Fashion Advice: Chicago Sample Sales, Boutiques, and more

Dear Budget Fashionista,

My husband and I are moving to Chicago this year from one of the fashion capitals of the US – Los Angeles!  Does this means that my weekly trips to sample sales will have to take a back seat? Do you know of any good sample sales in that area?

While billion dollar babes and Beta Boutique, both hold frequent sample sales in the Chicago area, it’s really the city’s fabulous boutiques and consignment shops that you should really check out. Head to neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Bucktown, Lakeview and Lincoln Park, which all have a high concentration of wonderful boutiques and stores.

Some of my favorite Chicago Boutiques and Stores:
McShane’s Exchange is a consignment shop located in Lincoln Park area, which is a great shopping district. You MUST go to this store, it’s one of the best consignment stores that I’ve ever been to and I’ve been to alot of consignment stores. An excellent balance of quality, price and size,  McShane’s carries serious designers like- Anna Sui, Gucci , Fendi , for a fraction of what it would cost in store.  I’m particular fond of their $2 sale rack. I was there in April, filming a tv segment on the best places to shop in the Chicago area and purchased a $2000 Henry Beguelin leather bag for $100. Tell them “The Budget Fashionista” sent you.

Disgraceland in the Lakeview neighborhood, is a simple, straight forward consignment shop that sells pretty much casual wear. The staff for the most part lets you be and the prices are excellent (Citizen jeans in excellent shape for $25, Marc Jacob pants for $15). There’s also several other stores in the area. Make sure you check out the often crazy Ragstock.

Also check out Wicker Park boutiques like Tangerine and p.45, which are very pricey normally, but you can find awesome deals when they have sales. Also take trip out to Gurnee Mills Outlet, located between Milwaukee and Chicago. It’s one of the biggest outlets in the country, so head there on a weekday. It’s gets incredibly over crowded on weekends. For the most part, avoid the loop. Downtown Chicago lost a major chunk of it’s fashion vibe when it turned Marshall Fields and Lord &Taylor into one big, disappointing, Macys.

Make sure to sign up for our sales feed and as well as the Sale Chicago newsletter from Chicago magazine, with up to the minute information on sale events in the area.