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Where to Shop in Chicago

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It may lack the glitz and glam of LA and, for some, live in the shadow of New York, but the Second City has serious style — and is indisputably a first-rate shopping destination. Michigan Avenue's big-box shops and the international couture houses on Oak Street make up part of the equation, but for shopping experiences you can't get anywhere else, look to the city's amazing range of independently-owned stores.

From Andersonville to Hyde Park, there are more opportunities for only-in-Chicago retail therapy than you could comfortably cover in a weekend — featuring all manner of goods, too. This list of 19 homegrown gems includes everything from a game-changing boutique for women's fashion to an international streetwear powerhouse to a century-old apothecary.

So pack an extra bag because by the end of your trip, your suitcase will be stuffed to the brim with treasures like locally designed clothes, hard-to-find international labels, vintage jewelry, and then some.

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1. Ikram

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15 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 587-1000
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Ikram Goldman’s eponymous, glossy red boutique is a world-renowned destination for women’s couture. The 16,500-square-foot storefront bursts with interesting pieces by Givenchy, Moschino, and more, and there’s also an in-house café — a très chic lunch spot for ladies who shop.
Photo: Ikram

2. Elements

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741 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 642-6574
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High-end home goods fill this established Wells Street spot, where it’s all about that coveted mix of unique and sophisticated items: dinnerware and flatwear by Christofle, locally-designed Meghna jewelry, scarves by Faliero Sarti, and more.
Photo: Elements

3. Gallery Aesthete

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1751 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 265-1883
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Straddling the line between art gallery and menswear boutique, this sleek showroom, which reopened in a new location this past June, displays cutting-edge fashion alongside art objects, all with a common thread: a deep reverence for detail and material.
Photo: Gallery Aesthete

4. Jayson Home

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1885 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-8180
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The buyers at this home store circle the globe to keep its roster of modern and vintage furniture, lighting, pillows, textiles, and tableware impeccably fresh. When sending flowers is in order, you can also score a pretty arrangement from the floral department. And the shop's annual fall flea market — complete with DJ-spun tunes and local brews — is not to be missed.
Photo: Jayson Home

5. Luxury Garage Sale

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1658 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 291-9126
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Initially a pop-up shop for high-end consignment, Luxury Garage Sale blossomed into a chic boutique stocking pre-owned and new designer pieces from a network of consignors and boutiques all over the world. We’re talking Chanel bags, Alexander McQueen dresses, Pierre Hardy pumps, and vintage jewelry.
Photo: Luxury Garage Sale

6. Merz Apothecary

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4716 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 989-0900
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Founded in 1857, this family-owned, old world–style beauty emporium carries more than 14,000 lotions, potions, and beauty products from international labels. In 2014, the shop expanded into its neighboring storefront to debut the men’s shaving and grooming mecca Q Brothers.
Photo: Merz Apothecary

7. 57th Street Books

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1101 E 57th St
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1300
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From the basement of a Hyde Park apartment building, this hallowed, circa 1961 neighborhood bookshop teems with nonfiction, cookbooks, kid’s titles, and more. The store’s events calendar is chock-full, too, and features kids’ story time, poetry readings, and author signings. A well-read staff is an added boon.
Photo: 57th Street Books

8. RSVP Gallery

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1753 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 770-6666
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A lifestyle boutique juxtaposing pop art with high-end men’s streetwear, RSVP Gallery has a global following and even counts Kanye as a fan. The buyers bring in hard-to-find merchandise from Paris to Tokyo to Milan, plus staples from labels like Haider Ackermann and Acne Studios, as well as an in-house athleisure-leaning collection. (Aside from unisex items, the women's selection is limited to accessories.)
Photo: RSVP Gallery

9. Gather Home + Lifestyle

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2321 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 810-3183
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In addition to holding the unofficial title of Chicago’s most Instagrammable shop, this charming, minimalist space showcases a stellar variety of goodies, including jewelry, home décor, greeting cards, apothecary items, plants, and books — all created by small indie makers.
Photo: Gather Home + Lifestyle

10. Felt

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2317 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 772-5000
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Logan Square landed its first high-end women’s boutique last year with the opening of Felt, which offers the handiwork of both established and emerging designers from London, Paris, Korea, and LA alongside rack space devoted to Chicago talents such as C/FAN and J. Markell. As a bonus, co-owner Catherine Dunton offers a trunk club service, sending personalized outfits that clients can choose to keep or ship back. (For more designer wares, check out VMR and nearby Tusk — but if you only have time for one, Felt should be the place.)
Photo: Felt

11. Rider

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1115 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 243-0464
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Amid some of the city’s best restaurants, you’ll find a tasteful grab bag at Rider — including vintage furniture, apothecary items, a well-edited selection of women’s clothing, and costume and fine jewelry — all inspired by the owners’ world travels. An in-store coffee bar offers a bespoke blend from Bow Truss, plus organic cotton candy and small-batch chocolate.
Photo: Rider

12. Brimfield

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5219 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-3501
Visit Website
Named after owner and antiques fiend Julie Fernstrom’s favorite plaid, Brimfield holds an eye-catching array of home goods that skews English cottage-chic. There are antique and vintage curios, plus reclaimed furniture — and, of course, plenty of plaid. The basement level holds additional stuff, including barstools and vintage signage, and the shop also offers custom furniture and upholstering services.
Photo: Brimfield

13. Penelope's

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1913 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 395-2351
Visit Website
With a fashionable husband/wife duo at the helm, Penelope’s allows guys and gals (and kids, too) to shop simultaneously, picking up fun, accessible duds from lines including A.P.C. and Mollusk. There’s also a great selection of giftable accessories.
Photo: Penelope's

14. Moon Voyage

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2010 W Pierce Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 423-8853
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Run by Chicago native Susie Lee, this Wicker Park shop strikes the perfect balance between California boho and city slicker edge. The bright shop stocks sometimes quirky, always chic designs from labels as different as UK-based Lazy Oaf and LA's For Love & Lemons.
Photo: Moon Voyage

15. Susan Wheeler Design Pop-Up Boutique

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3129 W Logan Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 968-6643
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Heads up, holiday shoppers: Local jewelry designer Susan Wheeler — whose ethically sourced gold and platinum creations are known for their cool textures — has temporarily set up shop in Logan Square. Through the end of the month, peruse the gift-worthy rings, earrings, and necklaces on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Photo: Susan Wheeler

16. Tusk

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3205 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(423) 903-7093
Visit Website
This minimalist storefront stocks vintage and contemporary men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry, plus ceramics, prints, books, and records; thanks to owner Mary Eleanor Wallace’s collaborations with other artsy types, the goods are constantly evolving. Stop by on December 18 from 12pm–6pm to shop a group exhibition featuring 20 different small objects and their cardboard jigsaw puzzle counterparts.
Photo: Tusk

17. Azeeza

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900 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 649-9373
Visit Website
Chicago-based Azeeza Khan showcases her eponymous line, Azeeza, at her flagship boutique. Khan counts the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Sophia Bush as fans, and her creations — eye-catching arrays of luxe silks and hand-woven, bejeweled embellishments — all but scream “holiday party.”
Photo: Azeeza

18. Dovetail

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1452 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 243-3100
Visit Website
The super-compact shop manages to pack in clothing, jewelry, and handmade apothecary items, plus vintage clothing and accessories (ranging from 20 to 100 years old). Keep an eye out for frequent trunk shows and sales that double as cocktail parties.
Photo: Dovetail

19. Stock Mfg Co.

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316 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 371-1555
Visit Website
What began as an online-only dealer of men’s clothing and accessories has blossomed into this lounge/shop/factory hybrid where everything is designed and produced onsite (yielding palatable price tags). Unfussy garments are aimed at the everyday dude; shoppers are known to stick around for a game of pool and a cold one on draft.
Photo: Stock Mfg Co.

1. Ikram

15 E Huron St, Chicago, IL 60611
Photo: Ikram
Ikram Goldman’s eponymous, glossy red boutique is a world-renowned destination for women’s couture. The 16,500-square-foot storefront bursts with interesting pieces by Givenchy, Moschino, and more, and there’s also an in-house café — a très chic lunch spot for ladies who shop.
15 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611

2. Elements

741 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
Photo: Elements
High-end home goods fill this established Wells Street spot, where it’s all about that coveted mix of unique and sophisticated items: dinnerware and flatwear by Christofle, locally-designed Meghna jewelry, scarves by Faliero Sarti, and more.
741 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654

3. Gallery Aesthete

1751 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
Photo: Gallery Aesthete
Straddling the line between art gallery and menswear boutique, this sleek showroom, which reopened in a new location this past June, displays cutting-edge fashion alongside art objects, all with a common thread: a deep reverence for detail and material.
1751 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

4. Jayson Home

1885 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Photo: Jayson Home
The buyers at this home store circle the globe to keep its roster of modern and vintage furniture, lighting, pillows, textiles, and tableware impeccably fresh. When sending flowers is in order, you can also score a pretty arrangement from the floral department. And the shop's annual fall flea market — complete with DJ-spun tunes and local brews — is not to be missed.
1885 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

5. Luxury Garage Sale

1658 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614
Photo: Luxury Garage Sale
Initially a pop-up shop for high-end consignment, Luxury Garage Sale blossomed into a chic boutique stocking pre-owned and new designer pieces from a network of consignors and boutiques all over the world. We’re talking Chanel bags, Alexander McQueen dresses, Pierre Hardy pumps, and vintage jewelry.
1658 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60614

6. Merz Apothecary

4716 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Photo: Merz Apothecary
Founded in 1857, this family-owned, old world–style beauty emporium carries more than 14,000 lotions, potions, and beauty products from international labels. In 2014, the shop expanded into its neighboring storefront to debut the men’s shaving and grooming mecca Q Brothers.
4716 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

7. 57th Street Books

1101 E 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637
Photo: 57th Street Books
From the basement of a Hyde Park apartment building, this hallowed, circa 1961 neighborhood bookshop teems with nonfiction, cookbooks, kid’s titles, and more. The store’s events calendar is chock-full, too, and features kids’ story time, poetry readings, and author signings. A well-read staff is an added boon.
1101 E 57th St
Chicago, IL 60637

8. RSVP Gallery

1753 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Photo: RSVP Gallery
A lifestyle boutique juxtaposing pop art with high-end men’s streetwear, RSVP Gallery has a global following and even counts Kanye as a fan. The buyers bring in hard-to-find merchandise from Paris to Tokyo to Milan, plus staples from labels like Haider Ackermann and Acne Studios, as well as an in-house athleisure-leaning collection. (Aside from unisex items, the women's selection is limited to accessories.)
1753 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

9. Gather Home + Lifestyle

2321 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Photo: Gather Home + Lifestyle
In addition to holding the unofficial title of Chicago’s most Instagrammable shop, this charming, minimalist space showcases a stellar variety of goodies, including jewelry, home décor, greeting cards, apothecary items, plants, and books — all created by small indie makers.
2321 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

10. Felt

2317 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Photo: Felt
Logan Square landed its first high-end women’s boutique last year with the opening of Felt, which offers the handiwork of both established and emerging designers from London, Paris, Korea, and LA alongside rack space devoted to Chicago talents such as C/FAN and J. Markell. As a bonus, co-owner Catherine Dunton offers a trunk club service, sending personalized outfits that clients can choose to keep or ship back. (For more designer wares, check out VMR and nearby Tusk — but if you only have time for one, Felt should be the place.)
2317 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

11. Rider

1115 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607
Photo: Rider
Amid some of the city’s best restaurants, you’ll find a tasteful grab bag at Rider — including vintage furniture, apothecary items, a well-edited selection of women’s clothing, and costume and fine jewelry — all inspired by the owners’ world travels. An in-store coffee bar offers a bespoke blend from Bow Truss, plus organic cotton candy and small-batch chocolate.
1115 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Brimfield

5219 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Photo: Brimfield
Named after owner and antiques fiend Julie Fernstrom’s favorite plaid, Brimfield holds an eye-catching array of home goods that skews English cottage-chic. There are antique and vintage curios, plus reclaimed furniture — and, of course, plenty of plaid. The basement level holds additional stuff, including barstools and vintage signage, and the shop also offers custom furniture and upholstering services.
5219 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

13. Penelope's

1913 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
Photo: Penelope's
With a fashionable husband/wife duo at the helm, Penelope’s allows guys and gals (and kids, too) to shop simultaneously, picking up fun, accessible duds from lines including A.P.C. and Mollusk. There’s also a great selection of giftable accessories.
1913 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

14. Moon Voyage

2010 W Pierce Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Photo: Moon Voyage
Run by Chicago native Susie Lee, this Wicker Park shop strikes the perfect balance between California boho and city slicker edge. The bright shop stocks sometimes quirky, always chic designs from labels as different as UK-based Lazy Oaf and LA's For Love & Lemons.
2010 W Pierce Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

15. Susan Wheeler Design Pop-Up Boutique

3129 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
Photo: Susan Wheeler
Heads up, holiday shoppers: Local jewelry designer Susan Wheeler — whose ethically sourced gold and platinum creations are known for their cool textures — has temporarily set up shop in Logan Square. Through the end of the month, peruse the gift-worthy rings, earrings, and necklaces on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
3129 W Logan Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647

16. Tusk

3205 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Photo: Tusk
This minimalist storefront stocks vintage and contemporary men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry, plus ceramics, prints, books, and records; thanks to owner Mary Eleanor Wallace’s collaborations with other artsy types, the goods are constantly evolving. Stop by on December 18 from 12pm–6pm to shop a group exhibition featuring 20 different small objects and their cardboard jigsaw puzzle counterparts.
3205 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

17. Azeeza

900 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Photo: Azeeza
Chicago-based Azeeza Khan showcases her eponymous line, Azeeza, at her flagship boutique. Khan counts the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Sophia Bush as fans, and her creations — eye-catching arrays of luxe silks and hand-woven, bejeweled embellishments — all but scream “holiday party.”
900 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

18. Dovetail

1452 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Photo: Dovetail
The super-compact shop manages to pack in clothing, jewelry, and handmade apothecary items, plus vintage clothing and accessories (ranging from 20 to 100 years old). Keep an eye out for frequent trunk shows and sales that double as cocktail parties.
1452 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

19. Stock Mfg Co.

316 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
Photo: Stock Mfg Co.
What began as an online-only dealer of men’s clothing and accessories has blossomed into this lounge/shop/factory hybrid where everything is designed and produced onsite (yielding palatable price tags). Unfussy garments are aimed at the everyday dude; shoppers are known to stick around for a game of pool and a cold one on draft.
316 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601