Thursday, September 2, 2010
Shopping Trip: Bucktown
Chicago has the capacity for some pretty serious retail therapy. Of all the neighborhoods and suburbs replete with fashionable opportunities, Bucktown is my favorite. This trendy little vintage realm centers on the tricky 3-way intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen. I could spend every day in Bucktown and still manage to leave many stones unturned. The two shops that I must enter on any Bucktown sojurn under self-threatened pain of death are Una Mae’s and Vintage Underground.
The spunky Una Mae’s at 1528 N. Milwaukee Ave. features men’s and women’s contemporary fashion on the ground floor (I’ve found pieces by B.B. Dakota and Blank in the past), but nowadays I’m typically drawn to the lofted vintage area. Amidst some pretty dead-on retro furnishing, one can always find a brilliant vintage dress or top. The selection is always very well-edited and easy to shop.
Vintage Underground at 1834 W. North Ave. is literally underground. A veritable emporium of costume jewelry, the shop has also recently expanded its apparel section to include some of the most intact and fascinating sets I have ever seen in person (some with matching shoes!). For the collectors out there, signed costume jewelry abounds. It can get a little overwhelming, but the staff are more than willing to cull their treasure trove for whatever you want.
Both shops are very reasonably priced (everything I found was under $50), so naturally I scooped up a number of goodies! Most have been set aside as holiday presents (delayed gratification), but one thing that I could not wait on was this incredible Trifari earring set from Vintage Underground:
With 5 pairs of interchangeable plastic disks, this set is an example of ingenious mid-century design and a little piece of vintage history. The Trifari designers were so clever with their jewelry, enabling practical women to make 5 pairs of earrings out of 1. I am not a serious collector, but I do appreciate how rare it is to have the full set in its box.