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Clothes encounter: Are outlet malls really the money savers they claim?

For some shopping for clothes is done out of necessity. For others, it's done for fun.
The latter group of people could consider the shopping addiction a "problem," but can't seem to pull themselves away from shopping malls, retailers or, worse yet, the online shopping community.
Online shopping especially creates a problem since shopping is simply pointing, clicking and checking out without actually visualizing how much you've purchased since there is no tangible, physical cart to view.
Those who know they shop way too much and spend a ton of cash in the process look for ways to soothe their shopping problem by finding only clothing and accessories that are on sale or ditch the traditional shopping mall for the two sweetest words for any shopper: outlet mall.
Although traditional malls aren't fairing very well these days, outlet malls continue to thrive. But is there success predicated on actual, worthwhile sticker prices or the marketing and assumption that since they're called "outlet malls" they're obviously filled with sales and subsequently worth the trip.

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But are outlet malls more flash than substance?
You'll be surprised to find out that most outlet stores still sport pricing that is better than what you'd find in retail malls or stores but aren't necessarily bottom barrel in comparison. That fact still might be more than enough inclination to visit an outlet mall first and foremost but do so with realistic expectations.
If you're hitting the Calvin Klein store expecting to get an entire wardrobe for 75% off the regular retailer price, you might be disappointed. That said, the outlet version stores of these higher end brands do warrant at least a second look with savings that more likely hit the 30-50% mark on a regular basis.
Often overlooked at outlet stores are the clearance racks within these particular shops. Most assume that a clearance rack in an outlet store isn't realistic given that the prices already are marked down. But the clearance rack can be the place where you really find those outlet prices you've been promised.
Certain buys at various outlet shops might fill your shopping needs but these stops hardly are the salvation you're expecting. For the shopper who simply can't stay away from the clothing and accessory racks, however, these outlet malls might be the difference between going broke or at least having enough leftover cash to keep your budget above water.

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