Back to School Sales Tax Holiday: What You Need to Know

Summer is half over…how did that happen?  If your house is like ours, you blinked  and it was suddenly the end of July.  And although no one likes for summer to wind down, schools are still sending out supply lists, so it’s a good time to think about getting a jump start on back to school shopping.



And as if we needed another reason to not procrastinate on it,  the State of Wisconsin gave us one this year – our FIRST EVER sales tax holiday!  Every little bit helps with school shopping, so between the new sales tax holiday and back to school sales, this might be the year that the kids get what they need…and maybe that backpack they’ve always wanted.  So let’s break it down today:  what’s covered in this tax thing?

FULL DISCLOSURE:  we’re not tax experts, so here is the link to the Wisconsin Dept of Revenue website for the full low down on what is and isn’t covered.  Long story short:  paper, rulers, glue, scissors, pencils…you know, all the stuff that fits in one of these:



No Sales Tax.  Zero.  Oh, also this super sweet backpack (from Journeys), also no sales tax.  Zero.  As long as the item is under $75, you won’t be paying tax.

So, what about the rest of it?  The pants that you have to buy because kids grow up as fast as the summer flew by and now nothing fits….again. Yep, if the clothing item is under $75, you won’t pay sales tax.  Shoes, jeans, jackets, shirts…everything here:


And here:


For big kids too:


Everything, just as long as you keep the item price under $75.  Technology gets a holiday as well, but we’re definitely not experts on that, so go back to website and check out those rules.  Or, visit our sidewalk sales next week and talk to Cell. Plus; they’re giving away iPads and can explain what  you can and can’t get the tax break on from a tech perspective.

So, in short: remember these dates:  August 1-5.  And maybe this year, everyone gets a new backpack.  🙂  See you at the Outlets!


Fashionably Independent

4th of July is right around the corner and we hope you are all taking a couple of days to celebrate the holiday with family, friends, parties, barbecues…all that makes this holiday amazing.

But before you get to the party, you’ll need to strengthen up your fashion game.  You might think that patriotic styles aren’t where you need to invest, but you need to give us a couple of minutes here to change your mind.  It’s a great time to wear some red, white and blue.


So simple and  so cute!  Nothing says 4th of July like a t-shirt and jeans.  Jeans by Levis, shoes from Journeys and the shirt from Old Navy.  Sunglasses, though….all COACH.  Puppy not included.  🙂1F7A0680-109

Seriously, the best versions of red, white and blue are those that you can mix and match throughout the rest of your wardrobe.  Love these two looks for the 4th or the 5th or whenever, really.  Jeans and white t-shirt from Levis, shoes from Journeys, and the jacket (which is just about everything, we think) from Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store.

Two more quick ideas on 4th of July style:  how about all denim?


And….cherries. They have climbed to the top of the food pyramid of fashion this season, earning a place in stores across generations: COACH, Carter’s Kids and More, GAP, Justice.  If you’ve been waiting to splurge on some cherry goodness, seize the day!  It’s super cute!  Happy 4th of July, everyone!!cherry

Vacation Vibes, Dells Style

It’s time for your “vacation in The Dells”…Sun, sand, and fun await!  But what to pack?  We headed to Apricot Lane Boutique:  The store has a easy, fun style that’s still super fashion-forward.  Love this place for vacation must-haves and love it more because there’s always a great sale!  That means momma can get a vacation treat too, even with the kids saying “Mom, can I have a…..?”

So first, there’s sun and we must protect the face while still killing it from a fashion perspective.  One suggestion is this sweet little sun hat, that we paired with some cute bracelets, a comfy pair of sandals and a little bag:

Put this with a white tank or t-shirt and some denim shorts – love!

Speaking of that white tank and denim shorts, let’s take it on the COOLEST form of transport in perhaps the entire Midwest:  a DUCK.  We just added a baseball cap (sun safety first) and another CUTE pair of sandals that you can chase after the kids in.  This look is an every weekend must have, but especially in The Dells.

And then, the pretty look.  Floral if possible.  Colorful definitely.  Something that you can wear out for dinner, lunch, shopping (at Outlets at the Dells, of course!), wine tasting…we are in LOVE with this sweet little sundress.  Love the hat with it, love the bracelets.

Just a few looks from the Outlets, to make you feel at home in our home.  See you next month, unless you’re shopping with us first!

The Romance of Denim

Denim: created out of necessity, but Levis Strauss couldn’t have imagined how transfixed we’d all become with this wardrobe staple.  Dress it up, dress it down…its versatility is only second to its “American-ness.”  We 100% LOVE our denim for a million ways, but a while back at a fashion shoot we hosted here in Wisconsin Dells, I become a total convert to the romantic side of Mr. Strauss’ creation.

Denim by Levis Outlet.  Boots by COACH Outlet.

Maybe it’s the model.  Or the horses.  Or the fact that its finally spring and there’s just something about spring, but I think it’s the denim in this photo that just feels…romantic.  Simple and full of life and promise.  Regardless, the denim is Levis Outlet, the boots are COACH Outlet and the look is EVERYTHING.

Making nice with GIANT horses.  🙂  Basic denim shirt, trucker jacket.

I used to think that an all-denim look was too tricky to pull off successfully, but this is so good, I’m getting the shirt today and making it happen.


The jeans are brilliant, regardless of the shoe/boot put with them.  Boyfriend jeans from Levis Outlet.  I may live in them every weekend now.  🙂

But if the look is too denim for you, just switch the jacket – easy peasy.  This FABULOUS find is from Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store and I’m obsessed with it.  Boots are from rue 21.

Just a few more outtakes from the shoot, because horses are unpredictable.  🙂

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So, before we sign off for this month, a few construction updates:

OPENING:  April 27…and it’s SOOOOOO gorgeous inside!  Also the ONLY Vera Bradley Outlet in Wisconsin.  Feeling pretty special, not going to lie.  

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OPENING: May 17.  This has been one of our most highly requested stores forEVER.  Clothes, shoes, accessories, bags…you want it, they’ll have it.  Opening Day Details:  It’s a secret.  But they’ll be good.  Best be here when the doors open.  



OPENING:  May 18, with HUGE discounts, gifts with purchase, and much more!  If MK was our most highly requested store, this one was #2.  Hope to see you there!

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Athleisure – Why We Love It

Let’s face it:  fashion should work harder for us.  We work hard every day:  long hours at the office, at home, helping others.  Why should we have to  change our looks for each of these?  Why don’t our clothes have to work as hard as we do?  Well, thank you, Athleisure Gods:  Now they do!

I mean, who doesn’t want to be comfortable, fashionable and make their fashion budget work twice as hard?  That’s just what these looks do:  dress them up, they’re office appropriate, dress them down, they’re for errand running, vacations, you name it!  Here are a few looks we LOVE right now.


Nike SweatshirtSo, this look for the office is EVERYTHING.  Layering the sweatshirt with a black legging and a great heel/bag, why not wear this to the office?  It’s polished and pulled together.  and if you want to add a punch of color, you can always add change out the bag or glasses for spring. Let’s face it, spring is coming, but it’s still plenty chilly out to wear this for at least another month or so.

Nike dress


This dress is for errands, for playing with the kids..heck, I just picked up the sleeveless version in blue for a swimsuit cover.  I’m pretty sure I could add heels to this and a cropped jacket for work as well, just watch.  It’s going to be fabulous!



So, some of these might not be ready for the office as shown in the photo above, but those pink bottoms with a more structured jacket would be great.  Or, put a denim jacket over the black outfit in the center and you’ve got a great outfit to go out in.


Such a perfect outfit for just about anything.  work, dinner, shopping….I would wear this every.  single.  day.  Probably with a black heel, but you could throw a sneaker with it too!


Again – it’s the perfect waterpark coverup.  Which is critical when you are on vacation in “The Waterpark Capital Of The World!”  Also, this is terrific for a farmer’s market, bike ride with the kiddos, you name it.  The color is so great for spring, it just makes me happy.


Journey’s for the sneakers, Express or Levi’s for the jeans…I think you know where to get the shirt.  Lids for the hat, of course!  Again, throw a structured jacket, like a great leather biker or moto jacket, and you can head to work!  Change it out to a satin baseball jacket and you’re ready to go out!  The possibilities are endless.


So, this look is working the transparency trend as well:  I’m not sure I’ve got the courage to wear it to work…but I’d give it a shot!


These tights are EVERYWHERE right now.  I like the Under Armour ones the best; they just seem to hold up to my hap-hazard laundry skills (or those of my independant boys who sometimes “help” with the laudry to surpirse me), but they can be found at Adidas, Nike and New Balance too!



For me, this look is yoga and errands and family time…maybe not for the office.  But for me, that’s still getting plenty of value out of my clothes!

So the moral of the story:  athleisure is more than a trend for lots of reasons. But primarily because it’s just too great to be comfortable, really comfortable, at work!  So be brave, mix it up and see the compliments you get!

Short plug for SAVING MONEY:  Our 20% coupons are good until March 31.  Make sure you pull them up on the website when you’re at The Outlets so you can maximize your tax refund shopping party!








Spring – Get Your Tulle Box Ready!

March is just around the corner and even though the first two months of this year seem to have flown by, we’re still looking forward to spring and all it brings:  warmer temps, later sunsets and spring clothes!  There are tons of amazing fashion trends to look at right now, but the one we’re falling in love with today is the tulle skirt.  Maxi, midi and mini lengths, this skirt isn’t just for little girls anymore.  Dress it up or keep it causal, if you don’t have a tulle skirt, get one.  It’s going to be a game changer.


Tulle Family

For example, this mom is WINNING with her mommy/daughter look.  The tulle becomes the neutral here, allowing Mom to mix patterns (plaid shirt and leopard pumps).  What is cute on the daughter looks timeless on the mother.  It’s the perfect spring look!


THIS.  IS.  EVERYTHING.  Loving the monochromatic concept, loving the simplicity, LOVING that shoe!  Really, it’s a fitted t-shirt, a skirt and necklace.  But it is so much more than all that.  Perfect for brunch, a night out or a spring wedding…if you’ve got the other pieces, just get the skirt to tie it all together!


The mini length is perfect for a bomber jacket and a graphic t-shirt.  We’d through a pair of Converse with it and head out to the movies, errand running, day date….it’s fashionable in a carefree way that shows how hip you are without trying too hard, you know?


And the full length tulle:  you’d think it would scream “formal,” but it really works well in a casual sense as well.  With the pink or black skirts, you could throw on some mixed metals/pearl necklaces and really dress it up.  But as it stands, it’s a great look for a spring day out with the girls.  It’s fabulous all on it’s own, though, with just a t-shirt and a good pair of shoes.

Happy Spring, everyone!  It’s just around the corner now, so keep the faith and get your tulles ready!








Time For A Change

“To everything…turn, turn, turn.”

“There is a season…turn, turn turn.”

Now you have The Byrds song playing in your mind…sorry about that, but some days call for a sound track and today is the day!

It’s a popular story that brick and mortar retail is not what it used to be.  That might be true in some locations, but definitely not at Outlets at The Dells.  It’s 2018 and the time’s they are a-changing here.  As we say goodbye to some of our stores (So long, Hollister!  Arrivederci, Abercrombie & Fitch!  Hasta la vista, PacSun!), it’s time to shake things up with some VERY exciting news!

Coming soon

In no order, because we’re BEYOND to have these super popular stores joining us in Wisconsin Dells!



Yes, YES, YYYYYYEEEEESSSSSS!!!  Michael Kors is a world-renowned, award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear.  And come Spring 2018, we’ll expect to see you at our grand opening of this FABULOUS store (location near Banana Republic Factory Store)!  Who doesn’t want a little MK in their life?


If Michael Kors was the most requested store from our shoppers, they only just squeaked by Columbia.  Columbia has been creating innovative apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts since 1938. Columbia has become a leading global brand by channeling the company’s passion for the outdoors and innovative spirit into technologies and performance products that keep people warm, dry, cool and protected year-round.  Located right beside our Customer Service Office, they plan on opening Spring 2018.



Lovely.  Timeless.  Classic.  And now…coming to Wisconsin Dells!  At its very core, Vera Bradley is an innovative brand for women. We’ve always been inspired by the needs of real women, and our proudest moments have been when we can bring communities of women together through their shared love of beauty.

We specialize in bags, fragrance, luggage, and accessories – and are continuing to offer new and exciting products to our consumers. Our products offer beautiful solutions that add brightness and fun wherever you carry them.

Opening Spring 2018.  Located near Banana Republic Factory Store.  And near our hearts.






Relatively new to the fashion scene, Francesca’s is also coming to Outlets at The Dells in Spring 2018! These boutiques offer an eclectic mix of carefully-curated clothing, bright baubles, bold accessories, and playful gifts that are as fun to give as they are to receive. Boutiques reveal an array of new arrivals almost daily, so you’ll always discover something special and amazing on every visit. And because they are a boutique, they only carry a few of each item, so everything you find is unique.

Now we’ll go back to our regularly scheduled blogs about fashion and value and fun, but look for updates and invitations as we welcome this new and exciting new chapter at Outlets at The Dells!