If you follow me on social media you’ll have noticed that I visited the Livingston Designer Outlet a couple of weeks ago. The downside was that the day I arranged to go was the same day the impressive new Queensferry Crossing bridge opened – adding an extra two hours onto my round trip, I was almost ready to tear my hair out. Thankfully, the upside was that Livingston Designer Outlet is super easy to get to, the parking is plentiful and CHEAP, and the purchase was well worth the nose-to-tail traffic at a snail’s pace…
You guys know I like to shop designer on a budget. As much as I love the feeling of being in a designer boutique and treating myself to a full price or sale item straight from the store, I definitely like to get myself a wee bargain if I can, and designer outlets are a great way to be thrifty when it comes to big purchases.
Livingston Designer Outlet is a bit of a mixed bag though; yes, you can get high end designer items (there’s a Tommy Hilfiger, Jaeger and Hugo Boss, among others, and you can find watches by Burberry, Prada and Michael Kors, and sunglasses by Gucci, Ray-Ban and Bvlgari), but there are also great high street outlets including Kurt Geiger, Radley, Nike, Levi’s, Adidas, New Balance, The North Face, Phase Eight, M&S, Next and GAP, to name just a few. There’s a real variety of shopping on offer, and there’s something to be found for everyone depending on your budget and style. (There are also loads of coffee shops and places to grab a bite to eat, very important when shopping is your cardio.)
I was given the challenge of spending £100 on one piece, or perhaps one outfit. First, I did my research (I’ve learned the hard way that an impulse buy rarely goes well and, rather, a considered investment purchase is always a better option) by grabbing a coffee from Costa and checking out the shops before making any decisions.
After a couple of hours strolling around the outlet (to my delight, I discovered it was an indoor mall so my new Mulberry Lily was at no risk of damage from Scotland’s ever-present rainfall), I had narrowed it down to three items; a navy double breasted blazer with brass buttons at Jaeger, a pair of Gucci sunglasses at Sunglass Hut, and a delicate gold-plated watch by Rotary at Chapelle Jewellery & Watches.
Eventually (and after another flat white was down the hatch) I was between the Gucci sunglasses and the Rotary watch. After a quick WhatsApp to my mum and a chat with my husband on the phone, both voted for the watch, reasoning that I already had plenty of sunglasses (say, what?) and that a watch would be handy when I went back to the office after my maternity leave… The watch it was.
And I’m so glad I chose a watch, and I’m glad I chose the one I did. Almost ten years ago I bought myself a gold gentleman’s watch, having admired one on Carrie Bradshaw’s tiny wrist in SATC. Fast forward to present day and I’m all about jewellery that says “less is more”. This Rotary watch has a rectangular mother-of-pearl face and a delicate strap, which I wear loose, like a bracelet. For me, it’s less about the watch being a watch, and more about it being part of my personal jewellery collection. Like a good glass of red wine, a classic watch will never go out of style. I wear my new gold watch almost every day and each time I catch sight of it, I smile smugly to myself because it looks so pretty and – at £89 down from £149 – the price was amazing.
I’m Wearing: watch, Rotary at Chapelle Jewellery & Watches, Livingston Designer Outlet; blazer, Zara; top, Primark; ring, Monica Vinader.
Images: Kris Miller
With thanks to Livingston Designer Outlet for sponsoring this post.