Boutique Shopping For Less: Best Bargains and Secret Finds in Chicago

October 13, 2008 10:10:10 AM PDT
You may think that you can't afford to shop at a boutique. But you can find good deals at small, trendy stores; you just need to know where to look. A new website can help. StoreAdore.com aims to be a personalized guide to the best boutique shopping and deals around Chicago and the country. Even while some boutiques are still stocking $300 shirts and $700 dresses it is possible to find reasonable prices and high quality goods at your local Chicago stores, says Molly Morgan Each, Store Adore's Chicago editor. She's found one Chicago boutique that makes a point not to stock anything that costs over $100.

StoreAdore.com was founded by a former Lucky magazine editor Meredith Barnett and Cristina Miller, childhood best friends and Harvard MBAs. Barnett and Miller developed the website because they were frustrated with the lack of available resources for shoppers visiting a new city or neighborhood, or shopping online. Sensing the similarities between passionate foodies and shoppers, they developed the business model for Store Adore based on successful recipe websites, which combine an editorial database with user-generated content and community.

StoreAdore.com is a forum for passionate shoppers to share insights and find information on the very best boutiques and specialty stores in the cities where they live, where they travel, and online. Users of the site can score exclusive deals from our stores, find new stores, see what's new at their favorite stores, and talk about shopping with likeminded individuals. The site features over 2,700 editorial store profiles in Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and online. There's also a lively and informative shopping blog. Store Adore launched nationally last February and is new to Chicago. Boutiques do not pay to be a part of Store Adore. Its editors make decisions on their own about what to feature on the website.

Here are some "finds" from Store Adore Chicago editor Molly Morgan Each:

Look #1

Amethyst cowl neck sweater dress from Pivot

  • $119 plus 20% off through storeadore.com
  • Made from organic and sustainable materials that is so versatile it can translate into 5 looks all out of just one dress.
  • You can wear it with with tights or jeans, with heels or boots; you can change the look by switching delicate jewelry for baubles
  • Pivot is an entirely eco-friendly boutique.
  • Retro-Inspired Look #2

    Mustard top with a tiny bit of sparkle by BB Dakota

  • In one of the season's top colors, mustard, and with a little dose of sparkle, this top is perfect for holiday parties
  • $60 plus 20% off through storeadore.com).
  • Available at Gray. While they normally have a higher price point, you can always find a few $60 gems in the racks. Also, as a secret shopping note they have a $40 rack in the back which is updated every Friday.
  • Anonome Jeans

  • These jeans ($100) come in styles that range from skinny to wide leg and everything in between
  • From The Blue Jeans Bar carriers an almost intimidating amount of denim, but their expert staff is on hand to help find the fit for any body type.
  • Dressy Look #3

    Black sequined cocktail dress, by Catherine Malandrino

  • $150; marked down from $795 plus 20% off more from storeadore.com
  • From Beta Boutique which has an ongoing sample sale where you can find big discounts on some of the best designer labels. Everything in the shop is at least 40% off, some of it as high as 90%.
  • Teal poly/wool coat, with oversized buttons and a mod silhouette by Luii

  • $120, from Gray.
  • Beautiful wool blend coat is easy to dress up for a fancy night out but works for every day. It's heavy enough to easily carry you through November.
  • Accessories showcased on demo table

    Big, faux leather black bag

  • $88 plus 20% off from storeadore.com from Bess and Loie.
  • This bag is as big and buttery as it's more expensive counterparts
  • While Bess and Loie Styles carry styles that run hundreds of dollars, they also have an entire section of the store devoted to bags around and under $100. The experts at this accessory heaven scour the wholesale markets and find the best of the best in affordable bags.
  • Oversized Clutch by-Urban Expressions

  • $68 plus 20% off from storeadore.com) from shebang.
  • This clutch is the size of a large magazine, features gorgeous gray patent leather trim, comes complete with a strap to change the look for maximum versatility.
  • Nabi designs Gold leaf necklace

  • $58 less 20% off from storeadore.com from shebang.
  • Beautiful gold necklace with leaf pendant from one of the best accessory stores in the city, according to Store Adore editors. Inside the girly-pink shop, you can easily score a wide variety of jewelry in the $50-$80 range, and cute clutches-plus big selection of faux leather purses available under $100.
  • Alex and Ani bracelets

  • $32 plus 20% off from storeadore.com at shebang,
  • These delicate sterling silver bracelets are expandable making it easy to wear on any part of your arm.
  • Magazine bracelets,

  • $17 plus 20% off from storeadore.com from Pivot.
  • Made from old magazines, these bracelets are quirkily chic addition to any ensemble. Add them to an otherwise neutral color palate for a playful dose of color.
  • Made by Recycled Planet Store, they're not only an accessory, but a conversation piece.
  • Tagua Nut Necklace-

  • $25 plus 20% off from storeadore.com from Pivot.
  • Crafted from the South American Tagua nut, it looks like stone or opaque glass from a distance, but up close, you can see the tree-like rings.
  • Gold Watch

  • $24.99 plus 20% off from storeadore.com
  • From SoKo, the Store Adore editor's personal secret shopping weapon. The owner makes a point not to stock anything over $100. You might find an adorable cropped coat for $70 and your can truly score with their accessories display case.
  • Dangling earrings

  • $19.99 plus 20% off from storeadore.com from SoKo.
  • These dangling earrings, featuring three thin metallic chains topped with faux pearls, are elegant enough for a night out, but simple enough to wear anywhere.
  • Silver Ring

  • $14.99 plus 20% off from storeadore.com
  • This silver ring features hammered silver-about the size of a quarter-that expertly shows off any manicure. The adjustable size means you can wear it on almost all of your fingers, offering a different effect each time.
  • Here are some shopping deals available to StoreAdore.com shoppers and ABC 7 viewers:

    1) Shebang 20% off everything. Enter code "storeadore" or show the page in store: http://www.storeadore.com/sdev/store_profile.php?storeID=2211

    2) The Blues Jean Jean Bar: 20& off everything. Enter code "ADOREBJB" or show this page in store: http://www.storeadore.com/sdev/store_profile.php?storeID=918

    3) Beta Boutique: $10 off a purchase of $50. Print this page and show in stores: http://www.storeadore.com/sdev/store_profile.php?storeID=2175

    For more information, visit: storeadore.com


  • Load Comments