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Spring Training

March is a shopping bonanza! Here are five chances to snap up high-end labels at reasonable prices.

March 8th through 11th
Blink and you’ll miss the side street where local sample sale company Beta Boutique now permanently resides. This weekend it offers discounts of 40 to 90 percent off retail prices on brands such as Elliott Lucca and C. Ronson. (A girly frock from Alice & Trixie, regularly $280, is marked down to $98.) The sale starts Thursday at 11 a.m. and ends Sunday at 5 p.m. TIP: Can’t shop till Sunday? No worries. A massive amount of spring inventory means they’ll still be putting out new items the last day of the sale. At 2016 W. Concord Pl.; 773-276-0905.

March 14th through 17th
One word: denim!
Luxurydrop hosts a large sample sale of high-end overstock from brands like AG and G-Star Denim, plus Rachel Roy and Ya-Ya. Look for markdowns ranging from 60 to 95 percent for the sale, which runs noon to 8 p.m. each day. TIP: V.I.P. night on March 14th costs $20, but it may be worth it. The crowd will be smaller, the merchandise won’t yet be picked over, and the ticket includes a goodie bag. On other days, shoppers still have to pay $10 to get in. At 346 N. Justine St. in the West Loop; 312-421-5293. Visit www.luxurydrop.com for tickets.

March 22nd
Gen Art’s Shop Chicago unites about 80 local designers and boutiques under one roof, so shopping local is as easy as showing up. The popular event combines music (and cocktails) with complimentary makeovers, mini spa treatments, and a dizzying array of clothing, jewelry, and accessories. The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. TIP: Look for local line Blake Standard; designer Pierre Colorado is drawing raves for his take on the concept of “comfy chic.” At the Great Hall at Union Station, 210 S. Canal St.; 312-229-1701. Free for Gen Art members, $35 for non-members. Reserve a spot at www.genart.org.

March 28th and 29th
There’s a reason why New York favorite Shecky’s always draws a crowd: the combination of free cocktails, deals, and overstuffed swag bags. The good news is, this time around, Shecky’s has expanded its Girls Night Out event to two nights. OK, so admission is $10 (a goodie bag ticket is a whopping $30), but the drinks are free, and discounts will reach up to 75 percent off retail on emerging designers, with many styles from the current season. TIP: A new “girlfriend group discount” lets pals who buy three or more tickets save up to 20 percent on admission. At the Great Hall at Union Station. Purchase tickets at sheckys.com/gno.

March 31st
Four Chicago boutiques-Koros, Eskell, Language, and Raizy-have teamed up with Hayden-Harnett handbags for a warehouse sale that should be worth fighting the crowd. Expect to find apparel and accessories from all seasons from 20 to 75 percent off, plus new merchandise from Leigh Bantivoglio, Tori Nichel, and Built By Wendy. The event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. TIP: We hear good things about West Coast designer Rachel Mara; the sale will have pieces from her Parisian- style spring line, inspired by journals from the early 1900s. Free. At the Around the Coyote Gallery, 1935-1⁄2 W. North Ave.

Photograph: Courtesy of Jake
shoes from Chicago's Jake salon
Loeffler Randall sandal-flats

Three Times the Charm
“We had a crying out from the North Shore,” says Lance Lawson, who, with co-owner Jim Wetzel, opens a Jake boutique in Winnetka in March. Exclusive to the ‘burbs: clothing by designers Doo.Ri and Sari Gueron and a premier shoe salon. With three Chicago-area locations and buzz building, look for the duo to descend upon New York in 2008. 565 N. Lincoln Ave., Winnetka; 773-271-5253.



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