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Question for the chicago residents

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm thinking of taking a trip down to Chicago with a friend of mine for the day, sometime in the next two weeks or so. The guy I am going with enjoys shopping (although, he's not as hardcore as I am) so we'd spend almost the entire trip on Michigan/State St. I am planning on stopping at the Off Fifth outlet in Gurnee Mills, then going down to Chicago and parking on the upper end of Michigan under the Hancock center. Start the shopping at Bloomingdales, heading down to H&M (no sales there), Filene's Basement, then Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Nordstrom, and Marshalls. We'd make our way over to State St. and hit the Marshall Fields, Nordstrom Rack, Filene's, and TJ Maxx there. What is the situation like as far as sales go? Have Sak's and NM started their final clearances yet? I was at the Marshall Fields on State a month or two ago, and they mostly had 30% off on the Prada, Dolce, PDC, Versace, DSquared, etc. stuff, and they also had some Varvatos on 60% off. For Barney's, does the Chicago location have a "Co-Op", or is that just the NY store? What is the selection like at Barney's as far as trendy casual wear, something that a 20-year-old would want? Also, I know that it's off Michigan Ave, but what street is it on, and where? I drove by it once, and I believe I saw the Prada store next to it. As far as botique shopping, I haven't really tried it - I usually just stick with the larger dept. stores because I've heard that the sales staff is snobby at botiques, and the prices are much better at Saks/NM. I would be interested in stopping in some, such as Gucci, Prada, etc. Any others that I should try? Thanks for the help.
post #2 of 8
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're a bit late. I was in Chicago mid-July. I'm in NYC, but make frequent trips to Chicago and its pretty much the same sale schedule with the dept. stores & boutiques. Bloomingdales had their big summer fashion clearance (40-50% off already reduced prices) last weekend. Saks Finale started over 2 weeks ago as did Neimans Last Call . Presale started a week before that, so you are about 3 weeks late on these stores. Nordstrom's anniversay sale ended Aug 1, so you missed that as well. Lord and Taylor is still having its Final Take sale, with 20% off coupons. Marshall Fields on State St. should have upped their discounts by now, and it seems a lot of the customers that frequent Saks, Neimans and Barneys tend to skip over Fields, leaving us scavengers with an excellent sales rack to pick through. Third markdowns happened at Barneys and here in NYC there isn't much left at all. The Barneys in Chicago is on East Oak Street near Prada, YSL and Jil Sander. It's one block west of Michigan. Chasalla, which is near Barneys, carries a lot of bridge collections like D&G, Versus, Just Cavalli. It's worth a stop. The boutiques will still be clearing out some stuff (I think, hope?), but the good stuff is likely long gone. Fall merchandise is in now, but I would still suggest you check things out if you are going into the city anyway. The 60% off rack at Prada may be gone now. You may also want to check out Jake. It's a new store. They carry a lot of stuff targeted towards 20something guys, and lots of denim, cargo and tees besides your standard Sevens & PDCs. There's a few boutiques along Southport Ave which may interest you.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the reply.  As far as selection, my wardrobe is pretty full already - I was just hoping to score a few really good deals.  I couldn't have afforded to spend $150 on a shirt that was marked down from $400, so I am really just hoping to find a couple of nicer things from whatever is left over. So, I guess my next question is: Do the stores really have anything left as far as sale stuff, or has that all been moved to outlet centers by now?  I don't mind if there are only a few things left, I just don't want to get there and find everything at full price. I guess my style of shopping is different - I don't really shop with the intent of anything specific in mind.  I just go to stores often, and have really good luck with scoring awesome pieces at incredible prices.  Some of the stuff I end up with, I think "this is exactly what I was looking for, and I didn't even know it."  Like I said, I don't have much money to spend, but I'm always willing to scour many stores looking for that good deal. I agree with you on Marshall Fields - great place to find some bargains.  When I was there in January, I missed all the final sales, but on their regular clearance racks I saw a $300+ Varvatos sweater marked down to $40 (a hair too big), but I picked up a nice Allen B. military-style shirt for $30, marked down from $200.  Those are the deals I love.
post #4 of 8
I'm the same way Versace. I only shop at deep discounts which is why I know the sale schedule for every single store, I see no reason to ever pay full retail and won't ever do it. I have built my wardbrode the same way, by buying what's on deep discount (60% or more) and then working from there. Timing is everything though, what you should do when you are in next time is make nice with a few sales associates (some of them are shocked if you even say hello) and once they get to know you and your style, they will put aside/call you when items go on sale. I still think you should check around even though I cannot personally attest to the quality of the sale items left in the Chicago stores. Here in NYC, things haven't quite made it to the outlets yet. I really think you can still find a few items, and what appeals to some won't appeal to others. If you are a die-hard shopper (perhaps insane? LOL) you can make the trip out to Northbook, Oakbrook and Old Orchard Malls (skip Woodfield). You can also stop in the new Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. As a bargain shopper, you must hunt and exhaust every single possible sale location Enjoy the trip and make sure you take advantage of what Chicago has to offer aside from the good shopping.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm the same way Versace. I only shop at deep discounts which is why I know the sale schedule for every single store,    I  see no reason to ever pay full retail and won't ever do it. I have built my wardbrode the same way, by buying what's on deep discount (60% or more) and then working from there.  Timing is everything though, what you should do when you are in next time is make nice with a few sales associates (some of them are shocked if you even say hello) and once they get to know you and your style, they will put aside/call you when items go on sale. I still think you should check around even though I cannot personally attest to the quality of the sale items left in the Chicago stores.  Here in NYC, things haven't quite made it to the outlets yet. I really think you can still find a few items, and what appeals to some won't appeal to others. If you are a die-hard shopper (perhaps insane? LOL) you can make the trip out to Northbook, Oakbrook and Old Orchard Malls (skip Woodfield). You can also stop in the new Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. As a bargain shopper, you must hunt and exhaust every single possible sale location Enjoy the trip and make sure you take advantage of what Chicago has to offer aside from the good shopping.
That style of shopping is the only way to go for me, at least now. I don't know if I could do that trip in one day - I might have to turn it into two.  If I wanted a really intense trip, this is how I'd do it: - Hit the Versace store in WI on the way down there - Hit Gurnee Mills as I cross the IL border, stop at the Off Fifth there - Make stops at the Northbrook Neiman Marcus and stores, hit Oakbrook and Old Orchard - Chicago Premium Outlets ??  Haven't heard of these yet.     What sorts of stores are there, and where is the location? - Go down to Chicago, hit everything on Michigan, State, Oak, etc. - Before heading back, hit the side stores that are just NW of the city Phew.  I would go insane from that, plus I think my feet would be ready to fall off.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
- Chicago Premium Outlets ??  Haven't heard of these yet.     What sorts of stores are there, and where is the location?
It's quite a ways west of Chicago - about an hour's drive - and therefore pretty far out of the way if you are coming from Wisconsin.  I don't think they have a Last Call or an Off 5th, but they have Armani, Ferragamo, and a few others worth noting.   Also, if you didn't already know, in addition to the Off 5th at Gurnee Mills there is also an Off 5th in the basement of the Old Orchard Saks. They haven't had much the two times I've been there but it might be worth checking out.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:
(VersaceMan @ 04 Aug. 2004, 7:01) - Chicago Premium Outlets ??  Haven't heard of these yet.     What sorts of stores are there, and where is the location?
It's quite a ways west of Chicago - about an hour's drive - and therefore pretty far out of the way if you are coming from Wisconsin.  I don't think they have a Last Call or an Off 5th, but they have Armani, Ferragamo, and a few others worth noting.   Also, if you didn't already know, in addition to the Off 5th at Gurnee Mills there is also an Off 5th in the basement of the Old Orchard Saks. They haven't had much the two times I've been there but it might be worth checking out.
Thanks - I checked out the website, and I don't think it will be worth a trip just for those stores. Especially if its an hour west of Chi-town. I talked to SteveB a while back, and he told me about the Off 5th in Old Orchard. However, I think he said that Saks store only carries women's clothing. Does the Off Fifth in the basement get any menswear in? He also mentioned to me that the Northbrook NM is a lot better. I have yet to stop in, as I don't really know where either the Saks or the NM are.
post #8 of 8
The Off Fifth in Old Orchard is p*ss-poor. It does have some menswear, but much of the stuff seems like it's specifically for outlet sale. The Northbrook NM is a very good store in terms of selection - Oxxford, Kiton, Isaia, Brioni, Borrelli, Truzzi, Fray, and Lobb.
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