The sultry days of summer in the city just call for a light, breezy sundress that can be covered with a sweater or jacket for the office and go au naturel for the walk to the subway. These can't-miss shops stock frocks from the whimsical to the sophisticated in vivid warm weather colors to muted, soft appellations. Be sure to browse Best Places To Buy A Summer Dress In Chicago for more ideas.
You might want to give your credit card to a close friend and make her promise to keep it under lock and key despite your pleadings after your initial visit to Sofia Boutique. With brands you love and others that you've never heard about but want to know intimately, the sundress stock at Sophia is stunning. Make a statement in the abstract print swirling from mid dress and down with the Fire & Ice dress by Bec & Bridge that has sexy cutout shoulders, an open back and an symmetrical hem. Bec & Bridge's Isis Angle curve-hugging mini dress wows in electric tangerine. Wear the Sofia Keepsake 2 Second Chance Dress in botanical navy and all eyes are following that flounce-style skirt flowing from the princess bodice. There's so much more but be sure to check out the sale section where you can snag a dress for as low as $20 on the right day.
1419 N. Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610
Roam showcases an exclusive selection of luxury labels curated from local and international designers. Owner Mallory Ulaszek says, "Sundresses are meant to be vibrant and fun or playful. These options are great 'throw on and go' styles that don't require many accessories, so getting ready is stress-free!" Choose among florals, emulsion prints, sexy slit sundresses and attractive halter styles. You will not see yourself coming and going in any of these dresses that are nearly impossible to find elsewhere. ROAM is pricey but worth it if you have the coinage.
1659 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Steven Alan is known for showcasing young, emerging designers as well as his own collection since 1999. Expect lovely, comfortable and feminine sundresses at the Bucktown shop. You can't miss with the Steven Alan 100 percent silk sleeveless shirt dress hitting at the knee and featuring a floral motif - made in the USA, too. The Eloise dress is just a tad retro without being twee: sleeveless, sand-washed silk shirtdress in a custom dust blue stripe, the silhouette tapers at the waist and goes into a full gathered skirt that falls just below the knees. The Nili Lotan Indigo Print Beach Dress is so effortless in lightweight, slightly crinkled cotton, donning a sweet mandarin collar and a single patch pocket, that you'll think you're on the Cape.
Related: Best Lingerie Boutiques In Chicago
925 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Describing its wares as "artisan apparel for nomads and romantics," you know there are some wonderful sundress selections at Peruvian Connection. No, you won't find scratchy serapes but rather gorgeous watercolor floral frocks with easy drape for the sultriest summer days. Ethnic motifs abound in the Guadalupe Pima Cotton Sundress, a fiesta of colorful patterns in Hispanic hues. The all-American Kendra ticking-stripe tank dress in cotton has spaghetti straps and shirt-tail hem for an easy breezy look and feel.
Mildblend Supply Co.
1342 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
If any of the above are too rich for you, give Mildblend Supply Co. a look for fairly priced apparel made from quality materials that will look great for years. Expect to see tested heritage brands, local designers and emerging labels. Co-owner and Women's Buyer, Candise Cho says, "The majority of our dresses and collections are made up of natural fibers such as silk, cotton, tencel, linen viscose and organic cotton, which allows the dresses to flow and feel beautiful. Our selection of dresses are offered for comfort, sexy and stylish appeal, but has an easy option for layering." See you there.
Related: 2013's Best New Boutiques In Chicago
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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