I was buying a new charging cord for my phone at the airport last week and the sales clerk who rang me up asked where I was going.
"Milan." I said.
"Oh! Do you work in the fashion industry?"
Honestly, no one who knows me would ever think that I'm connected in any way, shape or form to the world of high-fashion. I try not to look like a schlub, but, honestly, my fashion choices are pretty pedestrian.
But Milan is the epicenter of high fashion, and walking around, it's impossible not to speculate about all of the luxury high-end designer stores that seem to be on nearly every corner (at least on certain streets). Who shops there? How can they afford it? Do they even have clothes in sizes that would fit your average American tourist?
I only mention that last part because it seems that everyone in Italy is rail-thin. Except for the Americans. I can happily report that I didn't see any Americans traipsing around Milan in Lady Reeboks and drawstring clamdiggers, but still, you can tell who belongs (skinny people smoking) and who's visiting (me, with my flabdomen and rosacea).
You could definitely spend an entire day window shopping in Milan--or, if you're so inclined, you could even go inside! But if you pretty much know that you can't afford that Prada handbag in the window, there is a way for you to actually shop for bargains in Milan.
Matia's Fashion Outlet is just a few blocks away from those super expensive boutiques, and has lots of garments from high-end designers for sale at discount prices.
Want a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes at half-price? They've got them. A Dolce & Gabana frock? Yep. They've got that, too. And the prices are all steeply discounted.
I wandered upstairs to the men's department and noticed a rack with some Canali sports coats. My standard uniform for quite some time has been jeans and a blazer, and, seeing that rack of jackets, I got excited. For about ten years I had a Canali sports jacket, which I loved. I wore it all the time and eventually, when the elbows finally wore out, I was inconsolable. I looked around for a suitable replacement at stores in New York, but honestly, those jackets are a bit out of my price range. In fact, I'm not sure how I afforded the one I had in the first place!
Once I figured out what size I was in Italian numbers, I found a jacket that fit perfectly. I tried it on and mulled over a purchase, but first, I needed to check out the price.
The savings were pretty substantial--half price! Of course, the regular price was €840. Even at half-price, I didn't feel like I could spend 500 bucks on a jacket, so I didn't buy it. But there were plenty of other things in my size, and all of it was high-end, and half-off (more or less).
Even if you don't wind up buying something, a visit to Matia's is a fun fashion diversion in Milan. You might not be inclined to walk into the Moschino store a few blocks away, but walking into Matia's is much less intimidating. So, if you've always wanted to try on some designer clothes, and maybe wanted to splurge on something to take home, you've got an option.
Want to go to Milan to find a bargain? We can send you there! Just let us know!