Outlet Malls, Chicago
Prime Outlets - Huntley has enhanced your shopping experience! Located on I-90, just 30 minutes west of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
What to buy: Nike, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Max Mara, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Liz Claiborne Outlet, Banana Republic Factory Store, and BCBG Max Azria.
So this one is probably for the Europeans who can never believe how cheap all those brands we pay ten times the price for in Europe are over here. Gurnee Mills is a huge place North of the city (like proper rental car type North!!) which has over 200 or 300 stores likes Banana Republic, Gap etc etc all with loads of bargains. Be warned taking a female partner prone to bargains is dangerous.
What to buy: Clothes, electronic goods, hunting equiptment (seriously who goes hunting with a handgun???)
You can't miss SHOPPING at GURNEE MILLS(north) or MICHIGAN CITY (south of Chicago) Outlet Malls. I'm just going crazy here and the whole day is not enough for me to browse all these stores. Well, it's enough to empty my pockets though. Just look at the picture taken at the end of the shopping day in Michigan City.
Oh, I loved it... :-))
Gurnee Mills is a special mall in the northern suburb of Gurnee. It boasts many discount outlet shops as wel as outlet-department stores. Prepare to do a lot of walking in this huge indoor mall. Luckily there are two food courts located on either end of the mall. There are so many stores here that you will find yourself spending an entire day here.
What to pay: huge discounts!!
There are 120 stores including;
Ann Taylor Factory Store
Banana Republic Factory store
Dooney & Bourke
Nike factory Store
Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store
Theory.... and many more
What to buy: There are several different stores, at least a few will catch your eye!
What to pay: Discounted factory outlet store prices Savings of 25% to 65%.
Also 120 stores including;
Ann Taylor Factory Store
BCBG Max Azria
Brooks Brothers factory store
Nike Factory Store
Old Navy Outlet
Polo Ralph Lauren Factory store
Wilson's leather outlet
... and more
What to buy: There are many stores to browse and shop in, anything you are looking for... you will likely find!
What to pay: Discounted prices
A question I see frequently on forum boards is regarding outlet shopping, mainly from visitors from overseas. There are no outlet malls located within the city of Chicago, most of them require that you have a car or take a commuter train and then a bus and quite honestly, I just don't think you get that good of a deal at the outlet malls. Many of the stores can be found in the city, many of the stores are not true outlets and much of the merchandise is manufactured for the outlet malls so you are not really getting a good deal. I've given an estimate of the time to drive there, in most cases that time will at least double if you try to get there via train and bus.
Premium Outlet Aurora is located west of the city in Aurora, about 45 minutes by car. Of the area outlets, I think it has a better selection and more designer outlets than it's competitors and it's the closest.
Gurnee Mills is located north of the city in Gurnee, with a car it takes about an hour to get there. My least favorite of all the outlet malls, I never seem to find anything to buy when I go there.
Prime Outlet-Pleasant Prairie if you visit Gurnee Mills, you might as well keep going up to Wisconsin and check this one out, just another 15-20 minutes north
Prime Outlet Huntley, about an hour by car, I've never been to this outlet
Lighthouse Place Michigan City, IN, at least 1 1/4 hours from Chicago, it is the furthest from the city and a lot of stores have closed, not worth the drive in my opinion
If you opt to skip the outlet malls, there are many discounters that have stores in downtown Chicago such as Nordstrom Rack (State Street), H&M (Magnificent Mile and State Street), Filene's Basement (Magnificent Mile and State Street), TJ Maxx (State Street), Loehmann's (State Street) and Marshall's (Magnificent Mile).