Holiday shopping is a real pain. I love giving gifts, especially gifts that are genuinely going to make someone happy, but the process of acquiring those gifts can be nothing but hassle (and an expensive hassle at that). This year, I killed about eight birds with one stone by doing my Christmas shop all in one go at McArthur Glen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. Cheshire Oaks is located just outside of Chester and roughly half an hour's drive from Manchester; if you're not local, McArthur Glen have outlets outside of London, Cardiff, York and Nottingham, but Cheshire Oaks is the biggest of the bunch.
For the Mums
My favourite thing about Cheshire Oaks is the range of brands available. They have everyone from Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and Mulberry, to French Connection, Reiss and Warehouse, all at lower than retail prices, and all with a percentage of the store dedicated to this-season stock.
For my mum and my grandma I headed to Phase Eight and Jaeger respectively, two shops that I feel suit a more ~mature~ style of dressing, without being at all frumpy. My mum was actually with me during my shopping trip and so I suppose I cheated a bit with her gift as she was able to try it on, but a Jaeger scarf was the perfect gift for my (avid scarf-wearing) grandmother.
For the Boys
For brothers and boyfriends, I think that something branded is the easiest way to go. 'Oh great, PJ pants, nice one', my younger brother might think if I bought him a pair off ASOS, but make them Calvin Klein and I'm onto a winner. Oh, how fickle the male brain. I also popped into Lacoste and bought a really really nice long sleeved polo for less than half of RRP.
I did also buy my dad a new jumper in the Timberland outlet store (which had 40% off the already marked down prices on all apparel), but not wanting to feel left out I couldn't help but treat myself to a little something too. Whilst in Lacoste buying presents for boys, I couldn't possibly walk out without this £29(!) cardigan. I visited Paperchase, initially planning on buying only Christmas cards, but came out with two new notebooks as well. The cards are cute (because dogs), in a handy multipack, and the proceeds from their sale go to charity, so they were a win-win-win purchase.