Clothing & Accessories, Chicago
H&M also has locations across Europe and in NYC. The new Chicago store is huge with all kinds of fun, stylish clothes at affordable prices. They have everything from punk to retro to preppy styles.
What to buy: Especially if you're from a smaller town, Chicago is a great place to shop and see the latest styles.
What to pay: I would say you can can great tops and pants in the $20-$40 range.
I'm not one to walk into a woman's shoe store on my own but if your female compatriot wants to then . . . .
They definitely did have some fabulous looking shoes and boots!
What to buy: Here's a description of the "Pump" store from Chicago Magazine: "Pump is a shoe fanatic’s new home away from home. Flirty, ultra-feminine styles from Carlos Molina and pointy pumps from Steven, by Steve Madden, mix with Glenda Gies handbags made from vintage fabrics."
Hollywood Mirror is a thrift shop, essentially, but imagine a store with only the best items - those items that you spend hours rummaging through salvation army for. The store has a great attitude, as well as great decor.
What to buy: I love the hooded sweatshirts. Racks and racks of them, for only $12 each.
What to pay: $25 will buy you an outfit, complete with shoes.
Ok so if you have read any of my other shopping tips, you probably noticed that I'm a big H&M fan. I discovered it when I was in Europe, and immediately fell in love. Well, when I came back to the West Coast I was very disappointed to find out that there were only a handful of H&Ms on the East Coast and no mail-order catalog...I mean I would have made special trips to LA just to go to H&M if there were one there.
Well, there is a brand new H&M in Chicago and when I found out it was there, I almost peed my pants. Seriously, I was so excited that I wouldn't stop talking about it the whole way home. I though Dylan was going to ditch me right there in the middle of Chicago.
Anyway, I guess the H&M in Chicago opened last September and has been a mad house ever since. We went on a Saturday afternoon and it was a zoo in there, but it was the H&M
I know and love so I didn't care.
What to buy: H&M has everything: Womens' Clothing, Mens' Clothing, Children's Clothing, Plus Sizes, and Lingerie. Their clothes are pretty affordable and totally up to date.
What to pay: It depends on what you're looking for...you can buy panites and earrings for $5 or jeans for $50
Used and new threads and jewelry. There are some good buys on club clothing. The window displays are, at times, nasty as hell.
What to buy: Leather jacket, crazy t-shirts, freaky pants, wigs, a new life.
What to pay: $10-$100 depends
TJMaxx is upstairs and Filene's Basement is downstairs, providing hours of discount shopping in one location. There is sooooo much stock in both shops you are bound to come out with SOMETHING. And it's not all rubbish - no more than 70% anyway. I found an excellent cocktail dress in my (largish) size. The shoe selection in Filene's is great - they have actual designer brands there at seriously discounted prices.
T.J. Maxx is a chain of American department stores owned by TJX Companies. It is the largest off-price apparel retailer in the United States offering brand name clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares. All merchandise is at least 20 - 60% below regular department and specialty store prices. The company operated 771 stores at the end of 2004, and has further growth opportunities in the U.S. The average store size of a T.J. Maxx store is 30,000 square feet.
What to buy: Looking for women's, mens and children's clothing? Designers but very low prices on selected items? Then visit this place ... You can find something nice if you really give a lot of efford into looking. Try to have a few hours cose it will took some time for you to explore the store.
If you like Bebe, you are certainly going to enjoy this store. Although some of the styles are similar, Hot Pink is far cheaper. With a unique selection of clothing that changes from week to week, buying clothes from this boutique will allow you to stand out from the camoflauge of the crowds. There's just one problem: this clothing sells quickly. If you find a shirt that you adore, don't wait because it will most likely be gone in a week.
What to buy: Anything you want! Tops, Pants, Skirts, Dresses, Purses, Make-Up, you name it. Be certain to pay careful attention to the sales racks at the back. Those are deals that you don't want to miss.
What to pay: If you decide to buy a nice skirt along with a cute top on-sale, expect to pay $30-50.
The people in Chicago are very casual dressers. I found on Saturdays they all wear casual clothes. Flip flops, shorts and teeshirts are very common especially during the summer time when all the young people are out of school and hanging out. There are many many shopping malls in Chicago which sell almost everything and have all the high street fashion stores at great prices. A great place for shopping if you have little or loads to spend. Great bargains on camera equipment, ipods etc.
What to buy: Anything designer if your fashion conscious. You get some great discounts on designer clothes especially if your trading in your Euros for dollars. The rate l got was pretty good. I also bought memory cards for my digital camera and paid 12 dollers for 128mb memory card. Books are also very cheap but its a problem getting them back home if they weight a lot.
This is one store where you get to create a handbag that no one else has. Owner/ designer Jen Velarde and her friend Robin Quinn set up 1154 Lill in the late '90s. The name reflected the store's original location- which was at 1154 Lill Street.
The way the store works is you can pick out both the style of the bag you want (Each bag has a name – i.e. The Shelley, the Katie, the Quincy, the Lynn, the Amy……) and the fabric for the outside and the inside. You place your order and in a few days/week you pick up your finished bag.
I have made bags for my sister for her birthday and have made 1 or 2 bags for myself over the years.
The stores also hold regular handbag parties – a perfect opportunity to socialise and shop at the same time! It is a great idea for bridal parties.
What to buy: This unique boutique offers it’s own unique line of limited edition ready-made handbags, totes, makeup bags and other accessories to satisfy the need for immediate gratification.
The bags range in various sizes and colours to match any outfit and any style. New fabrics choices are brought in about once a week, as others are retired, so regular visitors are rewarded with fresh choices each time
What to pay: The line of “LILL Bags” ranges in price from the mid $70’s to $130. Accessory pieces such as makeup bags, a wallet and a coin purse range from $24 - $36. Custom orders take four weeks to be completed, however there is no additional charge to “create” an individual piece.
Once the cozy home of a neighborhood pharmacy, Isabella's is a tiny storefront jammed with goodies. The entire left wall of the store remains floor-to-ceiling drawers and display cases. Cabinets now showcase mannequins, limited-edition underwear lithographs, and drawers and drawers of panties, bras, thongs, and G-strings. Those in the know enter the store and head straight for the bins to plow through the latest styles loosely organized by brand.
What to buy: What makes Isabellas such a shopper's paradise is that every single piece was researched and hand-picked from the highest-quality French, Italian, and American designers for class and comfort. This is the shop I go to for special evenings with my husband. They have a wonderful selection of items that are both pretty and comfortable. I recently bought some pieces by Cosa Bella and Honey Dew.
The rumor is that actress Julia Roberts shops here when she is in town.
What to pay: A little more than VS- but it is worth it!
Lulu's specializes in upscale vintage women's clothing, jewelry and accessories. The shop has a very retro feel. Their clothing is in impeccable condition and the prices reflect that. Most of their stock seems to be from the Fifties and they have a nice selection of vintage gowns. It's a beautiful shop, with well conditioned clothing, but a little too pricey in my opinion. The store is so well-appointed that it's a fun place to browse on a Sunday afternoon.
What to buy: This is one of the great places to shop if you're truly in the market for some exceptional vintage pieces.
What to pay: They are very expensive, but their merchandise is in excellent condition.
I really love Anthropologie because they carry brands that you will not find at the department stores.
Clothing is clustered in minicollections throughout the sprawling space. The store features a sweeping, sculptural post-and-beam structure which creates a series of niches or vignettes along a curved path. The vignettes range from a Tunisian Casbah-inspired collection of exotic wares to a gauzy bedroom tableau.
What to buy: Typical items include stretchy Michael Stars tees, beaded Easel cardigans, denim skirts (from Anthropologie's own label), and Cosabella lingerie. I really love the Sleeping on Snow label sweaters. They also have a few cases of unique jewelry.
In addition to clothing, they have housewares that look like they came from a Parisian flea market. Also, upscale luxury bath products. This is a great place to buy someone a birthday gift.
Anthropologie is owned by the same company as Urban Outfitters. If you don't want to pay the high prices you can sometimes find similiar items at UO.
What to pay: Items here are not cheap (I read that the average customer is a 30-35 year old woman who makes over $150k). Sweaters range from $95 to $195.
There are a number of Marshall's located throughout the United States. Since this is one my wife shops quite frequently and one we stopped at in the City of Chicago last night I thought it would be good to put down a couple of my own thoughts.
Marshall's along with its retail twin T.J. Maxx is a place to find decent clothing, shoes, homegoods, etc at a very decent price. They are always bringing in a lot of new merchandise so going to these stores, even every couple of weeks, and you may find a lot of new and different merchandise.
Most of the items of clothing are not the latest designer styles, but in the few instances where I actually tag along to shop I will find a number of either last season or past season items from men's designers like Kenneth Cole. Last night they had a really nice Italian made brand shirt that is normally listed at $180, but at Marshall's was $60. I wasn't in the market for a shirt, but if I was this was a real buy.
What to buy: Hours at this store were:
Sunday - 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Monday through Saturday - 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
What to pay: Look at the Clearance Racks for some really good deals.
This store is my weakness! They sell a lot of European labels and really timeless pretty things. They carry a ton of Three Dots, some Vera Wang, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Mint, Inhabit, and they have amazing jewelry. They are also next door to Jake--a fashion forward boutique for guys and girls, and a bunch of other boutiques.
What to buy: Chicago has some of the best neighborhood shopping--each area catering to a certain demographic. Wicker Park attracts a youthful, fashion forward, hipster--both budget conscious and big spenders. Oak street has luxury label shopping and is home to the designer shops like Prada, Gucci, Chanel. Lincoln Park serves preppier college students and yuppies, while nearby Lakeview has grungy thrift shopping just blocks from upscale Southport boutiqueville. The recently developing West Loop also hides some incredible fashion forward shops for big spenders with discerning taste. There's something for everyone in this city--you just have to travel away from the Mag Mile!
What to pay: Anywhere from thrift store cheap to sky's the limit. My favorite shop, Tula, has prices that range from $50--$500.