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 Photo: Market Supply Co.
Photo: Market Supply Co.

Chicago's 38 Best Independent Boutiques

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Photo: Market Supply Co.

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Our latest roundup of Chicago's best independent boutiques celebrates shops that champion local artists, foster discussion (and crafts!), and have unique perks like in-store barber shops or candy baskets with a 1920s theme. Take a peek at our selection of Chicago's indie gems, below.


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1. Local Goods Chicago

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5354 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60646
(708) 669-7520
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True to its name, this Devon Avenue shop stocks locally made merchandise and items that advertise hometown love. Merch includes Abbey Brown Soaps, sweets from Cheshire Cat Confectionery, and crafts from Muggy Tuesday. [Photo: via Local Goods Chicago]

2. SIFU Design Studio

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6054 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60660
Stocking fine yarns, apothecary items, and gifts, this unique shop is named after the Chinese kung-fu term for "master" or "teacher."Staffers encourage shoppers to become the master of their craft, and are happy to help them wade through knitting needles, crochet hooks, and more. [Photo: via Sifu Design]

3. Andersonville Galleria

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5247 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-8570
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The Andersonville Galleria houses hundreds of independently owned businesses and provides a brick-and-mortar spot for independent artists and designers. [Photo: via Andersonville Galleria]

4. Milk Handmade

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5137 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(847) 833-6309
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In Andersonville, Milk Handmade specializes in small-batch collections and—you guessed it—handmade goods. Items range from sequined boleros to lavender-vanilla-oat soap, and the shop participates in events such as "Andersonville Loves Local." [Photo: via Milk Handmade]

5. Neighborly

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2003 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, Il 60618
(773) 840-2456
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From the founders of Ork Posters, this friendly shop stocks modern home goods, artwork, and gifts. Its frequent "House Guest" series lets local artists take over the space for a day and showcase a full gamut of goods. [Photo: via Neighborly]

6. Alapash

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1944 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, Il 60613
Devoted to terrariums and home accessories, this Ravenswood boutique sells everything from a Zen terrarium D.I.Y. kit to cactus-print tea towels. [Photo: via Alapash]

7. Transistor

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3819 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 863-1375
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A gallery-slash-shop, Transitor stocks "work and wares" from some 80 artists. It also has a recording space, a screening room, and its own webcast. [Photo: via Transitor]

8. Belmont Army

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855 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 549-1038
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What began as an army/navy surplus store in 1975 has grown—and grown. These days, the Chicago classic stocks everything from on-trend fashion to skater gear and vintage boots. [Photo: via Belmont Army Chicago]

9. Heritage General Store

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2959 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 245-3005
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Selling gorgeously crafted bikes that are made by hand in Chicago, the store also has a coffee shop and a retail space with items from Winter Session, PoCampo, and more. [Photo: via Heritage General Store]

10. Virtu

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2035 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 235-3790
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Recently relocated, this delightful gift shop stocks paper goods, jewelry, kitchen wares, and anything else that fits in a stocking, a wrapped box, or on a finger. Owner Julie Horowitz gets positively giddy when it comes to talking gifts, so don't be afraid to chat up staffers. [Photo: via Virtu]

11. Wolfbait & B-Girls

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3131 W Logan Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 698-8685
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Founded by two local designers, Shirley Kienitz and Jenny Stadler, the Logan Square shop showcases goods from more than 170 local artisans and fair-trade companies. [Photo: via Wolfbait & B-Girls]

12. Art Effect

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934 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
The seemingly endless assortment of merchandise runs the gamut from maxi dresses to trinket boxes shaped like Parisian macarons. It has been a Lincoln Park staple since 1984. [Photo: via Art Effect]

13. Silver Moon

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1721 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-5797
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Owned by a former rock-star stylist, this store lays claim to the area's largest selection of mint-condition, vintage bridal goods. It has items dating back to the 1890s, and accessories such as a 1950s straw hat and 1930s cufflinks. [Photo: via Facebook]

14. Citizen Stone

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1440 North Dayton Street
Chicago, IL 60642
Alexis Cozzini, who formerly owned SARACA, opened this loft-style showroom in the fall of 2013. The by-appointment store stocks women's clothing, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. There are also home goods, techie toys, beauty products, and more. [Photo: Courtesy of Citizen Stone]

15. Labrabbit Optics

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1104 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 957-4733
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One of Chicago's retail treasures, Labrabbit is where the stylish, bespectacled set heads for contemporary and vintage frames.

16. Penelope's

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1913 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 395-2351
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Owned by a husband-and-wife duo, Penelope's stocks clothing for men and women from indie lines such Rachel Comey. Also: there are store pugs. [Photo: via Penelope's]

17. Kokorokoko

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1321 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
This neon-hued shop specializes in vintage threads with an '80s aesthetic. Current items include a teal hooded dress from Gianfranco Ferre and an '80s party dress with a poufy floral skirt. [Photo: via Kokoroko]

18. Una Mae's Freak Boutique

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1528 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 276-7002
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With affordable vintage clothing and accessories for both men and women. There are also goods from contemporary brands such as Element and Chelsea Crew and gift-worthy items such as fragrances from Hidden Folk. [Photo: via Una Mae's Freak Boutique]

19. Trillium

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1744 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 698-8162
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Owner Erica Cook is passionate about small designers in the Chicago community, and hosts in-store events to showcase their wares. Primarily focused on women's clothing (but with something for the boys as well), the Wicker Park Shop stocks styles from designers such as Libertine Libertine and La Fee Verte. [Photo: via Trillium]

20. Open Books

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213 W Institute Pl
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 475-1355
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Open Books is a nonprofit organization that fosters literacy through programs, book donations, and more. Its unique model combines book donations with a retail bookstore and an e-commerce program. [Photo: via Open Books]

21. Vividbraille

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2064 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
With an in-house fashion label stitched up in the back of the store, Vividbraille also represents international brands such as Opening Ceremony and Yuketen. The boutique offers classes in crafty trades such as screen-printing, and also hosts events with other local artisans. [Photo: via Vividbraille]

22. P.O.S.H.

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613 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654
Every piece tells a story at P.O.S.H. The welcoming shop is filled with hotel silver, reclaimed restaurant china, and flea-market finds including vintage canning jars and a painted oyster plate from France. [Photo: via P.O.S.H.]

23. Mignonette Bridal

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1747 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 880-9141
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Specializing in beautifully made goods for handmade wedding ceremonies, this full-service lifestyle boutique in Lakeview has delicate veils, vintage-style gowns, and gift-worthy jewelry. Photo: via Mignonette Bridal

24. Florodora

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330 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60604
Housed in a historic building in the Chicago Loop, Florodora carries comfortable, wearable looks for women. At its neighboring shoe store, Florodora Shoes, kicks come from international labels including All Black, Coclico, and All Black.

25. Modern Cooperative

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1215 West 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 226-8525
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The Pilsen store, which has a new home in Thalia Hall, constantly updates its selection of modern-vintage and handmade finds. On our wish list: handwoven pillows and adorable, Chicago-themed artworks from Emmy Star Brown. [Photo: via Modern Cooperative]

26. Morlen Sinoway

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This design studio and shop stocks furniture and accessories alongside artisan-made jewelry, ceramics, and glass. Owner Morlen Sinoway is the founder of the Guerilla Trunk Show, which lets artists of all stripes showcase their goods in the back of a truck. The event takes place during Neocon, the world's largest international trade fair.

27. Gallery Aesthete

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46 E Oak St, Fl 4
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 265-1883
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Straddling the line between art gallery and menswear boutique, this Oak Street shop displays cutting-edge fashion alongside thought-provoking art objects. Designers include Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester. [Photo: via Gallery Aesthete]

28. Eskell

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1509 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 486-0830
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Decked with antlers, vintage keys, and lacy shawls, this Wicker Park shop would make Stevie Nicks feel right at home. (Plus, you may be able to score fringed booties or overalls.) In addition to women's clothing and home goods, find jewelry from local designers including Cities in Dust. [Photo: via Eskell]

29. Abbey Brown Soap Artisan

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1162 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 738-2290
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With the cute tagline "shop local, bathe local," this rustic store sells handmade, olive-oil soaps in scents such as almond and lemongrass. There are also shea butters, body balms, and soothing goods for dogs. [Photo: via Abbey Brown Soap Artisan]

30. Aroma Workshop

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2050 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 871-1985
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This teeny, darling Lincoln Park shop has a D.I.Y. scent bar stocked with row upon row of fine fragrances and pure essential oils. [Photo: via Aroma Workshop]

31. Anastasia Chatzka

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1001 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
(586) 610-4096
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The namesake, local designer crafts feminine, fashion-forward dresses in eye-catching colors. Also find unique jewelry, cutely printed undergarments, and cozy knits. [Photo: via Anastasia Chatzka]

32. Judy Maxwell Home

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1363 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 787-9999
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Billed as an urban general store, this Old Town shop stocks oddities ranging from cake-shaped party hats to ties for dogs. Actress Joan Cusack is the owner. [Photo: via Judy Maxwell Home]

33. Hardscrabble Gifts, LLC

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3333 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60661
(773) 696-9574
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This Bridgeport shop specializes in handmade, Chicago-centric items and has a slew of quirky gifts to wade through. Items include steam punk, stained-glass jewelry, cupcake key chains, and original artwork. [Photo: via Hardscrabble Gifts LLC]

34. A Pied Shoe Boutique

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2037 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 281-2210
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This fabulous Roscoe Village boutique has been a community sweetheart since it opened six years ago. A European-inspired store, A Pied focuses on a cool mix of trendy and comfort without sacrificing your bank account. With international brands like La Canadienne, Fly London and Ilse Jacobsen, this has become a must-see whenever you need a new pair. [Photo: via Facebook]

35. Market Supply Co

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1747 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
The vintage boutique stocks women's dresses, blouses, and accessories from Dethrose Vintage. For men, there are tweed blazers and button-up tops from Pendleton. A handmade jewelry line called Clyde's Rebirth features designs made out of vintage and reclaimed goods, and on Fridays and Saturdays designer Merl Kinzie crafts custom baubles for guests as they shop. The boutique has a little barber shop in back, where co-owner Mike Ader (who's also the men's buyer) spiffs up shoppers with classic haircuts and beard-and-mustache trims. [Photo: via Market Supply Co.]

36. JGEREN

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1440 North Kingsbury Street
Chicago, IL 60642
(888) 609-2421
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Open by appointment only, the studio space has hides of leather decking its back walls and tables filled with leather samples. In crafting their bags, JGEREN owners Jen Gerenraich and Lori Wallis work with a factory in Cicero and use leather from English bridles and tornado gloves. [Photo: via Chicago Magazine]

37. Amy's Candy Bar

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4704 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 942-6386
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Local candy-lovers swear by this colorful Lincoln Square Shop, which stocks nostalgic treats as well as imported and artisan candy. There are also candy baskets themed by decade. [Photo: via Amy's Candy Bar]

38. Meadowlark

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1107 North California Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
312-568-9313
This Humboldt Park boutique specializes in vintage gear, but has a strict "no kitsch" policy. Look for clean, elegant women's fashion in neutral hues such as navy and taupe. Photo: Courtesy of Meadowlark

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1. Local Goods Chicago

5354 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60646
True to its name, this Devon Avenue shop stocks locally made merchandise and items that advertise hometown love. Merch includes Abbey Brown Soaps, sweets from Cheshire Cat Confectionery, and crafts from Muggy Tuesday. [Photo: via Local Goods Chicago]
5354 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60646

2. SIFU Design Studio

6054 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60660
Stocking fine yarns, apothecary items, and gifts, this unique shop is named after the Chinese kung-fu term for "master" or "teacher."Staffers encourage shoppers to become the master of their craft, and are happy to help them wade through knitting needles, crochet hooks, and more. [Photo: via Sifu Design]
6054 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60660

3. Andersonville Galleria

5247 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
The Andersonville Galleria houses hundreds of independently owned businesses and provides a brick-and-mortar spot for independent artists and designers. [Photo: via Andersonville Galleria]
5247 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

4. Milk Handmade

5137 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
In Andersonville, Milk Handmade specializes in small-batch collections and—you guessed it—handmade goods. Items range from sequined boleros to lavender-vanilla-oat soap, and the shop participates in events such as "Andersonville Loves Local." [Photo: via Milk Handmade]
5137 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

5. Neighborly

2003 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, Il 60618
From the founders of Ork Posters, this friendly shop stocks modern home goods, artwork, and gifts. Its frequent "House Guest" series lets local artists take over the space for a day and showcase a full gamut of goods. [Photo: via Neighborly]
2003 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, Il 60618

6. Alapash

1944 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, Il 60613
Devoted to terrariums and home accessories, this Ravenswood boutique sells everything from a Zen terrarium D.I.Y. kit to cactus-print tea towels. [Photo: via Alapash]
1944 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, Il 60613

7. Transistor

3819 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613