In the last year, we’ve said goodbye to some of our favorite boutiques (Sofia, Roam and Le Dress, to name just a few). But there’s a crop of new shops emerging in Chicago — everything from international imports to beloved national brands to some serious local talent. We’ve done the research on the best of these new boutiques so you can get down to business and start scoring some fabulous finds.
Zadig & Voltaire is one of a few edgy French brands to hit Oak Street this past summer — and if the cultlike clientele is any indication, the shop is primed to do well. An international chain, it sells fashion-forward and casual shift dresses ($175-$375), knit tops ($340-$795), cashmere sweaters and cardigans ($379-$940), and funky totes ($290-$610). We’ve got our eyes on the slim-cut velour pants ($285) and fun, midthigh printed skirts ($205).
A new arrival on Armitage this summer (in the former Killion space, just west of Sheffield), this upscale men’s and women’s boutique sells a small selection of unique European designer pieces, alongside your everyday denim and party frocks (think Red Valentino dresses, $595-$995, and J Brand skinnies, $180). Other brands in this elegant boutique include Missoni, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, Milly, Moschino and Victoria Beckham. Overwhelmed by the standout stuff? The lovely and knowledgeable owners, mother-daughter duo Gisele and Ari Washington, are usually on-site to answer any questions.
Opened in March by longtime Chicago stylist Tamika Maria Price, Standout Style stocks trendy-but-classic clothing and accessories, ranging from sizes XS-3XL — think on-trend jumpsuits ($50-$90), flowy blouses ($30-$63) and skinny jeans ($63-$90). You’ll also find handbags, scarves and jewelry, plus pieces from local designers like Angela Morano and Shontay Pinder. Even better? The shop offers complimentary styling and drinks while you browse.
Open since August, the Bucktown location of this eclectic clothing and lifestyle boutique features a small mix of carefully curated lines, like locally based denim brand Henry & Belle ($146-$172), Free People ($20-$150) and Jack by BB Dakota ($42-$98). On top of the cute and affordable clothes, the charming shop carries jewelry, accessories and gifts — plus one-of-a-kind vintage furniture and décor.
1735 N. Damen, (773) 687-9731; Shopvintagecharm.com
There’s more than just clothing inside this West Loop specialty boutique, which opened in March and carries contemporary designers like London’s House of Holland, Carven, MSGM, Elizabeth and James, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Owner and SAIC grad Jake Kim opened the brick-and-mortar store after five years of running an online business and serving as a style adviser. We recommend getting your hands on the shop’s white American Retro sweater ($225), the Untitled and Co Soft Grunge is Dead sweatshirt ($72), the flirty Carolina K Aurea knit dress ($275) — and, of course, all the handbags.
We heard whispers about this French brand’s beautiful clothes before its arrival in January — now, we’re obsessed. Sister boutique to Maje, located right next door, the shop sells tailored but edgy women’s dresses ($25-$470), pants ($195-$495), skirts ($245-$595) and much more. Around the world, Sandro is renowned for its outerwear — think wool and down coats updated with leather details — and its Varda dark green collared shearling jacket ($2,395) is one of the standouts this season.
The first city location of the California-casual line, Splendid opened in March; since then, Chicagoans have flocked to the store for its colorful, comfortable collections for women, men, kids and babies. This fall, we’re hooked on its super-soft thermal and cashmere cardigans ($90-$288), long-sleeve maxi dresses ($178), flattering leggings ($68-$118) and jumpsuits ($158-$198).
We’ve been huge fans of this chic women’s line for years, so when the store opened in April, we headed there immediately to check out its selection of flirty clothes and accessories. This season, we’re lusting after the leather pleat skirt ($1,210), Addison bow striped jacket ($396) and the line’s sexy-but-classy embellished low V-neck dress ($597).
This small but cohesive boutique, open since June, carries a dynamic array of contemporary clothing and accessories. The owners, cousins Lexy and Lauren Vallortigara, have partnered with a large European distributor to sell a small selection of designer handbags — including pieces from Valentino, Saint Laurent, Hermès, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Prada and Balenciaga. Clothing ranges from high-end to affordable — think Rachel Zoe sweaters, dresses and pants ($200-$500); Doma Leather jackets ($598); Lovers + Friends blouses, skirts and dresses ($50-$200); Lauren Moshi T-shirts and hoodies ($88-$215) and Black Orchid denim ($136-$184).
This chic, casual shop, open since February, caters to moms who spend their days chasing after their kids — and want to look great doing it. We love the denim options from brands like AG ($168-$215), 7 For All Mankind ($168-$210) and Paige ($129-$219), plus the flattering but comfy blouses, dresses and sweaters. The store also stocks on-trend shoes like leopard flats ($78), Superga sneakers ($65) and Steve Madden slip-on sneakers ($60).