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system). Kids' clothing is found on the third floor, with a nice selection of cloth-
ing and gifts for infants through teens. The selection of children's shoes is exten-
sive. In the cosmetics department, you'll find a wide array of smaller labels and
an “open sell” environment (meaning you're encouraged to try on makeup with-
out a salesperson hovering over you). In keeping with the store's famed focus on
service, a concierge can check your coat, call a cab, or make restaurant reserva-
tions. If you need a lift, Cafe Nordstrom offers a shopping break, with salads and
sandwiches. Set up cafeteria-style, the restaurant also features a Kid's Cafe. The
bathrooms, one on each level, contain infant-changing areas and women's
lounges equipped with upholstered chairs where you can comfortably and semi-
privately nurse an infant. Westfield North Bridge Mall, 55 E. Grand Ave. (at Rush St.). & 312/
464-1515. Subway/El: Red Line to Grand.
Saks Fifth Avenue Saks Fifth Avenue might be best known for its designer
collections—Valentino, Chloe, and Giorgio Armani, to name a few—but the
store also does a decent job of buying more casual and less-expensive merchan-
dise. Check out, for example, Saks's own Real Clothes or The Works women's
lines. Plus, the store has very good large-size and petite women's apparel depart-
ments. The children's department has a variety of casual and dress clothes, as
well as a few stuffed animals. The men's department is located in a separate
building across Michigan Avenue. Don't forget to visit the cosmetics depart-
ment, where Saks is known, in particular, for its varied fragrance selection.
Chicago Place, 700 N. Michigan Ave. (at Superior St.). & 312/944-6500. Subway/El: Red Line to
Think Small If your child dreams of building (in other words, dreams of hav-
ing mom and dad build) a dollhouse, you'll find everything you need here.
Sometimes the path of least resistance is best: In that case, check out the ready-
made dollhouses that are available for purchase. You can also buy the dolls and
furniture that will reside in the house. For those ambitious enough to build their
child's dream house themselves, the store offers workshops on Wednesday,
Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can drop in, but it might be a good idea
to call ahead before you go. The fee is $75, and includes the use of tools and
paintbrushes, paper goods, wood glue, and cleaning materials. 3209 N. Clark St. (at
W. Belmont St.). & 773/477-1920. Subway/El: Red Line to Belmont.
Abercrombie & Fitch The cool “uniform” of preference for middle school
kids is anything Abercrombie. Clothes here are pricey but well made, and if you
break down and just buy a T-shirt, it shouldn't break your budget. Water Tower
Place, 849 Michigan Ave. & 312/274-9859. Subway/El: Red Line to
Active Kids This offshoot of the popular outdoor and sporting goods
store Active Endeavors (p. 234) specializes in clothes for kids living the out-
doorsy life—or who just look like they are. Patagonia and other big-name out-
door outfitters are featured among the clothing for infants through size 16. 838
W. Armitage Ave. (at North Dayton St.). & 773/281-2002. Subway/El: Red Line to Sheffield.
Alcala's Do your kids dream of the open range? Here's just the spot to help
them look the part. Cowboy hats, boots, shirts, jeans, and chaps for miniature
cowpokes are the focus at Alcala's. And to prove that you're never too young to
start appreciating the Wild West, soft leather booties get even the littlest cowpokes
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