Three words are synonymous with Milan: design, finance and fashion. Known as an haute couture powerhouse, this city has as many outlets, alternative shops and second hand deals as it does big name boutiques and flagship stores which makes it a fantastic destination for any budget. Did you know that Milan celebrates a citywide sale from early January into early February and again in late June and July? If you´re planning on doing some shopping in Milan, make sure you read these suggestions so you can shop till you drop and discover the thrill and excitement of Italy´s fashion capital.
Another interesting fact? Milan is probably the only city in the world that publishes its very own book of bargain shopping outlets. You can pick up a copy of Lo Scopri Occasioni, written by Theodora Van Meurs, and design your route by studying the list, which covers over 2,000 establishments and includes special instructions and directions. It´s also available in English.
Big Names: for those who are willing and able to go for the big names, head to Corso Buenos Aires, via Torino or corso Vittorio Emmanuelle, a beautiful glass-covered arcade near the Duomo. It´s also one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Here, you´ll find Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci´s flagship stores.
Another good area for haute couture shopping is the Quadrilatero d’ Oro (Golden Rectangle). Here, along Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni and Via Sant Andrea you´ll find the latest Armani, Versace, Hermes, Miu-Miu, Fendi, Christian Dior and Roberto Cavalli.
Milan is known for its catwalks, Fashion weeks and designer powerhouses. The good thing about that for shoppers with a budget is that you´ll find end-of-season returns, catwalk cast-offs, second-hand items and vintage boutiques.
Bargain Shopping: Established outlets like Il Salvagente (the lifesaver, in English), has three floors of clothes for both men and women. Dmagazine is still considered a bit pricey for an outlet but you might want to try your luck. If not, head to Basement, located in a cellar and created exclusively for women. You´ll find 50 and 70% discounts on famous fashion brands such as Prada, YSL and even Dolce & Gabbana.
You might be searching for big names but a bit more alternative. If this is the case, make your way to the Corso Como Outlet for items from Chloé, Comme des Garçons and Kookai. This area is perfect to grab a bite to eat and sit down before you continue your shopping spree.
The Navigli area in Milan is a paradise for street-style fashion. Along Corso di Porta Ticinese, grab fantastic deals by designers and labels like Custo Barcelona, Miss Sixty, Diesel and Gas. This area also thrives on its 2nd hand clothes stores, alternative boutiques and vintage markets held once a month.
The Brera District is home to Milan´s art galleries and small boutiques. Make sure you check out the open-air markets such as the one held on Monday and Thursday mornings along Vía San Marco.
Ask the concierge about opening hours. Unlike other cities in the world, Milan has its particular schedule. Half days on Mondays and Tuesday to Saturday’s stores usually close for lunch.
If you´re planning on hitting the citywide sales this summer, let us know what bargains you discover!