City Guide: Top 10 Women’s Clothing Stores in Chicago, IL

March 2, 2018 0 0

As the best women’s clothing stores in Chicago, Illinois and places to shop underscore, it’s a city of retail firsts: The town was the birthplace of the first in-store escalator at Marshall Field’s on State Street (“that great street,” per Frank Sinatra in “Chicago”); the spot where Crate & Barrel opened its doors; home to the first Sears retail location; the starting point for Weber Grill and Morton Salt; and now, it hosts the first U.S. Nutella Café (talk about eclectic shopping firsts). It’s also fantastic if you’re a lady on the hunt for great buys. Wanna look fabulous? Here a top 10 guide to several of Chicago, IL’s best women’s clothing stores and places to shop – including where to go for all your wardrobe and accessory needs.

Name Location Description
The Antique and Resale Shoppe 7214 N Harlem Ave This emporium brings everything vintage into a single space: Dresses, jewelry, purses, accessories, pants, tops, dainties, you name it (not to mention everything for the home, too). It’s a total sensory overload — you can get your rhinestone costume jewelry and a 1950s feather boa here, but it pays off when you uncover a particular find nestled among the mannequins and stacks. Make a point to stop and talk with the owners here, as they are genuine vintage aficionados and very warm and helpful.
Krista K 3458 N Southport Ave You need to go here, if only for your jeans: You may collapse when you see the floor devoted to denim. Krista K also offers a great selection of shoes, awesome bags, and accessories, especially earrings and very choice jewelry, not to mention a collection of superbly varied designer brands that span price points. Although how much you want to spend on, say a Rag & Bone top or a Veronica Beard romper is a balance of budget and wardrobe only you can negotiate for yourself.
Mojo Spa 1468 N Milwaukee Ave Remind yourself not to eat the inventory inside this Wicker Park shop: All the bath, beauty, and care products conspicuously resemble delicious confections. You’ll be further drawn in with soap scented and shaped like cupcakes, and lotions with strawberry overtones, as well as bath salts with lemony whiffs and pixie lip-gloss. Nail art here is also a specialty, and the photo booth is fun. All the products are made in Chicago, which adds to Mojo’s city cred (and wow factor), particularly when you want to know not only where your makeup or hair care products come from, but what’s in them (ask the owner — he’ll tell you).
Squasht Boutique 2556 W Chicago Ave Beyond the Made in Chicago element at Squasht is that fact that price points are reasonable, and there’s a lot of clothing and accessories to choose from. They stock skirts and dresses, bikinis/one-pieces, jewelry, hats and more here, and you won’t break the bank procuring quality fashion. “Handmade” actually does mean designed and constructed by hand here. The shop’s use of pattern and prints (it’s not just variations on black) makes for fresh looks, too.
Free People 1101 West Randolph Street Before you go for a bite in West Loop, visit this outpost — the most recent location of the popular chain — for all your boho fashion requirements. The two floors of inventory feature a mix of the shop’s own brand looks (trendy stuff) on the bottom, while upstairs other threads are pulled together from elsewhere. Likely the layout will be hard to resist anyway, as Free People, like so many options, sell a kind of lifestyle experience, somewhere between aspirational and declarative, if you take our meaning.
Beehive Chicago 2501 W Chicago Ave Visit Beehive just to browse, if you like, but you’ll probably also walk out with whatever you need for your new apartment or home — even if you don’t live in Chicago. The shop is welcoming, with all manner of furniture, clothing, media, décor, textiles, lighting and seasonal looks (e.g. swimwear and sundresses). Great for elegant vintage shopping with a spouse or significant other (either male or female), and excellent for gifts, the main shop often will do sidewalk sales or set up inventory in popups, as well. This place is the real deal.
Milk Handmade 5135 N Clark St Having just celebrated its five-year anniversary, Milk Handmade has become an Andersonville must-visit for women’s clothes, jewelry and beauty products. Talk about sourcing: Everything here is made by local artisans and designers, and it’s lovingly presented with sophisticated points of view. Some of the jewelry designs sold by Milk Handmade are also breathtakingly original (visit their Instagram and take a look). Their sister shop is Honey Bridal (nearby).
Skyscraper Heels 2202 W Belmont Ave There isn’t a shop quite like this in the entire city, and they do some really cool bootwork. Custom-made shoes here don’t come cheap or quickly: They take about three weeks to fashion after you’ve been fitted at your appointment. Then again, these are shaped/crafted specifically for your feet. The shoes are sourced from small-batch American makers and reworked according to your desire: Visit the shop, pick what you prefer, and go from there. They’ll make fitted corsets, too.
Merz Apothecary 4716 N Lincoln Ave This place was founded in 1875, and it is inspired by European-style pharmacies (the staff speaks at least a half-dozen languages, in fact). They specialize in niche fragrances, but they also stock major brands as well. Merz offers tinctures, beautiful presentations in original jars, containers and bottles, while the gorgeous interiors (hard-carved wood) and spectacular fixtures create a genuinely rare shopping experience. While you can check out Smallflower (their online brand), visit the original location for the full treatment. Nobody does wellness this well.
Felt 2317 N Milwaukee Ave If you’re in Logan Square, visit Felt. OK, even if you’re not planning to go to Logan Square, go to Felt. It features upmarket, beautifully presented vintage and contemporary clothing designed by an impeccable array of upcoming and well-established talent (Mestiza, Line + Dot, Figue, Marimekko, Priory and more). The shop interiors are minimalist, toned-down and almost basic, indulging in a retail texture/aesthetic that highlights the bold patterns and intense colors that punctuate the clothes.



For more on the best women’s clothing stores and places to shop in Chicago, IL, also see:


Tags: Fashion, Top 10 Guides, Travel Categories: Fashion, Top 10 Guides, Travel
David Podgurski

David Podgurski has written about travel, books, fashion + entertainment for digital and print media. He’s hunted down vintage finds in crumbling attics, published poetry, worked for the New York MTA, and likes to haunt museums, cafés and shops. When he isn’t traveling or writing, he’s thinking about his next trip — and what to enjoy when he gets there.

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