7 Cool Shops To Visit In Chicago This Weekend

Chicago is no slouch when it comes to awesome shopping options. From the swank department stores and luxury flagships of the beloved Magnificent Mile to the discount outlets of the Loop, there’s certainly something for everyone in the Windy City. But as much as we love the easy shopping options of those neighborhoods, there are a few areas whose shops we find especially enchanting: Namely, Wicker Park and Logan Square. With their collective array of sleek boutiques, concept stores, and under-the-radar shopping options, we can’t seem to stop ourselves from bee-lining it to those neighborhoods whenever we find ourselves in the Midwest’s biggest city.

Since Lollapalooza is upon us — we’re guessing you may find yourself in Chi-town with a few extra hours to spare — we thought now would be as good a time as any to share some of our favorite shopping destinations in and around those neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for a few easy pieces to supplement your summer festival uniform or something just a wee bit fancier, you’re guaranteed to find it at one of these must-visit Chicago stores.
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Courtesy: Tusk.

Thanks to its quirky assortment and minimalist vibe, this recent addition to the up-and-coming Logan Square neighborhood has quickly become one of the buzziest spots in town — especially among the city’s creative set. Though the shop’s evening- and weekend-only hours may be a little unorthodox — owner Mary Eleanor Wallace still has her day job as a nurse — Tusk is definitely worth a visit. Expect to find a sweet assortment of cheekily printed clothing, accessories, and home goods from local artists, plus an amazing selection of handpicked vintage items. With its impeccable decor made up of pale wood display cubes and bleached-out floors, you’ll definitely want to stay even after you’re done browsing — which is probably fine: The shop often plays hosts to pop-up gallery parties and community arts events, too.

Tusk, 3205 West Armitage; 423-903-7093
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Courtesy: Penelope's.

Penelope’s is exactly the kind of shop you’d hope to find in Chicago’s hip Wicker Park neighborhood: small, personal, and filled with an on-the-nose assortment of easygoing pieces you’ll want to wear right this very moment. Among the choices: Printed dresses by Dusen Dusen, leather pouches by Baggu, striped culottes by Ace & Jig, A-line denim skirts by A.P.C., wooden clogs by Maguba, and just enough Rachel Comey to make your palms sweaty with lust. As if all that isn’t enough, there’s also this: Penelope’s stocks a wide range of non-famous (but equally cool) brands at excellent prices, too. Many pieces hover at or below the $100 mark, meaning you can have your style and eat, too.

Penelope’s, 1913 West Division St; (773) 395-2351
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Courtesy: Ikram.

No wonder Ikram is such a Midwest legend: With its glossy red façade and circular windows, it looks like it’d be more at home in Milan than on Chicago’s tony Gold Coast. You’ll feel that same sense of “pinch me” amazement when you glimpse the selection, which basically reads like a who’s who from the international fashion calendar. Think: Proenza Schouler, Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garçons, Sacai, and Lanvin — all displayed on headless papier mâché mannequins and accented by one-of-a-kind vintage jewels, of course. Once you’ve scoped out the jaw-dropping selection of Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks, visit Ikram’s on-site gallery before heading to the second floor cafe — it’s likely you’ve worked up an appetite from all that drooling.

Ikram, 15 East Huron St; (312) 587-1000
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Courtesy: Moon Voyage.
Moon Voyage

Susie Lee, the owner of Moon Voyage in Wicker Park, describes her shop as “edgy New Yorker meets laid-back Californian.” Sure enough, the cactus-accented Pierce Avenue store is stocked with plenty of pieces that any stylish out-of-towner would love: cult Korean beauty products, bohemian babydoll dresses, raw-crystal rings, acid wash denim crop tops, and lots of slouchy jumpsuits. But if the selection of Ace & Jig, Ilana Kohn, American Retro, and Mara Hoffman is meant to call to mind a coastal sensibility, the in-store service is the epitome of good ol’ fashioned Midwestern nice: Lee and her sales associates greet every customer like they’re an old friend, but they never, ever hover.

Moon Voyage, 2010 West Pierce Ave; (773) 423-8853
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Courtesy: RSVP Gallery.
RSVP Gallery

Where does Kanye West get his Chi-town fashion fix? RSVP Gallery, obviously. Not only is this basement-level concept shop owned by Yeezus’ longtime style advisor (and Chicago native) Virgil Abloh, it’s also heralded as this city’s answer to Paris’ Colette. With its gallery vibe and high-end assortment of streetwear, it’s not hard to see why. Thanks to neon lights, a sparse layout, and museum pedestals lined with the latest accoutrements (wallets from Commes des Garçons, figurines from Bape, books by Rizzoli, shoes from Raf Simons), there’s plenty of hype-worthy eye candy in this Wicker Park shop to occupy your time.

RSVP Gallery, 1753 North Damen Ave; (773) 770-6666
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Courtesy: Blake.

Yes, it’s true that a simple visit to Blake can sometimes feel like a clandestine mission, but don’t let the mysterious vibe fool you. You’ll definitely have to be buzzed in to enter, but once you make it through those stately doors (the store is housed in a former USPS building) you’ll be met with one of the liveliest fashion assortments the Windy City has on tap. The open, airy, white-walled shop is home to one of the city’s best selections of Dries Van Noten, plus an insane amount of European favorites, including lace dresses from Mary Katrantzou, cocoon coats from Balenciaga, and skinny tuxedo jackets from Saint Laurent. You’ll be so wowed by the rows and rows of goodies that you’ll forget all about the stress you may have felt upon arrival.

Blake, 212 West Chicago Ave; (312) 202-0047
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Courtesy: P.45.

It may be hard to believe, but Chicago wasn’t always the shopping mecca it has now become. Sure, department stores and luxury brands were always plentiful, but when it came to out-of-the-box shopping experiences, there wasn’t much to choose from. Enter P.45. The Wicker Park boutique was one of the first places to bring cool, contemporary designers and a bespoke boutique experience to town. Now in its 17th year, the impeccable shop is just as chic as ever, stocking a thoughtful mix of pieces from the likes of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Derek Lam 10 Crosby, Rachel Comey, Vanessa Bruno, VPL, and Creatures of Comfort, as well as shoes and accessories from Lizzie Fortunato and Eugenia Kim and denim from Mih and Paper Denim & Cloth. It’s no wonder P.45 is often on every in-the-know shopper’s can’t miss list.

P.45, 1643 North Damen Ave; (773) 862-4523

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