Pandora For Jeans? ZipFit Denim Zaps Male Shopping Angst

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By Alexandra Delaney

Simplicity is the motto at the newest retail store in The North Bridge shops at 520 North Michigan. At ZipFit Denim, the sleek white tile floors shine under the bright overhead light. The two black tables line up perfectly, one placed several feet in front of the other, each adorned with four iPad tablets evenly spaced along the top. Shelves housing neat piles of jeans—which are folded according to brand, style and size—line one wall of the spacious store.

The minimalistic atmosphere of ZipFit Denim exemplifies the simplified jeans shopping experience the store offers men. Co-founder and CEO Liz Kammel is the brains behind the technology-driven store; she created an iPad app that matches male shoppers with the perfect pair of jeans for their body types and desired fits. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Looks: Detail Oriented

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Matthew Wilson was walking down Michigan Avenue on his way home from work. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Florodora Shoes

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For Michael Blossom, history and fashion go hand-in-hand. In 2007 he opened Florodora, a high-end women’s boutique featuring a vintage-inspired collection of clothing and accessories, some of which are designed and produced locally. The boutique is located in the South Loop on the first floor of the Monadnock Building, a historic landmark for the city, but also a personal landmark for Blossom. His grandmother worked on the seventh floor of the building in the early twentieth century. Everything about Florodora is inspired by that time period: from the antique chandeliers and ornate wooden furniture pieces inside the store, to the clothing, handbags and jewelry.

Blossom’s newest venture also combines fashion and history. Florodora Shoes is located just south of Florodora and on the same block, at 348 South Dearborn. After some research on the Monadnock Building, Blossom learned the corner retail space that now houses Florodora Shoes has been home to multiple businesses, most interestingly, two different shoe stores. From 1902 through the 1940s, a shoe store named Hassel’s occupied the space. In the 1950s, a retailer named Hardy moved in, and also sold shoes. “You could tear up this carpet and find ‘Hardy’ in places,” Blossom says. Read the rest of this entry »


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1355 S. Michigan, (312)353-2300 [ratings]

Goods: Men’s apparel, shoes and accessories. Designers: Michael Westley, Rivet de Cru, X-Ray Denim, Civil Society and Report Collection. Read the rest of this entry »

Syd Jerome

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2 N. LaSalle, (312)346-0333, [ratings]
Goods: Men’s suits, outerwear, clothing and accessories. Designers: Big-name Italian labels like Armani, Canali, Isaia Napoli and Ermenegildo Zegna stock the shelves. Owner: Sid Shapiro celebrates the store’s fifty-first year with his son and co-owner, Scott. Vibe: While the clothes scream upscale and modern, the store itself has a vintage feel with its stuffed shelves and assorted racks. Price Range: Expensive-Luxury. The Look: Polished, yet fun. The suits are all nicely tailored and constructed while the dress shirts range from classic solids to neon plaids. Shopper’s Perks: During non-sale events, Syd Jerome offers customers free custom alterations for life on their purchases. The store also offers the luxury of fur without the guilt, supporting more animal-friendly shearing practices.

Syd Jerome



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330 S. Dearborn, (312)212-8860, [ratings]

Goods: Clothing and accessories for women; also home goods and stationery. Designers: Dresses and separates from Twinkle by Wenlan, Nougat London, Sita Murt and local designers Lara Miller and Kate Boggiano. Owner: Michael Blossom opened Florodora in the Monadnock Building, where his grandmother worked as an office girl in 1917. He named the store after the famously beautiful chorus girls in “Florodora,” a musical comedy from 1899. Vibe: With silk, tasseled lamps, a red-velvet chaise lounge, floors shellacked in floral paper and a display of sweet-smelling soaps perched in an antique sink, the shop feels like it could be the apartment of a turn-of-the-century temptress. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. The Look: The clothing selection—defined by silky, touchable fabrics, dainty bits of lace and velvet and fine tailoring—is perfect gear for a modern Florodora girl. Shopper’s Perks: Preferred customers are privy to special discounts. Get discounted alterations on Florodora merchandise at the dry cleaners across the hall.




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1814 W. North, (773)489-0818 (women’s flagship store), 1910 W. North, (312)423-6693 (men’s), 1849 W. North, (773)342-8684 (shoes), 2357 N. Clark, (773)404-5826; 122 S. State, (312)346-3034; 643 W. Diversey, (773)649-9257; [ratings]

Goods: Women’s and men’s clothing, accessories and shoes. Designers: Rock & Republic, Citizens of Humanity, 7 for All Mankind, G-Star Raw, J Lindeberg, Paige Premium Denim; dresses by BCBG, Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson; sunglasses by Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, Ray-Ban and Dior; shoes by Ted Baker, Creative Recreation, L.A.M.B., Chinese Laundry, Schutz, Adidas and Converse. Owners: College friends Eric Hsueh, Jon Cotay and Erikka Wang began their North Avenue domination with the Akira women’s store in 2002. Now Akira encompasses several different stores all over the city, and 20,000 square feet of retail space on a single street in Bucktown. Vibe: The atmosphere mimics the clothes—it’s young, poppy and vibrant. Clothing is organized by style and designer so you don’t have to mess around. Price Range: Inexpensive-Expensive. The Look: With so many designers, there are so many looks. But a youthful energy shines in feminine prints, bright colors, current trends and designer denim. You can score everything from denim-focused, kick-it gear to an ensemble perfect for sipping martinis at Enclave. Shopper’s Perks: The store’s stylists expertly lead you through “one-stop shopping”—they’re happy to grab shoes or accessories from the other stores to completely finish your look.

Akira Wicker Park


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Akira (Shoes)

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