Main Chains of Clothing Stores:
There is a lot of chains for clothes. Here are the main ones that you can find easily in Chicago.
Akira is a Chicago based fashion shop mainly for women. The style is very trendy and sometimes surprising but you can find very nice clothes. The price level is medium and there are often very interesting deals. You can purchase online or at one of the 6 stores located mainly in Bucktown and Lincoln Park.
Ann Taylor http://www.anntaylor.com/home.jsp
Ann Taylor clothes are for business or working women, but they also have a more casual line. The style is both classical and trendy. The price level is from medium to high. Ann Taylor also sells another brand LOFT that is less expensive and follows a more everyday fashion look: http://www.anntaylorloft.com/home.jsp. Under the LOFT brand, the company also sells LOFT Maternity clothes but only online.
Banana Republic http://bananarepublic.gap.com
Banana Republic sells both women’s and men’s apparel as well as accessories (shoes, handbags, jewelry). The style is very classical and sober. You will find casual and business clothes. The price level is from medium to high.
Gap is internationally known and belongs to the same group as Old Navy (see below) and Banana Republic (see above). In terms of quality, Gap’s products are better and more expensive than at Old Navy but of less good quality and cheaper than those you will find at Banana Republic. It is then an intermediate store for everyday, classical and casual clothes for the whole family including babies and children.
The Swedish clothes store is in Chicago, too. You will be able to purchase the same kind of clothes, stylish and trendy, as in Europe at the same low price level. Nevertheless the offer for children is not as good and complete as in Europe.
Kohls supplies everyday clothes for the whole family as well as shoes and accessories. The quality is medium range and the prices are very interesting. It is more than only a clothes store as you can find in Kohls beddings, furniture, decorations, kitchen, dining accessories, luggages, etc. The Chicago Kohls store is not located downtown but in Bucktown on Elston Avenue.
Old Navy http://www.oldnavy.com
Everyday clothes for the whole family as well as shoes and accessories. The quality is medium range and the prices are very interesting (rather low). They have a maternity section where mums to be can find nice clothes at low prices.
Zara is one of the largest international fashion companies. A new ZARA store opens in October 2009 on The Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue). Zara’s concept is to have several styles or lines within the same store from casual to very chic clothes.
Others Stores to Purchase Clothing
The others places where locals buy their clothes are stores such as Target (see Super/hypermarket Chains under Food – http://www.target.com), TJ Maxx (Inexpensive discount apparel – http://www.tjmaxx.com), Sears (see Department Stores and Shopping Centers – http://www.sears.com), and JCPenney (Similiar to Sears – http://www.jcpenney.com). Almost all the department stores have an online boutique and lots of people use this method to buy and benefit from special offers.
Tailors are not very common. If you need a trouser or a dress to be shortened, the store where you buy will suggest either do the alterations or suggest someone for you. This can sometimes be the most expensive part of the purchase. For your information, cleaners, which are very numerous in Chicago, also do alterations.