clock menu more-arrow no yes

Where to Buy Chicago's Coolest Sunglasses

View as Map

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.


Kosslyn shades, $380 at Oliver Peoples

Raise your hand if you've already lost your favorite pair of sunglasses this summer. Now raise your hand if you're secretly sick of last year's frames. If you currently have your hand raised, then this list is for you. We've pulled together fifteen of Chicago's best eyewear shops, from indie boutiques specializing in out-there vintage to major chains specializing in just about everything you can perch on the top of your nose. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.—Reporting by Jared Hatch and Jenny Berg


Read More

1. Quality Optical

Copy Link
4610 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 561-0870
Visit Website
Originally open in the Loop in 1920, this shop is now in the heart of Lincoln Square. Its eyewear selection ranges from on-trend to rare and vintage, and specs represent eras from 1930s through the 1970s. [Photo: via Yelp]

2. CustomEyes

Copy Link
3539 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 871-2020
Visit Website
Open since 2004, this Southport shop is the real deal: it's owned by optometrists. The store's offerings range from comprehensive eye exams to laser-vision correction, and it also stocks sunglasses. Frames come from Paul Smith, Oliver Peoples, and Prada. [Photo: via Yelp]

3. Eye Spy Optical

Copy Link
3350 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 477-2670
Visit Website
This adorable Lakeview shop— decked in hues that remind us of Pee-Wee's Playhouse—has been kicking since 1998. A selection of "unique frames" includes includes limited-production goods from small labels in Europe, Japan, and North America. [Photo: via Yelp]

4. Red Eye Optical

Copy Link
1869 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL
(773) 782-1660
Visit Website
This Ravenswood shop—which stocks sunglasses from brands such as Persol and Gucci—is dedicated to good deeds. Its owner, Dr. Matthew Gifford, travels to Honduras each year to give eye exams. [Photo: via Yelp]

5. Eye Want

Copy Link
1431 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 782-1744
Visit Website
The team at Eye Want believes that eyewear should be made in small batches and assembled by hand in a country known specifically for eyewear production. Visit their shop for hundreds of styles from independent brands hailing from France, Japan, England, Italy, Germany as well as original vintage styles from America. [Photo credit]

6. d/vision optical

Copy Link
1756 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-4848
Visit Website
A Division Street staple for sunglasses and prescription frames, this spot carries brands like Mykita and Paul Smith. Bonus: rotating art exhibits spruce up its walls. [Photo: via D/Vision]

7. Labrabbit Optics

Copy Link
1104 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 957-4733
Visit Website
One of Chicago's retail treasures, Labrabbit is where the stylish, bespectacled set heads for contemporary and vintage frames. [Photo: via Labrabbit Optics]

8. Oliver Peoples

Copy Link
941 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-9000
Visit Website
The Gold Coast outpost of this national chain carries vintage-style and on-trend shades for men and women. [Photo: via Oliver Peoples]

9. Glasses, Ltd.

Copy Link
900 N. Michigan Ave, 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 751-0073
Visit Website
Tucked away on the fifth floor of the 900 Shops, this hidden gem stocks stylish eyewear from brands like Oliver Peoples, Prada, Mykita, and Robert Mark. [Photo: via Glasses Ltd.]

10. Solstice

Copy Link
900 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 274-1617
Visit Website
Designer brands are the focus (get it?) at his Mag Mile shop. Find frames from McQueen, Persol, Balenciaga, Gucci, Armani, and more. [Photo: via Solstice]

11. Solo Eye Care

Copy Link
1444 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 588-5999
Visit Website
Laid out like an art gallery with gilded frames and gleaming wood fixtures, this is the South Loop spot for serious eyewear. Co-owned by a duo of highly pedigreed optometrists, the shop offers eye exams, specialized contact lenses, and eyewear from brands like Chanel, Salt. Optics, and IC! Berlin. [Photo: via Solo Eye Care]

12. Occhiali Eyeglass

Copy Link
1640 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 255-1977
Visit Website
This Old Town shop has a doctor on site, and carries sunglasses from global brands. Items come from Tom Ford, Salt, Lafont, and more. [Photo: via Facebook]

Loading comments...

1. Quality Optical

4610 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Originally open in the Loop in 1920, this shop is now in the heart of Lincoln Square. Its eyewear selection ranges from on-trend to rare and vintage, and specs represent eras from 1930s through the 1970s. [Photo: via Yelp]
4610 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

2. CustomEyes

3539 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Open since 2004, this Southport shop is the real deal: it's owned by optometrists. The store's offerings range from comprehensive eye exams to laser-vision correction, and it also stocks sunglasses. Frames come from Paul Smith, Oliver Peoples, and Prada. [Photo: via Yelp]
3539 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

3. Eye Spy Optical

3350 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
This adorable Lakeview shop— decked in hues that remind us of Pee-Wee's Playhouse—has been kicking since 1998. A selection of "unique frames" includes includes limited-production goods from small labels in Europe, Japan, and North America. [Photo: via Yelp]
3350 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

4. Red Eye Optical

1869 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL
This Ravenswood shop—which stocks sunglasses from brands such as Persol and Gucci—is dedicated to good deeds. Its owner, Dr. Matthew Gifford, travels to Honduras each year to give eye exams. [Photo: via Yelp]
1869 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL

5. Eye Want

1431 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
The team at Eye Want believes that eyewear should be made in small batches and assembled by hand in a country known specifically for eyewear production. Visit their shop for hundreds of styles from independent brands hailing from France, Japan, England, Italy, Germany as well as original vintage styles from America. [Photo credit]
1431 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

6. d/vision optical

1756 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
A Division Street staple for sunglasses and prescription frames, this spot carries brands like Mykita and Paul Smith. Bonus: rotating art exhibits spruce up its walls. [Photo: via D/Vision]
1756 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Labrabbit Optics

1104 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
One of Chicago's retail treasures, Labrabbit is where the stylish, bespectacled set heads for contemporary and vintage frames. [Photo: via Labrabbit Optics]
1104 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Oliver Peoples

941 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
The Gold Coast outpost of this national chain carries vintage-style and on-trend shades for men and women. [Photo: via Oliver Peoples]
941 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

9. Glasses, Ltd.

900 N. Michigan Ave, 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611
Tucked away on the fifth floor of the 900 Shops, this hidden gem stocks stylish eyewear from brands like Oliver Peoples, Prada, Mykita, and Robert Mark. [Photo: via Glasses Ltd.]
900 N. Michigan Ave, 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

10. Solstice

900 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Designer brands are the focus (get it?) at his Mag Mile shop. Find frames from McQueen, Persol, Balenciaga, Gucci, Armani, and more. [Photo: via Solstice]
900 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

11. Solo Eye Care

1444 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Laid out like an art gallery with gilded frames and gleaming wood fixtures, this is the South Loop spot for serious eyewear. Co-owned by a duo of highly pedigreed optometrists, the shop offers eye exams, specialized contact lenses, and eyewear from brands like Chanel, Salt. Optics, and IC! Berlin. [Photo: via Solo Eye Care]
1444 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

12. Occhiali Eyeglass

1640 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60614
This Old Town shop has a doctor on site, and carries sunglasses from global brands. Items come from Tom Ford, Salt, Lafont, and more. [Photo: via Facebook]
1640 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60614