12 Love It
Save it

Chicago's best thrift stores for secondhand and resale shopping

The best Chicago thrift stores offer everything from classic Chanel to mid-century modern deals and gently used basics

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Silver Umbrella

Thrift stores in Chicago are true treasure troves, where you can find secondhand clothes, old furniture begging for a DIY project or even a hidden designer label or two. The thrill of the hunt keeps the best thrift stores thriving, not to mention giving us a place to donate our own gently used goods. Those patient enough to sort through the inventory at these stores should 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


Thrift & Thrive

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, at 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. 

Read more

Knee Deep Vintage

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.

Read more
Lower West Side

Richard's Fabulous Finds

As Chicago's only all-men's vintage shop offering European-inspired menswear, gifts and housewares, Richard's alone is worth the trip to the WOW (West of Western) district. 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. 

Read more
Wicker Park

Mr. & Mrs. DIGZ

After seven years in its Andersonville space, Mr. & Mrs. DIGZ recently celebrated its grand re-opening in Ravenswood's iconic clock tower building. The new 800-square-foot loft space will still offer merchandise that caters to both women and men, with a mix of new clothing, luxury designer consignment and handmade goods by more than 50 local designers. Pop in to browse Tuesday through Saturday, or make your own private shopping appointment anytime for a truly customized experience.   

Read more
Lake View

The Brown Elephant Andersonville

These sprawling resale shops (you'll also find locations in Lakeview and Oak Park) are much tidier than thrift stores, with quality clothing (much of it vintage) and used furniture. They take donations, too, leaving you no justification for being a pack rat.

Read more

Encore Resale Clothing

Originally the product of a high school community service project, this Hyde Park shop has become a popular hot spot for savvy shoppers and thrifters alike. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in a finely curated selection of seasonal, gently used, name-brand clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children, from stores like Forever21, J.Crew, Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers. The shop also accepts clothing donations. What it doesn't opt to put on the sales floor is donated to local soup kitchens and the Salvation Army. 

Read more
Hyde Park

Crossroads Trading

U.S. resale fashion store Crossroads Trading has been around since the ’90s, and at the Andersonville 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, Kate Spade, Topshop and Michael Kors. 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. 

Read more

Luxury Garage Sale

If it's designer goodies you're after, Luxury Garage Sale delivers with brands like Missoni, Vera Wang, Tom Ford, Valentino and Isabel Marant. Shop the gorgeous showroom or work with a personal stylist to find pieces that work for your budget and body. Dudes, there's something for you here, too. 

Read more
Lincoln Park

The Silver Umbrella

Find new and used on-trend clothing for men (like classic Ralph Lauren button-downs), women (think Marc Jacobs peep-toe pumps and long, whimsical skirts) and children at this Hyde Park consignment favorite that’s owned by two sisters. You can also shop any time on the store’s eBay page.

Read more
Hyde Park

Green Element Resale

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. 

Read more

Buffalo 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.

Read more
Wicker Park

Second Chance Thrift

You likely wouldn't know about this hidden treasure from the outside, unless you happened to pass it on your way to the taco joint next door. A true rarity for a thrift shop, Second Chance is immaculately organized. The shop stocks a selection of furniture ideal for DIY projects, gently used clothing, shoes and some great housewares. The employees are always friendly and eager to point out the best of new arrivals. 

Read more
United Center

Mt. Sinai Hospital Resale Shop

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. With 100 percent of the proceeds going to Mt. Sinai, the thrift shop raises funds to help the hospital buy needed equipment. 

Read more
Lake View

The best shoe stores in Chicago

The best shoe shops in Chicago

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.

Read more
By: Jess Keys


Krista L

Community Threads in Arlington Heights should be on this list! Their quality and selection is insane! 

Becca G

Surprised theres's no Krispyfringe Vintage on this list??? They have actual vintage and the prices are always low. Everytime the girl with green hair works there (which I think is always, but she's said she's not the owner), there's a sale going on. Just got a leather jacket and a dress for under $40 after the tax. Cheaper than Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange!

Diane S

No more Ark.  Closed.

Viki J

Great list - I also really love Euphoria Resale Boutique in Edgewater.  They have resale clothes and resale items (furniture, home decor etc).  My boyfriend and I love stopping by there together and always find something interesting! Also - the family that works there is awesome, super sweet and helpful! 

James N

the Not for Profit 990 tax filings data base does not list Green Element as a NFP yet their storefront declares them a NFP 501 (c)3. What's with that!

James N

In addition their storefront declares Green Element is part of Big-medicine.org -as a NFP - yet no 990 filing for that organization either. Heads up sent to Alderman for investigation.

CuriousTraveler66 !

@James N WELL: there's big medicine, and then there's Big Medicine, and Sinai doesn't fall into that second category.  You're behind in your information, dude.  Mt. Sinai Medical Center is most certainly NFP, especially considering the charity care it has provided to the Douglas Park/Lawndale area since the 1950s.  Being a Jewish hospital, it could have moved away when the rest of the Jewish West Side residents and organizations departed north and west, but Mt. Sinai stayed instead to serve an entirely new demographic, largely thanks to former administrator Ruth Rothstein, hospital president from 1977 to 1991, who was largely responsible for saving it and later went on to reorganize Cook County Hospital, regain its accreditation (which had been lost, cutting its Medicare funds), and plan a new hospital, now Stroger.  She's one of the unheralded heroes of Chicago's health care community.  Under her rule, Mt. Sinai also remained in the city's trauma system, absorbing expensive uncompensated and under-compensated care cases through its ER and thereby threatening its financial stability when other, more prestigious institutions like UofC Hospitals and Loyola dropped out during the 1980s (of course, now that a lot more people are covered thanks to Obamacare and Level I trauma units are no longer such money losers, Loyola has recently come back to the trauma network -- and is hoping that people forget its ugly exit decades ago -- and UofC is making noises about doing the same, if only to regain the prestige of being able to say they're in the network and be given credit for changing, though I'll believe THAT when I see it).  You should learn your neighborhood history better, James, before casually tossing off such glib, uninformed asides.  However, these days the medical center's entire system, which includes Schwab Rehab, several outpatient clinics, and the acquisition of Holy Cross Hospital a few years ago, goes by the name Sinai Health System.  Did you look under *that*?  See this link:  http://www.sinai.org/

Delia S

Salvation Army and Unique are missing from this list, I regularly find AMAZING vintage stuff at both, and it's not overpriced like the brown elephant.  If you're looking for jcrew/banana republic type pieces, you're better off going to crossroads or buffalo.

Courtney S

I have never been to any of these Thrift shops but if you happen to be in the Joliet area check out Unique thrift shop on Rt 52. Its AWESOME! Every Monday everything in the store is half off! I find lots of brand name clothes there with the tags still on them. I cant speak for the other Unique stores but the one in Joliet is AMAZING! I NEVER walk out of there empty handed!

Crust F

Why are there no Salvation Army's or Unique's on this list?

Courtney S

@Mike N  The Unique in Joliet is not at all Grimy.....I just got a North face Full length coat (listed online for $290) for $18.75! I go on Mondays when everything is half off and I never walk out empty handed.

Mike N

@IWantMyForeskin  because those stores are grimy, that's why

Arlette Y

They said the best not all the thrift stores in Chicago

Cara F

Joliet is not in Chicago. This is a list of Chicago thrift stores, and the Unique I've been to in Chicago is grimy.

Vanessa S

@Courtney S I belive the title of the article states "IN CHICAGO" not Joilet or Plainfield or any other place not in CHICAGO lol 


@Vanessa S @Courtney S 
Uniques are all over in Chicago neighborhoods. The ones on Halsted, Elston & Diversey are not grimy. The other one are but I have found nice stuff cheap.

The Lazy Dog is not on there though, that place is great!

Brendan D

Belmont Army Surplus is NOT a "thrift store" and should not be on this list. Unless you're going to consider and include shops like "Buffalo Exchange" and "Crossroads Trading Company" which deal in vintage fashions (but are NOT thrift stores), then you certainly should not be including Belmont Army.

Caitlin-Cat J

@Brendan D I completely agree Brendan. Perhaps back in the day I would have called it a thrift store but not anymore. They could have easily put Ragstock that's just down the street then.

Cara F

It basically is. They sell gently used and surplus stuff at a low price. Anyone who is looking for thrift stores benefits knowing about Belmont Army.