Holiday Looks for Less with Chicago Premium Outlets

Ok, you know I love to save money on clothing, right? When WCIU's The Jam asked me to put together my absolute best tips for creating holiday looks for less I seriously jumped at the chance. Like, jumped out of my chair and did a happy dance.


Because I believe that superb style shouldn't break the bank.

Any model can wear a designer dress (gifted, naturally) and snap a photo. The real talent comes when people with actual budgets, bodies, and personal style are involved. I sent a message out to a few friends whom I greatly respect and admire and asked them to be my models for a day, then got to work on finding looks that were within their budget and expressed their personality.

Chicago Premium Outlets 

I am a major fan of outlet shopping, and discovered Chicago Premium Outlets when I was on the way home from a Kane County Cougars game with my kids this past summer. They are the area's largest outlet center with more than 170 brand-name retailers. Go big or stay home, right? With stores like Banana Republic Factory Store, Akira, and Ann Taylor Factory Store I was able to select styles for my models in minutes.

Chicago Premium Outlets is having a MAJOR sale right now- "Premium Gifting for Everyone, Premium Savings for You" through December 17th. They also have a gift-giving guide to hit up everyone on your list! I follow them on Instagram to see the most current offerings.

Here are the looks I put together and a little info on my magnificent models:

Brent Rolland- Fig Media
Banana Republic Factory Store

Brent is wearing a full outfit from Banana Republic Factory Store- from the buttondown under an updated cardigan to the fitted charcoal pants and stylish cap! I made sure to add in holiday reindeer socks to add some personality. In addition, he is sporting my favorite men's cologne from Ulio & Jack- perfect for holiday travel and gifting. Brent is on the media scene day in and day out as an event producer, host, drummer, audio tech and DJ. We became acquainted when I heard his set at an event and could NOT get off the dancefloor! I knew I needed to meet the man who could create a playlist to keep the crowd going all night long. Check him out here!

Instagram: BrentRolland
Twitter: BrentRolland

Lisa Gunderson- Tea Time Socials
Ann Taylor Factory Store

Lisa is the founder of Tea Time Socials, a traveling tea time pop up, so I wanted to put her in something feminine yet updated. The best part? This top is actually a dress that I layered under a skirt, making it act as a shirt. LOVE that you can wear this as a tunic, dress, top and more. Here is an interview with Lisa so you can see her passion:

Q: What is your personal style?
Lisa: For work: Classic dresses and edgy heels. Date night with my husband: over-the-knee boots and a great handbag. Weekend style: distressed jeans, Adidas shoes, my favorite tee and a blanket!

Q: What is your day job, and if you have a passion project (blog, side gig) please describe that as well and why you are passionate about it! 
Lisa: I own a boutique social media agency, LMG Chicago, where I manage social media accounts for a variety of clients who have become my second family over the past 4 years! This year, I launched my first passion project - Tea Time Socials. Tea Time Socials is a traveling tea time pop-up for children aged 4-9 years old. We host birthdays, neighborhood socials and teach etiquette classes at academies. I have always had a love for teaching children and inspiring them to be kind. At Tea Time Socials events, we do just that, we encourage kindness through communication, crafts, story time and dance parties. Oh, and we love to throw confetti!  I am very excited as we are planning to roll out some really cool plans for 2018! Stay tuned! 

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom to share from your passion project experiences? 
Lisa: Listen to your audience! Sometimes we can get wrapped in one idea that we want to see happen and forget to listen, but truly listening to your market is the best way to set up a project for growth.

Instagram: TeaTimeSocials
Facebook Fan Page: TeaTimeSocials 
Twitter: TeaTimeSocials 

Michelle Arellano- The Native Stilo

Michelle is a student and blogger in addition to working a full-time job- this gal is BUSY and motivated! Since she is always on trend, I outfitted her in a pair of black pants with suspenders, a ruffled off the shoulder sweater, fur purse and massive statement necklace. My idea with this outfit was to demonstrate that you can pull together a simple monochrome outfit and pop a metallic statement necklace on to stand out. She has incredible style- make sure to check out her blog here!

Instagram: TheNativeStilo
Facebook Fan Page: The Native Stilo
Twitter: TheNativeStilo

Tavi Johnson- Lifestyle Blogger
Old Navy Outlet

Tavi is all around town reviewing restaurants, hitting up movie premiers, and more. I wanted to give her a versatile outfit, one that can be worn year 'round. Almost this exact dress from Old Navy Outlet was featured in Redbook Magazine this past fall, and I fell in love with it. The dark florals transition perfectly from summer to fall, and paired with tights, a scarf and booties move well into winter. I added a wide-brimmed felt hat and a charging clutch to round out the look. Here is a little peek into Tavi's life!

Q: What is your personal style?

Tavi: My personal style varies daily. Lol. I love to dress up and head to galas, but my everyday look is skinny jeans/leggings with an oversized sweater/top. I believe in investment pieces, but I also shop at cheaper stores as well for pieces. I blog and take lots of pics so I buy cheap pieces cause I won’t wear them again that much. I LOVE bold jewelry and believe you can dress up the simplest outfit with a statement piece of jewelry.  

Q: What is your day job, and if you have a passion project (blog, side gig) please describe that as well and why you are passionate about it!

Tavi: My day job is a compliance liaison for a major bank. I won’t bore you with those details, but I’ve been working in banking for 11 years. I wanted to express myself creatively so I started the Chicago Lifestyle Blog Chi@Glance ( The blog covers everything from restaurant openings, fashion, beauty, events, interior design, galas, expos and more. Monthly there are Spotlight features highlighting a Chicagoan YOU should know from various industries. I encourage my followers to discover CHI-at-a-Glance with me. :)

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom to share from your passion project experiences? 

Tavi: Take risks and step outside your comfort zone. I would not have made the connections had I not reached out and open up. At times you may feel the world is against you, but believe it or not there are a lot of people rooting for you to succeed.

Instagram: Chiataglance
Facebook Fan Page: chiataglance 
Twitter: chiataglance 

CHEERS to spending less on your holiday looks this season! 
Disclosure: Believe it or not, this is NOT a sponsored post! I received items on loan from Chicago Premium Outlets, but did not receive compensation. I simply think their stores are fabulous.


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