The style-setters at five chic shops predict
the season's biggest hits and misses
Complete your spring wardrobe with these accessories
Owner Heiji Choy regularly travels to New York and Europe to hand-pick pieces by rising designers, which she showcases in a minimalist, artistic space.
Favorite lines: Loomstate,Duffer of St. George, Greige, Yoko Devereaux, Les Prairies de Paris
New additions: Hip kicks by Kristen Lee; boho-chic looks by Parisian designer Isabel Marant; tailored sportswear from Umbro by Kim Jones
Our picks: Eley Kishimoto halter, $120; Jasmine Shokrian skirt, $345; Nice Collective jacket, $256
Best deal: Sonia by Sonia Rykiel dress, $120 (shown)
Hot: African and ethnic prints, eyelet detailing
Not: Floral prints and overworked jeans. "At this point," Choy says, "I'm tired of whiskered denim."
1529 N Milwaukee Ave between Wood St and Damen Ave (773-772-0002)
Joe Lauer and Jena Frey's boutique carries cute, uniquely cut garments with a touch of mod (think grandma meets the Beatles) for men and women.
Favorite lines: APC, [Im]Perfect Articles, Freitag, Edward An, Wrangler 47 denim jeans and jackets
New additions: WE/JL, Designers Remix, mona & holly, Anzevino & Florence, Bianca Branaman
Our picks: Manisse belted top $122 (shown); Modern Amusement button-down shirt ($68); Lewis Cho pinstripe cotton dress ($154)
Best deal: Qylaar handmade poodles-and-strawberry clutch($25)
Hot: "Our general aesthetic doesn't change each season," says store manager Melissa Shockley. "We like to maintain a clean, modern aesthetic and buy clothes that are simple, in bright colors and that have good details."
Not: "Synthetic material in general is not so good," Shockley says. "We're cotton addicts—we err toward more natural materials and fabrics."1913 W Division St between Wolcott and Damen Aves (773-395-2351)
At this duo of city boutiques, casual-chic blossoms as head buyer Missy Huber-Davis hand-picks of-the-moment pieces that never look like they're trying too hard.
Favorite lines: Inhabit, Ever tees, Grey Ant, Paige Premium Denim, Ladies of the Canyon, White, Generra
New additions: Curve-hugging, feminine sweaters and plunging V-neck tops by Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent; colorful jewelry by Citrine by the Stones; Italian leather bags with pleated detailing and vintage-style buckles by Kudra by Amy Di La Marra; metallic- and earth-tone summer shawls by Ettie Knitwear
Our picks: sheer La Rok top, $198; Madley green and gold knit tank, $167; Goldenbleu copper Marilyn handbag, $485
Best deal: Penguin blue-on-blue men's jacket, $98 (shown)
Hot: "This season I loved the bohemian-chic styles," says Huber-Davis. "The look can be casual or fancy; it's very versatile."
Not: Shrugs, micro-minis, super–low-rise jeans
853 W Armitage between Halsted St and Sheffield Ave (773-281-8100); 55 E Grand Ave between Rush St and Wabash Ave (312-822-0600)
Jim Wetzel and Lance Lawson are the pair behind Southport's coed fashion darling, which showcases indie collections in a friendly, no-fuss environment.
Favorite lines: Olga Kapustina, Sass and Bide, Filippa K, I.C.R. vs. Deth Killers of Bushwick
New additions: Light, flowing pieces by Pegah Anvarian; draped separates from Katie Zorn; Stitch's denim
Our picks: Nudie jeans, $276 (shown); Vanessa Penna vintage-kimono sash, $148; James Coviello print skirt, $238
Best deal: Vanessa Bruno sequined tote, $120
Hot: Glam caftans and full '50s skirt shapes. "It's a very ladylike look, but not in a prom way," Wetzel says.
Not: Ponchos, pencil skirts, loud animal prints
3740 N Southport Ave between Waveland Ave and Grace St (773-929-5253)
In addition to carrying 14 lines of designer denim, Natalie Sacchetti's bright and airy Old Town women's boutique specializes in sweetly feminine items, like flowy skirts, shimmery blouses and colorful dresses.
Favorite lines: Rebecca Taylor, Tom K Nguyen, Susana Monaco, Joe's Jeans, Bulga
New additions: Rock-&-roll–influenced T-shirts by Grail; flirty chiffon tops by JW; slimming jeans by Chicago-based Fins Denim
Our picks: Metalicus teal tank top, $83; Jungal blouson print dress, $288 (shown); Rebecca Taylor flowing top, $240
Best deal: Yellow striped tank top by Splendid, $43
Hot: "This spring is a combination of two looks," says Sacchetti. "We're selling a lot of bohemian pieces like Indian-inspired tunics and embroidered jeans, but there's also a rocker vibe going on with ripped-up pants, concert T-shirts and plenty of skulls."
Not: Ultra-flared jeans, ponchos, minis
1361 N Wells St between Division St and North Ave (312-266-8101)