The Merrimack Premium Outlets

The new outlet center in Merrimack offers guilt-free shopping



White House Black Market at the Merrimack Premium Outlets.

Photo by Susan Laughlin

OK, so you're going to work out more, eat less, read more, drink less, cook more, eat out less - the list goes on and on when it comes to New Year's resolutions. However, let's be clear - agreeing to shop less is simply not an option. January is a great month to spend those precious gift cards and shop for post-holiday bargains. This year, the "new kids on the block" are the Merrimack Premium Outlets, which are aiming to make shopping here a post-holiday tradition.

White House Black Market is irresistible and there is a reason: black never ever goes out of style or season and it is forgiving when it comes to the figure. As the name implies, the clothes are either black or white or a combination of the two. The beauty of dressing in black and white is the luxury of being able to wear almost any color shoe. This, of course, means buying a couple of pairs. Check out Nine West Outlet and let your feet throw a party.

If you thought Wilsons Leather was just about leather coats and jackets, then you've been in hibernation too long. This is one fabulous store chock full of very well-made leather (ah, the smell) goods at impossible-to-ignore low prices. Handbags that normally retail for $120 on "Main Street, Anywhere" can be found for almost a third of the price. Look for scrumptious accessories including change purses, phone cases and flat wallets for the pocket of your skinny jeans. Traveling? You'll find sturdy, 20-inch carry-on luggage for as low as $59.99. Take me away!

Pity those Boston gals who think they need to shop on Newbury Street for Ann Taylor; you can get the whole shebang right here in New Hampshire for more than half the price of retail. When the name includes "Factory Store" that indicates real savings, which is key to shopping outlet malls. Ann Taylor Factory Store delivers style and affordability, so go ahead and add some pizazz to your work/after-work wardrobe. A crisp white blouse under a smart blazer might get you a promotion.

Step in to Bass and step out with a pair of stylin' new leather boots for at least a third off of typical retail prices. All the shoes here are fashionable and fantastic; you can outfit your entire family. Pick up socks, belts and other accessories along with a limited selection of casual wear that includes a nice variety of sweaters in all styles and colors.

Tired of going to the neighborhood Super Bowl party with your significant other dressed in his 1970s favorite shirt? No problem. Head in to Haggar Clothing Co. and snag a respectable shirt, nice pullover and a pair of cords (for less than $80) and watch your friends take another glance. Sprinkle in a little Polo Cologne from Polo Ralph Lauren and you might be making your own touchdown.

If Princess Kate were to outfit her kitchen (of course assuming she cooks) she might head to ProCook, an exceptionally fine English kitchenware store now delighting foodies in the states. One of their first stores happens to be at Merrimack Premium Outlets. The staff is intelligent, sharply dressed and the products and prices are ridiculous - a pizza baking stone for $13 makes my ATM card go loopy.

With its village feel and more than 100 name-brand stores to be explored, Merrimack Premium Outlets is a place for shoppers to search and rescue all those holiday deals that are slipping away.

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