Along with skyscrapers, deep-dish pizza, and Millennium Park, you will also find some of the best thrift stores in Chicago, and if you are like us and love a good bargain get out your comfy shoes because it's time to shop! From second-hand clothes to used furniture get ready for some thrifty finds!
Not sure how to thrift like a pro? These thrifting tips are a great place to start!
Our top picks for the best thrift shops in Chicago
Crossroads is one of the more popular thrift shops in Chicago, not only can you find trendy, but affordable second-hand clothing you can also sell your clothing for cash or trade credit.
They are known for carrying higher-end designer clothing for men and women. Think Everlane, Burberry, LV, and more!
They have 34 stores across the USA all stocked full of "clothes you want at prices you can’t resist." If you want to sell your used clothes online you need to download their app. You can check in to their selling waitlist without leaving your home. Their app lets you find a store near you, see the number of sellers in line, add your name to the waitlist, and receive a notification when it’s your turn to sell.
Let's Change is a Chicago thrift store located in Humboldt Park and carries both new and gently used clothing, accessories, footwear, and vintage items for the home. When you shop here not only are you helping the planet by keeping used clothes out of landfills, but you are also helping children in need.
Let's Change Resale Shop donates a portion of its sales to help children in need with education, clean water, shelter, and nutrition. They have worked with over 285 kids and have child sponsorship programs in Haiti, Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, and Peru.
Location: 1664 N. California Avenue
We are obsessed with flea markets, they are truly bargain-hunters heaven! At Wolff, you will find deals on clothing, collectibles, art, antiques, books, records, and even food! This flea market opens on May 1st and has over 700 vendors for you to choose from. It's $2 to get in, be ready to walk a lot, wear comfy shoes and make sure to bring a reusable water bottle too!
Location: 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont, IL 60018
El Dorado is owned and operated by a Hispanic family who is making secondhand shopping more accessible to everyone, saying "We wanted a place where people weren’t embarrassed to go inside, that had a good ambiance, and you didn’t need to sift through so many clothes to find something good."
El Dorado is one of the best places to thrift in Chicago. Be on the lookout for designer duds, shoes, and bags as well as what they call tiliches or knick-knacks. That’s why they called it the Lost City of Gold. They wanted to create a legendary place filled with treasures where you can find clothing for as low as $4.
Location: 2634 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Located in Libertyville Upscale Rummage is another one of the best thrift stores in Chicago where you will find a ton of really great things for your home like furniture, housewares, art, books, clothing, and even toys. Established in 1999 as a not-for-profit they have been helping their community in many ways by providing assistance to refugees, people with disabilities, and those suffering from homelessness.
"In addition to reselling items in the shop to give them a second life, Upscale Rummage partners with others who take our sleeping bags and blankets to the homeless, our towels to pet rescues, and send books, clothing, and shoes to other countries. If we can’t find a home for it, it will be recycled whenever possible."
Self-described as a "funky boutique for carefully curated, high-end vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry & select home goods" store B vintage's collection of goods are carefully selected (or repaired) before hotting the floor. The owner David has an extensive background in women's clothing and accessories and brings that expertise to all the goodies in his shop. Find an eclectic mix of vintage handbags, jewelry, and clothing from designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, and Ungaro!
store B vintage also hosts a robust collection of vintage kitchenware, barware, and mid-century home décor. You can trust David's years of expertise and knowledge when you buy from store B vintage you are purchasing a piece of fashion history from a collection that has been carefully curated and preserved.
Location: 1472 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
The Brown Elephant is another vintage thrift store in Chicago you need to visit. Not only do they carry a beautiful selection of vintage clothes, but also be on the lookout for books, jewelry, and home decor!
The Brown Elephant is operated by Howard Brown Health which is an organization that works with the LGBTQ community providing health care for the under or uninsured. They also have three locations across the City of Chicago so no matter where you are you can drop in for a visit.
There is nothing better than finding that one-of-a-kind vintage dress and if you are looking look no further thank Lost Girls Vintage. Founded on the premise of "no risk, no reward" owners Sara and Kyla joined forces to "create a unique brand for the environmental and fashion-conscious individual who marches to the beat of their own drum"
Providing a collection of quality vintage clothing from the 1930s to 1990s, they promote sustainability through resale practices. They paved their way with an innovative alternative to a storefront- A 1976 Winnebago that they rehabbed into a mobile shop. "We put the pedal to the metal when we launched our mobile vintage shop in 2013 and we're not looking back!"
Along with the RV pop-up, they also have two storefronts that are a must-see!
Kokorokoko Vintage is Chicago's #1 source for hot vintage finds from the 80s and 90s and cool new designer accessories!
Owners Ross Kelly and Sasha Hodges have been collecting clothing, accessories, and housewares for years finally opening Kokorokoko in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood in 2009 to bring you the hottest vintage finds from the post hip hop, pre-Internet era.
10. Alex’s Attic
Known as one of the best places to thrift in Chicago Alex's Attic is located in trendy Logan Square. They've got gently used treasures for kids and adults like shoes, clothing, and accessories. If you love to shop online you can actually do that no matter where in the world you are and if you are looking to sell your used clothes make sure to check them out too!
Location: 2733 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60647
11. Mercy Beaucoup
If you love to shop and give back then this Chicago thrift shop is for you. 100% of the profits from Mercy Beaucoup go to the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls which offers a "safe home, emotional healing, education, and life-changing opportunities for more than 900 young people and family members every year."
Find fashionable items for your home and closest and look out for some major name brands too, like Dolce and Gabanna. Not only can you shop in-store but online as well!
Location: 1545 N. Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60610
A one-stop-shop of incredible secondhand finds in great condition. From every day to eclectic you'll find the best finds at Family Tree Resale for the whole family. Shop for goods under $5, under $10, under $15, and under $20. They even have wedding guest dresses and offer recycled bags in case you forget yours!
Family Tree Resale runs a Voucher Program to help local schools and charities with free home goods and clothing! And they recycle nearly everything they cannot use. Worn clothing and shoes are sent to wholesale recyclers. Broken electronics are also recycled, along with basic materials, such as glass, plastic, boxes, and metals. Everything in the store is given a new life and encourages a sustainable way of living.
Location: 5066 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago 60625
Their mantra is simple: "We value sustainability, inclusivity, authentic relationships, and justice - all while offering affordable clothing, housewares, and more". The Greater Goods Community is another top thrift shop located in Chicago's Dunning area. Not only can you shop till you drop but they will even give you a $5 coupon if you bring your gently used (unwanted) items with you.
This not-for-profit is part of the Big Shoulders Church "a very tiny, very queer Christian church in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago."
Why visit a thrift shop in Chicago
Ethical and sustainable fashion comes down to choosing items that are either ethically made or second-hand. Slow fashion is after all about buying less and buying better and the more we can keep clothing out of landfills the better it will be for the planet. Textile recycling rates are very low in North America and that's a real shame when you consider the toll fast fashion has on the people who make it and the resources used, not to mention the pollution.
Americans are tossing 36 billion clothing items every single year! So if your wardrobe needs a look we hope you will consider second-hand options like these thrift stores in Chicago!
Final thoughts on Chicago thrift stores
Thrift shopping is so much fun and when you can do it in a place like Chicago, it's even better. Many of the shops mentioned above are located in trendy areas where you will have the chance to explore local communities and support companies that are giving back.
And don't forget you can always at an online thrift shop right from the comfy of your couch and if you have items hanging in your closets that you never wear, it might be time to sell those used clothes online!
What do you love about vintage shopping? And, did we leave anyone out? We'd love to hear from you!
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