Back in November I was invited to attend an exclusive bay area fashion bloggers event hosted by Last Call by Neiman Marcus at the Great Mall in Milpitas, CA. It was a fab experience for many reasons, largely because I never knew this mall existed – and I love finding new shopping spots! Located south of SF near San Jose, the Great Mall boasts an enormous selection of stellar shops. Last Call is a high end outlet, meaning they carry semi-current products at a discounted rate, straight from Neimans. The host Robyn (media contact for Last Call) was darling and so excited to have the bloggers present. Unfortunately I arrived late (I drove in from SF during pouring rain, which is no picnic on the 101) so I missed the introduction. However, I jumped in with the group and finished out the last of the hour as we traveled some of the best shops in the mall and scouted fun spring trends. Favorite highlights: J. Crew, Michael Kors and Joes Jeans.
Last Call by Neiman Marcus was especially generous with the bloggers, gifting us with the below beautiful black handbag, cuff bracelet and heart necklace. They also included gift cards to both Last Call and Simon Malls (applicable to any shop in the Great Mall).
Always the smart shopper that I am, I waited until I had ample time to spend in the South Bay then high tailed it to Milpitas to spend my winnings. I arrived, grabbed a Starbucks, took a deep breath and dove into some serious shopping. Firstly I did a few laps around the mall to scour my options then started in with my store-specific cards.
J. Crew is one of my happy places. Though the preppy, Hamptons-esque look is generally not my style (I lean more towards messy, chic boho) there is something about the crisp linens and soft stripes in J. Crew that makes me weak in the knees. Their claim to “make the best t-shirts in the world – literally” is sincerely the truth. Fortunately, they were 40% off! I indulged in a short-sleeved white v-neck, a teal ¾ sleeve boat-neck and a cozy crimson/grey striped cardigan (for $13!). J. Crew was also particularity generous with gift cards and coupons (immensely appreciated!)
My next purchase was at Aldo, where I scored these adorbz pink creepers for $40. Seriously, who doesn’t love a bargain? They’re a delightful spring accessory and uber comfortable. The ‘bowling shoe look’ is charming and pairs perfectly with various ensembles.
I then headed to Last Call by Neiman Marcus where I was on the prowl for premium denim. A downside to outlet malls: searching through unorganized piles of clothing can be challenging and frustrating. While I settled for the perfect pair of Joes Jeans, it took me hours to find them. Literally. The staff I encountered at the bloggers event were lovely and helpful, but the staff working the floor were uninterested at best. The saving grace was Belinda, my original cashier, who made the suggestion that I go down a size with the Joes because they stretch like crazy. I’m so grateful she mentioned it (they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever owned, but they seriously form to your body). However it was slightly frustrating that no one helped me pick them out or offered that advice during my long stint in the fitting room (I tried on about 20 pairs, each of which I found on my own, making multiple trips to the fitting room). At her suggestions I retreated back to the Joe’s table attempting to find the next size down. After rifling through every pair it was obvious my dream pants weren’t there. Belinda was helpful at finding the jeans at another store and having them shipped to me (for $7). However, the rest of the staff seemed to have a bit of an attitude and didn’t necessarily make me feel very welcome or comfortable (Was it because I was shopping with gift cards? I still haven’t quite figured it out.) Either way, I scored dreamy denim originally priced at $172 for $65, so I can’t complain *too* much.
I definitely plan on making a trip to the Great Mall the next time I’m in the South Bay. While the shopping experience isn’t the same as a standard department store the sale prices are absolutely worth it. There were various other shops I didn’t pursue, and I can only assume there are many more deals to be had. Take a trip to Milpitas and let me know what you thought in the comments below!