Boutique of the Week | Boutique of the Week | Chicago Reader

Boutique of the Week 


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1361 N. Wells

Used to be Old Town was known mostly for restaurants and Second City. But it's becoming increasingly attractive to clothing retailers--witness the relocation of the Nicole Miller boutique from Oak Street last fall. The neighborhood's lively foot traffic won over Gray owner Laura Schoch, who opened her doors there last month. Schoch, who says she never met a black top she didn't like, opened the first Gray boutique in Winnetka seven years ago, intending to highlight clothes in neutral palettes. That shop's still going, but she closed her second location, in Lake Forest, to open the one in the city. On Wells, you can find basics in black and white, including a very Holly Golightly sleeveless empire-waist Cynthia Steffe dress with a button-closure keyhole neckline ($251). But not much besides the walls is in the namesake hue. "People love color," Schoch says, noting that the store is also named for her son. The ubiquitous little cotton-print dresses of summer are in evidence, but there are also specimens suitable for the office, like a long-sleeved cotton shirtdress in a sprightly yellow-and-green floral pattern by Porridge ($189). Other casual fare includes tailored, narrow shorts in light blue by Billy Blues ($120), rectangular leather clutches with magnetic buckle clasps in red, green, and teal by Sabina ($106), and a blousy Jully Kang top in a blue-and-white pattern ($88) that brings to mind Delft pottery.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Yvette Marie Dostatni.

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