Given the fact that I am living in Europe, there is no greater joy than coming to the other side to do some reckless spending. Even if I wouldn’t trade Cluj for a different place just yet, it’s nice to see what the US has to offer when it comes to a good session of well-deserved shopping.
When I left home, the only “must” from my list was a Kate Spade purse, I’ve been wanting one for a while now and in the tragic recent events of her death, prices have been going up, unfortunately. Having also a budget and not so much time on my hands for shopping I went on a crazy hunt for both gifts and things for my little sole.
One of the best places to shop in Chicago is TJ Maxx, Bloomington or Marshalls, usually, there are 2 together, or at least this is how I saw them in this city. If you have the nerves to go through all of their items you will get some really great deals. In the week that I’ve spent in the city I think I went there almost every day, I could say that I am able to do all of my shopping in this amazing place. Yes I know there are others and I’ve heard of the big outlets near the O’Hare airport, but when you don’t have the time or a car to go there you just have to stick to what it’s offered.
Same as last year, I’ve spent a lot in these shops, but walked proudly out of them with 3 purses, one of them was the colored Kate Spade that my heart desired, the other 2 were just pretty, 2 Fossil watches, his and hers for me and my boyfriend, a blanket as an mermaid tale (you’ll get it once you see the picture), a pair of Sketchers (best shoes in the world, if you don’t have a pair yet, run to Bloomington now!), 3 pairs of sunglasses one from Guess and 2 from Tommy Hilfiger, a Tommy Hilfiger wallet, that I am still debating if I should keep for myself or offer it as a gift as initially intended, and a set of t-shirts from Polo for my boyfriend. Since the limit of the budget was reached and also the maximum allowed for a number of purses I could buy, I had to give up on a Guess and Michel Kors bags that I fancy, but there is always next year. 😀
Having done the heavy shopping in the places I mentioned, there were just a couple of more stores that I love in the city: Sephora, brought the Kat Von D eyeliner(not as great as I’ve hoped), Old Navy, a cute top for a few bucks, Victoria’s Secret, you can all guess what I brought from there and Walgreens for some drugstore makeup.
While in the US I don’t usually go to the stores that are also found in Europe, like Zara, Forever 21, etc, since these have more or less the same prices everywhere. Same for the European designers, Burberry, Michael Kors, Louise Vuitton and so on, most of them will have higher prices in the US compared to what they are offering in their country of origin.
Since Chicago is not a very touristic place, any souvenir that you want to buy will cost you, even a magnet can reach up to 10$, compared to a touristic place where you can get the same item for about 2$. Last year I replaced the magnets with panties from VS for my girlfriends and sweets for the others, this year I preferred bringing them wallets, t-shirts, miniature cars, sunglasses or shot glasses. Keep in mind that Chicago has 10% taxes and in the US the prices are displayed without them, so when you will reach the counter you will pay 10% more, in Europe the prices including the taxes are always displayed.
After 8 days in the US, 14 km walked every day, a suitcase that just wouldn’t close and so tired that I could sleep a week, I was happy that I managed to check everything on my list while still visiting and doing all the activities I’ve planned. I already started the list for the following year, even if I don’t know 100% sure I will be returning to Chicago. If there is one thing that I love about shopping in the US is that you will find about anything if you just do your research in advance. With the new GDPR law in the EU, many of the online stores stopped shipping in Europe and unfortunately there is no sign of them changing their mind.