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Shopping in Milan is by areas.
Corso Como 10 (metro Milano Garibaldi) - eclectic, expensive and worth a visit. The area of Corso Como is very nice for an aperitif.
Piazza del Duomo and Corso Vittorio Emmanuele - all the chain stores
La Rinascente - big department store opposite the cathedral
In Via Torino that stretches between the Duomo and Corso di Porta Ticinese, the average shopper's age is much lower and the casual style is sportier, with Foot Locker, Camper and Energy shops all here.
The closer you get to the Navigli area, which is the temple of street-style, the more the shop scenario changes. Corso di Porta Ticinese, a continuation of Via Torino, is the right place for those "off the wall" purchases: Custo-Barcellona, Diesel, Miss Sixteen, Gas and Fornarina stand alongside second-hand clothing, eccentric designers' boutiques, bizarre household goods, handmade clothes and accessory stores made from silk and other precious materials. Have a look to Frip in corso di Porta Ticinese 16 in which you can find magazines and CD's and also new ideas of English and Scandinavian designers.
The Scout shop recently opened in the Colonne di San Lorenzo area, with a small but really furnished vintage area. Once a month there also is a vintage market on the Navigli where you can make great deals and find rare pieces. You can’t miss the jeans shop Black Melody Market in the colonne area, the new Marc Jacobs store in Piazza del Carmine and the new flagship store of Seven for all mankind in via Manzoni.
For more Milanese shopping, cruise wide Corso Buenos Aires (northeast of the center and just east of Stazione Centrale -- follow via Vitruvio from Piazza Duca d'Aosta in front of the station; Metro stops Lima and Loreto are the gateways to this bargain stretch), where hundreds of stores are gathered along a 3km street, one of the longest streets in Europe. There is a little bit of everything, from dress shops to CD megastores. Here you can find Timberland, Mandarina Duck, Benetton, Kookai and Nara Camice.
As it crosses Piazza Oberdan/Piazza Venezia heading south, it becomes Corso Venezia and the stores move up the scale very quickly.
Coin Department Store - all over Milan. Good value for money.
High Tech and Cargo - a bit expensive, but full of wonderful items from all over the world
Brera is Via Solferino, Via Garibaldi and the roads surrounding. Chic and trendy
Corso Vercelli and Corso Magenta - less well known and less touristy
Via Paolo Sarpi - as above
For fashion victims there are two possibilities:
- citywide saldi (sales) run from early January into early February and again in late June and July
- or the discounted shops where to find last year's fashions, imitations, and other bargains.
The best place to begin is Il Salvagente, several blocks east of the Quadrilatero off Corso XXII Marzo at Via Fratelli Bronzetti 16 (Metro San Babila), where you can browse through an enormous collection of designer clothing for men, women, and children (mostly smaller sizes) at wholesale prices. DMagazine, Via Montenapoleone 26 (Metro Montenapoleone), may sit on the boutique-lined main shopping drag, but its merchandise is pure discount overstock from big labels such as Armani, Prada, and Fendi; or The Highline Outlet (http://www.thehighlineoutlet.it/) in corso Vittorio Emanuele, 30.
Another paradise for fashionistas looking for slightly eccentric designer clothes on a budget is the Ticinese/Navigli. Women can shop at Anna Fabiano on Corso di Porta Ticinese 40 (Metro Sant'Ambrogio). Fabiano, who learned her tricks while designing for Fiorucci, favors linear cuts and mixing different types of fabrics to create an original style with a 1960s feel. Another Navigli stop is Mauro Leone, on Corso di Porta Ticinese 60 and 103, where you will find all types of well-priced, Italian-made women's shoes. Biffi, on Corso Genova 5/6 (Metro San Agostino), attracts fashion-conscious hordes of both sexes in search of designer labels and the store's own designs.
Some of the best Milanese fashion deals can be found in stores that are tucked into some of the less trodden and more atmospheric medieval alleys of the city center. On one of those streets, you will find Donatella Pellini, at Via Morigi 9, selling her own line of beautiful costume jewelry that looks like the real deal. In the Morigi shop, she sells her romantic and minimalist creations made with glass and synthetic resin; for more flamboyant costume jewelry, visit Pellini's shops on Via Manzoni 20 and on Corso Magenta 11.
For designer shoes at a discount to go with the new socks, look no further than Rufus, Via Vitruvio 35 (Metro Centrale or Lima), which carries men's and women's styles from lots of labels for under 80€.