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FINALLY: Opening Day at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago

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The Fashion Outlets of Chicago opened this morning, bringing 530,000 square feet of hotly anticipated outlet shopping to Rosemont, not far from O'Hare Airport. Today's opening wasn't exactly a peaceful experience. (Do you know how many people it takes to fill a 530,000 square foot space? Neither do we, but we're fairly certain that this number was met. And it's a Thursday.) That said, the deals you'll find this week will blow. Your. Mind. Here's our breakdown, organized by category.

The stores: The variety can only be described in one word: unreal. Whether you want the usual mall suspects (think Forever 21, Gap) or higher-end labels like Prada and Gucci, you will leave satisfied. It's like Oak Street meets Michigan Avenue with some Bucktown thrown in.


Photo by Barry Brecheisen

The deals: This is why it's worth making a trip during this insane opening weekend—there are sale signs everywhere. Worth hitting? Bloomingdales, which is taking $25 off purchases of $50; Forever 21, where the first 100 people in line will get $100 gift cards; BCBG, for its 30%-off-everything-in-the-store deal and J.Crew, where you can slash 40% off everything all weekend. This is by no means an exhaustive list: we'd estimate that most stores are offering some sort of promotion.


Photo by Barry Brecheisen

The lines: Variable. Nike reportedly had a clamoring crowd at 5am, and Tory Burch drew long lines all all morning. Prada, Theory and Gucci also saw a lot of eager shoppers. The second level of the mall was more crowded overall; it's also the floor that has more upscale stores. The food court was predictably crazy circa noon.

The festivities: Thanks to all the hooplah that comes during a grand opening fete, there is music playing pretty much everyone. It's loud, but then again, so is the din of excited shoppers who just scored a sweet deal. Noise is an inevitability. Deal with it.


Photo by Barry Brecheisen

The traffic: We're not going to lie to you, it's a headache. Driving is obviously the smartest solution, but don't expect the drive to be short or sweet. The highway is full of people headed towards Rosemont, but the blue line is a considerable walk from the mall and cabs are expensive. The good news? The village of Rosemont will pay tolls for anyone who takes 294 to get to the mall this weekend. We've also heard that the parking lots are "smart," meaning there will be a green light to indicate vacant spots and a red to show occupied ones. The parking garage will also tell you how many spots are available on a given level.

Did you go today? Are you planning to shop this weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via email at chicago@racked.com.
· All Fashion Outlets of Chicago coverage [Racked Chicago]
· Fashion Outlets of Chicago [Official Site]

The Fashion Outlets of Chicago

5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont IL