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520 N. Michigan Ave., 2nd floor; 312-329-1277 (plus five other locations)
SAVE You’ve walked by it a million times as you sauntered up to the food court in the Nordstrom mall on Michigan Avenue. And although the NYS Collection kiosk does look like some fly-by-night operation, it’s actually your best bet for a sturdy pair of designer-knockoff sunglasses. Which styles sell best? “The big ones and the aviators,” reported a cashier on a recent afternoon. We scored a metal-framed Dolce & Gabbana lookalike (pictured)—just $15, tax included.
49 E. Oak St.; 312-944-6876
SPLURGE “Prada is not high-end for us,” says Bernie Winitz, the owner of this rarefied Gold Coast eyewear boutique. So, while style seekers will delight in the fashion goods here (Prada, Gucci, Chrome Hearts, Ferragamo, among others including the popular Tom Ford series), the store is really a destination for those craving quiet luxury the next notch up: sunblockers from Cutler and Gross, a hard-to-find London brand, or Theo, an angular, edgy line from Belgium. Top-of-the-line service and fittings.