A Locally Inspired Shopping Spree You Can Feel Good About

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
With all retail stores in Chicago currently closed due to the state’s shelter-in-place regulations, the city’s independent shops need your support more than ever. One easy way to lend a hand is by purchasing items online, and since this is the year 2020, plenty of our fave neighborhood stores offer online ordering and delivery—and even shipping for customers across the country. Whether you’re looking to jazz up your quarantine space with some colorful apartment furnishings, check out feminist reading material, indulge in self-care with apothecary provisions, or treat yourself to a few cute accessories, here are some of the best and brightest Chicago shops with online ordering that you can support right now.
Photo courtesy of Penelope’s
Penelope’s Penelope's features products from Europe and the U.S. and stocks apparel for women, men, and kids, offering everything from twee hats and funky khaki cuts to quirky socks and cheetah leggings. Each season brings a new wave of colorful goods. Timeless Toys They don't make toy stores like this anymore. Lincoln Square's playful vintage shop is filled with old-timey knickknacks, puzzles, puppets, and games, including wood trains, stuffed bunnies, kites, and action figures galore. Volumes Bookcafe This sunny Wicker Park bookstore is filled with every kind of book, magazine, travel guide, and memoir imaginable. While you won’t be able to enjoy its boozy lattes or author signings at the moment, you can peruse the website and order merchandise to ship, especially since books are the perfect remedy and distraction during a quarantine. Be sure to check out its substantial selection of books by local authors. The store is also offering free shipping through April.
Photo by Kailley Lindman/Courtesy of Wayward
Wayward A hiker's paradise in the middle of Wicker Park, this Seattle-based business specializes in apparel, books, and accessories for the wanderlust afflicted. Minimizing any intimidation, the store is less about hard-core hiking and most ideal for casual nature lovers and road trippers. Look for plenty of cute National Parks swag, including mugs and playing cards. Arch Apothecary Self-care is important right now. Lesser-known cosmetics and skincare lines are spotlighted at this luxury beauty boutique. Take your time exploring the chic website, stocked with everything from Eve Lom brightening cream to By Terry dual powders. Pistachios A far cry from any typical jewelry store, this downtown shop sells contemporary art jewelry so stunningly unique it looks like it should be on display in a museum. Additionally, the website features different designers and artists aplenty, plus some unique vintage pieces. Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles Step back in time at this Logan Square shop’s website, specializing in punk, indie, and garage rock records and cassettes. The colorful store also deals in ’80s and ’90s nostalgia, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures to Goosebumps patches and Cyndi Lauper trading cards.
Photo courtesy of Rider for Life
Quimby’s Bookstore Strange, brassy, and irreverent, this eclectic indie shop features books, magazines, periodicals, and comics from writers, poets, and authors near and far. There's always something new and sassy to check out, along with trinkets and gifts galore. Rider for Life Pay a visit to this West Loop boutique’s beautiful website to stock up on one-of-a-kind rugs, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and vintage furnishings, along with women's fashion, makeup, and fragrances, all sourced from across the globe. Sir & Madame Cohesive men's and women's casualwear with an elevated twist is the norm at this Hyde Park fixture. The owners are a creative duo who produce an eclectic combination of casual and elegant pieces for the stylish urban sophisticate who craves everything that encompasses city living.
Photo courtesy of Brimfield
Brimfield Inspired by antiques and local stores in the United Kingdom, Julie and Jeff Fernstrom opened the ultimate vintage and housewares shop in Andersonville, filling it with refurbished furniture and upholstery, plus blankets, decor, and plenty of plaid. Eskell From chic planters and lamps to bathrobes and candles, this stylish Bucktown boutique has it all. Primarily dealing in women's fashion, housewares, and apothecary items, it's a great catchall for gifts or a personal splurge.
Photo courtesy of Eskell
The Golden Triangle If you're looking to turn your home into a museum, this River North mecca is the place for you. Featuring Asian and European artifacts, sculptures, and furnishings, it's a great spot for cultural inspiration and artistry. Humboldt House A trendy boutique with a side of sass, this Humboldt Park favorite features vintage Moroccan rugs, ceramics, candles, and distinct rings alongside mugs emblazoned with R-rated words. Its website is a place where you can up your fashion game, middle fingers raised. Transit Tees A love letter to Chicago and its transit system, this quirky Wicker Park shop slings shirts, socks, pillows, magnets, and pins, all designed with logos, slogans, maps, and CTA stops indicative of the city.
Transit Tees / Photo by Bradley Kirouac
Judy Maxwell Home  With a motif that's somewhere between Americana general store and circus, this Old Town storefront is pure fun for all ages. Whimsy is big here, from stuffed animals and cards to books and toddler onesies decorated with hot dogs. Una Mae’s Classic meets contemporary at this long-standing Wicker Park boutique, an expansive shop filled with vintage and modern clothing for men and women, plus accessories, apothecary goods, candles, and bargain-basement finds. Enjoy, An Urban General Store Whether you're looking for sassy socks or Band-Aids with Shakespearean quotes, Lincoln Square's quirkiest storefront has it all. Accessories, toys, art, books, office supplies, and gifts are well represented at this offbeat oasis.
Women & Children First / Photo by Bradley Kirouac
Women & Children First Putting women and children first, this quaint Andersonville staple spotlights books and magazines for kids, feminists, and the LGBT community. Local authors play a prominent role and offer plenty of options on the store’s website. Nomadic Ant  Whether you're looking for a Buddha statue or nautical rings, this wanderlust-inspired shop has you covered. Peruse the well-traveled housewares and accessories on Nomadic Ant’s website, and once it reopens, be sure to check out the store's recurring live music pop-ups.