900 N. Michigan
Woman cannot live on chic little boutiques alone—sometimes you need to go someplace with a mix of department stores, chains, and stand-alone shops. In other words: the mall. If Marshall Field’s were still around, I would be tempted to name Water Tower Place as the best, thanks to the addition of au courant stores such as Akira, Aritzia, and CUSP in recent years. But the 900 Shops offers a more diverse mix. Bloomingdale’s does pretty well with most demographics, especially in its juniors department. There’s stolidly middle-of-the-budget, mostly classic offerings—J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Club Monaco—and Diesel and Original Penguin for younger, more trend-driven shoppers. Fogal, Gucci, and MaxMara offer window-shopping opportunities, at the very least. And the interior is spacious and relaxing—a plus when you’re battling the Mag Mile hordes.