Multiple Locations, Original is at
1837 W North Ave # 1, Chicago, IL. (773) 772-5414
Akira is a large, trendy Chicago-based chain that opened seven years ago in the Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood. They have a wide range of clothing for men and women, and a fun shoe section. The salespeople are knowledgeable and helpful without being pushy, and helped me find a perfect color and fit summer dress for me earlier this year. Akira is all about this season’s trends and the hottest items for now, so this isn’t the place to find those classic pieces that’ll stay in your closet forever, but it’s a great place to find something trendy that you’ll love at a reasonable price.
2. State Street Marshall Fields (Macy’s now)
111 N. State Street | Chicago, IL 60602 312/781-1000
The picture is of the Tiffany Ceiling in the store, it’s the largest unbroken Tiffany glass in the world. The store itself is the second largest department store in the world. The store is now a Macy’s chain, ad while you might not find the most unique items here, the shopping experience and looking at the gorgeous architecture is in itself worth a visit. My personal favorite section of is the 26,000 square foot beauty department. I have a hard time not buying something at Fresh or the Chanel counter whenever I make a visit here.
I remember going down to State Street every year as a kid to see the Christmas decorations lit up at Marshall Fields, and the store felt magic to me, and in a way, it still kind of does.
3. Una Mae’s Freak Boutique
1528 North Milwaukee Avenue. (773) 276-7002
This store is located in Wicker Park, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. The store’s layout is warm and inviting, with wood floors and earth tones, and the prices are generally pretty reasonable. Una Mae’s has a nice mix of unique new and vintage clothes. My favorite section in the store is the accessories, they have a beautiful assortment of trendy and classic jewelery. If you want something unique that you can’t find at a department store, this is the place to go.
4. Silver Moon
1755 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 235-5410
Silver Moon is a curated vintage store, with an amazing 1920’s collection. Most of the wonderful gently worn clothes are out of my college student budget, but it is so fun to walk through Silver Moon and take a trip back through time. If you want a party or wedding dress that no one else is going to have, this is the place to look. The best vintage store in the city, in this Chicagoan’s opinion.
5. Stellar 26
4164 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60618
This store has a laid-back atmosphere and has some amazing clothes for lazy days. The owner told Time-Out Chicago that Stellar 26 has a surfer-lite look influenced by her adolescence on the shores of Lake Michigan. The California cool vibe is felt in this midwestern store. Most everything is under 100 dollars, so the shopper can keep their cool even after looking at their receipt.
(At an out-of-state university, but a life-long Chicagoan)