**2015 update** - since writing this post back in 2012, I recently bought another bag from the Mulberry outlet in Bicester, and I made some notes on the other bags they currently have in stock. You can read that post here - Bicester Village Mulberry outlet stock list 2015.
Oh deary me, I only went and bought a Mulberry! I went shopping at the Bicester Village outlets in Oxford and I honestly didn't expect the Mulberry outlet shop they have there to be very good. I assumed the bags they'd sell might be in unpopular styles and colours and that I was unlikely to see anything I liked. I did a couple of google searches and saw a few mentions that the Mulberry shop at Bicester is not the proper factory outlet (that's in Shepton Mallet in Somerset) and that they just have the dregs left from the stores.
I got it into my head that the Mulberry store wasn't going to sell anything exciting and that it would probably be full of bags in lime green snake print or something else I'd never buy. I wasn't going to the Bicester outlets specifically for the Mulberry store anyway - I was going there with friends just to generally have a look at all of the shops and I was actually more excited about the Cath Kidston oulet.
When we walked into the Mulberry outlet I was quite literally shocked. I couldn't have been more wrong in my expectations of what the outlet store would be like. The shop was laid out nicely and there were tonnes of beautiful bags on display. They had loads of Alexa and Bayswater bags - even in all of the popular neutral colours - and generally everything was 20 - 25% cheaper than usual. I'd read that you wouldn't get one of the 'classic' Mulberry bags at this store but that was just so so wrong.
If you have your heart set on a particular colour, style and size of bag then to be fair, you'd be lucky to find the exact one you wanted here, but if you for example generally wanted a Bayswater and you were flexible about which colour, I'm sure you'd find something in this store. They had a gorgeous mini bayswater in a taupe colour which I probably would have fallen in love with had half the store not been dominated by bags in a beautiful plaster pink with rose gold hardware. That combo could not be more me if it tried.
I think the plaster pink and rose gold colouring are from last season and the store had Daria, Alexa and Bayswater bags in all sizes with this colouring. It wasn't easy to choose at all, but I ended up deliriously skipping away with this medium Daria. She's a little bit paler than these pictures would have you think - more pink than tan. Isn't she a beaut?
Daria was originally £595 and I snapped her up for £416. Just don't tell my Mum - I didn't think she could handle the truth so I may have mumbled £200 to her instead... My boyfriend was less shocked by the purchase so I let him in on the full secret of my illicit spending.
I always thought I'd save up for a Mulberry at some point and that it'd be this big considered purchase that I'd spend months plotting, so nobody was more shocked than me when I was standing at the till waiting for my new prized possession to be wrapped. I'm not really a reckless type of person at all, so it was rather out of character for me, but I knew I'd always regret it if I walked away empty handed. Plus, of the four people I had with me, three of them were telling me to go for it (wispering things like "go on you deserve it" in my ear) and only one was telling my to be a sensible Susan, so recklessness won and I don't regret that one bit.
I could have bought a more classic Mulberry, like the taupe Bayswater I was eyeing up, but this one stood out so much more and I decided if I was going to splurge I'd rather go for a bag that be noticed. Also I thought if I bought one of the more 'common' bags and colours some people might assume it was a fake anyway!
The sun's shining today and I'm going out to see the friends who were witnesses at the scene of my Mulberry crime, so I think Daria and I might be going out for our first spin :)
Find out more about Bicester Village and how to get there here. If you have any questions about the outlet leave me a comment and I'll do my best to help. Just to mention the store also sold purses, luggage, men's bags and belts etc.