I once read that Michael Jordan makes more from Nike in a year than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined. This quote has stayed with me since childhood and made me very curious about the places where our clothes are made. So when someone mentioned to me that Bandung is a city where overruns from some of these same factories are sold, I grew interested in seeing Bandung for myself. This Labor Day was the opportunity I had been waiting for to check it out. I spent the weekend visiting some of these outlets and when I tired of shopping I took advantage of the lower prices and turned it into a self-indulgent weekend with mani, pedis, eyebrow threading and massages.
The outlets are located in various shopping districts. You could easily spend a few hours in one of the districts, hopping from place to place. They all carried a combination of men, women and children’s clothing, local and western clothing, plus shoes, purses and accessories. And with the exception of the shoes and some purses, I think everything was nice quality. The best part was the prices. I didn’t spend more than $12 on any item and walked away with some high quality pieces.
This was by far the best outlet. It had the best variety of brands (Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, DKNY, Miu Miu, Mango, Zara, etc.) nicest dressing rooms, and even had a food court and courtyard. It was also well lit, had ample parking and was well staffed. If I could only visit one outlet, it would be this one.
This store was next door to Rumah Mode. It had some items, but I was actually turned off by the personal shopper. The moment I picked something up there was someone to assist me. I couldn’t relax and inspect everything the way I wanted to with someone following behind me and holding my bags.
Heritage, Summit, Passion, The Secret
These four outlets are all within walking distance from each other and are all relatively similar. They carried similar brands to Rumah Mode and were well organized and clean, but the clothing felt a bit more dated. Still there were very good deals and some even sold house ware.
Jl. Dago is another shopping area, but I would actually skip it. Some of the more famous outlets in the area have since closed down. The remaining outlets seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, with Nike being way too expensive and Donatella looking really cheap.
When you grow tired of shopping the Tribeca Nail and Wax Bar is a total must. The salon could easily be located in an upscale U.S. neighborhood in terms of the layout, design and quality of the services. I got a spa mani and pedi along with eyebrow threading for about $30 USD total. And I must say it was one of the best eyebrow threadings I’ve ever had. I didn’t even have to do the customary skin stretch so that the threader can get in closer. Instead they had two people providing the service. It was very relaxing. The polish was also top notch with a range of OPI products as well as organic products for pregnant women or the more health conscious customer. I also enjoyed a massage at the Amaia Spa. For the equivalent of $11.50 USD, I had a 1.5 hour massage in a private room. The spa even had an adjacent kiddie spa and playroom.
So is Bandung a girl’s best friend? It was certainly an interesting experience, but because of the traffic in the city I would say only do this trip if you are already in the area. I would also suggest splurging for your hotel room. After a long day of shopping, you will want to relax and be comfortable.