Fancy Free
Famous brands are taking the city by storm, the splashiest of which include Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, and Nanette Lepore, all planning to open boutiques in October. Free People (1464 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-227-4871), a brand of affordable, boho comfort clothing, joins the trend with a new Wicker Park shop. The brand splits the difference between the hipster street wear of Urban Outfitters and the ornate femininity of Anthropologie (the  three brands are owned by the same parent company). Flowy tops and tunics range from $68 to $88, tanks start at $24, and patterned summer dresses are $138. Fall items already in stock include a feminine, shearling-lined vest ($98) that manages to be warm and trendy; a wool, herringbone jacket ($148); and adorable sweat pants that button like trousers ($98).

For the Boys
Men’s Suits New York (535 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-670-4430), a national discount designer men’s store with four East Coast locations, recently opened its fifth store on the Mag Mile. It’s a one-stop shop for men’s business attire, such as suits, shirts, ties, tuxedos, belts, sport coats, and blazers. Suits range from $159 to $999, from brands such as Calvin Klein, Canali, Armani, and Hugo Boss. A Ralph Lauren two-button tux ($229) slums it with button-down shirts, many of which are $50 or less.

Top Sales This Week
It’s just as fun as Supermarket Sweep, but with much better merchandise. Kid’s store Madison and Friends (72 E. Oak St.; 312-642-6403) holds one of its popular bag sales on July 31st. Buy a bag, stuff it as full as possible with sale items, and leave for $200 cash. It’s the last blowout before the downtown store moves to its new, permanent location at 43 East Oak Street.

Newcomer Gamma Player (2035 W. Division St.; 773-235-0755), known for European-inspired fashions (many brands of which are impossible to find elsewhere in Chicago), us having a huge summer sale, offering up to 50 percent off the entire summer collection from August 2nd through 31st.

The Best of the Rest

  • Upscale consignment shop Selections (2152 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-296-4014) offers 50 percent off already discounted clothing from brands like Chloe, Prada, and Nanette Lepore, and 25 percent off accessories like shoes, jewelry, and sunglasses from August 11th through 17th.
  • The Southport Sidewalk Sale happens on August 4th and 5th, with a whole street of summer clearance merchandise from boutiques such as Jake (3740 N. Southport Ave.; 773-929-5253), Red Head Boutique (3450 N Southport Ave., 773-325-9898), Krista K (3458 N. Southport Ave.; 773-248-1967), and M2 Boutique (3527 N. Southport Ave.; 773-248-9866) offering up to 75 percent off original prices.
  • Garden containers are 30 percent off, and trees and plants are 50 percent off at the Annual Garden Sale at Jayson Home & Garden (1885 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-248-8180) through August 12th.
  • White Chicago (222 W. Huron St.; 312-397-1571) teams up with Urban Spa Chic (1401 W. Hubbard St., 2nd floor; 312-492-8050) during the month of August. Consign a gown at White Chicago and receive a complimentary spa package, including a manicure and scrub.
  • Take 25 to 50 percent of all summer clothing from designers like Twinkle and Mint at SHE (1024 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-880-8061). The sale runs through the end of the summer.
  • From August 1st through 10th, Raizy (1944 N. Damen Ave.; 773-227-2221) offers customers who spend $100 or more in cosmetics a $25 gift card to celebrate the newly redesigned cosmetics department, with special lighting to show how the makeup looks in sunlight, office light, or by candlelight.
  • Summer clothes including dresses, skirts, tops, jewelry, shoes, and accessories are marked down from 25 to 75 percent off at Hubba-Hubba (3309 N. Clark St.; 773-477-1414) starting August 2nd, when the sale kicks off with a party and refreshments until 9 p.m. The sale lasts through August 5th.
  • TK Men (1909 W. North Ave.; 773-342-9800) hosts its one year anniversary sale with 25 percent off jewelry and footwear and 10 percent off apparel through August 4th.
  • The back to school and fall preview sales run August 3rd through 5th with additional discounts at the Chicago Premium Outlets (1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Aurora; 630-585-2200) and Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets (601 Wabash St., Michigan City, Ind.; 219-879-6506).
  • Eximious of London (201 Northfield Rd., Northfield; 847-446-8171) holds its annual warehouse sale August 2nd and 3rd with 25 to 80 percent off samples and overstocks.
  • Enjoy happy hour cocktails after 5 p.m. during the summer clearance sale at Exhibit Boutique (2961 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-880-0448), with 50 percent off summer merchandise, including premium denim. Sale runs through August 5th.
  • Jane Hamill Boutique (1117 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-665-1102) marks down spring and summer apparel and shoes by 70 percent off and 50 percent off accessories to make room for fall merchandise.
  • Not only can you take 10 to 50 percent off sunglasses at Eye Spy Optical (3350 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-477-2670) during the entire month of August, but stop by on August 2nd from 5 to 8 p.m. for a barbecue with hotdogs, veggie burgers, and beverages.
  • The 50th Annual Gold Coast/River North Art Fair (River North Gallery District between Clark and Wells streets and Chicago Avenue and Ontario Street; 847-926-4300), a juried art fair with painting, sculpture, photography, and jewelry runs August 3rd through 5th.