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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shopping Review - The Lakeline Mall Near Austin,Texas

When I knew I'd be going to Austin, I began to do all of the research I could regarding where to stay, shop, eat, and play. My shopping research revealed that there are many malls and shopping centers in the Austin area. While visiting a mall may not be a top priority for many travelers, I knew I wanted to shop at a dELiA*s store, as it's just something I've always wanted to do since I missed the opportunity to do so during a trip to Washinton, D.C. five years ago. My catalog shopping experiences with dELiA*s have always been pleasant, although the quality of their goods can be disappointing at times. So on my second day in Austin, after taking a van tour of the city, I decided to head out to the Lakeline Mall, which is about 19 miles northwest of Austin in Cedar Park.

It was certainly worth the drive, as I bought some flat black boots from Wet Seal on sale for $14.99, some teal pumps for the same price, and a floppy sun hat which will serve me well this summer. At Charlotte Russe, I bought two tops, as they were buy one, get one half price.

Lakeline Mall Austin

Pictured above is the colorful food court at the Lakeline Mall.

When I went into the dELiA*s store, I had high expectations based upon what I've seen in the catalogs. What I saw, however, was very simple merchandising, and a small accessories section near the cash wrap area in the middle of the store. There were no shoes, except for some ankle boots on a display in the front. No swimwear or jewelry either. Most of the store consisted of denim, graphic print T-shirts, and a few knit dresses. I ended up buying a printed tank top on sale for $6.99, some neon striped, leopard print, and neon checkered ankle socks (to wear with sandals this season), some lavender Wayfarer knockoff sunglasses, and a blue knit dress, pictured below.

Then I moved on to Dillard's, as I've never shopped there either. Luckily, the stores were not crowded for a Friday afternoon, and I had a pleasant shopping experience. The ground floor at Dillard's had a dizzying selection of designer handbags which I'm sure my handbag-loving friend S.R. would have appreciated. In the Petites' Department, I stumbled upon this beautifully embroidered peasant top (pictured below) that I could not pass up. Then in the Juniors' Department, I found a Lucky Brand-esque floral graphic hoodie for only $20 (which I haven't photographed yet) that looks like it would cost much more.
Overall, I would characterize the Lakeline Mall as a typical American mall. Based upon the selection of stores, it did not cater to high-end shoppers. At the Dollar Tree, I was amazed when two decent sized bottles of water only cost one dollar! It may seem silly to get excited about, but sometimes bottled water can be ridiculously overpriced when it's purchased elsewhere. The Lakeline Mall had just the right mix of affordable retailers that I was looking for, as I can shop the high end in Los Angeles or Santa Barbara and find similar items. My shopping strategy was definitely quantity over quality at the mall, and I was pleased with the selection of merchandise at Charlotte Russe and Wet Seal. I will be posting more photos and reviews of my shopping adventures in Austin's funky SoCo (South Congress) shopping area very soon.