Last Saturday I was afforded the opportunity to shop at Chicago Premium Outlets with a few other fellow Chicago bloggers. We were provided with a VIP Coupon Book, a gift card and the lay of the land, which was everything we needed to shop! You can get a voucher for the the VIP Coupon Book (free online!) if you want to plan your own Summer Shop-a-thon at Chicago Premium Outlets. The coupon booklet is $5 if you pick it up at the Information Center which is located in the food court right next to a Starbucks (strategically placed to give you an energetic start!) The book provides you various deals with an extra 10 – 15% off at almost all of the shops or you may find some other current deals that you can also get in advance online that you may choose to use, depending on what is better. Located in Aurora, Chicago Premium Outlets is really not far from Chicago and I recommend that you make it a day of shopping (allow at least 5 hours) because there is a lot of turf to cover!
Besides the coupons there are in-store promotions (many have an extra 40-50% off) and some stores had Friends and Family Days with extra 30% discounts. The staff at all of the stores were very friendly and they can help you with the discounts, because it takes a bit of strategy!
I always make a list when outlet shopping and on this day it included white jeans, a tote bag for work, a casual sandal (that I can actually walk in), and I was looking for fun summer pants and tops, a high-end bargain, and underwear for my boyfriend. I told him I would get him something!
I recommend Kate Spade for awesome deals on brightly colored summer handbags in turquoise, yellow and purple. You could get a $350 bag for around $100 with all of the discounts!
Banana Republic (I need to go back) had super low price bright summer tops, dresses and colorful jeans for a fraction of the original cost. They were one of the stores with and extra 30% Friends and Family discount so it was very busy there for good reason.
I tried on jeans at Calvin Klein, where I found a straight leg pair in my size and (shorter) length! The white jeans were not looking so great on me and I could always use another pair of jeans. The skinny jeans were 50% off but I wanted the straight leg which were $69.50 and $10 off and then I threw in the underwear with 25% off, and got an extra 15% VIP discount for spending over $75. Then out popped more coupons! I was given $5 to be used that day at other stores like Izod, Tommy Hilfiger and Bass along with my receipt! It got a bit overwhelming!
I had the most fun at Max Mara where they had dresses (including runway) for 70% off. They also carry Sportmax, and I came close to getting a dress, which I did not need for $79, but opted for a pair of sandals, that I really didn’t need! They had a bin of shoes that were all in size 9 – so it was my lucky day! I found a pair of comfortable Sportmax wedges for $49!
I did like the white jeans I tired on at 7 For All Mankind, which were half price at around $100, so I may have go back for them! They had a ton of colored and patterned denim that were an extra 40% off, so you can get some “7” jeans for around $75!
I stopped in Kenneth Cole and in about 2 second flat picked up a simple pair of slides that were $29. They aren’t the most exciting, but I can wear them in place of flip flops and they give me an extra little lift!
I also enjoyed browsing at DKNY, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Theory, Elie Tahari, Michael Kors and Cole Haan where I saw perfect summer pieces to update your wardrobe. You can wear these summer looks now and not spend a fortune! I ran out of time (after 5 hours!) so one thing is for sure … I need to go back to Chicago Premium Outlets!
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Chicago Premium Outlets and Second City Style
Disclosure: Gift card for shopping provided.See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40