Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, December 6

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They've Got Your Back

The Citypak Project provides high-quality, versatile backpacks to the homeless, giving them a safe place to store their belongings.

Good Guides

If our gift guide isn't enough for you, maybe ones from the A.V. Guide, NewCity, the Reader, South Side Weekly or Time Out will help.

GB Gift Guide: Expensive Socks

If you're the type who might buy $55 luxury socks for a man on your list, Nick'Socks might be just what you're looking for.

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen

Today, for $9.99 on Groupon, you can buy a clip-on man bun. More than a week after Halloween.

Something Special for You

Cards Against Humanity launched its Eight Sensible Gifts for Hannukkah today. It's the last time they're doing it, so get while the getting's good.

Give'em the Boot

If you're the type of person who gets excited about Christkindlmarket boot mugs, this is the sort of news you'll get excited about. The market opens Nov. 20 and runs through Christmas Eve.

Our own Mad Hatter

Benjamin B. Green-Field was known as "Chicago's Mad Hatter," using all manner of materials for his creations, from feathers to silver cutlery. He passed away in 1988. You can buy one of his amazing hats, modeled after a beehive, for $895.

Jumpman News

Nike is planning a Jordan brand-only store for Stat Street. Meanwhile, Jerry West, the player the NBA's current logo is modeled after, would pick Michael Jordan to replace him.

Garage Saleless

Threadless is holding a garage sale at its West Loop headquarters this Saturday. Hang out with the employees and help them clear out dead stock for as little as a buck a shirt.

Sunglasses not Included

Mitch O'Connell has a couple of Donald Trump t-shirts that fans of They Live will appreciate.

Handmade, Homemade

Amazon Handmade, the new competitor to Etsy, lets you drop locally made goods -- like coasters, ceramics, jewelry and artwork into your Prime shopping cart.

Clean Lines, Pencil Skirts

GB alum Kelly Reaves profiles fashion designer Anna Fong, whose clothes are both timeless and very much now.

Star Bright

Local cycling gear maker Po Campo makes Chicago star reflector pins to help you stay visible on the road.

Sweater of Broad Shoulders

It is nice to wear your city pride, and the Chicago star is obvious. But, sometimes subtle is better. And Allyson Dykhuizen, owner of The Sweatshop of Love has created a knitting pattern for a cardigan named Sweater of Broad Shoulders, which has eight stitch patterns, each representing a different neighborhood from the South Side to the North Side. It's one of 13 patterns in Midwestern Knits. Winter is coming, after all.

ORD Sweet Home

For the traveler in your life, Naxart Studio has two versions of a poster featuring an O'Hare luggage tag.

& Then

A t-shirt celebrates the ampersand's popularity among Chicago's bars & restaurants.

Smells Like Grandpa

Iron Heritage's all-natural men's grooming products honor the traditions and aromas of the old-school barber shop.

Get Dressed Properly

The Distance profiles Richard Bennett Custom Tailors, putting bespoke shirts and suits on clients in the Loop since the early '90s.

Let's Trade Fair

Early warning: the Chicago Fair Trade Day Festival hits Daley Plaza Wednesday and Thursday, featuring global shopping, music and a live taping of WBEZ's "Worldview."

RIP DIY Trunk Show

After 11 shows in 12 years, the DIY Trunk Show is calling it quits. Gapers Block has been in the show every year since the start; it will be sorely missed.

Fuggen Ugly Nails

ManGlaze is a local matte finish nail polish company specializing in colors like Mayonnaise, Santorum and Butt Taco. Delish.

Fancy Up Your CSA

Chicago-based online boutique Perry Clark Home just launched a line called Farm to Table, featuring everything from heirloom fruit and vegetable seedlings to a $1200 handmade dining table.

Buy a Bit of Harpo

Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios is being sold, and props and furnishings will be auctioned off next week at Leslie Hindman Auctions.


The School of the Art Institute teamed up with CB2 to produce a line of products for small living spaces.

Kickstart a Commotion

Beef bacon, a micro-bakery, a cast-iron bread oven, a musical about the "Where's the Beef?" lady, and a book about living with chronic illness are among the campaigns on GB's curated Kickstarter page.

Remember it Now

The latest seasonal edition of Field Notes features printing by Hamilton Wood Type. Read about how it happened from Hamilton's perspective, then pick up a pack.

Kickstart to Warm Up

The You Are Beautiful public art project, a hummingbird feeder and a picnic cheese plate pack on Gapers Block's curated Kickstarter page might help you look forward to warmer weather.

No More Shopping in the Air

As you may have heard, SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy. Maybe it's because their carved wood map of Chicago is $330 and only shows a portion of the North Side, while you could get a carved wood map of the whole city for $248 elsewhere.


A new t-shirt from 26 Shirts honoring Hall-of-Fame Blackhawk Denis Savard is only available until Jan. 11, and proceeds benefit the Denis Savard Foundation.

GB Gift Guide: Keep Your Head Warm

Fourth is King has a cool Sweet Home Chicago knit cap and one from You Are Beautiful, while New Era has one with the familiar four stars. (They also have this pretty neat ball cap.)

GB Gift Guide: Aw, Cute Puppy!

Perpetually Yours Pets makes pillows, prints and accessories featuring fun portraits of popular dog breeds. Owner Rachael Ingram does custom pillows, too.

GB Gift Guide: RIP Hot Doug's

We miss Hot Doug's as much as you do. Thankfully, you can still pick up a t-shirt -- and there's free shipping until Dec. 7.

GB Gift Guide: Losing Ugly

These Bears ugly sweaters are for die-hard fans only -- and considering how bad the team is this year, that's probably all that's left willing to wear them.

GB Gift Guide: Chicago's White Socks

Local company Sock Union has some great Chicago flag athletic socks, and Skyline Socks sells pairs with the city's skyline in several colorways that might remind you of a certain team.

GB Gift Guide: Chicago Supporter

This Chicago flag soccer scarf will be great in the winter as well as at Fire and Red Stars games.

Gift Guide A-Go-Go

It's gift guide season! Chicago magazine, the Reader, RedEye, Sun-Times' Splash and Time Out all have theirs out. Here at GB we'll be posting items throughout the next couple weeks -- see all our gift guide recommendations in the archives.

Buy It Yourself at the DIY Trunk Show

The cold and the snow are true signs that winter is approaching. And with the start of winter comes the holidays and the beginning of the holiday craft show season. The DIY Trunk Show returns this year with more than 130 craft, art and handmade vendors, food sold by Wishbone, free beer donated by Lagunitas and Brooklyn Brewery, live music and several djs from CHIRP Radio. So grab your list and get a jump start on gift buying tomorrow at the Broadway Armory (5917 N. Broadway) from 10 am to 5 pm.

For Your Office Holiday Party

Maskerdoodles are fun props for holiday photo time.

Movember Maintenance

If you're growing a mustache this month (or a beard for the winter), you should take care of it. The Windy City Beard Co. has your back.

THE Baby Blanket

An overwhelming number of newborns are wrapped in the same blanket -- a pink and blue flannel baby blanket from suburban Medline. (Thanks, Dee!)

Have a Clean Halloween

Kymberlee Ricke of Wizard at Work makes spooky and sci-fi themed soaps, bath bombs and crayons that'll help make Halloween more fun.

Chic for Cheap

Gilt City is holding a warehouse sale at the MCA's warehouse this Saturday. [via]

Renaissance Men

The popularity of menswear is on the rise, with many boutiques appealing to guys by serving booze to shoppers.

Looking for a Halloween Costume with Impeccable Provenance?

The Lyric Opera is hosting a sale of more than 3,000 of its costumes next week.

Chi This Way

Time Out suggests 16 rules of living in Chicago, two of which are about what to call the city. (Gapers Block kind of goes both ways on "Chi," because hey, we're complicated.)

Parasols in the Park

Chicago's Goth Lolita scene had a day in the park recently.

Taste of Crafty Chicago

Taste of Chicago includes something more this year besides turkey legs and concerts: Made in Chicago Market, a showcase of local fashion and accessory designers and boutiques. The festival and the market open today.

"The Breast Bikini"

The TaTa Top adds a little titillation to your next trip to the beach. Assuming you're white, anyway; no word on whether the next batch will include other skin tones.

Kickstart a Revolution

An anti-spill cup, an iOS-real world game, a physical theatre festival and a line of Lovecraft action figures are among the campaigns on GB's Kickstarter page.

T-Shirt Redistricting

It doesn't appear to be available online, but Old Navy's State Street store is selling an almost hysterically inaccurate Chicago map on a t-shirt. At least they didn't flat-out steal Ork Posters' design.

old navy chicago map t-shirt

DIY, Again

After a year hiatus, the DIY Trunk Show is returning this fall. Vendor applications are now open.

Lay Down With the Stars

Goody Two Shoes Estate Sales is selling a bed they claim was once owned by legendary Hollywood star Rita Hayworth. It's round, it's red and can be yours for a mere $1,500.

Rita Hayworth's bed

Rita Hayworth's bed

Rita Hayworth's bed

Garage Sale Season is Upon Us

This weekend there are two big events to consider: the Ravenswood Manor Garage Sale featuring more than 100 participants throughout the neighborhood, and the Great Parker Garage Sale benefiting Francis Parker School. [via]

Something Nice for Mom

Still looking for a good Mother's Day gift? Heshima Kenya's line of handmade scarves is a versatile, fashionable option. They'll be at Dose Market this Sunday at Chop Shop.

Hemmed by History

Jen Beeman of Grainline Studios talks about the dying profession of pattern-making for "Marketplace."

Elephant Walk

Howard Brown is moving the original Brown Elephant resale store to 3020 N. Lincoln Ave. in July.

Meet the Lacquerheads

Local nail polish blogger Scrangie Mariano talks about her obsession in a NYTimes piece on polish collectors.

Stock Your Closets

A dozen Wicker Park boutiques are getting together for a warehouse sale this weekend at the Chop Shop. [via]

Wear Chiberia Apparel Under Your Six Coats

A Chiberia t-shirt has been created to commemorate the harsh Chicago winter that won't quit. The shirts run for $25 and sales will be donated to help those who hurt the most this winter: the homeless.

Sporting Some History

Just in time for the end of Black History Month, Homage just released a new line of Negro League sportswear, including a shirt and hat from the Chicago American Giants.

Stars & Striped Socks

Sock Union fills a hole in your wardrobe: Chicago flag socks.

Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts from PixieHammer Press

Not good with words, but want to express your feelings to that special someone? Local wordsmiths at PixieHammer Press will help you create the perfect love letter (or hate letter) written on a vintage typewriter after interviewing you via phone or Skype to gather the necessary details.

Guys Need Jeans Help Too

Chicago-based ZipFit Denim helps guys find the best fitting (high-end) blue jeans for their measurements.

Revisionist Chicago History for Your Wall

Matthew Buchholtz of Alternate Histories makes wonderfully weird posters, such as Chicago's earliest days, what really caused the Great Chicago Fire and a map to the old killer robot factory.

Fashion for the Modern American Muslim

WBEZ profiles entrepreneurs who are catering to American Muslims, including Chicago-based Haute Hijab.

Sears Lowers its Flag

Sears is closing its flagship store in the Loop as the retailer shifts some of its focus to online sales.

Ladies Love Humanity, Too

Frustrated by the "lack of ladies and lady-centric jokes in the comedy world," a Los Angeles-based writer has launched Ladies Against Humanity, a new counterpart to Cards Against Humanity.

Culmination of the Tight Pants Trend

"We actually feel that our meggings are more flattering than other tight pants on a man," say the founders of Meggings Man "They allow room but they don't really accentuate...that area."

Naked No More

Threadless laid off a quarter of its staff and closed its shop in Lakeview in a restructuring move that will take it more toward partnerships with major retailers, such as the Gap.

What a Bunch of Babies

The owner of a children's clothing store in Southport says she's closing up shop because she's tired of dealing with snobby locals who yell, throw shoes, and let their kids pee on the floor.

Shambling Toward Success

Annie Mohaupt's wooden sandals are cute and comfortable -- but that didn't save her from being a bad business person. After a disastrous attempt at outsourcing to China, Mohaupt is Kickstarting a factory stateside.

No More Fun

The uniquely weird and kitschy Uncle Fun novelty store in Lakeview is closing, according to an announcement on its Facebook page.

GB Gift Guide: Skyline on Your Head

Leaders 1354 has a cool knit hat featuring a familiar skyline.

GB Gift Guide: Snarky Pendants, Prints & Whimsical Crochet

If going by the name of Madame Platypus isn't enough to get you intrigued, the pendants prints and all things platypus from this local crafter and musician (with copy that reads "Mommy drinks because you're bad" and "Bitches be craftin") should be enough to fill a stocking for that special someone who like things a little edgy. Catch her this Saturday at Empty Bottle's Handmade Market and Sunday at the Urban Folk Circuit for gifts for that person who just doesn't like lotion from Bath & Body Works. You can also find some of her work on her Etsy page.

GB Gift Guide: Local Delivery

Startup WeDeliver just launched a 12 Days of Christmas promotion: each day from Dec. 13 to the 24th, the service will deliver from a different local business for just $6.

GB Gift Guide: Fashionable Charging Station

Everpurse charges your smartphone for you, and looks stylish doing it.

Tree Delivery Today

Need a Christmas tree? Uber and Home Depot are delivering them on demand today, from 11am to 8pm. The price is $135, but hey, you don't have to shlep out and get it.

Half-Price Free Bikes

Divvy is offering half off an annual membership as part of a Groupon.


Further blurring the lines between rap, sports, and fashion branding, Kayne West announced in an interview with Hot 97's Angie Martinez that he dropped Nike -- makers of the upcoming Air Yeezy II Red Octobers -- to partner with Adidas, citing Nike's refusal to give shoe royalties to non-athletes.

GB Gift Guide: The Local Options

Vintage suitcase boom boxes, cigar box guitars, and the Bake and Destroy vegan cookbook are just a few items on the Reader's all-local holiday gift guide- one of the first of many (including our own) such guides of the season.

Boyfriend Pillow for Actual Boyfriends

The Partner Pillow is designed by a local entrepreneur to finally solve the "awkward arm" situation faced by many cuddlers.

Get a Shirt and a Warm Fuzzy

As they've often done when disaster strikes, Threadless is offering up a t-shirty option for those who are looking for a way to help out people in the Philippines who've been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. 100% of net shirt proceeds from the sale of the tee will be donated to Architecture for Humanity. (You can also donate to nonprofits like the Red Cross, UNICEF and other organizations.)

Pay Money Get Crap

Cards Against Humanity wants to get you in on the 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit; give'em $12 and they'll send you 12 things, one each day. What could go wrong?

Sit on the Colors

New shop Wrightwood Furniture has a line of pretty cool Chicago flag-adorned pillows and furniture.

You've Dressed Up, Now Dress Better

The RedEye is once again running November of Dressing Nicely, a campaign to get people to give a damn about how they're dressed. And Ernest Wilkins reminds you that it doesn't have to cost a lot.

Cycle Nicely in Style

Sarah Becan's awesome "League of Courteous Cyclists" t-shirt (previously) is available again for pre-order.

Made in Chicago

From an alarm clock that screens your calls while you sleep to a wireless iPhone flash, this list of indie products made here is great for early holiday gift list inspiration.

Murses Take Center Stage

For the first time in its nine-year history, Chicago Fashion Week dedicated an entire runway show to menswear.

Vintage Heaven

The Randolph Street Market returns to the West Loop this Saturday and Sunday. An amazing show featuring the best antique pickers selling their latest finds -- along with live bands, interesting food and a full bar.

D.Wade's New Threads

Dwayne Wade likes ties -- enough that he's collaborating on a new line with local shop Tie Bar.

Circling the Squares

Reelagram will turn seven of your Instagram photos into a ViewMaster slideshow. (2-D only, unfortunately.)

Casing Chicago

Need to protect your iPhone? There are a couple cool Chicago-themed cases on Etsy. (Samsung S4 users are in luck, too.)

Reunion Tees

Threadless throws its annual Family Reunion next Saturday; RSVP and enjoy a carnival, music, food and more.

A Tale of Two Malls

While one suburb celebrated the opening of a brand new mall last week, another has filed a complaint to shut down an old mall it says has conditions that are too dangerous to still be operating.

Warping Wood

Matt Ovel's Contour chair is solid yet undulating. It's for sale at Scout in Andersonville. [via]

New Mall Opens Next Week in Rosemont

Fashion Outlets of Chicago opens on August 1. The mall, which "broke rules that needed to be broken," will run shuttles to and from O'Hare and also allow shoppers to ship their baggage from the mall to the airport, in addition to offering 130 retail options.

The Next Shoe Fad

Can Bucketfeet become the new Crocs or TOM's shoes? More importantly, does it want to?

You Wear it Well

RedEye trawled through Zazzle to find some pretty awful Chicago t-shirt designs; the ones we found on Amazon last year were pretty bad, too. At least none of them are as expensive as Kanye's new t-shirt.

Longest Day, Shortest Shorts

Local NSFW t-shirt label Skim Milk's new men's summer shorts might remind you of the ones Jordan wore to beat the Heat.


The Art of Nails

Britt Julious talks with artist Helen Maurene Cooper about nail art and the culture surrounding it.

This is to Kickstart You

Elephant-shaped coat hooks designed by eighth-graders, a magnetic bottle opener, a children's book about thunder and lightning and a carnival-themed art installation are among the projects on Gapers Block's curated Kickstarter page.

Rockin' Silhouettes

Records Redone cuts vinyl records into various shapes -- including Illinois, Cubs, Sox, the skyline and more. [via]

The Big Store

The awesome design blog Colossal just launched a shop, filled with lots of cool stuff, many from local designers.

Commerce & Camaraderie

Two things you should do after work tonight: Stop by Elusive Emporium's opening party at Block 37 from 5 to 8, and swing over to the Berghoff for the GB Get-Together from 6 to 9.

Wear Local

Alison Cuddy profiles some of the locally made fashion options for those hoping to avoid sweatshop labor.

The Influence of Ikram Goldman

"'I'm not going to lie,' says Jenna Lyons, the president and creative director of J. Crew, who is an admirer of Goldman. She scares me a little bit.'" "She" is Ikram Goldman, Chicago boutique owner, "fashion ambassador", and the subject of a profile in the New York Times magazine.

Sleep Under the Flag

I'd rate this headboard four stars. (Thanks, Dee!)

City of T-Shirts

Akron's The Social Dept. has some great t-shirts about Chicago and Illinois -- and some of them are on sale on Fab right now.

No Photoshop Slice

Mig Reyes designed a pretty tasty deep dish t-shirt for United Pixelworkers.

Library Cards Turned Into Art

Local chainmaille artist Vanessa Walilko saw a pile of abandoned cards from a library's card catalog and turned them into a fantastically ridiculous dress/art object called a drum farthingale with a matching corset. But not everything she makes is unwearable. She also helped make some costumes for American Repertory Theater's production of Pippen this past winter.

For the Littlest Typesetters

Typebaby swaddles your infant in competent typography.

Fuzzy Duckies & Dramatic Chipmunks

ODLCO is now selling felted animal sculptures large and small, made on a farm south of the city.

Bronzeville's Thriving Arts Scene

Medill takes a multimedia look at Bronzeville's arts-filled past and present, including three galleries: Gallery Guichard, Blanc Gallery and FaiƩ Afrikan Gallery. Another important area gallery is Milton Mizenberg's gallery and studio.

Beautiful T-Shirts

Threadless and You Are Beautiful have teamed up for a t-shirt design contest.

A Little Vintage Dance

Danielle Colby, star of "American Pickers" and a former local crafter and burlesque dancer, is back in town with a "Pickers"-related shop that's now open -- and is back onstage as well.

Bulls, Bears & Blackhawks, Oh My

Chronology Clothing's "The Beast" is the perfect Chicago sports t-shirt -- as long as you don't like baseball. [via]

Endless Supply of Journals

Depending on how quickly you go through notebooks, Out of Pages' subscription service could be very attractive.

Celebs get Treated

Streetware boutique Jugrnaut teamed up with Million Dollar Mano to produce the limited edition "Treated" satin ballcap, which has proven popular with celebrities including Kanye West, Jay-Z -- and Justin Bieber.

Chicago Does Project Runway

Fashion designer Kate Pankoke will be representing Chicago as a competitor on the next season of "Project Runway," which premieres on Jan. 24.

You Smell Delicious

Zorayda "Z" Ortiz, founder of Zoils Oils, is creating a line of scents inspired by her neighborhood of Pilsen -- aromas such as tamales and Day of the Dead bread.

Gift Guide: Crave Chicago's 2012 Holiday Party

Crave Chicago helps brings local women entrepreneurs and their great ideas to you and for this holiday season they are bringing it all together this Saturday from 10am to 3pm at their Holiday CRAVE-ings shopping party at Belle Plaine Studio, 2014 W. Belle Plaine Ave. Browse jewelry, clothing, handbags, gourmet food and more from local artists and business owners. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. PS: The Chocolate Shop will be pouring free samples of their chocolate wine. Yes, chocolate wine, and it's delicious.

GB Gift Guide: Recycled Wool Felt Accessories

FeltWerker is the brainchild of Denise Handwerker, a crafty lady who repurposes old wool sweaters and offers a stunning array of colorful, cozy scarves, fingerless gloves that are perfect for keyboarding during the long winter months, and eye-catching pins and handbags. FeltWerker can be purchased on Etsy, at a number of upcoming craft fairs in and around Chicago, and on Facebook, so you can keep current on where to see these creations in real life.

Local Stuff to Buy

The cavalcade of gift guides continues with Chicago magazine's all-local edition.

For Your Wall

Silkscreen artist Dan Grzeca's work is on sale at for the next 24-ish hours. (You might also be interested in the poster he did for us a couple years ago.)

'Tis the Season to Shop

Time Out's annual holiday gift guide might give you a little jump on the Black Friday frenzy.

Tie the Flag Around Your Waist

Chicago Belt Co.'s Orginal belt lets you do it.

State of Pixelation

I could live in a pixelated Illinois ...t-shirt.

Leather & Waxed Canvas

Winter Session makes some ruggedly beautiful bags and wallets.

Mercury Rising, Then Falling

Though it's going to be 70 degrees tomorrow, it'll be 36 on Tuesday. Dig out your winter coat -- or better yet, donate it to Heartland Alliance's Refugee Health program. Through November, the Old Town School of Folk Music will be collecting gently used hats, coats, gloves and scarves in any and all sizes. Then hurry up and treat yourself to a new jacket before it gets cold and stays cold.

No Loose Tails

I was kind of expecting the Magnetie magnetic reversible necktie to be some sort of next gen clip-on. Instead, it's a neat solution to a common problem. The inventors are currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo.

A Blue Velvet Cake for Your Sorrows

From the destruction, a beacon of hope: Oprah's Favorite Things list has been released.

Get Dressed to Impress

The second annual November of Dressing Nicely starts Thursday. Are you ready?

How to Play Dress-up

Much like we did with Fantasy Costumes, former GB staffer Marla Seidell profiles Clothes Optional Vintage for its Halloween costume handiness.

My Mom Also Likes Chicago

Idakoos autogenerates t-shirts based on keywords. Their Chicago collection is mostly fine, but every so often there's one that's just... a little off. [via]

Don't forget, Gapers Block sells a couple Chicago t-shirts, too. ;)

Ill-Advised Costume Choices

I doubt it's for sale at Fantasy Costumes, but if you were so inclined, you could be Four Loco for Halloween.


Chicago Aims for a New Target

Target has announced its plans to open another store in Chicago in October 2013. The new store will be located on west Division and north Larrabee streets, on the old site of Cabrini-Green.

Tru Blooms in the Fall

Tru Blooms, a locally sourced perfume, launches its first fragrances on Monday, Oct. 15.

Dealing Gangnam Style

Chicago-based deal-a-day site YouSwoop has a special on "Gangnam Style" Halloween costume jackets and bow-ties. Get yours in time for the party.

Run Like 'L'

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon this Sunday, Nike and the CTA have teamed up to create high-performance Dri-FIT t-shirts.

She's Got Bony Ankles

It's never too early to start thinking about Halloween costumes. Jennifer No gives you a head start with these skeleton socks.

Your Training Shirt

We've posted about Transit Tees before, back when they were just on Etsy. For the next couple days you can get their cool CTA-themed t-shirts (and a couple ties!) on

Fall Fashion Forward

Fashion Focus Chicago prepares to bring the catwalk to Millennium Park from October 15-21. The 8th annual festival of fashion is a week-long celebration of the city's emerging upscale garment industry.

A Dozen New North Side Retailers

Crain's lists a barrage of new commercial venues to open in the Clybourn corridor, and a New York developer uses an odd metaphor about developers using their limited bullets at North and Clybourn. If you don't have time for the full article, the map is a great summary.

The City Sleeps

Haptic Lab has a line of city quilts that outline the streets of cities in stitches. Chicago's quilt runs from 26th Street up to Lawrence, and west to about Cicero.


Best Map Ever

Neighborwoods' map of the city etched in (what else?) wood would make a good gift, eh?

Shop the Boul Mich

If you're just looking for an excuse to go shopping the Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival this weekend is as good a reason as any. Lots going on between Aug. 24 and Sept. 6.

Join the Belmont Army

When I was a teenager, The Alley was a mecca for counterculture kids. Today, that title belongs to Belmont Army. NewCity talks about why.

Mildblend Throws a Party

Mildblend Supply Co., the store that was the target of a "flash mob" robbery during Wicker Park Fest last month, is bouncing back with a party tonight from 7 to 9pm to celebrate the launch of an in-store pop-up shop for Nudie Jeans. The Kickback and DJ Jesse De La Pena perform.

T-Shirt Hack

You'll never forget the CSS Box Model again.

Old School Fans

Chi City Sports has some great pixilated logo t-shirts for the Bears, Bulls and Cubs -- but what about the Blackhawks and Sox?

Skim Milk on Your Shirt

Skim Milk sells t-shirts that you probably wouldn't wear to your grandparents' house, but you might wear one to Lollapalooza.

Scents of the City

Willowbrook-based Tru Fragrance is creating a line of perfumes inspired by gardens around Chicagoland -- and incorporating flower essences grown in the area.

The Joys of Predictive Analytics

Are you a Mac user? Do you use Orbitz? If so, the Chicago-based company probably didn't steer you to the best deals.

The Neighborhood Shirts

The Chicago Neighborhoods project is now complete still going going strong -- and now you can get a t-shirt of your 'hood (or your favorite).

I Got My Dog

Want to make sure everyone knows you got a real "Chicago dog" in Chicago? This tee on proudly states the fact for all to see.

"You're a virgin who can't drive."

Clueless was the inspiration for Alysse Dalessandro's prayer candle, part of THE MALL's current collection on Etsy.

Chicago's Chimera

The Chicago Beast by Creaturopolis is an amalgam of all the city's sports mascots, rolled into one minotaur-ish thing and a fire-breathing baby bear wearing tubesocks. [via]

Alderman Wants to Ban Pants on the Ground

Calling it "gangster-style clothing," 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts introduced a resolution denouncing saggy pants, sideways baseball caps and excessive jewelry at Chicago Public Schools. Saggy pants are already against CPS dress code, but the rule's enforcement has been lax in recent years.

You vs. Groupon

If you have an unused Groupon bought between November 2008 and December 2011, I've got a class action settlement for you to ponder joining.

Your Fashion Destinaton

Speaking of airports, Pilot & Captain makes some very snazzy airport shirts, including one for ORD.

38 Hot Looks

Racked Chicago just released its first "Racked Indie 38" list of the hottest indie boutiques, modeled after sister site Eater's 38.

They All Look the Same to Me

Some downtown office workers were reportedly advised to "look like protesters" to avoid being "targeted by protesters" during next week's NATO summit.

Window Watching

Michigan Avenue Magazine and Oak Street Design are looking for fashion-forward types to weigh in on their favorite downtown window displays for their third annual PROJECT windows contest.

Get Some "Rahm Jeans"?

Apparently Obama and Romney should be shopping with Mayor Emanuel to get away from their "mom jeans" reputation.

Funny Hats & Fabulous Dresses

In A/C, Kelly Reaves highlights some of the amazing fashions on display at the annual SAIC spring fashion shows.

Dressing with Hope

An Obama campaign fashion show? Yep, June 12.

Token of Affection

Hanger 3 has a CTA token necklace on sale on for $31.50, 13 percent off retail. Or you could buy one from GB contributor Rose Lannin for even less.

An Off the Cuff Option

Need some new cufflinks? These CTA Loop map ones from Mano y Metal might fit the bill -- or maybe this zoomed out pair.

Don't Leave That New iPad at Home

If you're itching to stylishly transport that new iPad or maybe an iPhone or MacBook Air or Pro, check out the lovely "Biblio" handmade covers offered via Kickstarter by FoGB George Aye (he's shot some inspired photos at Pitchfork over the years for Transmission) and David Hull. The sweetness is in the video on the campaign page (also after the jump). See other GB-curated Kickstarter campaigns.

"Keep Calm and Caray On"

The Heckler expertly blends two memes into one t-shirt.

Red Star Tees

On Etsy, ElHurstOutfitters has some cool t-shirts themed on the Chicago Fire and the Columbian Exhibition.

That's a Familiar Font

I suspect Knoed Creative may soon receive a cease-and-desist letter from a certain newspaper's lawyers, but in the meantime, enjoy their new "ChiTown" t-shirt.

A Different Kind of Diamond

If you're a White Sox fan with marriage on your mind, why not propose to your sweetheart at US Cellular Field? The Chicago White Sox Proposal package from Gilt City costs $5000, which includes flowers, a champagne toast, limousine, and other goodies.

Teeny Tiny Obamas

If your indoor plants are seeming a bit lonely, why not get them a set of wee Obamas to keep them company.

Downward Dog and Checking Account Balance

Athletic clothing brand lululemon is hosting a warehouse sale in Rosemont this weekend. Don't think yoga makes people too chill to fight over a cardboard box of $100 cotton pants.

Join SMALL and Participate in "The People's Macy's"

Speaking of workforce development, the Public Media Institute is launching the Small Manufacturing Alliance (SMALL), and they want you to join. SMALL will promote and support local companies and individuals who make stuff: bikes, clothing, food, media, whatever. The first public event will be the SMALL Showroom, which will feature member products in the Co-Prosperity Sphere throughout May.

Get Custom Duds

Bespokeable is a new local startup promising custom-tailored clothes via the interwebs.

Instructional T-Shirt

Harebrained has a t-shirt explaining the symbology of the Chicago, and looks good doing it. [via]

One Step Closer to Looking Like Michelle

Jason Wu, who designed the First Lady's inaugural gown, is launching a special collection for Target in February.

Fitting Twist for Team's Logo

The street-wear shop, Leaders, carries crewneck sweaters featuring the city's favorite bull masked for either the blistering cold or an old-fashioned mugging. Its title suggests the latter.

2011 in Shopping

In what I insincerely promise to be one of the last 'Best of' lists, The Huffington Post picks the city's best brands, labels and boutiques for the year.

Human Rumaki

Here's a great last-minute holiday gift: a bacon-patterned neckwarmer, courtesy of writer/farmer/crafter Vera Videnovich.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 32

You can think outside the box and outside the season with Weird Chicago's gift certificates for either its ghostly, or gangster tours.

"A Festive New Holiday Look"

The Sears Wish Book for the 1975 Christmas Season. Even more here.

Possibly my favorite from the '75 wish book:
1975-xx-xx Sears Christmas Catalog P014

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 27

KOKOROKOKO, a vintage shop at 1112 N. Ashland Ave., carries several Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks sweatshirts and tees including this 1985 Bears Super Bowl XX Sweater for $32.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 25

Zerobird has a nice selection of Chicago-themed items, including pillows screen-printed with images of the L.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 22

Maybe your loved one would like a CTA map t-shirt -- or perhaps just one of the Loop.

Brazil "AND" Romancing the Stone

Can't decide which is your favorite film of all time? Show your appreciation for both your favorites with Two Film T-Shirts.

Two Film T-Shirts! from Blewt! Productions on Vimeo.

Local Frocks

Looking for a holiday party dress? Check out these from local designers/retailers Anna Hovet, Eskell, and Frei Designs.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 18

Handmade porcelain jewelry by Chicago-based artist Sofia Masri.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 14

More gifts for the sports fan: Comisky and other bygone teams.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 13

The only time you'll get something with "Hot Doug's" on it, without waiting in the occasionally epic line outside the encased meats emporium, is when you buy one of these cute Hot Doug's shirts or hoodies online. There are no better words than "no line," my friend.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 10

Poster Plus carries a limited number of CTA 'L' Map shower curtains and other gifts for Chicago-centric decorators, and transit travelers, alike.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 8

Show your neighborhood pride with a Chicago L-Shirt by Knoed Creative.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 6

Begun as a Kickstarter project, CityFabric creates lovely hand-screened prints, t-shirts and tote bags featuring maps of Chicago (and other cities, too).

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 5

Know someone tired of explaining the difference between Chicago and the suburbs to people? Des Moines-based Raygun has a shirt for that.

Nice F***ing Pants

Real Men Swear a profane fashion blog by ex-GBer Craighton Berman and Michael Kiser.

Future Regifting

When you're out shopping today, try to avoid buying this year's Snuggie -- or worse, Hear Muffs.

Hear Muffs

Apparently, these have been re-invented over in the UK.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 2

For Cubs die-hards, Cubs self-haters and Cubs crazies.

"Threadbox" Coming Soon?

Threadless is testing out t-shirt vending machines in a couple spots around town. The kiosks are part of a new partnership with the company behind Coinstar and Redbox.

Fashion by Mail

Newly VC-backed CakeStyle is a new personal shopping service that sends women quarterly clothing and accessory updates by mail. It joins the male counterpart Trunk Club in the local scene.

Pumpkin & Yam Facial

What better way to start off the holiday season than with a pumpkin and yam facial? Mitchell Dental Spa is offering 50 percent off the treatment for the entire month of November.

Top Fashion Shops

Racked Chicago announced the local winners of the 2011 Racked Awards.

Good Shirts, Explained

Justin Cignac, half of the creative duo behind Threadless' UNICEF shirts (previously) talks about the thought process behind the project. [via]

This T-Shirt Costs $300,000

Threadless has created a t-shirt line for UNICEF in which the shirts cost the same as what's depicted on them. So this one, with a cargo flight, costs $300,000. This mosquito shirt (for insecticide-treated mosquito nets) is probably more in your price range.


Literary Threads

Versed Apparel brings poetry to your t-shirt -- as well as a little Chicago. [via]

Web Workers' Uniform

Web folk, you have less than 24 hours to buy the United Pixel Workers Illinois Local 21 t-shirt.

Get Jealous About Fashion

Jealous is a new fashion blog run by Lauria Locsmondy of the dearly departed Pistil. [via]

A Rose Around the Ring

Adidas' latest iteration of Derrick Rose shoes, the adiRose 2.0, debut Thursday, Oct. 6 at Footlocker. In the new commercial for the shoes, Rose breaks for the hoop against several defending bullfighters.

The Chicago History Runway

As part of its new exhibit, FashioNext: the Charles James Project, the Chicago History Museum is holding a fashion contest in collaboration with CS magazine. Voting just opened for the four finalists.

Wear your Pride

Chitown Clothing has some fairly witty sports-themed t-shirts.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Oak Park area high school student and fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson was profiled by New York Magazine.

Bears Wear

Football season is almost here: Strange Cargo has some fun new tees to help you bear down.

Historic Sports Fandom

"My t-shirt? It's for the Duffy Florals. You've probably never heard of them." It's rare that sports fans get to play the hipster superiority card, but Peoples Garment Co. helps make it happen. (Duffy Floral, the team's sponsor, still exists, incidentally.)

Delicious and Fab

Delicious Design League prints are for sale today on

Reached Our Allotment of Bird Motifs

McSweeney's takes a swing at the Renegade Craft Fair.

Midwest is Best

And so are Megan Lee's t-shirts. (Her bacon-craving T.rex is pretty great, too.)

We're Not Superfans of GQ

GQ couldn't be bothered to get a fresh photo for their "Worst-Dressed Cities in America" feature linkbait, so they ran with an image of a 15-year-old SNL skit while declaring us fourth worst, in between Manhattan and Pittsburgh. LA is number 2.

A Tome For Tavi?

Tavi Gevinson, the teen fashion blogger behind, is shopping a book. The proposal for "Diary" suggests "the book will be one part make-your-own scrapbook, one part feminist manifesto for girls and one part celebrity memento collage."

Do Your Worst, GQ

GQ ranks us 4th on its slideshow link-bait list of America's Worst Dressed Cities. And includes a photo of SNL's "Da Bears" sketch. Of course. Thanks for nothing.

But Does the Carpet Match Them?

Local jewelery designer Ashley Scott's new line, "Drapes," is currently featured on fashion blog, Refiney 29.

Let's See How This Plays Out

The creator of "Keyboard Cat," the viral video, is suing Threadless for copyright infringement over its t-shirt, "Three Keyboard Cat Moon."

T-shirt Pride

North Side, West Side, South Side -- represent!

Faulk the Police

Travis Balkin has designed a t-shirt for "for people who enjoy both The Sound and the Fury and N.W.A."

Wash Up, The Chicago Way

Obsessed with the Chicago Flag? Now you can shower with it.

Contemporary Trachtenwear

Not a phrase you often see in America, but it fits Erika Neumayer's German-inspired fashion perfectly.

Unoriginal Outfitters Redux

Urban Outfitters responded to local jeweler tru.che's accusation (previously) that the company ripped off her "United World of Love" pendant design, aided in part by Regretsy's roundup of similar designs on Etsy. UPDATE: Further thoughts from Regretsy.

Andy for Manager?

Fans of "The Office" might want to pick up this new button from Busy Beaver.

Does It Come in 25-Gallon Jugs?

The Lincoln Park Costco will soon be selling gas. No smoking near the pallets.

Help Save An Evil Squirrel

Rogers Park comic book and gift store Evil Squirrel Comics is facing some tough financial times these days. Come out for Free Comic Book Day tomorrow, and also help keep them stay open by making some purchases. You'll get 30% off (cash or credit) plus you can buy back issues for $1/lb. all weekend. More on Facebook, including a heartfelt video plea (after the jump).

Evil Squirrel Comics is located at 6928 N. Glenwood Ave. just steps south of the Morse Red Line stop (west side of the train tracks).

Today in T-shirts

The official "Derrick Rose MVP" T-shirts have hit the market, but it's hard to beat Nike's new "Hair-itage" collection of hirstute baseball players, including '80s vintage Andre Dawson and Ozzie Guillen.

Gimme That Hot Sauce

Just in time for the playoffs: staceyshirts, featuring Stacey King's many catchphrases. (Thanks, Daniel!)

Life is Better in a Great Hat

And it takes a great company to make them. Thankfully, Optimo Hats created a gorgeous and short video to explain their process.

Bensenville, the New Fashion Epicenter

It will be this Saturday, when figure skater Johnny Weir unveils his new line of little black dresses on the talent performing at the Ice Dreams event at the Edge Ice Arena.

The Grid: Textile Discount Outlet

Today we release the second feature in GB's short film series, The Grid. "Textile Discount Outlet" roams the aisles in the Pilsen fabric destination. As fabric cutter Chris says, "Bring some trail mix and a bottle of water."

Not Your Grandpa's T-Shirts

Rock & Roll apparel, etc. company Assault has come out with a line of old-timey gangland Chicago-themed, highly-detailed graphic t-shirts. Every order comes with a free mixed CD featuring local bands. Check them out here.

Occasional Shopping

You might be able to find some cool clothes at the Sometimes Store -- if you can catch it when it's open.

Suggestive Stockings

Chicago's Bear Brand Hosiery Co. (whose Gary factory was finally torn down in 2009) once sold socks that grew with, um, you.


Where Your Cause on Your Sleeve

Threadless has launched Causes, where you can design t-shirts that benefit nonprofits and social movements. The first two shirts raise funds for Japan and New Zealand.

What Chicago's Wearing

StreetPeeper tracks the fashion around town.

Pedal to the Metal

Shycog Co. is a newly launched fashion brand for cyclists 'round town.

I Wonder if Houdini Ever Had to Deal with This?

The latest in controversies: The Robert Morris University competitive dance team performed in straitjackets, offending a mental health advocate. No word on the banging your head issue, or how metal health may, in fact, drive you mad.

Settle That Fish Down

Local artist (and friend of GB) Phineas X. Jones has crafted a new print to help raise funds for earthquake relief in Japan.

Fight the Empire at McCormick Place

Local plush maker Steff Bomb's created a soft-yet-deadly Han Solo blaster, so well-made any intrepid hero would be proud to have it at their side. Pick up one of these limited edition stuffed sidearms this weekend at C2E2: 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Booth #1026, 2pm-3pm. Did I mention it comes with a holster?


Yes, Threadless and Thermos have partnered up.

Little Gets Bigger

Tired of reading stories about how the recession is killing America? Then go read about Blue Buddha Boutique, the little business that could.

The Sweet Smell of Success

Money, the fragrance, comes in his and hers versions, both inspired by the scent of "fresh, crisp bills."

Rahmbo Pride

Those voting for Rahm Emanuel tomorrow may want to wear Shrink Boutique's Rahmbo shirt to the polls.

Mayor T-Shirt Forever

Have you spotted Nick Adams' Mayor Daley Forever signs around town? Now you can get the t-shirt.

Raven Hearts & Underpants Twins

Flinchy is a new t-shirt company launched by Jay Ryan, Diana Sudyka and Tom Stack. I think this one is my favorite.

May the Dibs Flag Proudly Wave

If you're a fan of "dibs," this is the t-shirt for you.

History on a T-Shirt

"Chicago ain't no sissy town."

Vive le Gunn

Tim "Make It Work" Gunn stopped by Vive la Femme on Tuesday. Store owner Stephanie Sack said the "adorable" Mr. Gunn had heard great things about her boutique that specializes in larger sizes of very stylish clothing. Tim is in town to do a makeover show for Oprah.

One Less Bell to Answer, One Less First Lady to Dress

According to NYT coverage of the fashion industry's criticism of the red Alexander McQueen dress that Michelle Obama wore to the January 19 state dinner, the First Lady is reportedly no longer working with stylist Ikram Goldman.

Know and Own...If You're Quick

New York fashion site (and first ever Tumblr store) Of A Kind was started at the end of last year by two U of C alums, and is already selling out its limited editions within 24 hours, or less. A piece by Chicago-based Cursive Design is still is in stock...for now.

Keep from Freezing in Style

Just because it's cold out doesn't mean there's no fashion to be found. Chicago Streetstyle Scene finds some great examples for you.

Da Vest

Just in time for the playoffs (tickets go on sale at 10am), you can now get Ditka's famous Bears sweatervest.

Multi-Colored Maroon

While we're on the subject of stylish students, the U of C has its own in Rafael Menis, the "Tie-Dye Guy."

Junior Designer

Meet Sky Cubacub, a freshman at SAIC with a penchant for unconventional materials and a good amount of fashion experience already behind her.


Margaret Vinci Heldt created the beehive hairdo on Michigan Avenue just over 50 years ago and will be celebrated throughout the year.

Papa Bear T-Shirt

Designer David Schwen created a great tribute to the Bears' iconic coach Ditka.

Keeping Warm Chicago Style

If you were wondering about where to get the Chicago-themed hat from Monday's Rearview photograph, you weren't the only one. It's made by Chicagoan Allison Lower, who has a Chicago knitting company with a friend. Until their website is online, you can order your own through her etsy page. (Thanks. Matt!)

Got Gifts?

No? Slacker. It's OK though -- this Saturday at Schubas, shop the Indie Arts Holiday Market, a manageable plethora of potential presents from local artists and designers.

Get it in Mustard Yellow

Adding to the Chicago style hot dog art genre is this t-shirt by Know Your Flag.

When Aunt Flo Comes to Town

Harebrained's period panties might give you super powers (or at least a good laugh) when it's, um, "shark week."

NewCity's Number Ones

Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.

The Fighting Chicagoans

If Gapers Block had a uniform, this might be on its sleeve.

Unearthing Chicago's Emerging Fashion Community

Ambitious young fashion designers, unsatisfied with the glaring gaps in the production and advocacy of cutting edge fashion in Chicago, are taking matters into their own hands. Learn more in A/C.

Classy All Stars

Cody Hudson has some new shoes.

Between Friends

I'm trying to think of the exact person who should own this shirt, but with 20 mayoral candidates, it could probably be any of us.

I Heart Snowy Chicago

The perfect shirt (or hoody) for the next few months.

You're In, Not Out

Fashion designers Santino Rice and Austin Scarlett, who battled it out during season two of Project Runway, are in town promoting their new show, "On the Road with Austin and Santino." They will be at Block 37 from 5:30 to 7:30pm; stop by to say hello and to enter a contest for a $1,000 shopping spree.

Skating Pretty

Hey rollergirls of Chicago -- Dr. Hauschka Skin Care wants to give you a 20% discount on their holistic, natural skin care products.

Ditching the T-shirts

Go check out Threadless' costume contest -- and vote for your favorite by "liking" the photo!

Bear Kicks

I'm not sure if "for Brian Urlacher" means they're dedicated to him or he ordered them, but these customized shoes are pretty slick.

Tavi Gevinson Gets Profiled

The New Yorker's Lizzie Widdecombe profiles Chicago's very own Tavi Gevinson, the fashion blogger, in this week's issue. Gevinson is a teenager.

She Croaked, Now We're Stoked

Looking to class up your clothes? On September 16 Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will be auctioning off the fabulous wardrobe that once belonged to the recently deceased Mrs. Eunice W. Johnson, whose family's company publishes Ebony and Jet magazines.



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