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Skip Michigan Avenue and head to Wicker Park

September 28, 2010

(Yes, I blatantly ripped off the title for this post from Jenny’s February post about NYC thrift stores.)

This is part one of some store reviews and recaps from my long weekend in Chicago. Friday, while Erica went to work, I took the train to the city and wandered aimlessly for a bit around the beautiful Wicker Park neighborhood. I knew there were a few thrift stores in the area, but I had no idea the neighborhood boasts the highest concentration of thrift stores in Chicago!

Wicker Park reminded me a lot of Athens, Ga. There were lots of boutiques, bars and restaurants, and the vibe was similar as well.

First stop: Buffalo Exchange. It was nice to see a familiar store — there are a few here in New York — and I took my time sifting through the racks of dresses and shirts.

Overall, I enjoyed Buffalo Exchange. I walked away with the graphic print tunic shown above ($7.50), as well as an awesome chain-strap purse with a crocodile (NOT gator) buckle. One pet peeve is that shoes aren’t organized by size, which makes searching extremely frustrating. There were tons of tops I could have purchased, but I didn’t love anything quite enough and I knew it was only my first stop…

Next: N&D.

Overall, I was kind of underwhelmed with N&D. Things were a bit out of my price range and the selection wasn’t as vast as at other stores. Still worth checking out, though, especially if you’re in the market for a coat (or boots, clearly).

Next: Eskell.

Eskell is a boutique with mostly new merchandise — and all the new items, though gorgeous, were seriously out of my price range. However, there was a decent selection of moderately priced vintage items, and I scooped up this leopard print top for $28.

I’ve already written about the awesomeness that is Crossroads Trading Company, but I have some more photos to share.

Oh yes…

I was thrilled to discover so many great spots in Wicker Park, and it was probably for the best that I was on my own this day. Thrifting requires a ton of patience, and I never once felt rushed or that I was putting anyone out.

Stay tuned for more Wicker Park finds and photos tomorrow!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2010 2:51 pm

    I wish we had a Buffalo Exchange here. Although I have to brag and say Vancouver can boast on the number and quality of vintage clothing shops here. Pretty interesting stuff.
    And I agree, if you’ve been to Michigan Ave./the Magnificent Mile before, it’s OK to skip it. It’s such a touristy area, it’s better to find places off the beaten trail.

    • September 28, 2010 3:06 pm

      I still haven’t been to the Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg BK. Fail!

      I visited Michigan Avenue on Saturday and it was nice – I loved the architecture and the view of the city from Navy Pier was great. But the only stores I went into were thrift stores. There’s no reason to visit a Macy’s or H&M in Chicago – I wanted the unique stuff!

  2. Katy permalink*
    September 28, 2010 3:51 pm

    As a Chicago native (well suburban Chicago native) I can say that the only good thing about Michigan Ave is Garretts Popcorn. Ha. I totally agree with you about going to thrift stores to find unique stuff. I’m going back to ATL in a few weeks and all I want to do is find thrift shops (even though my wallet will hate me). I think thrifting is a much more exciting way to shop. I find it fitting that I am now mayor on FourSquare of a Goodwill near me and the Salvation Army store.

    • September 28, 2010 4:57 pm

      Well, we did visit the Ghirardelli store on Michigan Avenue and got some ice cream, so that was definitely worth it. 🙂

      But yeah, I think thrifting in a new city is such a great way to explore a new place. Although after last weekend, I really need to NOT shop for awhile (except for tights and socks, because I have none and it’s fall already).

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