Buffalo Exchange
Photograph: Patrick Houdek

Chicago’s best thrift stores for secondhand, vintage and resale shopping

The best Chicago thrift stores offer everything from high-end designers to mid-century modern deals and gently-used basics.

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Thrift stores are more than just treasure troves for great deals on secondhand clothes or vintage furniture finds—shopping secondhand also keeps clothes, home goods and other items out of the landfill a little while longer. You'll find stores all across the city, from Edgewater to Beverly, as well as online storefronts to shop at. Whether you're donating your own gently-used goods at the tail end of a spring cleaning session or browsing through the inventory at some of Chicago's best thrift and secondhand stores for that perfect hidden gem, be prepared to score some serious deals on items you simply can't find at most other clothing stores, furniture stores, record stores or even gift shops.

The top thrift stores in Chicago

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  • Dunning
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In September 2020, Big Shoulders Church took over Portage Park-based Thrift & Thrive, giving it a new name & a new identity, but the same vast selection and quality service. Give yourself ample shopping time here so you don’t miss that perfect bargain on anything from patio furniture to prom dresses to pre-owned Macbook laptops. And in addition to helping the planet and your wallet, Greater Goods has partnered with Portage Park Mutual Aid in the past, so you’re helping your neighbors, too. 

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  • Lower West Side
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Tired of traveling from Brighton Park to the North Side for cool, thrifty finds, Trent Marinelli and Carlos Lourenco took matters into their own hands by opening this vintage shop in nearby Pilsen in 2008. Just off the Pink Line, the store (in a former meeting space the duo renovated) specializes in fashion-forward vintage clothing and accessories, as well as those harder to find gems from the '20s to '50s. Stop in often to score the best steals.

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You can find just about anything at this beloved Lincoln Square thrift shop, from Sperry dress shoes to wedding-ready Ann Taylor dresses to an entire section dedicated to Indian clothing. In addition to focusing on sustainability, Family Tree is also community-minded, and has contributed more than $225,000 in vouchers to local schools and community organization so that neighbors can get what they need and shop with dignity. 

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  • Menswear
  • Wicker Park
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As Chicago's only all-men's vintage shop offering European-inspired menswear, gifts and housewares, Richard's is a destination-worthy stop in Chicago’s vintage clothing circuit. Score silk equestrian print pocket squares, bow ties, plaid blazers, overcoats, hats, vintage luggage, chairs and much more at the North Avenue storefront. If you're in luck, you can get styled by Richard himself—or shop items online through the shop's Etsy and eBay accounts. 

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On Ashland Avenue, you’ll find a retro paradise where Cheesasaurus Rex is still king, the Looney Tunes are basketball stars and New Kids on the Block are still the boy band of choice. Welcome to Fad2Fresh, a vintage shop specializing in apparel celebrating the cultural and fashion touchstones of our youth. After winning over fans at trunk shows and vintage fairs around Chicagoland with their nostalgic treasures, Alex Jones and Abigail Millner opened their storefront in Andersonville in 2022. Stop in for a shopping experience that your inner ‘80s or ‘90s kid won’t forget.

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  • Lake View
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Out of its 800-square-foot loft space in Ravenswood's iconic clock tower, Mr. & Mrs. DIGZ offers merchandise that caters to all kinds of shoppers, with a mix of new clothing, luxury designer consignment and handmade goods by more than 50 local designers. Shop online or schedule your own private shopping appointment anytime for a truly customized experience.   

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Before opening her brick and mortar Avondale space, Vintage Frills owner Jen Kelly sold vintage treasures out of a Barbie-pink school bus. Now, guests can browse her colorful, curated scenes for some of the best retro clothing, accessories, adorable homewares and more. And if the selection or inviting atmosphere weren’t enough reason to stop in (or the prospect of treating yourself to a coffee from The Brewed or a Loaf Lounge pastry afterwards), follow them on IG for info on their fun pop-up events, including drag shows, guest vendors, live music and even an in-store treasure hunt with local clown Shirley Blazen.

Originally opened by Bill and Charlotte Simmons as The Sandpiper in 1969, Lost Eras still feels like stepping into a time warp in the middle of Rogers Park. And you might just get lost in there—with 15,000 square feet and more than 50,000 pieces in stock at any one time, there’s a lot to explore. In addition to vintage clothing and antiques, Lost Eras has one of the city’s largest selections of costumes and props for rent, so consider them for your next big project.

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There’s plenty of clothing and accessories to be found in this charming Beverly institution, but it’s the furniture, art and home goods collections that make Root Consignment Company worth the trek. Get brand-name and one-of-a-kind treasures alike, thanks to Angela Samila’s eye for curation. Just make sure to leave room in your car for everything you’re inevitably going to want.

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  • Andersonville
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These sprawling resale shops (you'll also find locations in Lakeview and Oak Park) are tidy and easy to navigate, with quality clothing (much of it vintage), used furniture and home goods. They take donations, too, leaving you no justification for putting off your spring cleaning.

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  • Lower West Side

Browse vintage clothing, accessories, records, furniture and home decor at this small but mighty shop. Since Pilsen is among the city's best neighborhoods for vintage shopping, the stock here changes over quite frequently, with a steady stream of new items being added to the floor. That only gives shoppers a more reasons to check back frequently—from an antique nightstand to shorts from the ’80s that are (finally) back in style.

"Frugality is all about having choices" is the motto at this South Shore shop. What began with owner Asia Teague exploring resale over Facebook Live during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic has blossomed into a thriving store featuring high-quality new and gently-used brand name clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories so shoppers can express their style within their budget. Follow them on social media for regular updates on new inventory. 

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  • Shopping
  • Consignment store
  • Uptown
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U.S. resale fashion store Crossroads Trading has been around since the ’90s, and at the Wicker Park space, you’ll find the same high level of goodies we’ve come to expect: stylish (and only gently used) items from brands like J.Crew, Reformation, Rag & Bone and more. The store is always trying to stock classics like leather loafers, moto jackets and faux fur. If you’re selling, check out the guide on the website to see what’s in demand. 

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For more than a decade, Chris Hunt has been going on thrifting journeys across the country to bring Seek’s clientele quality, unique statement pieces of all kinds. The fashions at this Noble Square spot are excellent, but where Seek really shines is home goods and fun little décor treasures, from colorful vintage barware to Macho Man Randy Savage figurines. Check out their Etsy store, or follow on Instagram, where you can catch Hunt modeling the latest hot items and keep up to date on their in-store parties and sales. 

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  • Wicker Park

A new addition to Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, Bodega Vintage offers permanent and rotating thrift collections. The storefront invites resellers to sign up for two week slots to give more stable opportunities to travelling, thrifty salespeople. A number of different brands and thrifted specialities merge under one roof, from 1950s letterman jackets to the trendiest Y2K graphic tees.

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  • Edgewater
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Packed to the brim with thrifted and vintage finds, this Edgewater shop demands plenty of time to sift through its goods for one-of-a-kind gems like furniture, housewares, books and plenty of off-the-beaten-path knick-knacks. The shop accepts donations, and pickup and delivery can also be arranged. 

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  • Clothing exchange
  • Wicker Park

This consignment chain buys, sells and trades its inventory directly with customers. Look for a mix of designer-label and vintage clothing, shoes and accessories, all handpicked by Buffalo Exchange’s stylish staff and priced much lower than retail cost.

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El Dorado Thrift prides itself on affordability—thrifted pieces go for as low as $4 while shoppers can enjoy designer items for only $50, too. Keep an eye out for the different tag colors that correspond with rotating deals and check out the shop's Instagram for frequently-updated finds. 

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  • Lake View
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For more than 30 years, this Lincoln Park shop has been a destination for those in search of thrifty furniture, clothing and housewares. Be sure to check out the designer room for gently used high-end scores from labels like YSL, Prada and Kate Spade. Bonus: The thrift shop raises funds to help Mt. Sinai buy equipment, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the hospital. 

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Since its debut in 2015, Avondale's Monarch Thrift Shop has developed a reputation as one of the best in the city, with an easy-to-navigate layout and a diverse and high-quality range of inventory in the 3,000-square-foot space. The shop's "Luxe" section sometimes has rare finds from designers like Stella McCartney, Dior and Michael Kors. Monarch provides quality merchandise in a boutique environment with a mission of breaking cycles of youth homelessness, reducing recidivism and rebuilding lives.

As bold and colorful as its name is fun to say, Kokorokoko celebrates vintage clothes and accessories from the "post hip-hop, pre-Internet" era of the '80s and '90s, as well as the early-aughts. As much as it may pain some readers to read "vintage" and "Y2K" in the same sentence, you can't stay mad in the Nickelodeon-painted nostalgic bliss of this Wicker Park shop, browsing through bold prints and unique accessories. 

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If you're looking for a kid-friendly consignment option, look no further than North Center's Kangaroo Kids, which specializes in upscale secondhand clothes, shoes, toys, games and infant accessories. Whether you're looking for quality winter gear, a last-minute baby shower gift or a birthday present your kid will love, the solid selection and friendly staff at Kangaroo Kids will help you find what you need.

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