Thrift shopping for vintage treasures is easy when you know where to find them. Here are seven of our favorite thrift shops in Chicago.
The third largest city in the U.S., after New York and Los Angeles, Chicago could brag about many things – its many art museums, the world’s first skyscraper, a beautiful lakeside location. When it comes to vintage shopping, the windy city has plenty to offer as well.
Vintage shopping is part skill, part luck and part perseverance, but you can stack the odds in your favor by hitting up stores known to always stock good stuff. From the Ukrainian Village to Wicker Park to Pilsen and beyond, here are seven of our favorite thrift stores in Chicago. For those of you located elsewhere, many of these also have online shops.
This shop, located in the Ukranian Village, specializes in clothing from the 80s and 90s. Lovers of that particular aestethic will feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven as the racks are teeming with day-glo colors, graffiti-inspired patterns, snapback hats, Members Only jackets, 80s T-shirts and other flashy staples of that bygone era. You can even find neon fanny packs, padded sneakers and even Hypercolor tees. Kokorokoko is a mecca for those of you cultivating that ironic hipster look. The prices are mid-range, but you won’t be disappointed.
Kokorokoko, 1112 N. Ashland Avenue, Ukrainian Village
Unique Thrift Stores
With about a dozen locations in and around Chicago, Unique is a veritable thrift shop emporium. You’ll find gently used clothing at very affordable prices. Some of the stores are extremely well-organized – by size and color – some are not, but you can be sure to always walk out with something great. Items are clean and inspected for defects before they are put out on the racks. A large portion of merchandise is purchased from non-profit organizations, which use the proceeds to fund their operations.
If you are looking for quality vintage jewelry this is the place to go. Vintage Underground is 3,500 square feet of vintage costume jewelry, hats, belts, handbags, clothing, and other unique finds. The owners not only have a great eye for detail and high level of taste, they are also very nice, helpful and knowledgeable. This shop is a great resource for brides-to-be looking for special occasion jewelry for that one very special occasion.
Knee Deep Vintage
Located in the middle of the Pilsen neighborhood, Knee Deep has been bringing the finest men’s and women’s vintage clothing to the south side of Chicago since 2008. This is a true vintage shop where you will find quality garments from different eras. There is a great selection of dresses from the 20s to the 50s — all labeled with the approximate size, saving you a lot of guesswork before hitting the fitting room. There’s also a good selection of bags, shoes and jewelry, as well as some housewares and furniture. Prices are a bit on the high side, but you get what you pay for.
Knee Deep Vintage, 1425 W 18th Street, Pilsen
Silver Moon Vintage
Specializing in fine and designer vintage fashions from the 1890s to 1980s, Silver Moon is filled to the brim with amazing gowns, jewelry and accessories. Owner Liz Meyer, who is a fashion stylist for Aerosmith, has curated a spectacular collection of everything from formal wear from the Edwardian and Victorian era to contemporary high fashion from Vivienne Westwood. Silver Moon has one of the largest collections of vintage wedding gowns in the country and also sells new vintage-inspired bridalwear. There is a section for men as well, offering formal attire from the same eras. The shop also offers alterations, custom design and garment restoration.
Silver Moon, 1721 W. North Avenue, Wicker Park
Village Discount Outlets
With ten stores in Chicago, Village Discount outlet is a bargain shopper’s paradise. There are some serious finds to be had here – especially in the locations that are not in popular neighborhoods – but you’ll have to work for it. The racks are generally well-organized, but in a true thrift shop like this, you will want to spend some time sifting through them. There are no fitting rooms so get ready to try your stuff on in the aisle; but, with everything priced under $10, it’s totally worth it.
Village Discount Outlets, 10 locations in Chicago