Best Wicker Park and Bucktown shops
Saint Alfred is the patron saint of learning, and the expert staff at this Wicker Park boutique will gladly school you on the latest styles. Although it doesn’t offer customization, St. Alfred’s features limited-edition and collaboration lines such as Yohji Yamamoto for adidas and Japanese import Visvim.
Walking into this floral boutique offers a breath of fresh air, literally. Far from your average florist, Elizabeth Cronin decks the space in everything from wild flowers to extraordinary succulents, mixed in with home decor à la faux stuffed moose heads and citrus-scented candles.
Owned by a pair of, yes, BFFs, this new bike shop works diligently with customers to find the best bike for them. It offers Bianchi, Giant and Public bikes, as well as clothing for commuters and casual cyclists. Tune-ups and repairs are also available, as are group riding sessions. Serious female cyclists will dig the BFF Racing team.
We all know perfectly soft T-shirts are hard to come by. Offering exactly that—plus a full line of men’s and women’s clothing—is Marine Layer, the first outpost of the San Francisco–based brand outside of the West Coast. Inside, you’ll discover pieces cut from custom-blended cotton so comfy you’ll want to layer them all year long.
Need to kill some time while waiting to get into Big Star? Visit this nearby lifestyle boutique featuring apparel and accessories as well as apothecary and home items. Owner Susie Lee stocks the shop with popular brands such as French line American Retro, U.K.-based Lazy Oaf and domestic line Courtshop. By the time you make it to Big Star, you might need an extra seat for your purchases.
Owner Kristen Basilo has a keen eye for design, and the proof is in her stunningly minimalistic Wicker Park shop, which has “gathered” an impressive variety of products for both men and women, including home decor, cards, apothecary, leather goods and accessories, jewelry and books—all made by small, independent makers. We challenge you to find a corner that isn't Instagram-worthy.
Curated with the fashion-conscious, city-dwelling dude in mind, Mildblend offers a robust selection of premium denim brands (think Iron Heart, Naked and Famous and Pure Blue Japan) alongside shoes, bags and grooming products. The store also does expert repairs and alterations to ensure those baby blues fit just right.
This legendary used bookstore—one of Chicago's oldest and largest—stocks three floors' worth of books from floor to ceiling. Also, local poet Larry Sawyer has booked one of the best free poetry series in the Midwest here for years, and in Myopic’s top-floor space, the readings are even sunnier.
Joe Lauer and Jena Frey’s boutique carries cute, uniquely cut garments, shoes and accessories with a touch of mod (think Grandma meets the Beatles) for men and women. The shop is one of the few in the city to offer a large selection of French cult label APC.
With a focus on organic, of-the-moment blooms, Pistil & Vine is a fresh destination among the city’s flower shops. Stop and smell the, yes, roses, hydrangea, anemones, calendula, tulips and more that fill the space, or request future orders for casual to formal occasions. While you’re there, take a peek at the eclectic assortment of home décor and gifts for sale.
With three locations in the Loop, Lakeview and Wicker Park, Reckless is the big daddy record retailer in town. Some things still drive us nuts—having to flip through all those little plastic-wrapped CD booklets, the fact that it can be sometimes hard to pop in and pick up a popular new release—but the used selection is wonderful and the vinyl keeps proliferating.
The Detroit-based company has built a reputation for quality watches, made right here in the Midwest. In addition to its trendy timepieces, you'll also find a collection of leather goods like journals, wallets and bags, as well as casual apparel and gifts.
Owner Liz Meyer, a fashion stylist for Aerosmith, has compiled a beautiful collection of day wear and formal attire. Standouts include a striped taffeta cocktail dress from the 1950s ($220) and a brown velvet floor-length gown ($225) from the 1930s, along with more than 80 vintage wedding dresses. The men’s collection includes suit jackets ($45–$475) and trousers ($35–$50), plus shirts, jackets and suits from Steven Tyler’s personal collection.
Shop for those ubiquitous shoes and contribute to a great cause, all while getting your caffeine fix. One of the few Tom's locations to boast a "One for One" coffee shop, this Wicker Park spot is a great place to kill a few birds with one stone.
The main floor here houses a hipster-chic selection of menswear and womenswear (skinny jeans, jumpers and adorable jackets) with a vintage flair, but wind your way up the spiral staircase to the second floor to find the real-deal moth collectors. Don’t miss the jewelry case, a treasure trove of cheap costume jewels like faux gold bangles and lockets.
Browsing through the piles of heavy costume jewels at this Wicker Park store feels a lot like rummaging through your grandma’s basement—that is, if your grandma also hoarded wares like 18th-century paintings (on sale for, uh, $85,000). The shop also stocks a handful of more budget-friendly home furnishings.
This longtime favorite recently moved across the street to its new location in the former Roslyn space. The charming lifestyle boutique sells jewelry, greeting cards, cookware, tableware and much more; many of the lines are from local designers.