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Five independent shops on Southport

While chain stores have hit the neighborhood, independent boutiques like Krista K. and Cerato Boutique still give this shopping strip character.

 (Photograph: Nicole Radja)
Photograph: Nicole Radja

Cerato Boutique(3451 N Southport Ave, 773-248-8604)
While you can find a handful of non-Chicago labels such as BB Dakota and Corey Lynn Calter at this store, it�s the list of locals that goes on and on: Elise Bergman, Eskell, Lara Miller, Horacio Nieto, Kate Boggiano, to name just a few. Notice sweet details like a vase of branches displaying affordable jewelry and spacious dressing rooms with wallpapered and exposed-brick walls.

 (Photograph: Tessa Marshall)
Photograph: Tessa Marshall

Custom Eyes(3539 N Southport Ave, 773-871-2020)
Any four-eyes understands the importance of finding the best pair of frames for your face. It�s like investing in jeans to the umpteenth degree. This nine-year-old shop carries a solid selection of fashionable lines from relatively affordable Ray-Bans to the slicker, more expensive Salt and Dita. Plus, you can take care of eye exams on-site with the resident doctors.

 (Photograph: Tessa Marshall)
Photograph: Tessa Marshall

Krista K(3458 N Southport Ave, 773-248-1967)
This two-level shop has been on the block for ten years. Over the course of that decade, not only has Krista K doubled in size (find an expansive selection of denims plus beach-friendly wares in the basement level), it�s also grown up: There�s a second location down the street for moms-to-be.

 (Photograph: Sarah Bonk)
Photograph: Sarah Bonk

Perchance(3512 N Southport Ave, 773-244-1300)
A dramatic baroque backdrop with a dripping black chandelier and white-and-black wallpaper distinguishes this boutique (which now has a second outpost in the Gold Coast) from your standard storefront. Between the two locations, Perchance carries Catherine Malandrino, local Blake Standard, Brochu Walker, Erin Fetherston and many more.

 (Photograph: Tessa Marshall)
Photograph: Tessa Marshall

Uncle Dan�s(3551 N Southport Ave, 773-348-5800)
Among the many outdoorsy staples at this jam-packed shop�North Face, Patagonia, Eagle Creek�you�ll also encounter quirky accessories such as quick-dry thongs (just what you need for camping) and rice paddy hats (one of the store employees points out the hats double as six-pack caddies in the pool). Hiking shoes, backpacks and water bottles abound.