Wolfbait & B-girls

3131 W. Logan


“Chicago, way more than New York or LA, is an eclectic city,” says Wolfbait & B-girls co-owner Shirley Novak. “It’s more about standing out than fitting in.” She and her business partner, Jenny Stadler, take such pride in the city’s specialness that they’ve hung a Chicago flag in their Logan Square space and printed it on all their store tags. Everything in the shop was made or found in Chicago–from the jewelry cases, made from letterpress boxes salvaged from the old Sun-Times building, to the dressing rooms, constructed out of old doors from Stadler’s landlord’s basement. Wolfbait carries only local designers and artists, stocking items in small runs; current highlights include Veronica Riley Martens’s handmade felt beads, which look like a cross between candy and cotton balls, strung on thin sterling silver chains ($20 to $80), Double D’s delicately hand-painted vintage handbags ($100-$250), flowy bacchanalian printed tops with tiny dangling bunches of grapes from Stadler’s Brazen Judy line ($42), and, from Novak’s Bruiser line, Dickies-esque Bermuda shorts and pants ($100), made high-waisted to cover your ass crack when you’re riding your bike but “when you get to where you’re going you can fold the top down for a low-rise pirate look.” The space doubles as a studio for the two women; in June they’ll host their first screen-printing class. “Personal adaptation is huge here,” says Novak. “It’s up to a purchaser to decide how to wear something. It makes ownership different, makes an item really become yours.”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Rob Warner.