Last week I was incredibly lucky to be invited to spend a day at the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet just outside of Chester. It’s one of those places that I’ve never actually visited before, but all my friends always tell me I need to go because I’ll love it, and they weren’t wrong! Dan and I hopped on a train from Preston on Tuesday morning, and arrived at Cheshire Oaks just in time for lunch. We met the lovely Joanna who showed us round and explained a little about the different zones and stores on site. I was very kindly gifted some vouchers to spend on some partywear looks for the festive season, and we were also treated to lunch. We hot footed it to Wagamamas for a Chicken Katsu curry to refuel after our journey, then hit the shops! 

If you’ve not heard of Cheshire Oaks before, it’s basically a huge outdoor shopping centre made up of outlet stores, ranging from high street favourites to high end designer boutiques. Being outlet stores, the majority offer large discounts as the stock is usually excess over stock, previous seasons or ex-display. Don’t let that put you off though – the stock is amazing, and the store directory is absolutely huge. Some of my favourites (a few of which you’ll see more of in a mo!) were Mulberry, Kurt Geiger, Warehouse, Yankee Candle, Michael Kors and Burberry. There’s also lots of places to eat and drink, and at the minute theres a lovely mini Christmas market complete with a carousel and the UK’s largest Christmas tree, which you can also go inside! 

Now to the good stuff! The reason for my visit was to pick out some of my favourite partywear, which I was super excited about. Before I rushed off an spent all my money on sequins for the festive season though, Dan mentioned it might be a good idea to buy some things that I will actually get some wear out of this Christmas, so I thought about the kind of gatherings I’ll be going to over the next few weeks. For Christmas, we’re having a big family get together, with a sit down meal at lunchtime, then a bit of a shindig later in the evening, then for New Year’s Eve we’re at another huge family party. These will be both at family homes though, so they’re not something I’ll be going all out glam for. Therefore, I wanted to pick up some dresses that are versatile and comfortable, but can be easily dressed up, then let the accessories do the talking!

Outfit 1:

Floral Dress – Warehouse*

Clutch – Mitzy Pouch by Mulberry*

Shoes – Carvela at Kurt Geiger*

For the first look I wanted to put together something that would suit those Christmas do’s and festive nights out. Rather than going for something out of my comfort zone, I thought I’d go for a dress that was very me, and what’s more me, than a good old floral print? This Warehouse dress is actually something I’d had my eye on in my local store, so when I saw the £15 price tag in the outlet store I just had to grab it! It might not be the most festive dress of all, but I think you’ll agree that it’s a beautiful print that looks perfect with those sparkly heels!

Outfit 2:

Navy High Neck Dress – Warehouse*

Clutch – Mitzy Pouch by Mulberry*

Shoes – Carvela at Kurt Geiger*

Next I wanted to pick up something classic, and originally I had my sights set on a little black dress. I struggled to find something black that was a style I liked and available in my size (the only problem I had with some stores! There wasn’t always a huge range of sizes in all items with them being outlets), so I decided to go for the next best thing with this high necked navy number. I love the sleek, chic look of this one with it’s classic sleeveless shift shape and simple zip details. I’m also a sucker for a high neck at the minute as they seem to give a really sophisticated edge to any dress or top. This is one that I have in mind for my New Years outfit as it’s simple yet perfect for a party. I’ll probably dress this one up a little more with some sparkly jewellery and make up too! 

Outfit 3:

Red Skater Dress – Warehouse*

Arrow Necklace – Warehouse*

Clutch – Mitzy Pouch by Mulberry*

Shoes – Carvela at Kurt Geiger*

Finally I went for a classic Christmas colour with this bright red skater dress, which is of course for Christmas day! On the hanger this one didn’t look all that special, but I decided to give it a whirl in the fitting room and was pleasantly surprised! The fabric is slinky and falls beautifully, and what’s more, I fit in a size much smaller than I actually wear! Result! The shape is gorgeous and really isn’t done justice in these photos (and we took a hell of a lot!), but it cinches right in at the waist, then skims out in a lovely swish-y skirt that gives the illusion of the perfect hourglass figure.

I thought I’d give you a closer look at the accessories and makeup I picked up as you don’t get the full effect of how beautiful they are in the outfit shots. I picked out a lovely pair of heels from Carvela for just £49 in a sparkly nude colour that I thought would go perfectly with any dress I picked out. They’re also a great height that means I can party all night long without the pain that most heels bring! To go with these of course I needed a pretty clutch bag, and where better to go for discounted bags than Mulberry?! This was the most expensive part of my purchases at £95 (rrp £195!) but it’s a beaut! This is something that I can use any day, but for partywear it’s the perfect shape, size and doesn’t detract from the dress. I was amazing by how big the discounts were in the Mulberry store (some around 60% off!!!) that I’m contemplating a trip in the new year to maybe treat myself to a new handbag! 

Finally I couldn’t leave Cheshire Oaks without a beauty purchase, so we visited The Cosmetics Company Store which is a bit of an outlet for lots of beauty brands such as Mac, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown and Clinique. I picked up a Mac Lip Patent Polish in a beautiful glossy pink called ‘Go For Girlie’ to add the finishing touch to my outfits.

I had a brilliant day at Cheshire Oaks and would like to thank McArthur Glen for inviting me and being so kind! If you haven’t visited Cheshire Oaks before (or any of the other McArthur Glen outlets), I’d definitely recommend it as there is so much to see and so many bargains to be had!

Have you been to Cheshire Oaks before?


  1. Sounds like you had a fab day Claire, your Wagamamas looks so so sooo scrummy! Looks like you picked up some incredible pieces too! x


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