Florodora (Photo: Ten Photos)
When shopping for clothes on vacation, it’s easy to be dragged into the usual tourist shops packed with tchotchkes and collegiate sweatshirts. (In Chicago, Michigan Avenue is teeming with them.) But rather than indulging the mediocrity, why not check out some of the city’s specialty boutiques instead? At the one of the Chicago stores below, you’ll be sure to find a locally-designed garment admirers will comment on long after you return home from your trip.
Located near the swanky stores by the Loop’s financial district, Florodora is a vintage-inspired boutique that can charm anyone. It sells beautiful, high-end clothes and bags, all of which are handmade in the United States or Europe. You’ll also find accessories and small trinkets that would make perfect gifts for the friends who couldn’t join you on your getaway. If you’re in the market for new kicks, Florodora Shoes is just next door.
Male and female visitors who dig the “modern and edgy”will love Future Garb. Besides the run of the mill dresses and tops, the shop offers a myriad of denim options that will surely stand out from most stores’ typical plain blue jeans. Future Garb’s storefront is designed in a sleek, minimalistic style, much like it’s merchandise.
Squasht is one of the few clothing boutiques in Chicago that can say all of its items are designed and produced locally. The store is well-known for their hats, which come in different patterns and colors. And if you need an expert opinion or want to know more about any of the styles, Squasht’s owner and designer, Lesley Timpe, is usually on hand.
The area around Armitage Avenue is chock-full of specialty stores, from tea to paper crafts; Comfort Me is one of the best on the block. The store has an Anthropologie feel, but many of the clothes actually come from local designers. Comfort Me is a great place to get a unique, Chicago-inspired keepsake that doesn’t look like it was made specifically for tourists.