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Photograph: Evan JenkinsEye Spy Optical

Five shops good for buying sunglasses


Embellish This North Center shop is filled with accessories by local independent designers, including the chunky Anne-Marie Chagnon bracelets and rings, handcrafted of materials like pewter, recycled glass, wood and Lucite ($40–$120), and the Lillie and Cohoe 1940s-inspired hats ($95–$130). And you can’t forget the ultimate summer accessory: sunglasses. Look for men’s and women’s Pleasure Ground ($95) and Tres Noir ($85) frames. 4161 N Lincoln Ave (773-525-4400, El: Brown to Montrose. Bus: 11, 50.

Eye Spy Optical Owner Alissa Fields tells us her West Lakeview specs shop has a ton of sunglasses in stock. Why? “Because I went a little crazy this year,” she says. Among the many brands on offer, you’ll find Francis Klein, Anne et Valentin, Lafont, Kaenon, Maui Jim and Ray-Ban. The store also carries exclusives from Thierry Lasry and Oliver Goldsmith. 3350 N Lincoln Ave (773-477-2670, El: Brown to Paulina. Bus: 11, 152.

Nordstrom Like any good department store, this Seattle-based shopping mecca has plenty to offer. We were alerted to its sunglasses situation via a tweet from the store: namely, a mention of the shop’s exclusives on a number of colors of new Small Wayfarers by Ray-Ban ($119). Hues you’ll only find here include lilac, orange and sea green. 55 E Grand Ave (312-464-1515, El: Red to Grand. Bus: 65, 146, 147, 148, 151.

space519 This “refined general store,” located in the 900 Shops, is filled with home goods, men’s and women’s accessories, apothecary products, small electronics and even books and CDs. As for the shades currently in stock, the store offers a couple of under-the-radar options: Super by Retro Super Future ($155–$185) and Fabien Baron ($350), a line that’s being called the “next Tom Ford.” 900 N Michigan Ave, fifth floor (312-751-1519, El: Red to Chicago. Bus: 66, 146, 147, 148, 151.

Spex This eyewear chain has 14 locations in the Chicago area (including outposts in Buffalo Grove and Hinsdale). So, chances are there’s one in your ’hood. Once you stop in, you’ll find many of the season’s popular sunglass lines, including Ray-Ban ($100–$200), Oliver Peoples ($400–$400), Tom Ford ($300–$450) and Prada ($250–$350). Find a complete list of locations on the store’s website. 2136 N Halsted St (773-975-7867, El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Armitage. Bus: 8, 73.

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