The Local's Guide To Holiday Shopping In Chicago

Considering we're nearing shopaholic territory, it’s only fitting that — during the most dangerous time of year for us addicts — we put together a list of boutiques for every single thing you could want to give (and, okay, receive this season). Naturally, with the glut of choice retail destinations in Chicago, this was no easy task: Along with faves like Ikram and Eskell, there were also a few necessary newcomers to add to the mix (hello, gorgeous new Burberry store!).
The last piece of the puzzle? Variety, dear readers. From candlesticks to cologne and dresses to dungarees, this comprehensive cheat sheet is pretty much the definition of "everything." To make it even easier for you ('tis the season, after all!), we've categorized our picks by 'hood. Here's the catch: You have to cut up the credit card cut yourself off at some point.
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Chicago-native and Bonobos founder Andy Dunn (he started the brand with Trunk Club’s Brian Spaly) just opened Chicago’s first guideshop, where stylists provide one-on-one consultations with guys to find the perfect-fitting pair of pants and dole out advice on how to wear everything from plaid oxfords to bowties to embroidered cords. While he shops, you can sidle up to the in-store bar for a cocktail and pick out one of the all-American oxfords, perfect for “borrowing” from your guy’s closet.
Bonobos, 313 West Superior Street (between Orleans and Franklin streets); 312-465-2499.

Photo: Courtesy of Bonobos
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C. Dahlstedt
Chicago designer Carl Dahlstedt’s storefront is stocked with men’s and women’s collections in fine fabrics. Think cashmere linings, flattering cocktail dresses, and an updated twist on classic button-downs.
C. Dahlstedt, 2028 West Division Street (between Damen and Hoyne avenues); 773-687-8273.

Photo: Courtesy of C. Dahlstedt
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This newly opened location is Bluemercury’s second store in the city and carries a selection of high-end beauty products from brands like Laura Mercier, La Mer, and Bobbi Brown, as well as a new green cosmeceutical line created by co-founder Marla Malcolm Beck. Named M-61, the line has the high efficacy levels of powerful ingredients like glycolics and peptides without filler ingredients like parabens and sulfates.
Bluemercury, 3512 North Southport Avenue (between Eddy Street and Cornelia Avenue); 773-868-1300.

Photo: Courtesy of Bluemercury
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Otherwise known as Anthropologie’s bridal outpost, BHLDN is stocked with plenty of lace, tulle, and beadwork. But we’re partial to the selection of girlie dresses, perfect for non-wedding occasions, and the sparkly accessories, which deserve so much more than just one special day.
BHLDN, 8 East Walton Street (between State and Rush Streets); 312-573-2573.

Photo: Courtesy of BHLDN
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Not just a boutique in Chicago, Cerato is truly a Chicago boutique, with its racks of apparel and accessories from local designers like Frei, Eskell, Horacio Nieto, Elise Bergman, and many more.
Cerato, 3451 North Southport Avenue (between Cornelia and Newport avenues); 773-248-8604.

Photo: Courtesy of Cerato
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It’s next to impossible to miss the brand-new Burberry on Michigan Avenue, standing five floors tall with an LED-illuminate black chrome and glass exterior façade in the Burberry check pattern. In addition to Prorsum, London, and Brit collections for men and women, the store boasts the first in-store Burberry Beauty consultation counter in North America and a physical space for the online Burberry Bespoke program, which allows shoppers to customize one of the store’s iconic trench coats.
Burberry, 633 North Michigan Avenue (between Erie and Ontario streets); 312-787-2500.

Photo: Courtesy of Burberry
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Coach recently debuted a completely renovated 6,385-square-foot Michigan Avenue location and launched its fall Legacy 2012 collection of leather handbags and accessories. (We’re loving the iPad case that doubles as an oversized envelope clutch.) Women’s handbags, shoes, outerwear, and accessories are on the first floor, while upstairs men’s bags, wallets, travel accessories, and outerwear sit in an industrial-inspired space.
Coach, 625 North Michigan Avenue (between Ontario and Ohio streets); 312-587-3167.

Photo: Courtesy of Coach
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This just-opened boutique is the first freestanding Chicago location for legendary Parisian perfumeur and candlemaker Diptyque. We suggest you shop the full line of Diptyque products (candles, perfumes, body lotions). We’re loving the holiday collection of candles in Kilim rugs-inspired packaging of emerald, ruby, and indigo blue geometric prints.
Diptyque, 1645 North Damen Avenue (between Wabansia and North avenues); 773-252-3989.

Photo: Courtesy of Diptyque
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Ever since Atlanta’s über-popular women’s apparel store DEKA opened its second location in Chicago in August, we can’t get enough of the 2,500-square-foot boutique’s selection of athletic apparel from Splits59, Newton Running, and Adidas by Stella McCartney, as well as chic après-exercise clothing from Y-3, Sydney Evan Jewelry, and many more.
DEKA, 900 North Michigan Shops, 900 North Michigan Avenue, 3rd floor (between Walton Street and Delaware Place); 312-266-7100.

Photo: Courtesy of DEKA
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This Montreal-based loose-leaf tea retailer is opening three locations in Chicago this fall, starting with Bucktown. Shop more than 150 varieties, including signature blends, find an assortment of gifts, and taste test a cup of brew in the café.
DavidsTea, 1645 North Damen Avenue (between Wabansia and North avenues); 773-697-9737.

Photo: Courtesy of DavidsTea
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Cityblue Apparel & Denim
We love the dresses, knits, and outerwear in relaxed cuts from Gryphon, Halston Heritage, and Cut 25. This fall, shop C/Fan for CB, an exclusive capsule collection of silk crepe de chine tops and dresses designed by local star Christina Fan in collaboration with Cityblue owner Mallory Ulaszek. Say hello to your new everyday staples.
Cityblue Apparel & Denim, 1444 North Wells Street (between Schiller Street and North Avenue); 312-664-2222.

Photo: Courtesy of Cityblue
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Edith Hart
Located in one of the city’s hippest shopping districts, Edith Hart offers a nicely edited selection of modern, urban pieces that you didn’t know were missing from your wardrobe, but won’t be able to live without! Shop brands Bec & Bridge, Lilya, Sass & Bide, and countless others.
Edith Hart, 1917 North Damen Avenue (between Cortland Street and Armitage Avenue); 773-252-3350.

Photo: Courtesy of Edith Hart
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This shop is known for stocking lesser-known apparel and jewelry labels, but the one flying off the shelves is the in-house label Eskell, made by co-owners Kelly Whitesell and Elizabeth Del Castillo.
Eskell, 1509 North Milwaukee Avenue (at Honore Street); 773-486-0830.

Photo: Courtesy of Eskell
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Gem Bar
Local fine jewelry designer Erin Gallagher’s revamped Lincoln Park space, Gem Bar, is a custom-jewelry boutique boasting a selection of precious gemstones, crystals, and charms. We can’t get enough of her chain bib necklaces, gemstone cluster earrings, and monogram pendants.
Gem Bar, 1013 West Webster Avenue (between Kenmore and Sheffield avenues); 866-582-6709.

Photo: Courtesy of Gem Bar
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Emporio Armani
In October, the Armani Group opened its first Chicago outpost of Emporio Armani, a modern and contemporary line of clothing and accessories by Giorgio Armani. The 6,000-square-foot space houses women’s on the first level — you can’t miss the glistening wall of shoes and handbags as well as a beauty counter for on-site makeup applications — and the men’s collection on the second floor.
Emporio Armani, 25 East Oak Street (between Rush Street and Michigan Avenue); 312-573-4220.

Photo: Courtesy of Armani
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Handle With Care
Stocked with names like Rebecca Taylor, Tibi, Mara Hoffman, and Paige Denim, this upscale women’s boutique has been a Chicago mainstay for more than 30 years. While we love the unique selection of special occasion dresses and handbags, this fall we’re majorly crushing on the new chic outerwear pieces by Soia & Kyo.
Handle With Care, 1706 North Wells Street (between Eugenie Street and St. Paul Avenue); 312-751-2929.

Photo: Courtesy of Handle With Care
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Goorin Bros.
What started in 1895 — and is still today a family-led business — is one of our favorite shops to top off any look. From fedoras and Gatsby-style caps for men to fascinators and floppy wool felt hats in bright colors for women, the selection of well-made toppers in quality fabrics is endless at the two Chicago locations in Lakeview and Wicker Park.
Goorin Bros., 3243 North Broadway Avenue (between Melrose and Aldine avenues); 773-348-4287.

Photo: Courtesy of Goorin Brothers
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This world-renowned boutique stocks one of the most exclusive selections of high-end apparel, accessories, and shoes in the city. Designers like Suno, Proenza Schouler, and Creatures of the Wind fill the first floor, while the second includes an art gallery, selection of home décor items, and a café serving fresh, seasonal dishes.
Ikram, 15 East Huron Street (between State Street and Wabash Avenue); 312-587-1000.

Photo: Courtesy of Ikram
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It’s hard to top the selection of Erin Fetherston, Alice + Olivia, and Sachin + Babi in this boutique, but we have to admit, we’re smitten with the interior design of the space, which with its chandeliers and white walls mixed with graphic prints, feels like the inside of a glam vintage closet. What started as one boutique on Southport has now expanded to the Gold Coast inside the Waldorf Astoria Chicago and the newest addition, a Perchance Kids in Lincoln Park.
Perchance Gold Coast, 11 East Walton 
Street (between State and Rush streets); 773-244-1300.

Photo: Courtesy of Perchance
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Jayson Home
Looking for unique furniture and home décor items? We love the selection at Jayson Home — a gorgeous mix of modern, elegant designs, and one-of-a-kind vintage furniture, tableware, lighting, candles, books, pillows, textiles, and more. Flea market find just got a whole new meaning.
Jayson Home, 1885 N Clybourn Avenue (between Kenmore Avenue and Wisconsin Street); 773-248-8180.

Photo: Courtesy of Jayson Home
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Laudi Vidni
Choose from eight sillouettes ($95-$545) and a range of premium leathers to design your own handbag. The best part is envisioning how it will fit you by virtually trying it on a model in your height range.
Laudi Vidni, 1007 West Armitage Avenue (between Kenmore and Sheffield avenues); 773-697-7847.

Photo: Courtesy of Laudi Vidni
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Clean lines and soft textures characterize Dana Killion’s elegant apparel. The modern, architecturally inspired pieces are handcrafted in Chicago and stocked alongside artisan jewelry, belts, and handbags.
Killion, 1006 West Armitage Avenue (between Kenmore and Sheffield avenues); 773-348-2790.

Photo: Courtesy of Killion
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Have a fashion-interested but slightly inhibited man in your life? With brands like Wolverine, Tanner Goods, and Gitman Bros., Haberdash’s blend of hip styles and old-school philosophy of well-made clothing is the perfect place to start taking risks.
Haberdash, 607 North State Street (between Ontario and Ohio streets); 312-624-8551.

Photo: Courtesy of Haberdash
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Le Dress
Known as a one-stop-shop for a night out, this Wicker Park boutique stocked with girlie accessories and frocks by Cynthia Steffe, Milly, and Shoshanna now carries tops and bottoms (including Chicago’s own denim brand Henry & Belle) as well as an in-house line, Denella, of colorful dresses and silk tops ($108-$262).
Le Dress, 1741 West Division Street (between Wood Street and Hermitage Avenue); 773-697-9899.

Photo: Courtesy of Le Dress
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LILL Studio
Founded in 1999 by Chicagoan Jen Velarde, custom handbag boutique LILL Studio recently opened a new boutique in The 900 North Michigan Shops. That's where designing your own handbag (from the store’s 40 styles and 140 fabrics, including new offerings in canvas, leather, and gold or silver metals) now means tapping into the technology of a 65-inch HD touchscreen that walks customers through the design process.
LILL Studio, 900 North Michigan Avenue, 5th floor (between Walton Street and Delaware Place); 312-344-1825.

Photo: Courtesy of LILL Studio
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So long, Niketown! After walking through the Michael Jordan-themed first floor of the new Nike store, head to the section of stylish, active apparel or utilize new NikeID technology to custom-design your own pair of running shoes.
Nike, 669 Michigan Avenue (between Erie and Huron streets); 312-642-6363.

Photo: Courtesy of Nike
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Luxury Garage Sale
This fall, high-end consignment service Luxury Garage Sale opened its first brick and mortar storefront where label-loving fashionistas can pick up designer, vintage, and contemporary apparel (think Chanel, Tom Ford, Hermès, and Isabel Marant) at a fraction of the retail price. Check out the unbelievable selection of designer and costume jewelry.
Luxury Garage Sale, 1658 North Wells Street (between North Avenue and Eugenie Street); 312-291-9126.

Photo: Courtesy of Luxury Garage Sale
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Oak Street is packed with luxe jewelry stores, but we’re so in love with the Nudo collection of stackable rings that we keep coming back to Pomellato. Get ready to swoon over pieces with a modern, yet timeless aesthetic. And oh, did we mention the stunning precious gems and diamonds?
Pomellato, 41 East Oak Street (between Rush Street and Michigan Avenue); 312-649-9720.

Photo: Courtesy of Pomellato
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Oliver Peoples
Located in prime real estate with neighbors like Barneys New York and Hermès, this stylish eyewear boutique offers optical frames and sunglasses in the celeb-worshipped brand’s three iconic labels: Oliver Peoples Eyewear, Paul Smith Spectacles, and Mosley Tribes.
Oliver Peoples, 941 North Rush Street (between Oak and Walton streets); 312-266-9000.

Photo: Courtesy of Oliver Peoples
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Housed in the iconic Tree Studio building (designed in 1894 as an artists’ residence), P.O.S.H. offers an eclectic sampling of vintage hotel items and estate silver, china, and dinnerware, as well as European flea market finds for the home. Pick up one-of-a-kind gifts and home accessories, right here.
P.O.S.H., 613 North State Street (between Ontario and Ohio streets); 312-280-1602.

Photo: Courtesy of P.O.S.H.
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RSVP Gallery
Part gallery, part boutique, this space houses artistic home items like artistic coffee table books and Kaikai Kiki Co. rainbow cushions, as well as ready-to-wear for men and women and statement accessories (we’re salivating over a 3.1 Phillip Lim rabbit fur iPad case in absinthe green!).
RSVP Gallery, 1753 North Damen Avenue (between Willow and Churchill streets); 773-770-6666.

Photo: Courtesy of RSVP Gallery
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Scoop NYC
Expect to do some serious one-stop shopping of covetable designers at this boutique, which is known for its nicely edited selection of edgy but wearable designs by names like Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, and Missoni.
Scoop NYC, 1009 North Rush Street (between Oak Street and Bellevue Place); 312-649-9880.

Photo: Courtesy of Scoop
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The beloved vintage and contemporary boutique on Oak Street recently relocated to Walton, into a one-story, modern space with moveable installations that periodically change with one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories. Shop new brands Rachel Zoe, Friend of Mine, and Capulet, as well as a Live Lovely Lifestyle section with incense, roll-on perfumes, and scented candles in the boutique’s own scent.
Sofia, 100 East Walton Street, Ste. 106 (between Michigan Avenue and Huguelet Place); 312-640-0878.

Photo: Courtesy of Sofia
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Stocked with women’s, men’s, and denim collections, this is the only Chicago location of the luxury brand best known for its signature cashmere and leather pieces.
Vince, 106 East Oak Street (between Rush Street and Michigan Avenue); 312-280-6890.

Photo: Courtesy of Vince
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This chic boutique is nestled in between the tourist traffic of Nordstrom and Oak Street’s shopping row. Expect a well-curated selection of hip designers like Issa, Vivienne Westwood, and Alberto Fasciani not easily found elsewhere.
Sarca, 710 North Wabash Avenue (between Superior and Huron streets); 312-255-0900.

Photo: Courtesy of Sarca