It used to be that rifling through a “second-hand store,” as they were called, meant you were down on your luck. Today, it’s usually a lucky venture snagging vintage treasures in great condition. You’re assured of that when you trek to any of these Chicago shops stocking clothing and accessories that only get better with age. Get a handful of other suggestions here.
Lost Girls Vintage
1219 W 18th St
Chicago IL 60608
With inspiration from “Carmen Miranda, Stevie Nicks, Moroccan design, Emmy Lou Harris and American rodeos,” Lost Girls Vintage is apparently for all girls. Expect very wearable clothing that is simultaneously on trend and vintage. According to owners Sarah Azzouzi and Kyla Embrey, “Right now we are stocking denim pieces of all kinds, denim vests, jeans from the 70-90s, denim dresses, suede mini skirts, patchwork pieces, fur and suede coats, platforms, bell bottoms and anything bohemian. What sets us apart? The road, the adventure, the color, the fun, the lack of fear with styling our clothing and our lives.” Oh yeah, don’t look for a storefront, but rather a shop inside ’76 Dodge RV the gals found on Craigslist.
4222 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
A move from Evanston to the current vintage showroom is open by appointment to browse and try on frocks, jewelry and accessories — there are many more vintage items available than on the business’ website. Amy Ernst Mayberry explains that “the majority of our stock is from the mid-century era, dating from the 1940s to the 1960s. We also sell some older pieces (1920s and 1930s) when we can acquire them in sturdy, wearable condition — as well as pieces from the 1970s and 80s that are fabulous enough to catch our eye! I should also mention that we sell mainly women’s vintage clothing, although we do have a small selection of men’s items as well.”
The Silver Umbrella
5305 S Hyde Park Blvd
Chicago, IL 60615
We have to give the South Side a little attention and The Silver Umbrella is an exceptional focal point. The Silver Umbrella carefully curates clothing, footwear, accessories, art, housewares and books. Stop by on any Tuesday and enjoy 20 percent off tempting items from brooches and statement jewelry to classy men’s jackets, trendy footwear, colorful pillows and mirrors in which to gaze at yourself donning your new old finds.
7214 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60631
It’s not all occurring in Bucktown, Wicker Park and Pilsen people, and if vintage jewelry is your fetish, get to the far northwest side’s The Antique and Resale Shoppe. There’s a gargantuan vintage costume jewelry selection sparkling with beads, rhinestones, from necklaces and bracelets to rings and tiaras. The business began in 1976, so it was eons ahead of the vintage curve. Expect to spend a ton of time in the 15,000-square-foot shop which also stocks accessories like scarves, hats, purses and a smattering of home decor.
1770 W. Berteau
Chicago, IL 60613
Recently relocated from Andersonville to Ravenswood, Mr. and Mrs DIGZ has been offering designer resale since 2009. What makes it different? According to owner Emilia Dlugolecka, “I receive items in on a daily basis, so inventory is always changing. One day it could be five vintage Chanel bags and the next an entire closet full of designer shoes, which is what happened last week. I picked up 30 pairs of Jimmy Choo, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Manolo Blahnik, Louboutin and YSL shoes.” She accepts items in mint condition so expect party, office and leisure wear and lots of exceptional accessories like designer sunglasses, jewelry and handbags. She wants clients to have those items that you cannot find anywhere else, like Gaultier sunglasses from the 80’s or Chanel handbags from the 90’s. “The REALLY hard part is to not keep them for myself!” Dlugolecak admits. The new loft space also offers plenty of room for fun events.
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.