Hong Kong is the perfect place for an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes to designer discount shopping. Here’s the ultimate guide to the best outlet stores and factory outlet locations.
Fashion and travel
Fashion and travel are like gourmet Himalayan salt and French rose peppercorns, they belong together. Whether it's planning your vacation wardrobe online, salivating over Chanel and Saint Laurent in Paris or shopping for that perfect souvenir in a one-of-a-kind boutique, it can enhance any trip. Or destroy it ...
Fashion and travel
My voice got quivery when I found out I couldn't access the duty free shopping area in Terminal 5 before transferring to Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport for the second leg of my flight back to Canada from London.
"But I'm already in Terminal 5," I told Heathrow's personal shopper, after I'd scrambled around finding someone who could help.
"Yes, but you flew into arrivals," the personal shopper said, looking as if she might cry too. If anyone understands a woman's desire for a duty free Chanel Boy Bag, it's someone who spends her days helping people shop.
But maybe a Chanel bag just isn't meant to be, I thought strolling through online luxury fashion shops like SSENSE while waiting to board my flight (in boring Terminal 2). Maybe it's time to move on.
French elegance never goes out of style
I thought back to a chic woman I'd met in a museum in Paris and how I'd been immediately blown away by her bag. When I'd asked her about it, she'd told me it was a limited edition Yves Saint Laurent.
Saint Laurent fashion
Maybe it's time I turn my attention to Saint Laurent. I mean, have you seen their Black Medium Envelope Chain Bag? Drool-worthy. It's the low key logo clasp that appeals to me so much, how its dark colour sinks into the black of the leather like some kind of sexy black soot.
"Coco Chanel freed women. I empowered them," goes the famous quote by French designer Yves Saint Laurent. (Though really it was his partner, Pierre Bergé, who said that about him.)
After all, Yves Saint Laurent astounded the fashion world in the 60s when he introduced 'Le Smoking,' the first tuxedo for women, a haute couture staple that continues to appear on runways today.
And even Coco Chanel declared that he was her "only inheritor".
Shopping in Paris
I'd be empowered with that YSL bag, I thought. It's perfect for travelling with its shoulder strap for hands-free sightseeing and its outside pocket where I can keep my camera for quick access. And it's glamorous enough for evening .... I feel a new addiction coming on.
Travel and fashion go together
No matter what designer you're lusting after, or if your fashion preferences don't include designer labels at all, my point is (yes, I do have one, thanks) is that travel and fashion go hand in hand.
It's fun to shop online for your travel wardrobe, it's fun to shop while you're in a destination, and it's even - when you can access the right terminal - to shop while in transit.
How much is that tote bag?
Luxury fashion on a budget
If you're like me, and you can't afford a different haute couture outfit for every occasion, here's a tip: Put most of your fashion budget towards jackets, bags and shoes because you can wear them everyday.
Spend less on items you're only going to wear once a month or so, such as pants, skirts and shirts. You'll still be empowered, just on a slightly more affordable scale.
And make sure you comparison shop. Online stores are great for that.
Travel fashion and packing tips
When you're planning your travel wardrobe, buy clothes that don't weigh much and don't wrinkle. Stretchy material is your friend. Seriously. I might browse through Vogue or Fashion Magazine for ideas, then I try to figure out how I can get the looks without the bulk.
I'm even at the point where I try to buy lightweight shoes and boots, and yes, it does look a bit strange when I'm in a shop hefting two different shoes in my hands, trying to see which pair weighs less. But the less weight in your suitcase means more room for shopping and shoes.
Stick to one colour theme for your travel wardrobe
If you make sure your shoes, bags and jackets follow one main colour theme - normally brown or black - then you'll be able to cut down on how many pairs of shoes and jackets you need to bring. Just make sure your all your clothes work with that one colour.
Shoes, the endless travel dilemma
Unless it's a hiking trip or something else uber outdoorsy, I usually have at least three pairs of shoes: flats for day, medium for evenings that include walking, and high heels for dressy nights. Oh, let's be honest. I always take more than three pairs of shoes on a trip. What about sandals? What if it rains? This is why it's so important to make sure your clothing doesn't weigh much.
It's also why you need to find the perfect bag, so you to bring only one on a trip. That way you'll be both coordinated and empowered at all times.
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Oh, sure. Florence has Michelangelo’s David. And it’s got the amazing Uffizi Gallery (where Mark and I discovered we were very on trend as Madonna and her toyboy sexy boyfriend visited the gallery in July). But if you’re after some serious shopping in Florence, including one of the best luxury outlet malls you ever will […]