Aabercrombie Outlet Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-855-9023
Tweens can stock up on logo tees, jeans, and hoodies to their heart’s content at the abercrombie outlet, which is part outlet/part factory store, with a combination of overstock from the regular priced stores and some pieces made specifically for the outlet. Most t-shirts run $9.99 to $12.99; sweat pants, hoodies, plaid pants, and jeans are also reasonably priced. Be forewarned: Like the full-price store, music blares at top volume.
BBloomingdale’s Outlet 1450 E. Golf Rd., Schaumburg, 847-969-9197
This outlet has an impressive array of designer clothing for women (particularly denim), but the children’s selection is on the skimpy side. Clothing brands for newborns, toddlers, and kids include Buffalo Jeans, Polo Ralph Lauren, Little Me, and Calvin Klein, and the newborn to 9 month category has some cuddly snapsuits at reasonable prices. This place is worth stopping by if you also have an adult to shop for, but not worth the trip on the merits of the kid section alone.
CThe Children’s Place Outlet Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-856-8401 Huntley Factory Outlets, Huntley, 847-669-5364 Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora, 630-898-0747 Lighthouse Mall, Michigan City, Ind., 219-872-0468 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500
A combination overstock/factory store, with a greater emphasis on casual apparel than the mainstream line.Clothes Mentor 1402 N. Roselle Rd., Schaumburg, 847-781-0600 582 S. Route 59, Naperville, 630-355-0009 9238 W. 159th St., Orland Park, 708-873-0600 146 E. Army Trail Rd., Glendale Heights, 630-893-4600 1900 Plainfield Rd., Crest Hill, 815-744-4466 clothesmentor.com
These resale franchises specialize in mall brands of women’s clothing and each have a section devoted to maternity. Expect brands such as A Pea in the Pod, Mimi Maternity, and the Gap at up to 80 percent off retail prices.Crewcuts Outlet Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora, 630-851-8150 Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 262-857-9093 Lighthouse Mall, Michigan City, Ind., 219-879-6506 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500
These Crewcuts outlets (housed within J.Crew outlets) are hit or miss. Girl merchandise tends to outnumber boy clothing two to one, and frankly, deals are dubious. But during sales, you can snag off-season apparel at reasonable prices.
DDisney Store Outlet Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-856-8233 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500 disneystore.com/outlet
Toys, dolls, and apparel are discounted up to 30 percent off, but be warned that costumes, particularly princess dresses, are priced the same as in the regular stores.
EEncore 1553 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago, 773-324-1111 encorechicago.org
Resale shop Encore offers men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. The selection changes frequently but usually consists of sweaters, overalls, outfits, jeans, and tops in excellent condition, for both babies and kids. All proceeds are used to support community renewal in Hyde Park.
FFirst Seconds Resale 4266 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, 773-777-2200
This Portage Park baby and kid consignment shop runs across two storefronts and is chock-a-block with clothing (newborn to tween sizes), gear, and toys. The selection changes frequently but can include Melissa and Doug toys, ride-on toys, gates, strollers, and high chairs.
GGaGa Girls Boutique 7017 W. North Ave., Oak Park, 708-445-7000 krazyaboutkids.com
This resale boutique devoted entirely to girl’s clothing (up to size 6) is cute and well-organized, with clothing from brands such as Gap, Crewcuts, Ralph Lauren, Zutano, Gymboree, and Hanna Andersson. New hair bows and children’s books are sold alongside resale clothing.Gap Kids Outlet 2778 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, 773-252-0594 Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-855-9311 Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora, 630-236-8158 Huntley Factory Shops, Huntley, 847-669-9820 Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 262-857-9137 Lighthouse Mall, Michigan City, Ind., 219-879-1264 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500
These so-called outlets are actually factory stores, so they do not carry clearance merchandise of the Gap Baby + Kids line. Expect a lot of clothing adorned with the Gap logo. Best bets are the infant apparel and kid’s pajamas.Good Cents Children 220 W. State St., Geneva, 630-208-1115 goodcentschildren.com
The largest children’s resale store in the Midwest and definitely one of the best, Good Cents carries a mix of new and resale merchandise for babies, children, and teens. The top floor is devoted to sizes newborn to 12, with resale apparel from Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, Ralph Lauren, and Gap that runs from play clothing to special occasion wear to snowsuits and costumes. New and resale toys, books, and gifts are also in-store (but no baby equipment). Downstairs is devoted to resale teen clothing, from brands such as H&M, Forever 21, Hollister, and Abercrombie & Fitch.Green Kids Resale 833 E. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Beach, 847-986-6232 greenkidsresale-il.com
This well-organized resale shop carries clothing from preemie to size 16, as well as maternity clothing, shoes, baby gear, Melissa and Doug and Thomas the Train toys, books, and some baby furniture. Don’t forget to stop by the excellent clearance area, with items marked as low as $1, $2, and $3.Gymboree Outlet Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora, 630-851-3759 Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-855-2695 Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 262-857-6700 Lighthouse Mall, Michigan City, Ind., 219-879-5205 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500
These outlets are not clearance centers of Gymboree merchandise but rather a separate factory brand that recreates the previous season’s most popular merchandise, at 20 to 30 percent off original prices. (As a result, the outlets are much larger than the main Gymboree stores.) Find an expanded selection of basics and accessories as well as the colorful play clothes that are Gymboree’s specialty.
HHand Me Downs 614 Dempster St., Evanston, 847-475-0803 handmedownsevanston.com
This Evanston consignment shop is well-organized and easy to navigate. It carries clothing for newborns through pre-teens, as well as gear and furniture. It boasts one of the best toy selections of any resale store in the area, with a large section devoted to children’s books, American girl doll clothes, puzzles, and ride-on toys.Hanna Andersson Outlet Lighthouse Mall, Michigan City, Ind., 219-872-3183
Parents from far and wide make road trips to visit the Hanna Andersson outlet, one of only five in the country and the only one in the Midwest. The store stocks current styles and discounted merchandise from the previous weather-appropriate season. (A fall visit would include both last year and the current year fall selection.) Visit at the end of season for deep discounts (like $5 polos and tees). Striped sleepers, popular for the holidays, can be found year-round. The outlet has the same generous return policy as the parent company—any unworn item can be returned with the receipt, at any time.Hollister Co. Outlet Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-855-0417
Conveniently located next door to the abercrombie outlet, this outlet of the surf-inspired apparel company has fairly reasonably prices on button-downs, hoodies, sweats, and jeans. The clearance rack is stocked with tees, tank tops, and other shirts for $15 or less. The bass is always bumping so prepare for significant hearing loss after shopping.
Inch by Inch Resale
852 Sharp Dr., Shorewood, 815-744-9713
This children’s resale boutique carries clothing for newborn to size 14, as well as junior and maternity sizes. It stands out for its sheer selection—the racks are packed with clean, cute clothes and shoes.
JJanie and Jack Outlet Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500 janieandjack.com
The only Illinois outlet for this upscale children’s store of sweet and swanky outfits for boys and girls, size preemie to 6. Outfits skew fancy and are on the spendy side when full price (around $40 for sweaters, $50 for dresses), and the outlet stocks styles at 25 to 40 percent off. Be sure to check out the clearance rack for amazing deals on end of season styles.
KKangaroo Kids 2071 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773-327-2620 kangarookidschicago.com
An upscale consignment shop that carries size infant through 14 in brands such as Mini Boden, Flowers by Zoe, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Hanna Andersson, and Gymboree. The maternity racks provide a good selection of tops and jeans (some designer, some Gap). The shop is well-organized and clearly labeled by size, with plenty of room to maneuver. And it has a parking lot, achieving the impossible Lincoln Park dream.
Kazoom 1940 Dempster St., Evanston, 847-905-0179 kazoomkids.com
Well-organized children’s resale shop selling clothing, shoes, gear and toys (but no war toys, natch. This is Evanston, after all). The shop specializes in items for kids birth to age 8. No appointment necessary for consignment.
LLacoste Outlet Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora, 630-851-9006 Pleasant Prairie Outlets, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 262-857-9993 lacoste.com
The main store on Michigan Avenue does not carry children’s merchandise, but the outlets have a sampling of kiddie items at any given time.The Land of Nod Outlet 1860 W. Jefferson, Naperville, 630-388-4666
One of the best outlets in the Chicago area and definitely worth the trip, it acts as a clearinghouse for damaged goods and discontinued items on everything from furniture to gear to nursery art. Discounts are minimal on toys and books. The real steals come on furniture, much of which is only slightly damaged and discounted up to 50 percent off. A bonus for parents? The Crate and Barrel Outlet is located just across the parking lot.Lands’ End Inlet 7205 W. Dempster Ave., Niles, 847-470-0320 1522 E. Golf Rd., Schaumburg, 847-413-0100 20 Convenience Ctr., Lombard, 630-053-8855 landsend.com
A mix of new and sale merchandise. The kid’s selection of new items is small compared to the larger store-in-stores in Sears, so the best bet is The Back Rack, an area toward the rear of the store stocked with overstocks, returns, and irregulars from the catalog, discounted up to 70 percent off.Last Call Neiman Marcus Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-855-2036 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500 nmlastcallstore.com
The children’s selection is underwhelming, particularly for boys, but the designer special occasion dresses for toddlers and girls are adorable and heavily discounted. Brands vary, but can include Petit Lem, Truly Me, and Puma, among others.The Lilly Pad 18681 Dixie Hwy., Homewood, 708-647-7777
A well-organized baby and kid consignment shop with a constantly changing selection of clothing, shoes, gear, and toys.Love It Again 3975 W. Algonquin Rd., Algonquin, 224-333-0264 loveitagainltd.com
This baby and kid consignment shop offers 30 to 80 percent off original prices. The selection changes daily, but frequent brands include Hanna Andersson, The Children’s Place, Ralph Lauren, and Gymboree. One of the best features is the wish list—just let the store owners know what you’re looking for, and they’ll call you when it comes in.
MMen’s Wearhouse Formalwear Outlet 542 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, 312-347-9911
This outlet solely caries formalwear and tuxedos (no suits) at deeply discounted prices for men and has a small selection of boy’s tuxedo jackets.Motherhood Maternity Outlet 1730 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, 773-529-0564 Lighthouse Mall, Michigan City, Ind., 219-873-9278 Huntley Outlet Center, Huntley, 224-569-2864 Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-855-9665
These outlets are not too different than the main stores, but have additional sales on current season merchandise and deep discounts on previous season styles. The as-is merchandise is generally in good shape and well-priced. Because of the discounts, this is a sensible place to stock up on dreaded maternity underwear and bras. (Fitting expertise is available.)My Sister’s Closet Resale 5413 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, 773-774-5050 mysistersclosetchicago.com
A Devon Avenue institution since 1981, My Sister’s Closet carries all manner of resale—women’s clothing, toys, furniture, and more. Come for the children’s clothing, which not only includes consignment from newborn to teens, but current season samples at wholesale prices, and Melissa and Doug toys at reduced prices. The maternity selection changes often, but can include A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity.
NNautica Kids Outlet Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-856-0441 Pleasant Prairie Outlets, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 262-857-7121
The outlet carries Nautica’s preppy kid’s line from 2T to 16. For girls, expect dresses adorned with the sailboat logo and ruffled polka dot skirts. For boys, plaid shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, and jeans. Older kid apparel is logo-heavy.Nordstrom Rack Visit nordstromrack.com for locations
Nordstrom Rack is part clearance center, part discount store. The mix includes overstock merchandise from Nordstrom stores as well as items purchased specifically for Nordstrom Rack, with discounts 30 to 70 percent off. Children’s clothing comes from the likes of Polo and DKNY, with a smaller selection available for babies. Kid’s shoes are particularly strong for the 5-to-9-year-old age bracket. (Note that Nordstrom Rack locations within Chicago do not carry children’s apparel or shoes, and all locations are pretty difficult to navigate with a stroller.)
OOff Fifth, The Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, 847-662-0988 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500
Off Fifth has a decent children’s department, with discounts from 30 to 70 percent off retail prices. Find brands like Nicole Miller, Juicy, DKNY for girls; Wes and Willy, Penguin, and Paul Frank for boys; and Petit Lem, Hatley, and Little Me for babies.Once Upon a Child 7246 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, 773-594-1705 1600 W. 16th St., Oak Brook, 630-468-2330 9900 Ridgeland Ave., Chicago Ridge, 708-499-7035 9520 W. 159th St., Orland Park, 708-364-6333 552 S. Route 59, Naperville, 630-416-9344 2108 Plainfield Rd., Crest Hill, 815-744-0202 4616 N. Harlem Ave., Harwood Heights, 708-867-8651 onceuponachild.com
These franchise-owned resale shops carry gently used children’s apparel, shoes, gear, equipment, furniture, and toys, all in very good shape. Prices are reasonable, and sales (which differ at each location—sign up for the mailing list for alerts) are excellent times to stock up.
PPish Posh 3950 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, 773-935-7616 pishposhkids.com
This Lakeview shop carries a mix of new and consignment children’s clothing, all high-end boutique brands. New merchandise from 3 Pommes, Cakewalk, and Deux Par Deux is flowery and bright, and the velvet winter coats are heirloom-worthy. At any given time, resale clothing can include Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Mini Boden, Bonpoint, Crewcuts, Tea, and Zutano.Plato’s Closet Visit platoscloset.com for locations
This teen resale destination carries gently used clothing at up to 70 percent off mall prices, with an emphasis on trends and styles from the past 12 to 18 months. Shop brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Forever 21, American Eagle, and Charlotte Russe.Principessa Children’s Boutique 453 Roger Williams, Highland Park, 847-926-0500 principessaboutique.com
Designer consignment for kiddos, newborn to teen. The selection is always changing, but high-end brands can include Lilly Pulitzer, Burberry, Flowers by Zoe, Wes & Willy, and Brooks Brothers. Check back frequently for shoes from the likes of Uggs, Bogs, and Frye, many of which have never been worn. Alongside designer consignment is new special occasion clothing for tweens (ideal for the bar and bat mitzvah-bound) and small buys like candy, wristlets, and backpacks.
ReNew Family Consignment
1750 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, 847-573-1513
A consignment mash-up that carries nearly everything that families use and then grow out of—furniture, sports equipment, musical instruments, clothing (toddler through middle school), and special occasion wear like Communion dresses and suits. Sign up for the email newsletter to receive alerts for events like board book swaps and American Girl outfit swap nights.Repeat Street 401 N. Route 21, Gurnee, 847-596-2203 repeatstreet.com
Clothing is in excellent shape at Repeat Street, which carries duds for girls size newborn to 16 and boys newborn to 10/12, from Oilily, Hartstrings, Ralph Lauren, Gymboree, and Tommy Hilfiger. A smaller assortment of toys and gear rounds out the mix.
SSecond Child 954 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, 773-883-0880 2ndchild.com
This Lincoln Park children’s shop has been in the consignment biz since before it was cool, first opening its doors in 1987. Children’s consignment items run infant through size 14 and include high-end lines such as Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren, Janie & Jack, and Baby Lulu, as well as gear, toys, and books. The maternity selection can be from Japanese Weekend, Michael Stars, Mimi Maternity, and Joe’s Jeans. It requires climbing stairs to get inside, so the shop provides stroller locks to secure your wheels outside.Sensible Threadz 208 S. Kirk Rd., St. Charles, 630-587-0736 sensiblethreadz.com
A mix of new and gently used clothing for girls, size infant to juniors. (Owners say nothing in the children’s section is priced higher than $18.) Resale clothing comes from brands such as The Children’s Place, Gymboree, and Hanna Andersson, and includes holiday dresses and suits, Communion dresses, and Halloween costumes. Expectant moms should also swing by the maternity clothing section. In addition to resale items, the shop carries new merchandise at 50 to 80 percent off retail.Still Adorable 995 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-729-2488 stilladorableresale.com
Buy, sell, or trade at this cheery resale shop, which carries clothing for kids from infants to tweens, as well as maternity clothing and a small selection of baby gear, toys, and books.Stride Rite Keds Sperry Outlet Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora, 630-851-6058 Lighthouse Mall, Michigan City, Ind., 219-874-2421 Pleasant Prairie Outlets, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 262-857-3143 Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, 847-928-7500
Snag deals on Stride Rite brands at 30 to 50 percent off at these outlets, which carry a mix of current and last season merchandise like Stride Rite sneakers, Keds casual shoes, and Sperry topsiders and loafers. (Sales are especially good during back-to-school).Sugar Cup Trading 110 N. Marion St., Oak Park, 708-524-5336 sugarcuptrading.com
An innovative shop that encourages kids to trade in their designer duds. Sugar Cup accepts clothing (12 months and up) from Crewcuts, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Hanna Andersson, and Burberry, among others, as well as toys from American Girl, Lego, and wooden Melissa and Doug. All trades are assigned points, which can be used to purchase resale or new items in the store. New toys and clothing (stocked up to tween sizes) come from Kate Quinn Organics, EcoStars, Twirls and Twigs, and P’Kolino. The lofty space displays new merchandise most prominently, with used items in the drawers below. The idea is to teach kids eco-friendliness and the value of taking care of their clothes and toys.
TThread Lounge 918 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, 773-281-0001 threadlounge.com
Traveling sample sale Thread Lounge made Lincoln Park its home base in 2009, and the store carries samples and overstock at 25 to 75 percent off retail. The baby and toddler section is small and relatively new to the store, but does offer great markdowns on supersoft organic cotton snapsuits and toddler tops.Trendy Tots Consignment Shop 7020 Huntley Rd., Carpentersville, 847-428-8203 trendytotsconsignmentshop.com
This relative newcomer to the consignment market carries both maternity and children’s apparel, size newborn to 16, and shoes. The items are well-sorted and in good shape from labels ranging from the mall to Michigan Avenue.Twice A’Round Des Plaines 612 Lee St., Des Plaines, 773-818-9034 twicearounddesplaines.com
A consignment shop with men, women, and children’s merchandise that is clean, well-priced, and well-stocked. More is available for adults than for kids so it’s best to stop by with the whole family in mind.
WWear and Share, Children’s Resale Shop 1026 College Ave., Wheaton, 630-456-4140 wear-share.com
A well-stocked children’s consignment shop that carries clothing for boys and girls size newborn to 14 from MiniBoden, Janie & Jack, Tea, Gymboree, and Hanna Andersson. Toward the front of the store, shop toys, games, puzzles and some baby gear—all in excellent condition. A flat-screen TV keeps the kids happy while you shop.