Shopping in Milan was an experience that I just couldn’t miss. I dedicated a few days entirely to shopping. This is something that I love to do, especially in other countries. My main focus when looking for clothing is always finding stores/boutiques that I do not have access to in the US. It’s always nice to have that unique item that you cannot find back home. Also, I like to see trends in other countries. Keep in mind while shopping the VAT tax. In my Milan Airport/Car Rental/Tax Free, I discuss a little more detailed information about the VAT tax. What I found is that luxury goods seem to be much cheaper once you get your refund. It was actually shocking when comparing the price in USD to what I paid after receiving my refund. If there is a luxury purchase you are considering, save up and make this the time to do it!
1. Ottod’Ame. This was probably my favorite women’s clothing store in Milan. They do have a couple of locations throughout Milan and additional storefronts in Florence and Verona. Ottod’Ame is the brand name. Compared to other stores, I felt that their clothing was more affordable while still maintaining good quality. Their style was something that really appealed to me. I went to two locations in Milan and each store did have a little variety. Check out their website at www.ottodame.it. Two of their clothing pieces were my favorite purchases. One was a full length sweater coat with graffiti writing on it. The appearance was far more expensive than it actually was. The next item I really loved was a loose maxi dress with a colorful print that I have worn belted and received several compliments on.
2. Frip. This is a trendy boutique that I read several reviews on. I did not make any purchases here, but I liked their clothing. This was one of the first stores that I visited. Their clothing is arranged by color scheme, which I thought was great idea. There are tons of items packed on to these racks! They have a variety of price points. You could easily spend quite some time here browsing the racks. As a side note, I didn’t find the staff here to be as friendly as other places I visited.
3. La Rinascente. This is the massive department store located directly adjacent to the Duomo. It is really your typical run of the mill department store. Be ready to dedicate some time here. Some of the purchases that I made were a pair of Golden Goose sneakers and a button down top. If you are wanting to make a luxury item purchase, they do have a great selection of handbags and shoes. Also, as I mentioned before, you can easily get your refund utilizing a receipt from La Rinascente on their 6th floor in the tax free station. Their staff can guide you through the appropriate steps. You can also start the refund process for other purchases made outside the department store that utilize the company Global Blue. You will still have to stop at the airport as well.
4. Acqua di Parma. This is a great store to take advance of the tax free refund as opposed to purchasing their goods in the US. It is also a nice place to stockpile gifts for those at home. Their candles are perfect for this. At this store, I purchased a couple of candles, hand wash, and a really thick, luxurious body cream. All of their scents are really bold and fantastic. My purchases were made from their store on Via Montenapoleone. I enjoyed being able to see all of their products in one place versus a retailer in the US that sells their brand.
5. Via Montenapoleone. This is a famous street where you can find all of the luxury stores you could possibly want back to back. Taking a stroll down this street whether it is for purchases or just for fun is well worth your time! You will see everything you could dream of … Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana.
6. Harmont and Blaine. Although this store sells both women and mens clothing, I mention it here primarily because of the men’s clothing. Their selection is what I would describe as a “preppy casual” although they do have items that could be dressier. They have great patterns and color schemes. I did not shop for women’s clothing here. It is a little too traditional for me. However, my husband loves their clothing and always makes this store a stop in Hong Kong and Milan.
7. Patrizia Pepe. This is a great women’s clothing boutique. Their clothing is definitely a little pricier compared to, for example, ottod’Ame. I ended up purchasing a dress here that was really distinct. They have really cute shoes and accessories as well like belts and purses.
8. Alysi. I ended up stumbling upon this store attempting to find a different boutique. It is across the street from the Golden Goose store and also a nice lunch spot, so this is a great corner to get a lot accomplished. Alysi has only one location in Milan. They are out of Rome, and that is where there only other store is located. This store had a lot of really cute clothing pieces and then other items that really were not my style at all. My favorite purchase here was a long white skirt with a tie at the waist. The draping and slits were really well placed. It had a degree of simplicity yet uniqueness to it. The fit seemed to be well thought out. While you are here, do not forget to check out their jewelry. I ended up purchasing an interesting ring here.
9. Manila Grace. This boutique is on the same street as Patrizia Pepe and only a few stores down. The stretch that includes these two stores is a great spot for some window shopping. I ended up only getting one top here, but I did try several things on. I would definitely recommend stopping by.
Aside from the stores I outlined above, I went to many different neighborhoods. The ones mentioned were some of my favorites. A few of the best stores, I didn’t see listed or recommended on any websites or google searches that I did. They were just places that I happened to come across by chance. I skipped mention all of the luxury boutiques, but this is really a great place to buy for US customers because of the VAT refund. Don’t forget to ask for tax free!
Just in case. Fortunately or unfortunately, I ended up with more items than luggage space available to me for the trip back. Carpisa is a store that I remembered from a trip to Rome years ago. They have many locations all across Milan. We ended up buying an additional rolling bag here at a great price to take home the remainder of our purchases. If you are in need of an extra piece of luggage that is relatively inexpensive, this is the place to find it.