Category Archives: Shop Local

#ShopLocal: CSM’s Holiday Hidden Gems Go To!

With the holiday season in full swing the hustle and bustle can be a bit overwhelming at times and before you know it the holiday party has arrived and you haven’t gotten a chance to pick up that great unique and thoughtful gift you have been meaning to grab.

Trust me I’ve had that happen to me more times than I’d like to admit so to save you from that dreaded feeling of, “Yikes! What can I scrounge together at the convenience store?” take note of my round-up of my Top 10 local Chicago holiday go to’s below.   Bonus, these hidden gems are so amazing that they will be your go to year round but more importantly great places to snag a gift or two for yourself-no judgement here I promise.

1. stock mfg. co.

Stock Mfg. Co: If Stock sounds a little familiar it’s because I’ve featured this amazing company on CSM previously.   They focus on classic shapes and silhouettes that exude comfortable simplicity.  They offer great menswear accessories such as neck ties, bowties, hats, etc.

2. Space 519

space519: Touts itself as a refined general store and if you haven’t yet made it there, it’s a definite must.  They carry a carefully crafted assortment of beauty products for both women and men.  For your beauty aficionado this is where you find all of their most talked about products but discover new product lines to wow them with.

3. Roam

Roam: This is a wanderlust’s dream come true.  Both the menswear & womenswear collections are carefully curated to include hard to find designers as well as local Chicago favorites such as jules, a jewelry line by Jules Vance as well as C/FAN by Christina Fan.

4. Reform Pic

reform objects: This vintage shop is filled with an ever-changing inventory, focused mainly in Mid-Century Modern design.  Their pieces are a node to their love of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  What’s also great is that one can also find the occasional Industrial, or Art Deco jewel in the mix.

5. Randolph Market Pic

Randolph Street Market: Stretch your stylish dollars to the max while perusing the market’s amazing selection of vintage apparel, accessories, footwear to hard to find fashion collectibles.  The market is happening this weekend 12/14 & 12/15 and you can get all of the info on times, parking, ticket pricing, etc here.

6.  Luxury Garage Sale Pic

Luxury Garage Sale: This gem is a upscale consignment boutique that specializes in selling new and gently used designer and vintage clothing and accessories.  Someone on your list looking for that stunning Givenchy ‘Nightingale’ or ‘Pandora’? 99.9% of a chance LGS has it and at a ridiculously amazing deal-trust me you & your pocketbook with thank me later.

7. Luxaby pic

Luxaby Baby & Child: This carefully curated children’s store offers amazing apparel for not only the little ones but for mommy as well.  Perfect one stop shop for any of the little ones on your list.

8. Jayson Home pic

Jayson Home: Sophisticated but never stuffy while maintaining an edgy but elegant aesthetic are what define the stunning home decor pieces that you will find at this hidden gem.  You will never go wrong here when finding the perfect hostess gift and I can almost guarantee you will find that missing piece you have been on the search for.

9. haberdash pic

Haberdash Men’s Shop:  This men’s focus boutique is a blend of cool classic style paired with old-school philosophy.  They focus on offering men a finely curated collection of hard to find brands including L.B.M. 1911, RRL, Baldwin Denim, Alden, and Gitman Bros. Vintage.  For that dapper gentlemen who’s style is nothing short of spectacular, this is your one stop shop destination.

10. Dose Pic

 dose market: The foodies in my life tend to be the hardest to shop for.  So when I discovered the food & style mecca of this hidden gem I can’t help but share the info.  The next market is happening this Sunday, 12/15 so definitely plan ahead to not only stop in for brunch and nosh while you shop for the great flavors that will win over that fashionable foodies palette.  Get all of the info on times, parking, ticket pricing, etc here.


#ShopLocal: Roam Boutique

Exterior - awningOne of the most frequently asked questions I’ve gotten from you, my amazing CSM readers, centers around my favorite past time: shopping.  But not just shopping in general, it’s all about the local retail shopping scene here in Chicago.  So I’ve decided to highlight on a monthly basis my favorite hidden gems to shop at in Chicago, where to score the new-new, and updates on what’s happening in the ever changing & growing Chicago shopping scene.

To kick off this #ShopLocal series I had the amazing pleasure of sitting down with Mallory Ulaszek and chat with her about her new venture Roam.  This new venture is the compilation of her two previous projects, Cityblue Denim & Apparel and CB.  Ulaszek’s years of experience working in retail and owning two of her own stores, her exciting travels of living in Florence, Italy coupled with her travels to the Big Apple and the sunny coast of California are heavy influences to defining the great menswear and womenswear that give life to the idea of a traveler who has seen much and has even more to share.

Check out my interview with the ultimate wanderer, Mallory Ulaszek and find out why her wanderlust has me sold as a believer that this is Ulaszek’s best one yet.

CSM:  Roam is such a unique name, what’s the history behind it?

MU:  I was looking for a name for my new concept that could be personal without tying in my name (it can be a mouthful).  I am inspired by traveling, and growing up, I found it easy to pack up and leave places I lived knowing that a new adventure awaited.  It’s attributed to my love of travel in adulthood, and being open to new and exciting experiences that can impact you in ways that change you forever.  Roam is the clothing store that does that: it inspires you, and coaxes out an adventurous nature in your personal style.


CSM:  Who is your fashion/style icon and how does that aesthetic translate into what we can expect with Roam?

MU:  Personally I am not inspired by any one individual or icon.  I revel in being able to use fashion as an extension of my mood and self.  I believe personal style can be rooted in emulation but mostly style is about what makes you feel beautiful and comfortable.  For Roam, I carefully selected designers that pride themselves in their product and limit distribution.  I love the collections that tell a story, but allow room for experimentation.


CSM:  Who are your favorite Chicago designers that we should all be looking for while shopping at Roam?

MU:  Of course I am partial to jules. a jewelry line by Jules Vance as well as C/FAN by Christina Fan.  These two women are not only brilliant designers but beautiful people as well.


CSM:  With the Holidays around the corner what are your absolute ‘Top 5’ go-to must haves for anyone who’s unsure what to get that special someone for the holidays?

MU:  Gift giving to me is deeply personal.  I try and steer clear of gift cards when possible, and believe me I shop for some difficult to shop for loved ones.  Know what that person likes, and get them something they need but also something they may want and not spend the money on themselves.  I like special gifts that remind people of experiences, but speaking in general some of my better go-tos have been concert posters from concerts we had been to, home scents like our Voluspa candles at Roam, apothecary goodies, photo books, and a personal recipe book.

Roam is officially now open and is located at 1419 N Wells Street, 312-664-2222.  Expect to find great brands such as Halston Heritage, MM6, Current Elliott, AG, and added emerging designers Daniel Vosovic, Anine Bing and Illesteva to the mix.  For men, Ulaszek has stocked up on casualwear from brands like Life/After/Denim, Original Penguin, and Citizen.

Now Open - photo collage



Stock Mfg. Co: Revitalizing the meaning of ‘American Made’


What’s more rare than finding a piece from Givenchy’s Spring/Summer 1999 collection designed by the late Alexander McQueen?  An American brand that is designed, developed and produced all on American soil.

During a time where the apparel production landscape has seemed to become non-existent here in the United States and where the norm is to see a ‘Made in China’ label on the clothing sold in almost every store you enter, the meaning behind ‘American Made’ becomes less and less relevant.

Rather than be just another player in this cycle Stock Mfg. Co. took an entrepreneurial approach by creating and paving their own way.  This Chicago based clothing brand set out with the mission to design, develop and produce premium garments at an affordable price while at the same time aide to reviving American manufacturing.

The central hub of where their mantra comes to life is in their 45 year old apparel factory that is located on the west side of Chicago.  This Chicago mainstay is where they design and produce their high quality pieces while also partnering on collaboration projects titled “& Stock” with top industry talent and tastemakers such as specialty retailer, Bloomingdales.

They feature both menswear and womenswear that cater to the idea of casual chic.  The fabrications used in their collections are predominantly cotton based which just ooze relaxed comfort.  The silhouettes are very simple but with impeccable details.  With the transition into the fall season one of the biggest shifts you will see in both menswear and womenswear is the idea of ‘Comfortable Simplicity‘ where designers are taking a break from all of the color, print, and non-stop patterns of the last several seasons and opting for simple silhouettes while upping the ante in the details.

Pictured Above: Founders of Stock Mfg. Co Areill Ives, Jason Morgan, Tim Tierney, Jim Snediker, Mike Morarity (L to R)

Pictured Above: Founders of Stock Mfg. Co. (L to R) Areill Ives, Jason Morgan, Tim Tierney, Jim Snediker, Mike Morarity

So start your transition into fall with a local clothing brand that is revitalizing the meaning of ‘American Made’ apparel with their refreshing commitment to “not just producing our products in America, but to creating jobs and influencing the fashion world in a positive way. We are aiming to be a hub for American manufacturing, quality craftsmanship, and innovative collaboration.

Check out some of my favorite Stock Mfg. Co. pieces below and be sure to shop these pieces at their site www.stockmfg.

hats ties 8 5 42


Shop Local this 4th of July Weekend!


Attention all shoppers, attention all shoppers!  There is no better way to truly celebrate the 4th of July than with presents.  After all it is America’s 237th birthday so why not treat yourself in honor of her, am I right? Well to help you get started on the right foot I’ve rounded up some of  the best shopping events happening right now in the city of Chicago that are a definite can’t miss.  America and your closet will be showering you praise but your wallet may have a different opinion but in any case happy shopping and here is the list:






The Social Closet: The new ‘it’ fashion marketplace!

Sharing your wardrobe with friends just went virtual. The Social Closet is an online fashion marketplace focused on the Chicago market and dedicated to buying and selling pre-owned contemporary clothing and accessories. Co-founded by French transplants Marine Soussan-Gouachon and Fanny Chéreau, this unique shopping experience allows consumers to not only resell their designer duds, but peruse other “closets” and buy new wardrobe pieces at the same time.  Did I mention that they are solely focused on Chicago? There are plenty of chi-lebrities that have enviable closets that are now shoppable!


Offering resale contemporary, designer and luxury items, The Social Closet gives Chicago consumers a platform to buy and sell on a social network and revamp their wardrobe in an environmentally sustainable way. Consumers create a profile, or “closet,” and sellers start selling pre-approved clothing and accessories right away. A curated inventory, each item is scrutinized by the most discriminating French taste – you supply the goods and The Social Closet gives them the seal of approval. Whether you’re computer savvy or a complete novice, consumers can choose to manage their closets independently or have The Social Closet assist with pricing, photos, shipping and even personal pick up…it’s that easy. Once items are sold, the company charges a 15% commission of the selling price, provides a pre-paid mailing label and that’s it. Sellers can also be buyers and shop some of the most coveted closets in the Chicagoland area.

How it works:

  • BECOME A MEMBER of  The Social Closet fashion community
  • SELL, BUY or BOTH by creating and opening your closet to our community by putting your pre-loved fashions up for sale while shopping in the community closet and/or buy what you love
  • SHARE your items by using the social network to showcase what you want, what you love, and all your favorite little designer’s items

image004 image005

Want to get more info about The Social Closet? Visit


Be artfully inspired while staying dry!

Since Chicago hasn’t quite gotten the seasonal change memo as of late that we are one day away from the month of June and standing at the front steps of summer that the rainy weather and the quick drops in temps are a complete no bueno.

I’ve been inspired to stay dry through all of the crazy weather with the Art Institute of Chicago‘s printastically bright and chic umbrellas.  Check out my top favorite 8 prints below!

Top L to R: Georges Seurat/ Jason Pollock/ Louis Sullivan/ Marc Chagall

Top L to R: Georges Seurat/ Jason Pollock/ Louis Sullivan/ Marc Chagall (shop here)


Top L to R: Edward Hopper/ Andy Warhol/ Claude Monet/ Frank Llyod Wright

Top L to R: Edward Hopper/ Andy Warhol/ Claude Monet/ Frank Llyod Wright (shop here)




Shop local this Memorial Day weekend!

Attention all shoppers, attention all shoppers! There are 3 major shopping events happening right now through the beginning of next week.  All 3 are local Chicago based fashion staples that any style fiend such as a myself has become all too familiar with (not saying its a bad thing, but my wallet may have a different opinion).

Here’s the amazing part, 1 of the 3 is online so you can leisurely shop the sale from your couch in your PJs!  Online retailer, eDrop-Off is currently running their “Fashion Vault” sale through Sunday, May 26th at 8pm CST.  All the fashion heavy hitters such as Hermes, Balenciaga, Chanel, etc are featured so kick off the summer season on the right foot with a piece of designer luxury!

Fashion Vault-EDO


Now, if all you hear is the pitter patter of vintage tap shoes you will not want to miss Randolph Street Market‘s 10th Annual Garden Party Market happening this weekend, May 25th & 26th.  Not only will vintage fashions be awaiting your arrival at the market but joining them will be one of a kind pieces of artwork, hard to find home decor, antiques, and more.




Rounding out this holiday weekend, is the Chicago Artist Coaliton’s first ever Warehouse Sale happening on May 29th.  This Warehouse sale will be featuring a few of Chicago’s premier tastemakers such as Vosages Haut-ChocolatWinifred Grace, Snow & Graham, Burrow & Hive, Luxury Garage Sale and Sofia.

Chicago Artist Coalition




CSM has a new look!

I seriously can’t believe that the day has finally arrived and I can finally unveil CSM’s new grown and sexy makeover!  When CSM first launched back in April 2011 it was because I needed a pure, raw and tangible outlet for all of the fashion ramblings and opinions I had about the industry.  Over the years you the CSM community have helped me to truely mold and define who and what CSM is and should be.  My initial outlet has become so much more than I would have ever expected and so to have undergone such an extensive and much needed makeover was truly empowering.

The first and major change is CSM’s defining logo!  I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I literally agonized over what the logo would be visually for the first 2 months of this 6 month makeover journey.  Thank goodness for creative design guru and web genius, Laura Granlund of inTIMIDnation for taking all of the feedback you all have given me over the years (and yes, I had it all stored up in my brain).  To now have an actual visual representation of CSM is legit incredible.  So if you are in need of anything graphic/web design related I would highly recommend reaching out to her (literally kept my sanity for these last few months-trust me ask my husband).

CSM's New Logo

Okay I digress, let me get back to CSM’s amah-zing transformation.  The next major change and is the more obvious one, I’M NOT ON BLOGGER ANYMORE!  Yup, CSM needed to put on her big girl panties on and step into the real world of blogging and that required a new handy URL and so naturally it’s  Now, you all can update your favorites with the new link and what’s even more handy is that the name is in the new URL so you’ll never forget it right?

These next few changes were all about me keeping you all in mind.  One big important change for you is that I wanted to make it as navigationally friendly as possible.  With that in mind  it was really important for me to have a ‘Categories’ tab front and center so that you all would know exactly what the content of CSM is plus you could drill directly into whichever specific category you were looking for and/or wanting to delve deeper in to.

photo (45)


Another great addition is that you can see I still have all of the old categories you all love like “Pasifika Fashion Series”;  “Shop Local”; “Fashionable Dining” plus a few new ones like “WWAW” (What Would Ana Wear) and “Splurge vs. Save.

Now, peruse and make yourself at home because I’m looking forward to seeing more of you and for a longer time.  Next time, cocktails are a must! xo


[Chicago Shopping] Shop Local for Black Friday & Small Business Saturday!

The biggest shopping time of the year has officially arrived.  This time of year is when retailers make half of a year’s worth of profit (yes, approximately 47 to 50%) and keep their fingers crossed they get their profits into the “black”.

So this  year, take advantage of the opportunity to not only score on some amazing savings while at the same time supporting local Chicago businesses.  Check out my round-up of top deals happening in Chicago today for Black Friday & tomorrow for Small Business Saturday:

C/Fan Designs:
True Blessyn:
Edith Hart: 
Sir & Madame:
Cotton Candy Couture:

[Chicago Fashion Event] Randolph Street Market: Shop for Charity!

Each month one of the biggest vintage markets in the country is held right here in Chicago.  Last night I had the opportunity to not only get a sneak peek of what the Randolph Street Market vendors will be showcasing at this weekend’s show, but most importantly I was there to participate in the “2nd Annual Editor’s Choice for Charity” event.
I couldn’t turn down the chance to help market-goers by doing the initial ground work and select 5 ‘Editor’s Choice’ picks ranging from hard to find fashion accessories that are on-trend to key furniture pieces that are sure to add instant personality and style to any room in your home.  The best part is that when all of my ‘Editor’s Choice’ picks are purchased a portion of the sales will be donated to the “Girls in the Game” charity.  This nonprofit organization focuses on empowering more than 3,000 girls in Chicago to make healthier choices and develop the confidence and leadership skills they need to succeed on and off the field.
So as you are heading over to the Randolph Street Market this weekend, remember to shop for a great cause and look out for my 5 ‘Editor’s Choice’ picks (pictured below) as well as any other of the blue ribbon picks!  
Vintage Tomatoe Box Clutch
Vintage DKNY Waist belt
Refurbished industrial wood & metal bar 
Vintage low-rider bikes
Vintage 1970’s Dressing Mirror