By Licda. Fanny D. Estrada
Shopping bus satisfies Vaughan
Bleary eyed and without my morning coffee jolt, I rush off to Union Station early on a rainy Sunday morning to hop on a big purple bus headed to outlet heaven.
The hard to miss vehicle parked on Front St. is the free shuttle service offered twice daily during the spring and summer months to Vaughan Mills mall, a shoppers’ paradise north of Toronto comprising of 250 stores including designer and brand discount outlets.
I was alerted to this free ride a few weeks ago by the mall’s publicists, and wasted no time in telling them to reserve two seats on May 1, the first day of the season. and returns at 6.
With a friend in tow, I run up to the bus five minutes before the morning departure, telling myself we’ll probably have the entire vehicle to ourselves. After all, this is the
cheap Michael kors handbags outlet shuttle’s first day of the season, and besides, who else would be up at this hour on a rainy Sunday morning?
“I was just about to give away your seats,” announces cheery and chirpy bus driver Ann Boyd when I introduce myself. “There are 20 people on a waiting list inside the station waiting to see if you were going to show up.”
After we scramble on board, all 49 seats are filled. Who are all these people making the trek to the ‘burbs early on a Sunday morning?
“We usually have 50 per cent tourists and 50 per cent locals,” says Boyd, who’s been at the
wholesale Michael Kors handbags outlet wheel since the service started two years ago.
All the downtown hotel concierges know about the shopping shuttle, she adds as she pulls away from the curb. “In the past I’ve had a couple who came all the way from Scotland just to go shopping at the Hockey Pro Life store at the mall for equipment for their son. They said even with the cost of airfare, it was still worthwhile and cheaper to buy hockey equipment here.”
Forty five minutes later, we pull up to Vaughan Mills, near Canada’s Wonderland off Highway 400. On previous visits chauffeured by friends with cars I only ever visited one store in the mall: Holt Renfrew Last Call, a sort of haute retirement home for designer merch that doesn’t sell at the end of the season in the luxury department store’s locations across Canada.
wholesale Michael Kors handbags outlet I decide to check out some of the non fashion stores, starting with Bass Pro Shops.
With its soaring wooden beams, I feel like I’m in a giant cabin somewhere in the Rockies, surrounded by all manner of hunting, fishing and outdoorsy gear. I look at the game fish in the floor to ceiling aquarium. I am tempted to touch the guns, since I’ve never held one in
cheap michael kors my life. I want to climb aboard a four wheeled vehicle that looks like it could handle lunar terrain.
Inevitably, I wander over to the clothing department. Whoa. Have some of the world’s cutting edge designers been secretly shopping here for inspiration? I note the obvious influence these utilitarian and testosterone fuelled garments have had on fashion houses. The camouflage print jumpsuits could be something from Yohji Yamamoto. The fluorescent orange vest could have come by way of Comme des Garons.
My friend advises that perhaps they are too “real” to pass for avant garde fashion. In that orange alert vest I would end up looking like a crossing guard. Ironic fashion does not play well in Toronto.
Still in hunting fishing mode, I’m drawn to a camouflage print duffle bag in the Michael Kors store, originally priced at $249, now on sale for $149.50.
Its generous size would make it a perfect overnight bag. But I decide against buying it, since a military print duffle on an airplane these days might vex my fellow passengers.
I wander over to some of the outlet stores that recently opened at Vaughan Mills: True Religion Outlet, Levi’s Outlet, Juicy Couture, Betsey Johnson and Hugo Boss.
If you’re a fan of that oversized top stitching on the back pocket of your jeans, then you’ll worship True Religion.
If you love those infamous velour Juicy Couture tracksuits, you’ll find a selection of rainbow colours priced from $85.
The Betsey Johnson store seems bigger than the tiny shop in Yorkville, and is stuffed with prom dresses,
Michael Kors handbags outlet jewellery, bags and shoes. One of my favourite items is a bordeaux
Michael Kors handbags velvet bootie reduced from $210 to $157.
I’m most impressed with the scope of the Tommy Hilfiger Outlet store. An average guy can make this a one stop shopping spot for everything he would need in his wardrobe socks, shoes, belts, underwear, pants, ties, shirts, polos, shirts and suits, all under one roof.
Most disappointing is my favourite store: Holt Renfrew Last Call. The
cheap Michael Kors handbags outlet selection for men seems meagre at this time of year. Lots of white dress shirts on sale. One by Tom Ford still ridiculously priced is on sale for $649.
Surprisingly, it’s not all seasons old stuff. I come across a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs pants I recall seeing as recently as January in the Bloor St. store, on sale here for $110, nearly half price.
For women, it seems like fashion heaven, especially if you’re in the market for an evening gown sporting a mega glam label like Roberto Cavalli or Carmen Marc Valvo. An eye catching orange Stella McCartney gown is tagged at $579.
This luxury outlet also seems a worthy place to shop for small gifts, like a zebra print iPad case for $42.
With just 15 minutes to go before the bus leaves, we race over
cheap Michael Kors handbags outlet to the Hugo Boss Factory Store. This is a great place to find a sharp tuxedo if you’re in a wedding party. A midnight blue number is priced at $769, reduced from $2,000. Then I stumble across an entire wall where everything is further reduced by 75 per cent. My magpie eye zeroes in on two suits, one a bold parrot green and the other purple. But there’s no time to try them on, so I settle for a khaki vest for $30.
Boyd is doing a head count when we arrive, panting, back at the bus. “We’re missing three people, but we have to leave at 3 o’clock,” the driver announces.
Passengers Vicky Brook and friend Sue Tran compare their spoils. “The prices are a lot less than you would pay downtown, but you don’t have enough time and there are over 200 stores,” says Brook.
Tran figures she saved at least $1,000 with her purchases from Juicy Couture, Lacoste and the Body Shop. Her score du jour is a Lacoste sweater priced at $279 that she got for $40. “My boyfriend drives, but this is a more environmentally friendly way to get here,” she says.Articles Connexes：