Oilily Even if you don't mix plaids and florals on a daily basis (a trademark of
this designer), just one of Oilily's distinctive and colorful items can perk up a
wardrobe from infant to size 12. Clothes are the focus, but some accessories like
quilts and backpacks are also offered. To keep kids happy while you shop, rolling
wooden chairs and blocks are on hand. The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave.
& 312/527-5747. Subway/El: Red Line to State/Grand.
Old Navy The lower-priced relative of Gap carries an extensive collec-
tion of kids' clothes, from infants and up. Sales here are fantastic—and frequent.
From Chicago with Love
Need to bring some Chicago gifts home for friends and family? With
more national chain stores hitting town, it's getting harder to find dis-
tinctive, only-in-Chicago souvenirs. Here are some unique ideas:
• The Archicenter Shop, at 224 S. Michigan Ave. ( & 312/922-3432 ),
sells some of the coolest gifts in town. This bright, sleek shop is part
of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, so everything in stock—
including toys, photography books, tour guides, and stationery—
has a definite sense of style. Whether you're in the market for a
$900 reproduction of a vase from Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House
or a more affordable black-and-white photo of the city skyline, it's
well worth stopping in.
• The Chicago Tribune store, at 435 N. Michigan Ave. ( & 312/222-
3080 ), has your standard tourist selection (“Chicago” emblazoned
on everything from shirts to shot glasses). But this is also a good
place to pick up Cubs memorabilia (the Tribune Company owns the
team), along with books from some of the city's top journalists. You
can also order reproductions of the Tribune 's front page or color
prints of photos from the newspaper's archives.
• Sportmart, at 620 N. LaSalle St. ( & 312/337-6151 ), is where you'll find
jerseys and hats from Chicago's other pro sports teams. The victorious
Jordan years might be behind us, but his shirts still sell well here.
• The ultimate Chicago tasty treats are Frango Mints from Marshall
Field's. Although they now come in a variety of flavors, stick with
the original: melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mixed with mint. Once
you're hooked, you might find yourself returning to Chicago more
often to stock up.
• City of Chicago Store, located in the Water Works Visitor Center, right
off of Michigan Avenue at 163 E. Pearson St. ( & 312/742-8811 ), is a
convenient stop for Chicago-related souvenirs and gifts, including
truly one-of-a-kind pieces of retired municipal equipment (although
the parking meters we've seen for sale here might be a little difficult
to stuff into your suitcase).
• The Savvy Traveller, located at 310 S. Michigan Ave., at Van Buren
Street ( & 312/913-9800 ), is where smart travelers buy their Frommer's
guidebooks. This Loop specialty store carries just about everything a
traveler might need, from maps to rain gear to games that keep the
kids occupied on long car trips.