Where I Shop At Home

There are few things more magical than coming home every once in a while, to escape the hustle and bustle of Chicago. I’m lucky that I only live a few hours away from Madison, Wisconsin, so I try my best to make it home at least every other month to visit my family and friends back home. And one of my favorite traditions is shopping with my mom on a Saturday afternoon, not just because of the 5% sales tax {which is way better than the arm and leg Chicago charges!}, but because we love our tradition of stopping by our favorite stores at Hilldale.

Hilldale has always been our favorite place to shop, and thanks to the arrivals of all of my favorite stores over the last few years, it’s a can’t-miss destination. When I grew up in Madison, I always had to look forward to going to Milwaukee or Chicago to hit up my favorite stores {I once drove all the way to Chicago to go to Free People for a day – real talk…} but now my favorites like MadewellAnthropologieTwigs and Paper Source are all in the same shopping place! I love that Hilldale is outdoors and has over 50 local and national retailers amid a beautiful streetscape, making it easy to spend an afternoon exploring.

Hilldale introduced plans to create a more open-air layout and in January, work began on a community green space and a redesign of the south side that will make Hilldale even more welcoming. It also recently debuted a mural of Madison landmarks as well as few new stores, including a new Free People and Paper Source location!

If you happen to live in the Madison area, or you’re planning a trip to visit {it’s the perfect weekend trip from Chicago!}, here are a few of my favorite stores to explore at Hilldale!


I’ve loved Twigs for years {you might recognize this necklace from this post and others!}, especially since it’s local to Madison. They curate the most amazing pieces from tons of designer brands like Tory Burch, Rag and Bone, Equipment, Joie, and more. I always love stopping in to see their latest trend forecast and the incredible selection of purses and shoes {my current weakness…}. Plus, the store is gorgeous – you could spend hours browsing and discovering the perfect gifts for friends or a little something special for yourself 😉  Who knew I needed camo pants? The chambray + Tory Burch purse is going to have to be recreated in the immediate future!


In my humble opinion, not all Anthropologies are created equal, and my home-base Anthropologie at Hilldale is by far my favorite one to shop at. Since I tend to be pretty thrifty when it comes to shopping {aka, I’ve never met a sale I didn’t like}, I usually head right to their epic sale section, which is way bigger than at any of the stores in Chicago! I also love that they have the cutest decor, and they always have artists from the area create beautiful handmade paper or metal installations to make the store extra cheery and bright. 


My most recent obsession is the spring collection from Madewell, which features all the best trends of the season – from embroidered dresses {see below, swoon!}, natural fringe jeans, off-the-shoulder tops galore, and the prettiest gold jewelry. It took me just about all my willpower to not buy everything in the store, especially since they have an insanely awesome selection of leather booties and handbags. If your closet could use a little love for the spring and summer, Madewell is your new go-to.

Kate Spade:

I don’t have to do any convincing that I’m obsessed with all things Kate Spade – and their new collection for spring is basically everything I’ve ever wanted. Dramatic? Maybe. True? Definitely.

From bright orange and camel patterns to pom poms on just about everything {like that amazing straw beach bag below!}, Kate Spade is giving me all the warm-weather vibes I’ve been looking to add to my wardrobe – and the weather. I love that the customer service at the Hilldale location is the best, and the whole team of store associates are the most helpful when looking for a new purse or the perfect outfit for an upcoming event. Whenever I have a big party or event coming up, I always try to swing by to find the perfect outfit or accessory at the Hilldale Kate Spade store. 

Pier South:

When it’s winter in the Midwest, you’ll really take any opportunity you can to feel transported to warmer weather – and luckily for us Pier South feels just like southern Florida the moment you walk in. I swear, you instantly warm up and get a little kick of vitamin D!

I love that they carry the best preppy brands like Lauren James, Vineyard Vines, and Lily Pulitzer, which instantly puts you in a summery mood. They even have a few items that are unique to Madison, including Vineyard Vines Madison shirts exclusively made for the store and gorgeous pearl necklaces hand-carved by a local artist. Whenever I need a little summer pick-me-up, shopping at Pier South is the perfect cure.  If you’re looking for a one-stop shop in Madison, definitely make sure to visit Hilldale. You can see all the other stores they have, including the new Paper Source and Free People! If you happen to be there on a weekend I’m home, there’s a 90% chance you’ll see me there shopping with my mom 😉

A big thanks to Hilldale for sponsoring this post! I’m a huge fan of Hilldale and all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brand that make Charmingly Styled possible! 

  • I’ve never been to Madison before, but now I feel like I need to make a shopping trip! 🙂

  • My fiance knows this…but I am OBSESSED with one day visiting Wisconsin. I really want to visit Madison. Seriously, it’s on my bucket list and I talk about going more than I talk about going to Europe. 🙂 That sales tax…what a steal. It’s up to, like, 10% here in L.A.