Carson Pirie Scott
Because it’s the sole Indy-area location, the department store is among the first stops for downtown shoppers. You’ll find sensibly priced clothing for the entire family, but the real story here is the large home store, where bar accessories, bedding, coffeemakers, cookware, table linens, Fiestaware, and more abound. Top brands: Calvin Klein, Cuisinart, KitchenAid, KN Karen Neuburger, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren.
Circle Centre, 317-971-6200, carsons.com
Macy’s brands range from modern to classic and for children to adults, but all are slightly upscale and offer tons of affordable choices. Stores feature large departments of cosmetics, fragrances, shoes, jewelry, furniture, and accessories for men and women. Top brands: DKNY, INC International Concepts, Lauren Ralph Lauren, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Eileen Fisher, Kenneth Cole.
Castleton Square Mall, 317-579-4500; Glendale Town Center, 317-255-6611; Greenwood Park Mall, 317-882-6247; macys.com
This posh department store features the latest from the runways with its large roster of luxe labels, but it also touts mid-priced progressive brands. The top-notch customer service, including free personal shopping and in-house alternations, is famous, and the fantastic shoe department with a wide range of sizes is a must-visit. The store always seems to be evolving, so customers come back for classics as well as fresh finds. Top brands: Vince, Diane von Furstenberg, Eileen Fisher, St. John, Burberry, Classiques Entier, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Yigal Azrouel, Via Spiga.
The Fashion Mall, 317-810-9809, nordstrom.com
Saks Fifth Avenue
For those who wish to live fashionably and fabulously, Saks is your destination. The epitome of luxury shopping, it hosts exclusive designs by famous labels and a posh private suite for those using the personal-shopping service. The handbag area includes a separate Louis Vuitton boutique and sections for Gucci, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Burberry, and Yves Saint Laurent. Top brands: Bond No. 9, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Armani Collezioni, Rebecca Minkhoff, Prada, St. John, Theory, Vince.
The Fashion Mall, 317-816-0171, saks.com
A place fit for the most sophisticated shoppers, Von Maur has a soothing atmosphere, orderly racks, and top-notch service that everyone desires. If you’re purchasing a gift from the store, you can ask for complimentary gift-wrapping to make the exterior just as pretty as the item you chose. Top brands: Donald J. Pliner, Lacoste, Sweet Pea, Tommy Bahama.
Castleton Square Mall, 317-594-1870; Greenwood Park Mall, 885-9936; vonmaur.com