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The collection of Evelyn Daitchman of Axis of Evelyn inside of Open Secret Studios

Presenting: The 38 Best Vintage Shopping Experiences in Chicago

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Each season we make a list of the 38 most essential shopping experiences in the city- the Racked 38. These shops sell current season fashion and the greatest garments one can find pretty much anywhere. So we got to thinking, what about vintage shopping? Where in Chicago can you find the best vintage shopping-clothing that is decades old and perhaps arcing back into a trend? So we took on the task of sitting down and making a comprehensive list of where in Chicago you can find a variety of vintage and we're calling it The Vintage 38. Shops are far and wide ranging from neighborhoods like Pilsen (duh) and Back of the Yards (whaa?) to a street called Touhy Avenue near a miniature leaning tower of Pisa Niles. We tried to cover jewelry and accessories; vintage streetwear and vintage ball gowns and threw in a taste of vintage furnishings. As always, if you think we missed something, drop us a line or tell us in the comments.


Are you shopping elsewhere? Here are the 38 best vintage stores in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and online. Read More

Modern Cooperative

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This co-op offers local artists an opportunity to showcase and sell their pieces on a monthly basis. They also feature an assortment of curated, vintage furniture and home décor – with a focus on mid-century modern. And little Joplin here, he's the shop dog.

Antique and Resale Shoppe

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This shop is an agora of vintage costume jewelry and antique treasures all obsessively organized into a 1,200 square foot shop. They call them selves The 8th wonder of the world... this is true. The shoppe boasts a fresh new estate find each and every day and has the clientele book to keep it coming, as they should being in business over 30 years!

American Science & Surplus

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From retrorockets to microscopes, American Science and Surplus offers deadstock and new stuff (all things science-kitsch) for incredible prices. Want to bring a shopping list to the store? Visit their site, drop the items you want on your list into your shopping cart and then click “Create a Printable Shopping List.”

The Vintage Garage

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Vintage Garage Chicago is the city’s newest pop-up venue for buying and selling vintage and antique merchandise. Join in on the next Vintage Chicago Holiday Trunk show December 8-9 11:00AM-6:00PM both days.

Store B Vintage

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If you’re confused about what’s vintage and what’s “thrift,” let Store B clear up that confusion. Antique kitchenware, original designer pieces from the 40’s and dazzling accessories ensure these finds are unparalleled. Owner David Ginople keeps his strategy for obtaining these treasured pieces a well-kept secret (as the price tag often reflects). Bottom line? Finds worth every penny.

Martyn George

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A West Town shop serving up vintage culinary treasures from London-born prop stylist and Instagram wonder, Johanna Brannan Lowe. Open weekends noon to 6.
The Eskell store is a fantasy blend of the Eskell line, various hard to find labels and of course their first love: vintage. With a philosophy deeply embedded in personal style, they seek to help women feel their best – whether in vintage or modern styles.

Rad Vintage

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Rad Vintage is a 1700 square ft store that has a large selection of women’s and men’s vintage clothing and accessories from the 1940s to 1990s. With the largest selection of Starter jackets (almost every team) and Chicago Bears Cliff Engle sweaters, they also carry a large selection of vintage toys, clocks, character glasses, beer glassware, and 80s vintage telephones, such as the Lego, Mickey, Garfield and the Alf Phone.

Mr. & Mrs. Digz

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Featuring exclusive local artists like Andersonville fave Eva May and bad-boy brand Corporate Punk, Dlugolecka either handpicks (or makes) every item in her four-part concept store: new, gently used, handmade and vintage. There’s only one of everything, so shop fast. Bonus? They are pet friendly, so bring your furry friends to help you shop.

Buffalo Exchange

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Clothing and accessories are bought, sold and traded locally with store customers. Bring in your former favorites for trade or get cash on the spot. The inventory includes designer labels, vintage, jeans, leather, current basics and one-of-a-kind items. You'll also find brand new merchandise and accessories.

Inside Home

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This furniture and accessories store sells both new and vintage-resale designer pieces. Specializing in Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency, your home will get that collected look you desire.

Vile & Valiant

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This new London boutique showcases independent designers who have a bold and interesting take on fashion. Also in the mix? Vintage pieces (draped on pink hangers) and 1950s department store fixtures and even a few period wigs are thrown into the mix. Unusual finds with impeccable style.

The Golden Triangle

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Established in 1989 by Douglas Van Tress and Chauwarin Tuntisak, The Golden Triangle began by selling the artifacts and antiques from just one city – Chiang Mai, Thailand. Now, antiques from Asia and Europe abound. With a unique blend of ancient and modern, every collector or decorator will clamor for these pieces, suitable for any home.

Jugrnaut

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A home-grown streetwear and vintage apparel boutique, the co-owners combined efforts to establish themselves as the go-to spot for fashion kids, hip-hop heads, skaters, and anybody with an interest in any type of culture.

Shop 1021

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This Logan Square boutique has everything from hostess gifts to vintage book cover postcards. Spilled Ink Stationers also offer handmade cards to go with those one-of-a kind purchases.

Sophie's Closet

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With high quality designer apparel, fashion accessories and home décor items, Sophie’s Closet feels like stepping into someone’s home (with a much better closet).

Woolly Mammoth

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A curiosity cabinet of items resurrected from the past, Woolly specializes in antique and vintage. Oh, but that’s not all. A motionless zoo and “touchable” museum, gawk at specimens, taxidermy, art, medical doodads, atypical collectibles, unusual objects, and strange whatchamacallits. Fun for the whole family. The amaze-balls piece de resistance of the season? Why, a 8 foot tall bust of a giraffe.

Edgewater Antique Mall

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With an emphasis on Mid Century Modern design, perusers will find Art Deco, Modernist, Industrial and everything in between. This huge mall is packed with furniture, accessories, art, jewelry, clothing, objects and ephemera. (They also offer 30-day layaway as well as prop rentals and reasonable delivery services.)

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

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One of America's premier auction houses, Leslie Hindman has grown her business to outposts stretching from Naples to New Orleans to Denver and back again to her home base in the West Loop. Hindman Auctioneers stage sales of fine jewelry and timepieces, fine books and manuscripts, vintage couture and modern and contemporary art.

Randolph Street Market

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Very well known across the United States for having one of Chicago's longstanding large flea markets with specialized annual markets. Vendors come in from across the Midwest and in some cases, the country, set up shop for The Chicago Antique Market, The Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Market and the Holiday Market. It all goes down indoors and out (when the weather is nice) at Plumber's Hall in the West Loop.

Silver Moon

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On North Ave at Wood Silver Moon specializes in vintage pieces from the 1920s and offers one of a kind vintage bridal. Utilized by stylists from across the city like April Francis for their highly curated selection, you'll either walk away in awe or with more shopping bags than you can handle.

Comet Vintage

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Opened last year in the heat of 18th street, owners, Jamie and Jen have sourced some of the best vintage and hard to find furniture we've known in the area... ever. The official name of the store, Comet Vintage is given after a folkloric superstition that great wines are made in the years of really great comets, making a "comet vintage wine". The goal with this new vintage store as the name alludes to is to get some of the most rare stock across the board. And we think they've succeeded.

Night & Day Vintage

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Technically located in Roscoe Village, this shop has freakish hours. Call ahead. This being said, the shop sells a wide array of clothing and a smattering of props and its very accessible. We're sayin' you'll walk out of there with a whole new wardrobe for under $100.

Ragstock

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You may only know Ragstock for ugly Christmas sweaters but they're open year round selling new and used, limited and overstocked items for both men and women.

Suburban Secrets

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This cute little gem just celebrated it's one-year anniversary and has already gained quite a following. Under young ownership the shop stays fresh with its vintage lifestyle offerings. They'll have lingerie, dresses and accessories among furniture and tabletop items like barware.

Pilsen Vintage & Thrift

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One of the freak shows down south of Roosevelt has got to be Pilsen Vintage and Thrift. They've got a great variety of items - think clothes, shoes, vases, bow ties, dishes, hand bags, art and frames, vintage glassware an mugs and kitchenware.

Clothes Optional Vintage

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Owls. Besides being lusciously heavy on the owls Clothes Optional's doubt decker space is packed to the gills with color coded racks and off the wall prints. Keep your ear to the ground for the rotating art shows on the walls and occasional beer bashes.

The Vintage Bazaar

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The Vintage Bazaar, Chicago's largest roving flea, will take up residence in The Aragon Ballroom each second Sunday during the summer starting June 10. Shop 200+ vendors of modern vintage decor, furniture, clothing and accessories, plus local food, beer, cocktails, and DJ entertainment.

Kokorokoko

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Crazytown exploded over there on Milwaukee and you can now buy its remnants at Kokorokoko. Besides having a really awesome name, the racks at this west side haven for outstanding brights and neons from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Shop men's women's, bags, sunglasses (FAVE!) and shoes. Oh, and there's trading cards as well.
Known to some as the place where Brown Elephant used to be, this shop focuses on 1950s-70s modernism.

Swap-o-rama

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A little more junk driven than Randolph Street but less "street" than Maxwell Street, the Swap-O-Rama has nearly everything one could wonder about except for higher end clothing and accessories- and you really have to search for stuff. It gets packed early and stays that way throughout the day. Also, because it is so far from the Loop prices are more reasonable. Other Swap-O-Rama locations are 4600 West Lake Street in Melrose Park and 4350 West 129th Street in Alsip. Check the site for dates and times.

Dethrose Vintage

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Owner, Karyn Dethrow has been an Etsy vixen and a staple of markets like Randolph Street, Heaven Gallery and The Vintage Bazaar for years. Her selection ranges from Hollywood high fashion to 50s housewife but you best bet - every piece you'll find in her trunks is even more unique as the previous. To find out where she'll be next, email her at dethrosevintage@gmail.com

Knee Deep

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Get your ass on the Pink Line and go down here to check this place out. It's a legend on the strip and they've got a bazillion Yelp reviews. Find dresses priced in the $20 -$60 range, electric brights, hats and fascinators, and so much more.

Luxury Garage Sale

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Chicago's go-to girls for haute clothing and accessories, Brielle Buchberg and Lindsay Segal have made a name for themselves by cleaning out the closets of well-heeled women around the city and on the North Shore to bring stellar merchandise to the masses at their pop-up sales. This fall, the duo [finally] opened a brick & mortar in Old Town that rivals the best selections of Decades in LA or Amarcord in New York.

Open Secret Studios

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Evelyn Daitchman, owner of Axis of Evelyn is Chicago's premier vintage stylist and vintage clothing and accessory vendor. You may remember what you scored at this year's liquidation - well sit back down because that was just a closet edit. Her stock now is even better than before.

Lu Lu's at the Belle Kay

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LuLu’s is all about elegant vintage. Think old glamor in extraordinary jewelry, couture gowns and party dresses and furs. Plus, Lulu's specializes in vintage bridal gowns. Wham bam, thank YOU, ma'am.

Broadway Antique Market

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A huge showroom with more than a handful of vendors that keep their booths packed (in some cases it can be overwhelming) with clothing, hats, posters, lamps, glassware, jewelry (Oh! The jewelry)... there is even some vintage porn.

Viva Vintage Clothing

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Once located in Evanston, this buy/sell boutique-come showroom does all kinds of clothing, accessories, jewelry, lingerie and s bit of menswear. Nowadays the showroom is only open Fridays 12-7PM, otherwise by appointment and always online. Buy and sell vintage clothing

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Modern Cooperative

This co-op offers local artists an opportunity to showcase and sell their pieces on a monthly basis. They also feature an assortment of curated, vintage furniture and home décor – with a focus on mid-century modern. And little Joplin here, he's the shop dog.

Antique and Resale Shoppe

This shop is an agora of vintage costume jewelry and antique treasures all obsessively organized into a 1,200 square foot shop. They call them selves The 8th wonder of the world... this is true. The shoppe boasts a fresh new estate find each and every day and has the clientele book to keep it coming, as they should being in business over 30 years!

American Science & Surplus