Sears makes great lawn tractors and power tools, but you don’t want it to be the arbiter of your personal fashion statement. Boutiques offer carefully curated items from around the globe to dress, accessorize and scent the original that you are. Here are some winners that debuted in 2013.
1419 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610
With two successful boutiques under her trendy belt, style expert Mallory Ulaszek opened a new concept, Roam, in November 2013 featuring carefully curated designer brands for men and women, not widely sold around Chicago. Why choose Roam? Born back East, raised in the Midwest, living for a time in Italy and traveling the globe, Ulaszek honed a keen sense of effortless European style, relaxed California looks and New York’s easy attitude. Brands at her shop, located in the heart of Old Town, span from local to international for both sexes amid vintage furniture and a tad of taxidermy. Browse designer diffusion lines 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, See by Chloe, MM6, Halston Heritage and applauded emerging designers such as Daniel Vosovic, Anine Bing and Illesteva. By spring 2014, Roam plans to expand into footwear.
1872-1N N. Damen
Chicago, IL 60647
Opened in June 2013, von Z carries women’s apparel, SCHUTZ shoes, accessories, handmade gift items and a self-serve candy bar. Regulars love the diverse melange of American and international designer fashion available at affordable prices. Owner Jenna Zielbauer personally picks out each brand so personal shopping, one-on-one styling and private parties should be equally eclectic and spot-on. Look for Cotton Candy Couture, Zielbauer’s brand which is sold in boutiques across the US as well as goods from designers like Alice & Trixie, Bardot, Harlyn, Janessa Leone Hats, oneoneseven, mata hari, Hazel and many others.
900 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Young, Chicago-born designer Azeeza Khan’s place is tucked into the tiny 900 North Michigan shops and offers ready-to-wear dresses and separates, luxury tee shirts, gorgeous leather handbags, custom gowns and dazzling belts embroidered with stones. Khan’s designs feature hand embellishments of woven metals and faceted crystals creating one-of-kind pieces that have impressed in-the-know fashion personnel at Vogue, Marie Claire, Glamour and Elle.
Frederick Lynn Haberdasshere
9 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Clothing service for men, where a personal stylist or someone with a better style eye than yours helps pick out new duds, is getting to be a real trend. The new Frederick Lynn Haberdasshere takes the notion a step beyond with a posh but relaxed showroom and observant personal shoppers who will turn you into a meticulously sophisticated or put-together biz casual man in a matter of minutes. Although primarily catering to men, you can find a few things for women and children, too. The shop carries Dolcepunta ties from Italy, J.W. Hulme leather goods, custom umbrellas and exclusively sells Sterling & Burke leather goods including handbags. All you need do is make an appointment and get yourself to the River North.
1107 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Open in August 2013, Meadowlark is the brick and mortar dream of Wendi Grate and Kelly Asaf who saw a style void in Humboldt Park. You’ll find vintage clothing in classic styles and natural fabrics with nary a tacky cliche in the clean, comfortable shop. Expect lots of lovely neutrals, classy wool coats, minimalist designer options from the 80s and 90s, some 70s boho vintage and beautiful finds in the accessory department. Stock turns over a lot so stop in often for fresh selections.
Related: Best Chicago-Based Designers
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.