Laced Up, Ready to Go

A new addition to the suburbs, Romantika Boutique (711 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling; 847-520-7277, may be the perfect destination for Valentine’s Day gifts this year. Romantika carries gifts and accessories, including chocolate shower bars ($8), books on seduction and romance ($5.95 and up), a variety of scented candles ($32), and massage oils ($18). But the draw is the boutique’s wide selection of unique and colorful undergarments, many imported from Europe. “When you go to Victoria’s Secret, they never seem to have the size you need. When you go to department stores, like Neiman Marcus or Macy’s, they focus on basic neutrals,” says Kate Gordin, the co-owner of the boutique. “Here, we try to stand out.” Ranging from size 32A to 40F, Romantika features bras, panties, loungewear, and lingerie from European—mostly French and Italian—as well as American and Canadian designers, with new items arriving every other week. About 75 percent of items are from overseas and 30 percent are handmade. “Whatever we buy for the store is of the highest quality. It’s how we differentiate ourselves,” says Gordin, who attends New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas fashion shows with her business partner, Sasha Tsupina, throughout the year. Garments range from $22 to $350, including simple designs, like the lacey animal-print panties with a ruffle trim ($29) as well as more intricate ones, like the ivory lacy and satin corselette ($280) and the embroidered pink, maroon, and white push-up bra with lace edging ($170). Guests receive chilled white wine, chocolate, and bottled water as they shop. Opening Romantika this past October, Gordin and Tsupina launched the shop’s Web site in mid-January.

Top Sales This Week

Nika Le Butik (143 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge; 847-696-1700, holds its third annual Valentine’s Day sale with all sweaters, tops, skirts, jackets, accessories, and shoes at or below wholesale price, along with cocktails, appetizers, and a chocolate bar, Feb. 14th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those who buy receive a free gift and specials from Carmen Nicole’s Wellness Spa (153 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge; 847-825-9083).

Lash and makeup specialist Alessandra Rosa of Exhale Spa (945 N. State St.; 312-753-6500, gives free Valentine’s weekend makeovers and consultations Feb. 13th from 5 to 8 p.m. and Feb. 14th from 4 to 6 p.m. Reservations recommended; call 312-753-6500. Exhale Spa also offers half off Hollywood lashes through Feb. 28th.

The Best of the Rest

  • Sacred Art (2040 W. Roscoe St.; 773-404-8790, celebrates three years with an in-house drawing for shoppers: pull from a discount bowl for savings up to 100 percent off full-price merchandise throughout February. Shoppers who spend $300 are also eligible for $300 shopping spree drawing.
  • Eco boutique Grasshopper 510 (1944 N. Damen Ave.; 773-292-0510, holds a Valentine’s Day sale with 15 percent off all necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and cufflinks through Feb. 14th.
  • The Greenheart Shop (746 N. LaSalle St.; 312-264-1625, and Yoga Now (742 N. LaSalle St.; 312-280-9642, co-host a Chocolate and Yoga Valentine’s Progressive, with wine, refreshments, and a chocolate truffle-making demonstration at The Greenheart Shop; Feb. 12th from 5:45 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Continuum Studio (5671 N. Clark St.; 773-728-7883, offers its couple’s spa treatment package, featuring stress relief therapy massages and facials, for $220 (originally $270) when booked and purchased before Feb. 14th. Also, clients who book a skin brightening treatment receive a $40 credit on Dermalogica ChromaWhite TRx products through Feb. 28th.
  • Red Dog House (2031 N. Damen Ave.; 773-227-7341, holds a Warm Up Your Best Friend’s Valentine’s Day weekend with buy one, get one half off sweaters Feb. 13th through 15th. Online shoppers can use code “sweater09” to receive discount.
  • Lake View’s His Stuff (3162 N. Broadway; 773-281-6111, holds a Sample and Close Out sale with up to 80 percent off winter and summer items from Hugo Boss, Energie, 2xist, and more, Feb. 14th and 15th. The Lake View and Andersonville locations (5314 N. Clark St.; 773-989-9111) offer an additional 20 percent off sale merchandise starting Feb. 14th.   
  • The Rock Steady Fashion Show features designs from Bonnie and Clyde’s (1751 W. Division St.; 773-235-2680,, Guise Chic (2128 N. Halsted St.; 773-929-6101,, and more, Feb. 12th from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Moonshine (1824 W. Division St.; 773-862-8686, The Stoli-hosted bar is open until the show at 10:30 p.m. No cover. To reserve your spot at the bar, visit
  • For Valentine’s Day, Hubba-Hubba (3309 N. Clark St.; 773-477-1414, offers a 25 percent discount on items that are red, have a heart, or display ‘love,’ through Feb. 14th.  
  • The Spa at Equinox (900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-254-2500; 1750 North Clark St., 312-254-4000; 200 W. Monroe St., 312-252-3100; 799 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-681-7777; offers 50-minute Swedish massages, 50-minute deep tissue massages, and 50-minute signature facials for $79 each as well as 50-minutes of any two treatments for $150, through Feb. 14th.
  • Throughout February, Brilli Salon (3334 N. Ashland Ave.; 773-755-4247, offers free make-up application with hair services more than $40. New clients also get a $20 gift card with any service more than $40. Visit to print out the gift card.
  • The Silken Tent (2300 Chestnut Ave., Glenview; 847-510-1240, the features lavender manicure and pedicure combos for $70; lavender facials for $115; 30-minute head, neck, and shoulder massages, with an express facial, manicure and pedicure for $175; and 15 percent off two or more services, throughout February. For Valentine’s Day, guests can also add a 15-minute makeover to any massage or facial for $20, Feb. 13th through 15th.
  • Housing more than 70 retailers, The 900 Shops (900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-915-3916, celebrates Presidents’ Day with a Tax Free (or 10.25 percent off) weekend at select stores Feb. 14th through 16th. To receive the discount, shoppers must print an access pass from or stop by a concierge desk on levels 1 or 6. For a list of participating stores, visit $10 validated parking.
  • Bloomingdale’s (900 North Michigan Ave.; 312-440-4460, and Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (120 East Delaware Pl.; 312-280-8800, offer 15 percent off a $250 day spa Retail Therapy Package to guests who bring in a “Confessions of a Shopaholic” ticket stub. The deal includes a 25-minute foot soak and massage; 80-minute signature facial; pool and fitness club passport; $50 Bloomingdale’s electronic gift card; makeover from Bobbi Brown Cosmetic; and a shopping bag of gifts from Bloomingdale’s, Four Seasons Chicago, and “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” Feb. 13th through March 12th. To book the package, call Four Seasons day spa at 312-649-2340.
  • For Presidents’ Day, Chicago Premium Outlets (1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Aurora; 630-585-2200, offers discounts at more than 40 of the 120 stores Feb. 13th through Feb. 16th, including 50 percent off all red, white, and blue items at Dooney & Bourke ( For a full list of store sales, click on the “sales and events” tab at
  • Patagonia Chicago (1800 N. Clybourn Ave.; 312-951-0518, holds its Winterfest Sale with 40 to 60 percent off winter jackets, ski coats, luggage, and cashmere sweaters as well as 50 percent off kids’ winter clothing and gear, Feb. 10th through 19th.
  • Akira (1814 W. North Ave., 773-489-0818; other locations, and Bjorn Borg ( host Paradise Lost lingerie show, featuring their colorful spring lines, Feb. 12th at Manor (642 N. Clark St.; 312-475-1390, A cocktail reception, featuring Belvedere vodka, begins at 10 p.m.; show starts at midnight.