Make Believer: Vintage Fashion Expert Lori Lindberg helps you Dress Up for Halloween and for Life

-Menswear, -Vintage, -Womenswear, Lakeview No Comments »

Lori Lindberg photo: Fernando Castillo

By Marla Seidell

It’s a quarter to noon on an unseasonably warm Thursday in October, and Lori Lindberg, owner and buyer at Clothes Optional Vintage in East Lakeview, is in high gear. The Classic Vinyl station (on Sirius FM Satellite) is cranked up, spinning tunes by Deep Purple, Joe Cocker and Led Zeppelin (all her favorites), and she’s sipping on a skim latte from Caribou, in between chatting with this curious journalist, fielding calls and tending to customers. Dressed funky chic—Lucky Brand tight-fitting jeans, blue-and-brown cowboy boots, a lacey black tank top and a zebra-striped hooded sweatshirt, her long dark hair tied back in a braid, Lindberg is an eternal child of the seventies, with a friendly openness and passion for do-it-yourself fashion, art and music that feels, well, a bit Joplin-esque.

Janis Joplin created her plain yet sensual look by piecing together clothing and accessories from thrift stores, she sewed and designed many of her own costumes, and loved to smoke and talk about “groovy” things. Lindberg doesn’t sing or perform, but she’s like Joplin in many ways: she sews and fixes up clothing (both her own stuff and pieces in the store), loves vintage, and is also quite fond of smoking, talking and hanging out. Unapologetically hip and sexy in minimal makeup and a frequent smile, Lindberg doesn’t look like the forty-eight-year-old mother of three grown daughters, let alone a grandmother. She looks like the kind of person you want to kick back with and have a beer and a good laugh.

Referring to her rocker outfit with a deep, throaty laugh, she says, “I was watching Kiss [on ‘Good Morning America’], and I got inspired.” Read the rest of this entry »

Robust Resale: Crossroads Trading Co. Expands in Lincoln Park

-Vintage, Lakeview, Lincoln Park No Comments »

A new and improved Crossroads Trading Co. is open for business on the 2700 block of North Clark Street in Lincoln Park.

“The neighborhood is picking up now, and word of mouth about the store has spread. We’ve been in this location for about six years now, and have built a customer base over those years,” says Jessica Blythe, the store manager. “The space next to us had been open for about a year, so we decided to go for it.”

The store purchased that space next door, previously an eyeglasses retailer, knocked down the wall and moved in, nearly doubling their floor space. A more spacious, breathable shopping experience has now replaced the crowded racks and elbow-to-elbow shopping experience that the store used to offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Egoist Underwear

*New Boutiques, -Menswear, Lakeview No Comments »

Some men feel constricted by underwear. Others feel constricted by their underwear choices. Or they have—until now, thanks to the opening of Egoist Underwear, a new Boystown men’s boutique specializing in underthings, swimwear and loungewear from around the globe.

Owner Sylvester Jurczynski, who opened the shop in late June but only recently hosted the store’s “Grand Opening” sale, is unromantic about the store’s genesis. “I hated my job,” he says, “and I saw a niche in this neighborhood.” So far, he says, he’s been right: business is good. While he’s not making the hard-sell—or maybe I’m not the target demographic?—Jurczynski obviously knows his underwear. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Cerato Boutique

*New Boutiques, -Womenswear, Lakeview 1 Comment »

Photo: Kevin Dick

It’s a week after opening, and Cerato owner Tracey Glibowski is reordering Kristin Hassan’s drapey asymmetrical “Flow” tanks; a lone Jlee Silver maxidress—equal parts Hamptons and Mt. Olympus—hangs in the corner, the last in-stock representative of its kind. In other words, it’s been a pretty good first week at the new Southport women’s clothing boutique, which is dedicated to showcasing primarily local designers.

The store is clearly a labor of love for Glibowski, a former advertising exec whose recent layoff inspired her to turn her passion for fashion into a career. Surveying the store, a spartan-but-not-sterile space with exposed brick and country-chic blue wallpaper, she seems a little bit amazed at how well things have turned out. After all, Glibowski started with a concept but no insider knowledge of the Chicago fashion scene—she says she discovered many of the designers she features by trolling the internet. So far, though, she seems thrilled with the results.

“It’s a partnership,” she says of her designers. “I hope they’re in it for the long haul.” Which doesn’t mean she’s stopped combing the city for new talent—in time, she’s definitely looking to add new names to her roster, which currently includes Kate Boggiano, Eskell, Anna Fong, frei designs, jules, Avery Layne, Horacio Nieto, and Shorty Clothing, along with Hassan, Silver and a handful of out-of-town imports. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Borrow a Dress Couture

*New Boutiques, Chicago Boutiques, Lakeview 1 Comment »

img_5040In this economy, you might be wondering how to spend less money on your wardrobe without looking cheap. Teonna Ingram and Bree Lara have the solution. At their store, Borrow a Dress Couture (BADC), a girl can rent a designer dress from the likes of Vera Wang, Alexander McQueen or Dolce & Gabbana for three days for a quarter of the retail price. Since women rarely wear a formal dress very many times, dress rental, says Ingram, is a great way to “save money and still look fabulous,” especially with rental prices ranging from $35-$300. (Dresses are also available for sale in the $150-$3,000 range.) “Women, no matter what the economy, still have events they have to attend,” Lara notes. Inspired by tuxedo-rental stores, Ingram and Lara say they saw a need to have a similar establishment for women. “It’s bound to happen in Chicago. Why not be the first to do it?” argues Ingram. Read the rest of this entry »


-Womenswear, Lakeview No Comments »

vfish-0102937 N. Clark, (312)423-7839, [ratings]
Goods: Women’s apparel and accessories. Designers: All of the store’s clothing is vfish’s own label, designed by co-owner Mandy Moise. Owners: Husband-and-wife team Tal and Mandy Moise premiered their flagship store for their original vfish line. Vibe: Classic. The store is decorated with pinup style photos of the line’s namesake and Mandy’s grandmother, Vera Fishbaugh. Price Range: Moderate. The Look: Plenty of simple but elegant designs in pretty solids make for basic closet staples. Shopper’s Perks: Tal and Mandy are often on hand so customers can get feedback from them on everything from fit to style.


vfish, 2937 N. Clark

Yellow Jacket Vintage

-Mens Shoes, -Menswear, -Vintage, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Lakeview No Comments »


2959 N. Lincoln, (773)248-1996,
Goods: Clothing and footwear for women and men. Large selection of multicolored wigs, accessories, clothing patterns and vintage artwork. Designers: While brand names aren’t the deal, there is an impressive stock of comfy Levi’s, Jordache and Wrangler jeans. Owner: Jennifer Rau opened Yellow Jacket’s first location in Milwaukee’s trendy Brady St. district in 1993. Four years ago, she brought her retailing expertise and thrifty eye to Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Vibe: Classic hardwood floors and vintage playhouse seating play an attractive yet understated backdrop to the racks of vibrant and funky clothing and accessories that steal the show. Price Range: Inexpensive-Moderate The Look: 1960s, 1970s and 1980s streetwear. Shopper’s Perks: The stylish staff is friendly and complete with advice and the four changing rooms and ample space allow perusing without tapping boots.

Yellow Jacket Vintage


Eye Spy Optical

-Eyewear, Lakeview No Comments »

3350 N. Lincoln, (773)477-2670, [ratings]
Goods: Men’s, women’s and children’s prescription frames and sunglasses. Designers: Anne et Valentin, Lafont, ic! berlin, Persol, Francis Klein, Oliver Goldsmith, Ray-Ban. Owner: Alissa Fields has been selling specs in Lakeview for ten years. Vibe: Retro. With funky chairs and decorations adorning the turquoise, bird-muraled walls, the scene is totally groovy. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. The Look: Retro. The store features exactly what you would expect from its décor—loud, plastic and uniquely shaped frames galore. Shopper’s Perks: An in-house doctor makes the store a one-stop shop with prescriptions and exams readily available on Thursdays and Sundays.

Eye Spy Optical



-Women's Shoes, Lakeview No Comments »

3729 N. Southport, (773)244-9141, [ratings]
Goods: Shoes, clothing and accessories for women. Designers: Franco Sarto, Seychelles, Sam Edelman, Reef, Miz Mooz, Poetic Licence and Naughty Monkey. Owner: The former owner of Chicago Shakers Social Club, Paula Eisen left the event-organizing business to pay retail homage to her shoe obsession. Vibe: Lighthearted and upbeat: original artwork covers the walls, a comfy couch offers try-on ease, and shoes of all shapes and styles cover every spare inch of this small shop. Price Range: Inexpensive-Moderate. The Look: Low-maintenance yet fun; grab coffee down the street at Julius Meinl, a movie at the Music Box and some post-flick Dairy Queen. Wherever a Click shopper goes, she portrays her personality through her shoes. Shopper’s Perks: The variety offered here isn’t characteristic of most shoe stores—Click has something for nearly every style palate. Also, Eisen and her crew host events and shoe parties regularly, including occasional fundraisers for neighborhood organizations.



Hanig’s Footwear

-Mens Shoes, -Women's Shoes, Evanston, Gold Coast, Lakeview, Lincoln Park No Comments »

Hanig’s Slipper Box, 2754 N. Clark, (773)248-1977, Hanig’s Footwear, 847 W. Armitage, (773)929-5568, 875 N. Michigan, (312)787-6800, 1627 Sherman, Evanston, (847)864-3268, [ratings]
Goods: Men’s and women’s shoes. Designers: Wolky, Ecco, Kenneth Cole, Merrell, Mephisto, Johnston & Murphy, Keen, Naot. Owner: Serving Chicago since 1944, Hanig’s is owned by Peter Hanig, son of founders Irv and “Billie.” Vibe: Extremely well-lit and roomy, with plenty of seats for shoe sampling, and an overall all-American appeal. Price Range: Moderate. The Look: Comfortably chic. While all the shoes are designed with function in mind, fashionable details are incorporated into the designs. Shopper’s Perks: Service—with plenty of friendly staff members around, you’ll be taken care of from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. Comfort also tops the bill, and your feet won’t be able to thank you enough.

Slipper Box-Lakeview

Hanig’s Slipper Box

Lincoln Park Store

Hanig’s Footwear

Michigan Avenue Store

Hanig’s Footwear

Evanston Store

Hanig’s Footwear