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Photograph: Jaclyn RivasKnee Deep Vintage

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.

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors
Contributor
Lindsay Eanet
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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. 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 women's clothing storesfurniture stores or even gift shops

RECOMMENDED: Best clothing stores in Chicago

 

The best thrift stores in Chicago

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When Melissa and Joseph Basilone moved to Portage Park in 2007 in the midst of the economic crisis, they knew the neighborhood needed a budget-friendly shop where residents could purchase gently used housewares, clothing, furniture, toys and more, with prices everyone could afford. Years later, Thrift & Thrive draws Chicagoans from all over who are hunting for a bargain. The shop is full of goods but very well-organized. It's clear the owners have a keen eye for detail. Between the selection and the prices, you can't leave here empty handed. 

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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 nearly $200,000 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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  • 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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  • 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) and used furniture and home goods. They take donations, too, leaving you no justification for putting off your spring cleaning.

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"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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  • 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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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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  • 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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  • 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. 

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. And the best part? Proceeds from the shop support programs that provide services for addiction recovery, reintegration, HIV/AIDS and other community needs. We love to see it. 

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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. 

The best shoe stores in Chicago

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It can be argued that perusing the best shoe stores in Chicago is the best kind of shopping. After all, shoes can take an outfit from boring to fabulous, they can make a great first impression and they never make you feel fat. Whether you need new shoes for Valentine's Day date night, comfy kicks for exploring the city, or you know, just because, these 13 shops are a great place to start.

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