Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Before I veture out into the snow, I thought I would throw some midday fun times your way!

I spend most of my time being pretty broke, so I like to keep it cheap and interesting when I shop for clothes or really anything. Since I missed half price mondays at Unique yesterday, I will share with you today, two of my favorite vintage/consignment shops in the city, because despite what any old broad in Bloomingdale's will tell you, you don't need to spend a shitload of money to look great. All you need is the tiniest grasp of your own personal style, and maybe some basic sewing skills. Sometimes you're going to find pieces that are almost perfect. They just need a little tweeking and maybe a little embellishment. Get a needle and thread and BAM! new outfit.

First up is my favorite. Clothes Optional.
I've been shopping there for years, and the owner Jamie, is super cute, but also has great taste in vintage gear. The only time I have left with nothing in my sweaty palms was this past Sunday. I was looking for something very specific, and I just couldn't find it. With the exception of that ONE damn day, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I go in there, I find something. I can't get enough of that place. You can find handmade as well as vintage pieces, and you won't break the bank. However, this isn't Unique thrift where everything is basically $1 and you have to Lysol yourself when you get home. It's vintage, not thrift, and because the quality is vastly superior to janky but awesome thrifts, be prepared to spend more. You can find Jamie and her crew online at her myspace page (I know right! what IS that???) http://www.myspace.com/clothesoptional. Every few months or so, Jamie has an art show in her shop. She ususally features local street artists, namely Goons and Stomach, but once upon a time when I worked at a gallery, we shared an artist named Jeremy Scheuch(www.jeremyscheuch.com). I would totally recommend getting on the Clothes Optional mailing list. She'll let you know when the shows are, and also has monthly coupons offering 20-30% off of select merchandise. ALSO ALSO ALSO!!! When you go to her shows, you get to drink free PBR AND get 50% off all clothes. HOT SALE! Please check her out. Small businesses tend to suffer during these hard times, and it would break my fragile little heart to see her leave. For now, you can find Jamie and her owls at 2918 N. Clark Street right here in Chicago! While you're over there, treat yourself to a show at the Landmark. See if they'll sell you the Gummy Bears in the case(HOT TIP! They won't. I tried!)

Next up is a new favorite. Very Best Vintage on Chicago Ave. I've only stumbled into this shop a few times, but I did leave with a pewter unicorn statue. AWESOME! The owner of Very Best Vintage has superb taste as well. Every single piece in that place was in perfect condition, and I was more than willing to shell out the cash. If you're in the market for an unbelievable Rococco inspired handbag or some kitschy thing for your kitchen, then you should be at Very Best Vintage right now. Stop reading this and GO GO GO !!! Its location is perfect and if you are lazy like I am, and don't like leaving your neighborhood, then it's perfect!!! I might even brave the storm and go today! SHIT MON! Since I'll be shopping for myself for V-Day, I think I deserve a new purse and some sparkly new gems! While you're shopping til you drop at Very Best Vintage, you should make a stop at Rotofugi and pick up the new copy of Juxtapoz oh, and I collect these: CUTE!

What sells me on both of these shops is their attention to quality. Anyone can put shitty quality items in a storefront and try to sell them. I mean, we've all been to Chinatown or Milwaukee and California. These ladies actually take the time to hand pick each piece and pay careful attention to the structure of the garment. Everything remains intact and has held onto its original luster. If you're going to buy vintage, buy from these ladies. You'll spend about the same amount as if you were shopping at H&M except you'll leave with something truly special and unique. Simple things can change your life.

Well, here I go again on my own! I hope I don't get all stranded Donner Party style out in the snow!


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