April 2010

Doncaster/Tanner Outlet: Hilton Head Island’s Best Kept Fashion Secret

Author: Linda S. Hopkins

Ever notice how some women always look put together? Wish you could develop that same sense of style without making some hotshot designer’s monthly mortgage payment? Take heart, because you are about to discover one of Hilton Head Island’s best kept secrets.

Whether you’re itching for a spring fashion fling, need a wardrobe makeover or are in the market for a special occasion dress, set your GPS to 430 Wm. Hilton Pkwy—The Doncaster Outlet at Pineland Station—and prepare for an unparalleled shopping experience. No matter your age or size, Doncaster offers styles to suit your body shape and lifestyle at a price you can afford.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Women familiar with Doncaster are often surprised to learn that the classic collections, once sold exclusively by independent consultants at private in-home shows, are now available at the Doncaster Outlet (formerly known as the Tanner Outlet, named after the family who originated the line in the 1930s).

According to Gail Guy, store manager, some customers have yet to realize that the Doncaster Outlet is the same fabulous store they knew as Tanner for the past 20 years. “Ninety percent of our merchandise was sold as Doncaster,” she said, adding that there was also some confusion between the name Tanner and the Tanger Outlets which are off-island. “To brand the store better, instead of Tanner, we are now using the name ‘Doncaster Outlet,’” she said.

QUALITY, VALUE, & FIT
Unlike some factory outlet stores that sell seconds, retail rejects or lesser quality merchandise specifically manufactured for outlet sales, the Doncaster Outlet sells only first-quality merchandise, but at a fraction of its original price. How so? According to Guy, the merchandise in the store is what the independent sales consultants did not sell the previous corresponding season. But that doesn’t mean sacrificing style. “Our things are so traditional, they don’t go out of style,” she said. “The biggest ‘complaint’ people have is that our clothes never wear out!”

A tour of the local Doncaster Outlet will have you salivating over imported silks, lustrous linens, soft cottons, buttery leathers and more. Look for styles ranging from tailored to formal to relaxed, with fit options in women’s, misses and petite sizes 2-24. The line also has cuts/styles for women of differing body architectures, from the more linear, athletic builds to the curvier, more feminine silhouettes. Pants are cut extra long to accommodate taller women, and the quality of the fabrics makes tailoring a snap. According to Guy, many women who have been unable to find pants or jeans that fit are elated to finally find a cut/style that works for them in the Doncaster line.

The outlet store is also a good transition for people who have bought Doncaster clothes at full price and want to add pieces to their collection. Color palettes are similar each season, so customers can build on wardrobes, Guy explained.

Apparel usually come in priced 25 percent under last year, but the longer they stay in the store, the deeper the discount, Guy said. Of course sizes get picked over, so you’ll want to shop early and often. Customers are encouraged to add their names to the mailing list to receive e-mails and postcards announcing new merchandise arrivals and special sales. For example, right now, the Doncaster Outlet is selling last spring’s catalog merchandise along with dramatically reduced winter items (think $300 jackets for $44.90, pants for $17.15, and how about a $700 leather jacket for $179?). Live out of state? Shipping is never a problem, and all merchandise is returnable for exchange or a full refund within 30 days.

If you’re looking for gorgeous, trend-proof clothes that will look great for years to come, don’t miss the Doncaster Outlet at Pineland Station. Soon your vehicle will know its way without consulting the map.

For more information or a catalog, call (843) 689-6494. To learn more about the Tanner family legacy or get a peek at the current Doncaster merchandise, visit doncaster.com.

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HOW TO BUILD A GREAT WARDROBE*
How many times have you stood in your closet, overlooking a sea of tangled hangers only to lament that you have nothing to wear? According to Gail Guy, Doncaster Outlet store manager, the answer is wardrobe building, and Doncaster is a rich source for a solid foundation. “There is an emphasis on key items, not necessarily outfits. The big push is to have stand alone pieces as opposed to matchy-matchy,” she said.

Guy recommends investing in neutrals—the “bones” that will remain in your closet for many seasons. By adding pops of color, layering pieces, accessories and even a few trendy items, your wardrobe is always fresh and up-to-date, she explained.
Using these same wardrobe principles, Guy and her staff conduct frequent fashion shows as well as “Pack Light, Pack Right” workshops, demonstrating how to mix and match outfits when traveling.

For a consultation, private showing or group event, call (843) 686-6494.

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