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The 7 Best Vintage And Consignment Shops In Chicago

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on May 28, 2014 7:00PM

To some, "vintage" is another word for "antique." Others may define "vintage" as "cheap." Still others hear "vintage" and picture a hipster in overpriced peg leg jeans and velvet Pumas.

"Vintage" also defines a design aesthetic and, whether we're talking about clothes, furniture, electronics or other household ephemera, hitting upon that rare treasure that brings a room or a clothing ensemble together can make one's heart skip with pride.

There are scores of resale and consignment shops that say they traffic in "vintage." Here are our picks for the best in town.

Some of the selections at Modern Cooperative. (Photo via Modern Cooperative's website.)

Modern Cooperative
Pilsen is home to Modern Cooperative, where owners Mike Biersma and Tiffany Paige have created one of the funkiest consignment shops in Chicago. Whether you’re looking for vintage furniture, kitschy yet functional wall art or tasteful accents for your home, Biersma’s and Paige’s fondness for 1950s design never fails to find the right piece for you. They work extensively with local designers and consignors and even open up their shop during the Chicago Art District’s 2nd Friday art walk, featuring the works of two local designers each month. —Chuck Sudo

Modern Cooperative is located at 1215 W. 18th St.

Lulu’s Vintage
Lulu’s on the Avenue is a dream for ladies who love elegant vintage. They carry dresses, jewelry and other accessories all the way from the 1920s to the 90s, all hand selected by the owner, Laurie Davis. Shopping through the racks is like flipping through a catalog as each article of clothing is hung in its own clear garment bag. Their knowledgeable staff will help you pick the perfect attire for whatever event you've got coming up, even your own wedding. With vintage bridal gowns and other alternative wedding dresses, Lulu’s could be a one stop shop, or the spot you pick up that one special accessory from Davis’s extensive collection (or her own jewelry line). These styles are not for the faint of heart though, they’re suited for ladies who like to stand out in a crowd. — Michelle Meywes

LuLu’s Vintage is located at 900 N. Michigan on the 3rd Floor.

Broadway Antique Market. (Photo via Broadway Antique Market's Facebook page.)

Broadway Antique Market
I love a good treasure hunt so an afternoon digging around in an antique mall is an activity passed on from my mother and grandmother that I still enjoy. But I don’t want a heap of trash with my treasure and prefer a more curated collection, which is why I always find myself heading to Broadway Antique Market (BAM) when I need my vintage fix. There is a ton of variety but the one thing I’ve found consistent that I appreciate is everything in the store is exceptional quality. From the furniture to the wonderful display of bakelite, everything I’ve found at BAM is in excellent condition for vintage merchandise. I love being able to dig through old photographs, buy a pair of mint condition pumps from the 60s, marvel at the amazing costume jewelry collections and daydream about being able to afford the marvelous designer furniture. If you love a good dose of kitsch, BAM serves up a lot of that as well. One of my first gifts from my boyfriend was an Art Deco style ring from BAM and I still get loads of compliments years later. For quality, variety and a fun time shopping, head north and visit BAM or peruse some of their wares online as well. — Lisa White

Broadway Antique Market is located at 6130 N. Broadway.

Lost Girls
Not all vintage shops are stationary: Lost Girls Vintage operates their business out of Winnie, a 1976 RV-turned mobile vintage shop that contains some of the chicest old school clothing in Chicago. Art Institute alumni Sarah and folk-musician Kyla are behind the wheel, selling high-quality, edgy items for both ladies and gents. Last summer, I scored a 90’s-tastic pair of lavender velvet sneaker heels made in France. Aside from having an ever-changing, always exciting inventory, the girls are awesome and will match you up with something that suits your style. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter to locate Winnie.— Erika Kubick

Lost Girls is a mobile shop in Chicago. Check their website for locations.

Wooly Mammoth
Chicagoans with a knack for all things creepy should know about the treasure trove that is Wooly Mammoth in Andersonville. The prices at this oddity shop are a little steep, but it has some of the best vintage taxidermy in the city among other gems. The cabinet of curiosities has everything from a key chain with a figure of a see-through pregnant belly to a fully-grown stuffed giraffe. Their Etsy shop currently contains a satin-lined basket made out of an armadillo corpse. Try taking that to your next family picnic. For some, it’s a little shop of horrors, but it’s one of my very favorite spots in the city. — Erika Kubick

Wooly Mammoth is located at 1513 W. Foster Ave.

Vintage Gallery
I’m one of those people that does almost all of my vintage shopping on Etsy, but online vintage shopping still comes with a huge downside: you can’t try on anything and it’s always game of trust. At Vintage Heaven, a weekend pop-up shop in Wicker Park, the thrill of Etsy shopping comes alive, complete with a makeshift fitting room! The shop pops up every weekend, but the real fun occurs once a month at their big sale. It’s only then that vintage buyers from all over the city pack into the gallery to display their inventory. It’s a great place to update your wardrobe with something entirely unique and the prices are usually very reasonable. — Erika Kubick

Vintage Heaven is located at the Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd Floor, Friday through Sunday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Coyle & Herr
When I was looking to buy chairs for my living room/man cave last summer I searched far and wide before I found two cranberry colored, Danish-style oversized chairs at this consignment shop located in the Bridgeport Art Center. The furniture selection here is constantly changing, expertly selected and tastefully designed and the owners are more than willing to find the pieces that best fit what you’re looking for and negotiate a sale price that will satisfy both the buyer and seller. I’ve been so happy with my chairs I’ve promised to return to Coyle & Herr to continue what will become an overhaul of my furniture. —Chuck Sudo

Coyle & Herr is located at 1200 West 35th Street, Unit 1D, phone: 773-575-9880.