Attention discount shoppers! Pick up some great deals for yourself this season (and all year round!) at the top resale boutiques and thrift stores across the city. With such a well-dressed and eclectic mix of people who call Chicago home, these shops are a treasure trove of unique secondhand styles at bargain prices.
Besides trying on different fahions, buying clothes at a Chicago resale store is doing a solid for the environment and giving new life to clothing that may otherwise be resigned to the trash. Some stores take this philanthropic mindset to another level, donating a percentage of profits to local charities.
In my experience, the highest concentration of amazing Chicago thrift stores is around the Lakeview neighborhood. Here are my favorite area spots for a fun day of thrifting:
Let’s start with the holy grail of discount clothing. Though not exactly a resale store, the Urban Outfitters Surplus (2352 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614) sells fashionable finds that may otherwise cost an arm and a leg. Hey! Urban Outfitters is NOT cheap. But their clothes are really cute, so make sure to make their outlet a stop on your list.
Ragstock (Lakeview location: 812 W. Belmont Ave #2, Chicago, IL 60657) is another store that is indirectly related to the topic at hand. They sell new and also “recycled” clothing, which just means they buy used clothing in bulk from other organizations, then send it to their many stores. Also mixed in are vintage items and seasonal accessories: Ragstock is a Chicago favorite for Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Halloween costumes — with price tags that you can’t help but smile about.
Plato’s Closet is a Chicagoland favorite, with stores in many major suburbs, and a big Chicago store in Lakeview (2817 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60614). Local residents love that Plato’s closet will buy their slightly used, in style, undamaged items for store credit or straight up cash. Chicago tourists will benefit from trying on Chicago styles at a discount price. There are a lot of hidden gems, so come with time to spare to give this store the attention it deserves!
Belmont Army (Lakeview location: 855 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657) offers a full floor of vintage at the top level of its five-floor flagship: an independent clothing shop and long-standing neighborhood shopping destination since 1975.
Elliot Consignment (3015 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657) is another resale store in Lakeview that caters to an upscale crowd. The pieces you find here are not cheap, but are all in good repair and a steal when compared to their full retail value. If you have a fancy event coming up, I’d recommend starting here for a dress or fancy suit that will make you look dapper.
Other Chicago neighborhoods great for thrift store shopping? Wicker Park/Bucktown and Pilsen have a high concentration, while Lincoln Park is home to a few luxury consignment stores for the higher-end budget. Also worth a mention are the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores scattered across Chicago, though these require a lot more patience than the aforementioned stores — largely because the selection is bigger and not curated or sorted as well. Regardless, it’s worth a look if you’re a true thrift shopper.
Save money, the environment, and in some cases, benefit a charity. What’s not to love about resale shopping? And where are your favorite places to shop in the city? Please share in the comments!
Additional photos courtesy of Time Out Chicago, Ragstock, Yelp