Being in the Midwest, Chicago rarely gets the fashion credit it deserves. We are no New York or LA, but that’s what makes us special, right? We have our own unique sense of style, thanks to a number of amazing local designers and boutiques. If you love to support local and / or are looking to step up your wardrobe this season, here’s where you can get your Chicago fashion fix.
Let’s kick it off with some of our favorite local designers.
For so long, fine jewelry was kind of boring and not very accessible. That is until Dana Rebecca started making dainty diamonds (and before they were all the rage). We love that Dana Rebecca is Chicago-based yet her designs have been worn by every celebrity from Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen to Kourtney Kardashian and Busy Phillips. What she’s really nailed from a design perspective is that sweet spot between creating timeless pieces but that are (way) more exciting than your mother’s tennis bracelet. And with pieces starting at $155, you won’t necessarily have to break the bank to get your sparkle on.
For weddings, cocktail parties, galas and holiday events, look no further than Azeeza. Known for her feminine silhouettes and flowy dresses, her designs are perfect for special occasions. She has really put Chicago fashion on the map and we love her for it. Most Chicago designers tend to move to New York once they hit it big in Chicago, so we appreciate the fact that Azeeza HQ is still kicking it in Chicago.
There’s certain pieces we are always on the hunt for, and the perfect tee is constantly at the top of that list. For something that seems so simple, it’s surprisingly difficult to find a t-shirt with the perfect fit, material and style. Thankfully, 143 Tees has solved that problem. The material is what really sold us as it’s the softest tee EVER. Our other favorite part about 143 tees is that there’s a little “143” embroidery on the back of each tee (which is the numerical code for “I love you”). So cute!
You can shop 143 Tees online.
As much as we love our local designers, we especially love the boutique shopping here in Chicago. Clothing, accessories, beauty and home goods – here are some places with our favorite curated fashion.
Space519 is the perfect example of everything we could ever want under one roof – stylish clothes, clean beauty, chic accessories, the best gifts, and a delicious restaurant (The Lunchroom). Looks like you really can have it all! The owners have impeccable taste, which comes through in the unique selection of merchandise. This has been one of our favorite stores in Chicago for years and we are so excited they now have such a fantastic restaurant. Because the only thing better than fashion…is fashion AND food.
Although not necessarily a “fashion destination,” Asrai Garden is our go-to for all things pretty. They’re known for their lovely flowers but they have some of the most stunning and special jewelry in the city. They not only do plants and jewels oh-so well, but they also kill it in the homegoods and apothecary departments. Basically, if it’s at Asrai Garden…we want it. Plus, their new West Loop location in the Ace Hotel is absolutely GORGEOUS. If you go check it out, be sure to come say hi to us at our new studio in the Hoxton 🙂
When you think of Chicago fashion, a museum probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind…but the MCA store (at the Museum of Contemporary Art) has an array of super stylish accessories, books, objects and other fun things that you really can’t find anywhere else. It’s a gift shop that any fashion and / or art lover will appreciate. And now with Virgil Abloh’s “Figures Of Speech” exhibit, the fashion at the MCA has gotten even better. Virgil has his own pop-up shop on the same floor as the exhibit where you can find exclusive merchandise from a $48 trucker hat to a $710 Off-White sweatshirt.
And if you can’t get enough Virgil Abloh, then you should head on over to RSVP Gallery (he is one of the owners, after all). RSVP Gallery almost feels like a contemporary art museum in itself with its pop-art objects and books alongside highly-coveted luxury streetwear. They were doing high-end streetwear before everyone was doing it (since 2009!) Even Complex named it “Chicago’s flyest boutique shop”. If you get excited by sneaker drops, Raf Simons and Off-White, then you’re never going to want to leave RSVP Gallery.
Lost Girls Vintage
It’s not uncommon for a business to start as a food truck then turn into a full-service restaurant. But have you heard of this happening with a fashion truck turning into a boutique? Probably not. But if you have, chances are it was Lost Girls Vintage. What started as vintage clothing being sold out of a cute orange RV (named Winnie) is now a super cute boutique in West Town. With an Instagram-worthy shop and a well-curated selection of vintage fashion, this store is a must-visit.
A Chicago fashion post wouldn’t be a Chicago fashion post without the mention of Ikram. Not only is this boutique one of the most well-known in Chicago, it’s even world-famous. It’s pretty incredible that a store of this stature (in a city that’s not really known for being a “fashion city”) exists here. For a designer, being carried in Ikram is even more prestigious than being carried at Neimans or Saks. From more well-known designers like Alexander McQueen and Rick Owens to younger brands like Delpozo and Sacai, you can find the most fabulous fashion at Ikram.
Do you have any favorite Chicago boutiques or designers? Feel free to share in the comments!
Intro image via @azeezaofficial