The Pros And Cons Of Shopping In Clothing Outlets

If you’ve been looking for places where you can score clothes at a discount, clothing outlets might just be the answer. Originally, these clothing outlets were physical buildings beside factories, typically outside a town. At these clothing outlets, manufacturers sold clothes with irregularities to their employees at a lesser price.

Nowadays, however, shopping in clothing outlets has become more convenient. From clothing outlets built in the more accessible part of town to online fashion outlets like The DOM, clothing outlets have evolved a lot since their inception in the 1930s.   

It’s undeniable how popular clothing outlets are, especially to consumers who want to scrimp but stay fashionable. But, before you start filling your cart, you may want to do some research and know and explore the positives and negatives of shopping in clothing outlets.

So, to help you get that bang for your buck, here are some pros and cons of shopping in clothing outlets.

Pro: Discounted Prices

Consumers enjoy huge markdowns as a result of eliminating intermediaries. Since brands directly sell their goods to consumers, it costs less for them to bring in these items. Usually, products sold in clothing outlets cost 10-20% cheaper than buying from retail outlets or regular shopping malls. These discounts are beneficial, especially during times of global supply chain issues that impact everything, including the fashion industry. 

Con: Inconsistency In Quality

While it’s true that one can score branded merchandise in clothing outlets at a cheaper price, it’s important to remember that these items may be of questionable quality. Products in clothing outlets are typically a combination of surplus inventory and items with slight damages, irregularities, and imperfections. 

Some examples of these minor flaws that get a clothing item rejected can be in the form of crooked stitching in some parts of a blouse or untrimmed threads.  Aside from these minor flaws, some brands sell a more inferior version of their product in clothing outlets, hence, the cheaper pricing. For some, this may not be that big of an issue, but it’s a fact that one must accept to manage their expectations when shopping in outlet stores.

Pro: Wider Choices 

Manufacturers of popular brands often use clothing outlets to display all available products— even those already off-season for several months. Check out these stores like T.J. Maxx, for example. Since these outlets carry a wide range of clothes selections, it’s easier for buyers to browse their catalogs and look for the items they need to upgrade their style.

Furthermore, since these designer outlets carry off-season merchandise, it’s easier to get an article of clothing you like, even if this type of design isn’t available in regular retail shops anymore. Clothing outlets are highly treasured by consumers who want a particular style considered dated, like flare pants during the mom-jeans phase. Lots of women find gorgeous vintage dresses in these stores at a fraction of their price, giving them a fashionable look wherever they go. Having a lot of choices, on-trend or not, is a convenient way to tick off all the items on a shopping list and keep up with your preferred style. 

Con: Limited Sizes 

As mentioned, clothes and accessories often found in clothing outlets can be from past seasons or slow-moving items from popular brand names. Typically, the articles of clothing sold in outlet stores may come in limited sizes compared to those found in malls or other retail stores. Keeping this in mind is critical in managing one’s expectations, especially when you’ve already set your heart on a blouse from two seasons ago.

Pro: Additional Discounts 

Another advantage of shopping in clothing outlets is the additional discounts shoppers can get. Further discounts and coupons on top of the generous discounts on items are another great deal one can enjoy when shopping in outlets. For shoppers who like to be physically present when buying clothes, claiming coupons or circulars online can entitle you to more discounts. Moreover, military personnel and seniors may also enjoy additional price reductions.

Con: Complicated Returns

Since outlet stores usually carry different brands, returning items can be complicated. Remember, different brands may have different conditions; hence, checking the return policy before loading up and checking out is best. Ask the sales team if you want more clarifications on how to return products bought from the clothing outlet.


Clothing outlets are spaces enjoyed by many consumers who want to buy items from their favorite brands without spending too much. These fantastic deals are made possible by eliminating third-party retailers and distributors like regular shopping malls.

Although these fashion spaces offer significant discounts, it’s worth noting that there will be items in these stores that are of questionable quality or sometimes come in limited sizes. From minor flaws like uneven stitching to relatively inferior material compared to those found in boutiques, consumers must know what they’re purchasing to avoid buyer regret from setting in.