beach Outlets (1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach) are two great options for scoring good deals on designer goods, but with more than 450 combined stores between both malls, separating the great finds from the duds can be tough. I’ve rounded up my favorite South Florida outlet stores and reasons why you should shop them. Plus, general tips on what you should scoop up while you’re there!

Pictured: Palm Beach Outlets

Ann Taylor Factory Store

Good for: Basic wardrobe staples, suiting, work wear and accessories.

Why it’s great: Ann Taylor Factory stores carry exclusive merchandise designed for the outlets. While you can’t find the pieces you’ve been craving from the full-line store, you can find similar styles in classic Ann Taylor patterns and fabrics at a fraction of the cost. The key to having a great experience is managing your expectations: if you go looking for something you saw in the full-line, you’ll probably be disappointed. Stay focused on the great promos and sales, polished work wear options, basics and the huge clearance section.

Located at both Sawgrass Mills and Palm Beach Outlets.

American Eagle

Good for: Jeans (specifically the signature SkyRise jean), utility jackets, easy tees and basics

Why it’s great: The American Eagle outlet stores are technically full-line stores, with better sales and promotions. Basically, you can buy the same exact thing, at a better price. Example? One of the store associates told me that while all AEO stores were running BOGO 50 percent off promos, they ran a BOGO free promo. (Sounds better to me!)  Make sure to check out Factory exclusives. The stores often carry good quality basics at an even better discount.

Located at both Sawgrass Mills and Palm Beach Outlets.

Express Factory Store:

Good for: Express staples like the Editor pant and Portofino blouse at a discount

Why it’s great: A definite outlet mall staple, the Express outlet carries an assortment of factory-exclusive pieces and products shipped from the stores, at significant markdowns. I spotted a striped and heart print sweater dress I fell in love with last winter marked down to $59.50 with an additional 40 percent off. (Originally priced at $79.50). The store also constantly runs awesome promotions, and you can usually get whatever you’re looking for at an additional markdown.

Tip: Express staples produced for the outlet aren’t exactly the same quality as the products produced for regular Express stores.  In my opinion, it’s close enough that it doesn’t matter, but it’s truly a matter of personal preference. Make sure you check what’s on sale at the full-line store, because the difference in price of the Portofino blouse is only $5. If full-line Express stores are running a big sale, it may be worth it to just scoop up the original.

Located at both Sawgrass Mills and Palm Beach Outlets.

Francesca’s Collection Outlet:

Good for: Affordable on-trend jewelry, gifts, clothing, and accessories

Why it’s great: If you’re a Francesca’s Collection regular, you’re probably aware that every store carries different products – making the chain of stores unique in themselves. But the Palm Beach Outlets’ outpost of Francesca’s can top that. The outlet at PBO is a fusion full-line store/outlet. It carries a curated assortment of full-priced merchandise from the region’s stores as well as tons of sale products. In addition to constantly running promotions, the outlet also offers additional markdowns on sale and clearance merchandise – something the full-line stores never do.

Tip: Francesca’s is a good spot to Christmas shop. It offers adorable personal jewelry pieces, witty novelty items and more.

Located at Palm Beach Outlets.

Gap Factory Store

Good for: Tees, sweaters and basics, plus Gap’s signature jeans (produced for the Factory) at a fraction of the cost

Why it’s great: Gap Factory Stores are outlet mall anchors for a reason: they offer good quality merch at affordable prices. Whereas the in-store product is all exclusively designed for the stores, it’s still GOOD product. This past year, Gap has enlisted stylist and personality, George Kotsiopolous (of E!’s Fashion Police) to curate and style his own in-store collection. The result is chic and on-trend pieces that are easy on the wallet.

Tip: Keep an eye on the outerwear. Gap’s outerwear is polished and timeless – a coat will last you forever! I bought a denim jacket 18 years ago at a Gap Factory Store and STILL wear it constantly.

Located at both Sawgrass Mills and Palm Beach Outlets.

J.Crew/CrewCuts Factory Store

Good for: Jeans, tailored pants and blazers, workwear basics and factory-exclusive jewelry. J.Crew is famous for gorgeous blingy baubles, and at the outlet, they ring up for $59 or less. That’s 45 to 50 percent less than in full-line stores!

Why it’s great: J.Crew shows factory stores how it’s done. While the product is factory exclusive, it’s still the classic J.Crew styles you’ll find in full-line stores, for less. The schoolboy blazer, chambray button downs, matchstick jeans and cords are always in stock.  They also have great trend pieces; check out embellished tops, faux leather skinnies and more.

Located at both Sawgrass Mills and Palm Beach Outlets.

DVF Outlet

Good for: DVF’s signature wrap dresses in a variety of colors and patterns for under $200, or any of Von Furstenberg’s ladylike pieces

Why it’s great: The DVF outlet store at Sawgrass is exclusive in the South Florida market. The staff is friendly and helpful, the store is beautiful, and the product is classic. The store also runs major sales and promotions. I was recently at the store when EVERYTHING was an additional 40 percent off and scored the perfect LBD for $50.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask a store associate for help! They’ll fetch you water, additional sizes and basically treat you like royalty.

Located at Sawgrass Mills.

Bare Minerals Outlet

Good for: Mineral powder foundation, the perfect matte bronzer for contouring, and my personal fave: the mineral veil

Why it’s great: Another South Florida exclusive, the Bare Minerals outlet store offers a strong selection of Bare Escentuals products at outlet prices.

Tip:  Bare Minerals offers fantastic holiday bundles! Scoop them up as stocking stuffers.

Located at Sawgrass Mills.

Kate Spade Outlet

Good for: iPad cases, wallets, handbags, travel totes, jewelry and more

Why it’s great: The Kate Spade outlet is by far my favorite outlet store.  I’m a huge fan of the brand’s witty tech accessories, whimsical handbags and girly baubles. Yet another of Sawgrass’ South Florida exclusive outlets, there are always massive sales. The KS outlet routinely runs a 50 percent off the entire store sale… meaning you can score that handbag you’ve had your eye on for pennies. I recently snagged a bow print structured satchel and polka dot wallet for $125. Total.

Tip: If you pick up Sawgrass’ coupon booklet from the mall management office, there’s a 10 percent off coupon you can use on top of the great in-store savings.

Located at Sawgrass Mills.

HONORARY MENTION: Nordstrom Rack

Good for: Top notch shoes from brands like Sam Edelman, Dolce Vita, Tory Burch, Sole Society and more; glorious goodies from Marc Jacobs, DVF, Kate Spade and more – scour the clearance racks for these amazing brands; and handbags from Kate Spade, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.

Why it’s great: Although not technically an outlet store, Nordstrom’s off-price outpost is taking over outlet mall after outlet mall with its formidable assortment of designer merch. The Rack buys strategically for the outlets, but does receive product from full-line stores. Some of my most exciting designer finds have been from a Nordstrom Rack. At the PBO’s recent opening, I scored a pair of super luxe $450 pink glitter Miu Miu sunnies for $69.97.

In addition to an excellent assortment of merchandise, you get all the perks of shopping at Nordstrom, including a truly awesome bonus rewards program, on-site tailoring, item location and more.

Located at both Sawgrass Mills and Palm Beach Outlets. Plus at The Promenade Shops (20669 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura) and University Commons (1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton)

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About Stephanie:

Stephanie Pernas is a personal stylist, fashion writer and style expert. She is the owner of A Sparkle Factor LLC, a personal styling and lifestyle consulting business. She also writes and edits A Sparkle Factor, a go-to destination on the web featuring the latest trends, style tips, and fashion news focused on highlighting attainable style for the every-girl. She has almost 10 years of experience in the fashion industry, having worked in the fashion departments of magazines like Glamour, Women’s Health and Teen Vogue. After spending five years in New York, she is currently bringing a little bit of sparkle to the South Florida area where she resides with her family. 

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