Posted inBest of Chicago

Best waterproof notebook

Field Notes Expedition edition fieldnotesbrand.com Field Notes provides the perfect pocket-size notebooks to make you feel like you’re in a Wes Anderson movie, exemplified by the charmingly specific details of the Expedition edition. It’s easy to imagine a pastel-tinted Anderson sequence outlining the 12 scientific tests the notebooks passed—they scored especially high marks in “tensile […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best hidden bookstore

Open Books Pilsen open-books.org Open Books Pilsen isn’t hidden, exactly. But since it’s camouflaged as a garage on a quiet block of 19th Street, a few minutes’ walk from the taquerias and bakeries and thrift shops of the commercial strip on 19th, you could easily walk right by—unless you happen to peer through the door […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best intimidating jewelry

Blue Buddha Boutique bluebuddhaboutique.com Anybody who’s in the business of brainwashing women into buying more clothing and accessories will tell you the best way to brighten up a blah outfit is to add some statement jewelry. There are plenty of stores in Chicago selling jewelry that will help you state that you are a fun, […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best unassuming treasure trove

The Antique and Resale Shoppe antiqueandresale.com If you travel on Harlem Avenue so far north that you’re practically in Niles, you’re likely to notice Nick’s Drive-In, with its mural of a stern-looking Uncle Sam instructing you to try the “best homemade gyros in America.” However, you might not spot the place right next door, the […]

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Best place to step into an antique collector’s fever dream

Zap Props and Antiques zapprops.com At first glance, Zap Props and Antiques might seem like nothing more than an enormous, highly disorganized pile of junk, but this three-story, 36,000-square-foot warehouse, tucked away in one of Bridgeport’s more nondescript enclaves, is a ramshackle museum of ephemera. Everything belongs to owner and proprietor Bill Rawski, who rents […]

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Best clothing designer for urban pixies

Anastasia Chatzka anastasiachatzka.com That Anastasia Chatzka hasn’t experienced burnout is a wonder. The 31-year-old has financed her own business by working multiple jobs, designed her own fashion line, managed two boutiques (located in Ukrainian Village and Hyde Park), handled on-site alterations, presented seasonal fashion shows, and now plans to open pop-up shops in LA and […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best clothes for biking

Tenspeed Hero store.tenspeedhero.com Last November, Reader street-style maven Isa Giallorenzo snapped a picture of Aleia Murawski, one of nine friends who create cycle-centric clothing under the label Tenspeed Hero. The company prides itself on making pieces that look good in or out of a velodrome, and sure enough, Murawski’s reflective leggings (which she’d paired with […]