Where: Wicker Park
Price range: $40 to $500
Brands: Betsey Johnson, ABS by Allen Schwartz, Eva Franco, Shoshanna, Lia Kes
Exclusives: Keemia dresses and a bridesmaid line by Saja
Extras: An in-house tailor
Parking: Tricky on weekends and after
Need-to-know info: They stay open ’til 8 p.m. on Thursdays—great news for those with surprise weekend events.
1741 W. Division St. 773-697-9899
Last-minute dress shopping usually requires multiple stops and much consternation. But a new European-style Wicker Park boutique provides a needed alternative to throwing up your hands and settling on the first black frock that fits. Stocked solely with legless beauties, Le Dress carries everything from summer-barbecue casual to charity-ball glam in a wide selection of sizes.
"We felt like there wasn’t a boutique that carried only dresses and everything else you needed to complete the outfit," says Eva Anderson, co-owner with her sister-in-law, Robyn Anderson. "We have all price ranges plus known and unknown brands." Both come from fashion backgrounds (Eva interned for the bridal designer Alan Lalu in Paris, Robyn for Marc Jacobs in New York) and aim to keep the shop stocked with timeless and trendy styles alike. Find a strapless, green-patterned Jackie O. dress with pockets ($352) from Shoshanna, a flattering white-and-blue cummerbund-top dress from Lia Kes ($264), and a gray Grecian-style stunner from Nina Austin ($342). Several affordable private label dresses come in at $100 or less; the shop stocks more than 40 lines, and sizes run from 0 through 12.
"We want to have a dress for every occasion—for wearing during the day, or a Friday night, or a wedding," Robyn says. The best part? The shop also carries all the essentials to complete an outfit: Spanx, Cleavage Cupcakes, bras with clear straps, plus a small selection of costume jewelry, clutches, and cropped jackets.
Photograph: Kendall Karmanian