Frugal Fashionista Families Shop at Madison and Friends Outlet

Ah, the outlet mall. Typically, you can see the mammoth structure looming just off the highway, beckoning you to exit. We love the deals, but shopping at chain after chain is, well, a little repetitive.

It's going from boutique to boutique that you love – making your way down Armitage or Division to score something that no one else has.

What if you could have the best of both worlds? You can. It's tucked away on North Halsted Street – the Madison and Friends (and Denim Lounge) Outlet.

Madison and Friends and its companion store, The Denim Lounge, have been on Oak Street for years. Madison and Friends is the place for hip looks for your kid. Spend enough time (and money) and your tot will rival the style of Suri Cruise and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt combined. (Seriously. Johnny Depp shopped for his kids here.) The Denim Lounge carries more than 20 brands of jeans for the whole family. The staff takes pride in finding you the perfect fit. The Roscoe Village location even has a "butt cam.” Yes, that's a camera so you can see how your butt looks from all angles.

Last year, owners David and Wendi Shelist, opened a Madison and Friends/Denim Lounge Outlet at 1963 N. Halsted Street. We were floored to find designer denim for $38! The outlet carries overstock, sample sizes, sale items and seasonal leftovers from their other locations. Everything is 30 to 90 percent off.

You may never set foot in Gurnee Mills again.

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