Did I mention there’s a crazy outlet mall on the way back home from the Poconos? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found any actual deals at outlet malls. Sure, everything looks pretty and shiny from the outside, but the deals aren’t really all that good once you enter the store and have a look around. Plus, the selections are best described as weird and off-brand. It’s as if a bunch of stores took all of the unsellable items from their retail stores, marked them down a bit (after first marking them up) and gathered everything in a single, theme-park-like location.

I suppose foreign tourists and people without Internet access (or mobile phones) could be cajoled into believing that some of this crap is any good. Really, a pair of safety-orange-colored Chinos at Ralph Lauren selling for $59.99 might conceptually sound like a good buy compared to the $129 price tag at retail, but the pants are still the color of road safety cones. You’re never going to wear them, trust me (unless you’re planning a Halloween costume).

In the end, busy daddy found some inexpensive basic t-shirts at the Gap Outlet, and I bought the boy some clothes for school at Ralph Lauren Kids. I have a simple rule at outlet stores: 10 bucks or less for a single item, otherwise, I’ll pass.

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