Best Places to Shop in Chicago




Now that you’re all moved in, it is time you start to explore the city. There’s so much food and art in the city to discover. There are so many free concerts and festivals as well. If you’re anything like me and you spend a bug chunk of your time shopping, locating the best stores is essential to a positive college experience.

Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.


State Street

The most practical place to shop. It is basically the back yard of the school; you can either walk there or take a quick ride on the CTA. Oh, and majority of the shops are affordable for a college student’s budget.

Shops include:

  • H&M
  • Forever 21
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Saks off 5th
  • Agaci
  • Macy’s



Michigan Ave

This is where the toursits go. A lot of the stores here are also found on State Street, but the locations on Michigan Ave are usually a lot bigger and may have a better selection. It’s definitely worth a trip on your day off.

Shops include:

  • Forever XXI
  • Nordstrom
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • TopShop
  • Zara
  • ALDO



Shops at North Bridge

I usually shop here when I feel I deserve to splurge a little bit. The Nordstrom in this location is a flagship and has the best selection, coolest events and amazing service.

Shops include:

  • Nordstrom
  • Charming Charlie
  • Lucky Brand
  • Sephora
  • Stuart Weitzman



Water Tower Place

All of your favorite stores are probably in this mall. If you want to go on a shopping spree and not have to walk the blocks from store to store, this is the place to be.  

Shops include:

  • Adidas
  • Aritzia
  • Francesca’s
  • Free People



900 N Michigan Building

This mall is nearby and has those specialty stores you may only usually shop online. How often do you see a brick-and-mortar Lululemon?!

Shops include:

  • Bloomingdales
  • Kate Spade
  • J Crew
  • Lululemon athletica



Wicker Park

This neighborhood is definitely very hipster. If you love thrifting, take a trip to Wicker Park. You’re sure to find some amazing deals. I once found a pair of brand new designer shoes at a thrift store for $50.

Shops include:

  • TOM’s Shoes
  • Every thrift store ever



Lincoln Park

All I need to say is “URBAN SURPLUS!” Yes, there are dozens of very cute boutiques nearby, but this Urban Surplus store will change your life. If you love Urban’s selection but recognize that it’s a little over your budget, you need to stop by here.

Shops include:

  • Urban Surplus Store
  • Small Boutiques (like Shop 857)



Oak Street

This block is kind of pricey. I walk down this street sometimes and pretend I belong here. A girl can dream. If you’ve got the budget for it, go for it.

Shops include:

  • Hermès of Paris
  • Prada
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Vera Wang


Put that U-Pass to use and get to shopping!