HEADING TO BICESTER VILLAGE? HERE ARE MY TOP TIPS

My shopping tips for visiting Bicester Village Shopping Centre
Photo by Sarah Rider  |   My Missoni umbrella

Bicester Village is a global shopping destination where you can really bag a designer bargain! Here are my tips for a great visit!

Why the umbrella? (I hear you ask…) Well this is my latest purchase from Bicester Village Shopping DestinationMissoni is the brand, and I think it’s quite possibly my favorite boutique at Bicester Village. Not just because of the designer, or the items they stock – but I love the sales ladies in there – always chatty and most importantly, helpful.

I live close to Bicester Village, so I suppose I am a little spoilt! I head there roughly every 6-8 weeks. Sometimes just for brunch – I don’t even shop! It’s such a lovely place to visit, even if you are not the biggest fan of shopping.

The services at Bicester Village continue to be more refined, and they’ve really put the shopper at the heart of their location; free parking, train station, valet parking if you fancy treating yourself; along with lots of dining options, including street stalls if you wish to be quick.

Shopping covers Ladies, Mens, Kids, Beauty, Home and much much more. Plus you are not stuck indoors; the outside areas are just as chic as the boutiques.

We are planning to talk about our recent visit to BV, the name for Bicester Village by locals on Fashion Fix Live tomorrow (Friday 25th June at 1.30pm) So I thought I would be helpful and write up my top tips on what I feel you need to know, to make the most out of your visit. I hope they help!

 

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Get there early or go later in the day

Parking is FREE.

Whilst they have improved the capacity of parking and they also have Park & Ride – it’s quite frankly unbelievable just how much queuing you can get stuck in if you time it wrong.

Trust me, either get there a good hour before the boutiques open and grab breakfast (we do) or head there after 3pm (it closes at 7pm). If you can, try going on a weekday.

You only have two alternative options; go by train (London, Oxford or Birmingham) or book Valet Parking package, prices start from £35.

 

Before you visit join the Membership programme, it’s FREE!

I have to give kudos to my hubby here; he discovered that if you sign up to their Membership programme then you get even more discount off the already discounted prices. Bicester Village do not like to do sales, well everything is already reduced; some boutiques offer great discounts, others, not so much.

This extra, will simply give you more and is dependent of which boutiques are participating, but you can get roughly an extra 10-20% more discount. Look out for the ‘Private Sale’ sign they display in their shop window (it’s a small discreet sign!)

You have to sign up before the day to get your QR code.

 

January Month there are even bigger discounts

I’ve never seen them advertise a January sale, but the last few years I would say this has been the best month for bargains at Bicester Village.

Once I shared on Instagram stories a special purchase because I truly felt I had the biggest bargain in the world and simply could not believe my luck!

Zadig & Voltaire is a brand I love, and they have a boutique there – I rarely can afford even the discounted items. As a huge army jacket fan, I was always looking out if they had any reduced; typically full price they would be £350+ and BV’s average discounted price would be £250.

 

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It’s January 2020, and you can see there is pure delight in my face. On this particular trip, I walked in and there was one, it fitted. it was reduce to around £150 – I just knew this was my moment. Buy it or you’ll never get this opportunity again.

I did.

I then proceeded to sell my Hush army jacket, of about five years (well I was never going to wear it now I had this one!), on eBay. I sold it for pretty much £50, they typically retail at £70 , once I deducted this other win, it basically meant this jacket cost me £100!

A true win, and I wear it all the time – you only have to look at my Instagram account; it’s one of my all time best buys!

 

What to wear

OMG this is my favourite part!

You can either get really dressed up, I will share some of what I’ve worn below or you can go as casual as you like – it really truly doesn’t matter.

I personally tend to visit quite casual when I go with Hubby and then I if I am meeting the girls, I go full on dressed up! It’s so much fun to have the choice.

 

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DINE AT CAFE WOLSELEY

Simply that.

Yes there are other eateries there; but I love Cafe Wolseley – breakfast, brunch or lunch – I’ve done them all!

 

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Shop on the day, in the moment

It’s hard to get this tip across to people who have never visited before. You simply can’t plan what you would like to buy, because there is no guarantee you’ll find it.

When BV first opened, locals thought it would be a fabulous destination to buy that special outfit; expecting to buy the entire outfit including shoes, bags etc.

The reality is, they don’t have everything in all sizes. They rarely have latest collection, so if you see something on the brand’s website, it’s unlikely you will find it there.

My experience for special occasion outfits, is that you will have already purchased the outfit and then you would shop at Bicester Village for say the shoes or a designer bag – that special something which is part of the outfit.

I often come home with random items, the above umbrella is a good example. I needed one, but never set out specifically to buy one at Bicester Village – and I love it.

I also recently came home with two coffee mugs from SOHO HOUSE, which I absolutely love, I specifically went back to the boutique to buy two more, to find they are no longer stocking them (there are there online, at the full price) but I wanted two more at the discounted price. I truly felt disappointed.

So I will leave you with my last bit of advice on BV; shop in the moment, if you see it, love it – then buy it!

Because it’s unlikely to be there next time. (Trust me!)

 

Next up, THE BENEFITS OF SHOPPING INDEPENDENT BOUTIQUES

 

 

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