I don't ordinarily do haul posts but I don't want to bore everyone with endless posts of what I bought when stateside without purpose (i.e a review) so today I have gathered up all my non-beauty bits and bobs to show you all what I splashed my cash on. As so many visit Orlando I thought a mini guide of the best malls and stores to hit up may be somewhat helpful to some.
As you can see I went a little nuts in Michael Kors with the prices it would have been rude not to, I paid just over £200 for my Selma Textured Tote in Neon Pink. I bought my small tan coin purse from the outlets for just shy of £25 and my Kors watch (Chocolate Taylor model) which was again from the outlets was just over £70, it really does put you off purchasing anything back home when you look at the savings.
I plan on becoming a gym bunny...or at least attending a few times a week so I splurged on some pretty work out gear from Victoria Secret's PINK range. I do suggest hitting the outlets first as most of the clothing is around half price - my pink 3/4 joggers were $20 (£13) from the outlets but the exact same pair only in black from the PINK store set me back $40(£26)...madness. It was there I also bought a white hooded oversized top for again $40 and an orange hooded zip sweatshirt for yep you guessed it $40. Truthfully I'm not all that impressed with the quality but it will do for the gym.
I'm not a huge fan of Forever 21, I find their clothing sizes to be bizarre and the quality of the clothing not all that great but for the occasional fast fashion piece I guess you can't really fault the brand. Between you and me I am a bit of a tom boy and as a child I spent many a day pretending to be a Teenage Ninja Turtle so it felt only right that I bought a tank top to commemorate such times. To keep my hormone levels in check I also indulged in what can only be described as a majestic unicorn tee which should look pretty with denim cut offs when I visit Spain later on in the year.
My younger sister was so keen on visiting Hot Topic in the Orlando mall so much so that it did make me wonder what I was missing so I popped in for a browse. Basically this is a hipsters paradise and a very try hard shop but don't let that put you off as it does have some cool pieces and should be your on your hit list if you enjoy funky printed tees, leggings and all attire Disney. I'm a little too old for that sort of thing but I did purchase a Duck Dynasty T-shirt which I wear as a night shirt as well as a rather cool iPhone holder come clutch and a Lion King Key Cap.
Next door to Hot Topic is a shop rather similar to the likes of Forever 21 called A'Gaci and here I found some rather pretty jewellery pieces if I do say so myself. I wear a lot of black due to meetings but do like to jazz up what can be a dull shade with lots of jewellery, the necklace reminds me of the House of Harlow version while the earrings are similar to a pair I saw on Kim Kardashian and lastly the pleather eternity bracelet looks great layered with my new watch!
Last but not least and not technically a holiday buy but I did purchase it while in America so it would be at home waiting for me when I returned is of course "that" Primark dress. I initially spotted it on Kate Middleton's stylist when she attended the hospital to visit both Kate and little Prince George and had to have it. At £13 it is a great budget summer buy but I will admit that the fit is not the best, it is really tight across the bust (maybe it is my boobies to blame?) which makes it sit awkwardly on my shoulders and waist. It does look fine with a leather bomber or denim jacket on top but yeah do be wary, otherwise I would say the dress fits true to size.
You can find this dress via ASOS - link and most likely in-store too.
Orlando Shopping Guide
The Orlando Mall:
Really easy to get to especially if staying on International Drive, although we did hire a car when it came down to it we never used it and tended to hop on and off buses. From International Drive the Lynx bus number 42 will take you there and back for $4 in total. Anyway this is the mall to visit for MAC (unlike in the UK the staff are super friendly), Sephora - there are two in this mall, a small one inside JC Penny's and a larger one next door to M&M world. I also found this to be the best place when it came to Victoria Secret goodies, not only do they have a huge store inside the mall but also a stand alone PINK shop. If neon Michael Kors bags are what your heart pines for this is your best bet, they have every shade you could imagine without a waiting list in sight. Here you will also find a Bloomingdales, Bath and Body Works and pretty much every American brand you can think of apart from Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. Younger readers may want to visit Hot Topic, here you will find more Disney clothing than F21 could ever provide. Food wise you are loosing at life if you don't chow down at Five Guys, I kid you not when I say it is easily the best burger I have ever devoured.
Mall of Millenia:
This was slightly trickier to get to both by car and bus so we decided to take a taxi. Truthfully it has mostly the same stores as The Orlando Mall but unlike the above it does have an Urban Outfitters, Tiffany & Co as well as a Kate Spade store. You will most likely be on the look out for an Ulta store which you will find pretty much adjacent from the mall.
Orlando Premium Outlets at International Drive:
To get to either of the premium outlets I suggest using the I Ride trolleys they drop you off right outside both sets of outlets and are fairly frequent. There are two outlets and much like the malls they offer basically the same stores, however if discounted Victoria Secret products and clothing are what you after this is the venue for you. Here you will also find a Bath and Body Works store which isn't as well stocked as the two at the malls, a CCO which is laden with Estee Lauder and Clinique products and a Micheal Kors store. The Kors store here is your best bet for bags as they are perhaps only a season behind and reasonably priced just don't expect to find this seasons neon shades. I did find the stores to be pretty hit and miss but the Forever 21 is worth a visit, it is huge in size and really well stocked not to mention the Ugg store is impressive if you are into that sort of thing. This is the only place I found an American Apparel store and truthfully it was a bust, their idea of a discount was $2...no thanks!
Orlando Premium Outlets at Vineland Ave:
You would be forgiven for thinking that this outlet was in-fact the outlet above as they are so similar however this is the outlet you want to visit when it comes to make-up as the CCO in this venue has far more to offer in terms of MAC, Bobbi Brown and more.
One thing to remember is that in the majority of American states the price advertised on the product is not the full price as almost every purchase is privy to a 6% tax inclusion. No it isn't much but it is annoying trying to calculate the end price especially on larger purchases.
Random Fact - Orlando has more than 52 million square feet (4.6 million square meters) of retail space, your bank balance will weep.