In the few weeks the Fashion Outlets of Chicago have been open, I've managed to make 3 trips there (I know, it's a problem). A nice departure from the typical outdoor outlets, the Fashion Outlets is a pretty and polished fancy pants mall, with sky lighting throughout and gourmet restaurants to boot. Sure the list of stores (Gucci, Prada, Vince, Tory Burch, etc ...) is enticing, but to be honest, the real bargains are found at the department stores. Bloomingdales Outlet, Saks Off 5th, and Neiman's Outlet all take the cake for the best deals. I scored a sleek tuxedo jacket and a pair of black ankle booties, both marked down considerably to a mere $40 at Bloomies (and really didn't find any steals at the smaller shops).
Sure you could go to Aurora or Pleasant Prairie, but why not head to an outlet where you can hit the Freshii juice bar in the food court and peruse pretty discounted designer duds?