6 Reasons Not to Miss the Oak Street Summer Shop-Around on June 18

We know you love spending the day on Oak Street whenever you get the chance… especially in the summer.

The sun is shining, the flowers are in full bloom and your favorite shopping and dining district is alive with the excitement of summer in Chicago.

But now you have one more reason to plan a leisurely day of fun in the Gold Coast: the Oak Street Summer Shop-Around on Thursday, June 18th from 10am to 6pm.

1.  Help the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

We’re proud to announce that this year’s event will benefit the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the #1-ranked rehabilitation hospital in the country.  21 of the wonderful Oak Street businesses will donate 10% of the entire day’s proceeds directly to the RIC.  These donations will help the award-winning hospital help treat patients and further innovative research for spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, stroke recovery, amputations, neurological disorders and more.

2.  You Could Win Big!

When you register to attend the Oak Street Summer Shop-Around, you’ll be automatically entered into our VIP raffle.  This is no ordinary raffle – the fabulous prize list includes luxury hotel stays, 5-star restaurant gift certificates, and tickets to the city’s top theatre performances, just to name a few.

3.  Dine Deliciously

It’s no secret that Oak Street is home to some of the city’s finest dining experiences, but when you attend this special event, you’ll have the chance to take advantage of exclusive offers just for Summer Shop-Around guests at the award-winning Del Frisco’s Steakhouse and acclaimed Mediterranean restaurant, Fig & Olive.

4.  Take a Mini Staycation

No matter how long you’ve lived in Chicago, it’s always nice to take a mini staycation in one of the most luxurious hotels in the most beautiful neighborhood in the best city in the world.  That’s why our friends at the Four Seasons, PUBLIC and Thompson Hotels are offering Summer Shop-Around guests exclusive room packages for the night of June 18th.

5.  Entertainment Abounds

The amazing offers and specials are just part of the fun – guests will also be dazzled by a wide variety of entertainment.  Here’s a sample of the activities you won’t want to miss:

•  Tequila tastings
•  Champagne toasts
•  Sips and snacks
•  Sidewalk modeling
•  Live DJ
•  Free photobooth
•  Complimentary palm and tarot card readings
•  Luxury automobile showcase

6.  Shopping Surprises

Almost every business that’s participating is offering guests a little something extra in addition to their generous donation to RIC.  Here are a few of our favorites:

•  Agent Provocateur is offering a free gift with purchase, plus a raffle for a free bra and bottom.
•  Buccellati will be serving champagne and sweets.
•  At Escada, expect to see male models serving champagne.
•  Harry Winston is offering an exclusive preview of the 2015 Basel Watch Collection and serving champagne and small bites.
•  Enjoy MK Restaurant cocktail creations at Ike Behar.
•  Kate Spade will be serving up special Kate Spade cookies & drinks.
•  Lanvin shoppers will enjoy complimentary refreshments.
•  Maje will be serving refreshing mango margaritas from 312Spirits.
•  At Perfect Setting, get a free Vietri cocktail platter with every $150 purchase.
•  Sip champagne all afternoon at VINCE.

7.  It’s FREE!

Here’s the best news:  the Oak Street Summer Shop-Around is free to attend!  But if you know you’re coming, we encourage you to register in advance in order to be entered into the raffle.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Here’s a full list of the stores that will donate 10% of proceeds to RIC:

  1. Agent Provocateur (47 E. Oak, 312-335-0229)
  2. Alexis Bittar (61 E. Oak, 312-649-9112)
  3. Buccellati (62 E. Oak, 312-600-9224)
  4. CH Carolina Herrera ( 70 E. Oak, 312-988-9339)
  5. David Yurman (40 E. Oak, 312-787-7779)
  6. Escada (51 E. Oak, 312-915-0500)
  7. Frye (1007 N. Rush, 312-642-3793)
  8. Graff (103 E. Oak, 312-604-1000)
  9. Harry Winston (55 E. Oak, 312-705-1820)
  10. Ike Behar (67 E. Oak, 312-624-9257)
  11. Kate Spade (56 E. Oak, 312- 654-8853)
  12. Lanvin (116 E. Oak, 312-765-7075)
  13. Lester Lampert (57 E. Oak, 312-944-6888)
  14. Maje (104 E. Oak, 312-649-9228)
  15. Paul Stuart (107 E. Oak, 312-640-2650
  16. Perfect Setting (67 E. Oak, 312-202-1260)
  17. Sararose (67 E. Oak, 773-654-3421)
  18. Scoop NYC (1009 N. Rush, 312-649-9880
  19. VINCE (106 E. Oak, 312-280-6890)
  20. VMR (34 E. Oak, 7th floor, 312-649-6673)
  21. Zadig & Voltaire (114 E. Oak, 312-643-1240)

The Stylish Bride’s Guide to Oak Street

There’s more to being a bride-to-be than just wearing a sparkly ring and occasionally consulting with your wedding planner about cake flavors and flower arrangements.

Some things simply can’t be delegated to anyone else if you really want the event to have your trademark style. If you’ve been thinking that the only item you can purchase for your wedding on Oak Street is a to-die-for dress from one of our upscale bridal shops, it’s time to think again.

Check out this stylish bride’s guide to Oak Street; you might be surprised what you’ll find.

Beautiful Bands

If your hubby-to-be popped the question without a ring, because he wanted to let you pick it out yourself, Oak Street has got you covered. Likewise if you’re enamored with the engagement ring he’s given you, but it didn’t come with a matching band.

Your ring is something that you’ll be wearing day in and day out for the rest of your life, so it needs to be perfect. No matter your everyday style is, the fine jewelry boutiques on Oak Street have got you covered.

Try visiting David Yurman or Graff Diamonds if you want to pick his band out to match at the same time. Look at Buccellati’s Romanza collection if you’re a well-read bride. Of course, if you’re classic beauty with a thing for old Hollywood, a visit to Harry Winston might be in Dresses
order.  And don’t forget that you can visit Lester Lampert for a custom design that’s all your own.

Dreamy Dresses & Fabulous Finishes

The bridal stores on Oak Street are filled to the brim with couture fashions to fit any bride, whether you’re demure, trendy, traditional, a hopeless romantic, or some combination of all of the above. Vera Wang, Dimitra’s Bridal and Ultimate Bride all offer impeccable guidance and assistance to shopping sweethearts, and they carry countless high-end designers between the two of them.

ExtrasBest of all, their locations make it easy to swing by Alexis Bittar, Lester Lampart, Pomellato, or Trabert and Hoeffer after you’ve made your selection to finish off your look with some sparkle. While you’re there, you might even find a special watch or set of cufflinks for your man to commemorate the occasion.

Killer Kicks

You want some Cinderella-worthy heels to complete your fairy-tale ensemble, but you want to be comfortable too, right? Jimmy Choo is well-known for turning out bejeweled, bedazzled, metallic, and majorly luxurious high heels that are actually worth wearing.

Between the high-quality materials and masterful craftsmanship, you’ll feel like you’re walking down the aisle on air… and it won’t just because of how handsome your soon-to-be hubby looks waiting for you at the end.

Hot Extras for Hubby

Yes, we’re talking lingerie! Agent Provocateur offers specialty bridal lingerie in pretty nudes, creams, and whites that will blend in seamlessly under your bridal attire. Also available are special bridal services, sexy swimsuits for the honeymoon, gorgeous garters, and lingerie bags to make traveling a breeze.

Oh, and don’t forget to swing by one of the many beauty salons/spas on Oak Street for a fresh dye job, pretty mani-pedi, wax, or massage to unwind and boost your confidence in preparation for the big day.

Stylish brides are always looking for something a little bit special that’s a cut above the rest.

On Oak Street, we understand that, which is why we lay out the red carpet for brides.  Come visit us today and let us help you prepare for the wedding of your dreams.

3 Must-Have Hair & Makeup Trends for Spring

Spring is a time of new beginnings, renewal, and warmth.

All around, wherever you look, you’re surrounded by brightness and freshness.  So now it’s time to add some of the same to your beauty routine!

Thankfully, Oak Street has several salons and shops that offer just want you need to steal spring 2015’s most talked about runway looks for yourself. Read on to see all of the beauty and makeup trends broken down, and a guide to where you can set yourself up with each one.

Lust After Bright, Bold Red Lips

Runway models for the top designers just aren’t sporting deep, blood red, or burgundy shades anymore. Just as spring has come with some lighter days, it’s also brought along some lighter lips.

Creamy, saturated reds with a slight orange tint are what ladies’ lips all across the nation are lusting for, and with good reason! The shade is universally flattering and brings out the warmth of any complexion- something that couldn’t hurt as you are just beginning to show your pale, winter limbs the sun again.

To achieve the same looks featured in Carmen Marc Valvo’s and Zac Posen’s shows, take a trip to Marilyn Miglin.  Line the lips with a Waterproof Gel Lip Liner  and then slick on a creamy, hand-flamed lipstick in Buddha Red or Flare. Pick up a Retractable Lip Brush to line the outside of your lips carefully with the Natural Liquid Foundation With Jojoba Oil And Chamomile of your shade for a look that stays smudge-proof all day.

Soft, Sweet, Neutral Nails Are Super Chic

Not only do neutrals match everything, they’re also seriously chic. No wonder they’ve made a comeback on 2015’s spring runways. The Deborah Lippmann line at Barneys has over seven soft shades to pick from.

Debuted at the NYFW Spring 2015 shows of Badgley Mischka, Theory and Donna Karan, Chantilly Lace, Like Dreamers Do, and Misty Morning all feature varying undertones to keep things interesting and suit any style. You’ll also find Bobbi Browns’ Sandy Nudes collection at Barneys, including Nude and Naked, which are a more classic take on neutral nail polish than Lippmann’s looks.

And if you prefer to leave the manicuring to the professionals, head to one of Oak Street’s premiere salons, like Charles Ifergan or Marianne Strokirk for a perfectly polished look in a huge variety of on-trend, neutral shades.

Au Naturale Hair is Haute Now

Some say that the prim and polished look of hair set carefully in hot-rollers is coming back in, but Spring 2015’s runways have given quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. Air-dried locks and braids with wonderful wisps peeking out to frame the face reigned supreme at several shows.

Ifergan PRoductsPick up a good mist and mousse from Charles Ifergan, Marianne Strokirk or Salon O Sixty-Five, apply them from the middle of your hair to its ends, and add 2-3 braids to your hair depending on its thickness. Allow it all to air dry and undo. Simple!

While you’re at the salon, though, perhaps it is time for a new style? The “lob” cut seems like it’s been around for a long time, but there’s good reason for that! It works with almost any face shape and looks polished with the aforementioned air-dried style, rather than a bit messy like longer hair can sometimes appear.

If you were expecting this list to be filled with fussy fashions and difficult ‘dos, it’s time to get with the times…

Now is the best time to let your natural, classic beauty shine!

5 Ways to Celebrate Spring on Oak Street

Ah, springtime in Chicago…it’s as if the whole city has been sleeping and suddenly we wake up and hit the streets with a literal spring in our step and a renewed zest for life.

All of our wintertime grumblings of leaving this freezing city and moving somewhere warmer are mysteriously forgotten as we break out the Nomi Gardensandals and start taking our meals al fresco.

If it weren’t for this magical time, The Windy City might have very few permanent residents indeed.

So as the bitter memories of the frozen tundra season recede, it’s time to think about how to enjoy spring in our fair city, and we have a few ideas…

1.  Nomi Garden at The Park Hyatt

If there’s anything better than being outside on a warm, sunny Chicago afternoon, it’s being on a rooftop that looks out over our gorgeous skyline.  And the Nomi Garden at The Park Hyatt is a stunning example.

Meet friends here for a refreshing happy hour craft cocktail, a seasonal local brew or a glass of wine.  Or make it your destination for a romantic dinner – choose from their diverse menu of sushi, small plates and contemporary American classics as you and your special someone are dazzled by the city lights.

2.  Gotta Wear Shades

We don’t know about you, but one of our favorite parts of spring is the return of sunglasses weather.  Jet setting around the city just feels cooler when you’ve got on a fabulous pair of shades that add instant glamour to your look.  Stop in to Morgenthal Frederics or Glasses Ltd. to peruse their selection of distinctive, designer frames and you’ll be ready for all the sunny days to come.

3.  Fig & Olive Terrace

There’s something about a balmy spring day that just makes you crave fresh and flavorful Mediterranean fare.  And if you want to do that while enjoying the weather, the ideal place is Fig & Olive’s beautiful terrace.  Savor a delectable meal and bottle of wine inspired by the cuisine of France, Italy and Spain while you bask in the shady calm of the terrace overlooking Oak Street.Salon 065

4.  Tavern on Rush Patio

This casual upscale Chicago classic has one of the best patios in town – in fact, it was even voted “Best Outdoor Dining” by Chicago Scene Magazine.  Not only is it the perfect place to grab a delicious meal, but it’s prime real estate for people watching on the always bustling Rush Street.

5.  Spring Makeover Day

New season, new look.  That’s what we say anyway.  After a long season of bundling yourself up against the cold and putting up with the effects of dry air on your skin and hair, it’s high time for a warm-weather makeover.  Make a day of it by getting a revitalizing spa treatment at Elysian Spa at The Waldorf Astoria, a new hair style at Charles Ifergan or Salon O Sixty-Five and a few fun outfits that don’t have to protect you from Arctic blasts.  Then show off your new look as you enjoy drinks and dinner outdoors at one of these fine outdoor dining spots.

Every year, Spring comes to Chicago just as we begin to lose hope of ever seeing the sun again.  We recommend celebrate the chirping birds, blossoming flowers and warm breezes this year on Oak Street and soaking it all up while it lasts.

Bespoke on Oak
The Best Custom Services in Chicago

Alton LaneThere’s just nothing like having something custom-made for you, is there?

In days of yore, ordering a customized item was standard – it’s how most people bought clothes, shoes, household items and more.  And this was for good reason; people knew exactly what they wanted and weren’t willing to settle for less.

Nowadays bespoke items are a little less common, but no less desirable.  Having something created precisely to your specifications and measurements is a lovely luxury everyone should experience at least once.

Fortunately, Oak Street is home to several distinctive businesses that offer customers a bespoke shopping experience.

Alton Lane

With showrooms in several major cities in the country, Alton Lane is a master of the bespoke men’s suit.  When you walk into one of their shops, it’s immediately apparent that you’re in for something special.  The proffered glass of scotch and beautiful, masculine décor make you feel right at home.

Next, prepare to be seriously impressed by the process of customizing every single detail of your suit – you’ll have a huge range of choices for everything from the fabric to the lapel width to the cuff vents.  After all of your choices are finalized, you’ll enter their state-of-the-art 3-D body scanner and get hand-measured as well.

Finally, your measurements and specifications are sent off to be hand drawn and laser cut before being put together and sent to your doorstep.  Trust us, you’ll feel and look like a VIP when it’s all said and done.

Brioni

When you get a bespoke suit from this Italian men’s fashion icon, you’ll be joining the ranks of men like Clark Gable, Cary Grant, John Paul Stuart BespokeWayne and Al Pacino, just to name a few.  Brioni has been in the business since the 1950’s, when they opened their first shop in Rome and began designing for the Eternal City’s elite.  When you visit their Oak Street shop and take advantage of their Su Misura (“to your measurement” in Italian) services, you’ll see just how seriously they take craftsmanship, quality and custom tailoring.

Paul Stuart

This company has been in the custom fashion business for nearly 80 years and continues to be a leader in bespoke style.  Their ready-to-wear collection is always custom-tailored to each man, but you also have the option of Mad-to-Measure and Paul Stuart Custom. The latter involves a Lester Lampertmeticulous process that results in a hand-cut suit and a unique paper pattern of your measurements that’s kept on file for life.  Paul Stuart prides itself on getting to know your preferences, aesthetic, and vision for your personal style, and making sure that the end product is a perfect expression of your taste.

Lester Lampert

When it comes to jewelry, many women like to have one-of-a-kind pieces that they’ll never see on anyone else – it makes a special piece feel all the more special.  If your style is this unique, consider having something designed and created just for you by an independent jewelry store that does all of their own designing and manufacturing on-site, like Lester Lampert.

When you work with their expert jewelry designers, you’ll see your piece come to life from a drawing to a wax mold to the final product that’s presented to you.  And part of what makes Lester Lampert so special is the fact that every step is done on premises in their Oak Street workshop, which means unparalleled quality control and craftsmanship.

These are just a few of the bespoke style experts that call Oak Street home.  Next time you’re looking for something truly distinctive, consider the amazing possibilities of custom-made.

9 Perfect Wedding Gifts You’ll Only Find on Oak Street

Spring is in the air… and for many couples- that means wedding bells. While wedding registries can take the struggle out of finding a good gift for the bride and groom, they can also tend to be a bit, well, boring or impersonal.

If you’re looking to provide the bride and groom in your life with a wedding gift that’s a little different and shows just how well you know the couple, Oak Street has got you covered.

To save yourself some stress, check out these 9 perfect wedding gifts, all of which you can purchase locally while you peruse Oak Street’s shops at your leisure.

Some Endearing Décor

Even though the newlyweds will be taking some time away after the wedding, they’re ultimately going to be returning to the home they’ve decided to build together. What better way to show your support than to help decorate it with tiny tidbits that are useful, thoughtful, and pleasing to the eye?

  • Kate Spade’s Take the Cake Ring Dish makes a perfect bedside or sink-side accessory, especially for couples who lose things easily or are at high risk for dropping their dearest accessories down the drain.
  • The Silver Street Roll of the Die from Kate Spade will be a lifesaver for those pairs who are perfectly matched in every way- including when it comes to being incredibly indecisive.
  • Also sold at Kate Spade are some great Food for Thought Placemats to remind the bride and groom to ‘kiss the cook’, ‘save room for desert’, ‘dance on the table’, and ‘eat cake for breakfast’. This particular gift is a surefire success, no matter the couples’ choice in décor, as the placemats are available in a variety of color schemes.Barneys Office

A Stress-Free Zone to Handle their Business

All too often, couples who are new to joint finances, social calendars, and business arrangements wind up easily overwhelmed. A great home office can counter that, and what better gift than one that keeps on giving? Oak Street has plenty of presents that can improve the new couple’s home office.

  • Kate Spade’s Expletive Paper Clips are more than just novel. Even though they are simple in style, these paper clips make for colorful communication between couples. They can actually improve upon an office’s organization. For example, the ‘$’ clip may be used for bills, the ‘!’ clip may be used for urgent matters, and the ‘?’ clip may be used to remind one spouse to ask the other about a particular document on the desk.
  • Barneys offers countless colorful agendas durably designed with concrete purposes in mind and printed with helpful and fun titles like “Frankly, My Dear,” “Address and Telephone,” “Make it Happen,” and “Inspiration and Ideas.” These are a much better option than colored sticky notes for keeping notes and important dates organized.
  • The IWoodDesign Empty Your Pockets Tray from Barneys keeps clutter under control and hurried, stressful searches for the car keys from ever happening.
  • Barneys also carries a variety of office sets, including mail holders, letter openers, pencil cups, and more in lines they’ll love like Pacific Connections, Connor, and El Casco.

An Experience to Remember

When it comes to wedding gifts, you don’t always have to go for a tangible object either – the happy couple will likely be overwhelmed with new things for their home, so a fun experience can be a more unique and special gift.

From fancy hotels, to spas, salons, and gourmet restaurants, the right gift certificates could treat the bride and groom to a much appreciated date night a month or two after the honeymoon. Book them a suite, makeover, meal, or massage, and they’ll be sure to thank you!

Shopping for a wedding present doesn’t need to be difficult, even if the gifts listed on the registry aren’t what you had in mind for the bride and groom. Opt for something interesting and practical from one of the many shops at Oak Street and your gift will surely be appreciated.

Discover Your Signature Spring Style on Oak Street

For years upon years, all of the most well-known women in fashion have had one thing in common: a signature style!

It’s only natural to envy the iconic looks of Miuccia Prada, Anna Wintour, Delphine Arnault , Aerin Lauder, Floriane de Saint Pierre, Kate Spade, and Gucci Westman, but don’t sell yourself short.

Spring is a time of rebirth and it’s time to reboot your wardrobe with pieces that will serve as staples in a new signature style that showcases your physique, flair for fashion, and good taste flawlessly. Where will you find such stupendous statement pieces? Oak Street, of course.

Read on for a guide full of goodies that will have you stepping out in a style people will remember this spring.

For the Simmering Seductress

‘Naked’ Dresses are all the rage on the runways and in Hollywood lately, but they can be tough for the average Jane to pull off. Fortunately, Agent Provocateur has a wide range of options both opulent and effortless.

The Emie Slip and Dimiya Dress both conceal a bit more of the figure, but large swaths of unlined lace make them positively magnetizing and reveal the skin with good taste. For the seductress that’s just starting out, the Chii Chi Dress is a faux naked dress with a delicate keyhole pattern and flesh-toned chiffon lining that will give you the look everyone’s crazy for without the risk of any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.

For the Bohemian BeautyBoho Dresses

Spring is the best time to break out fun patterns and flowy silhouettes. Barneys has everything you’ll need to add a Bohemian flair to your wardrobe in a way that’s boho chic, with an emphasis on chic.

The Ulla Johnson Anjali Dress features soft colors, a layered look, and a flattering silhouette for all shapes. The Stella McCartney Ricrac and Pleats Asymmetric Hem Dress provides the flow and fun that you desire while still showing off your shoulders and sternum. Meanwhile, the Ulla Johnson Embroidered Voile Maxi Dress shows just enough skin and draws attention to your waist and collarbone with a strategic cut and embroidered neckline.

For the Eco Chic Eccentric

SaraRose on Oak is the place to shop if you’re into making a more political style statement. The products are made in the United States, and Sara Rosethe shop offers Fairtrade, vegan, handcrafted, and sustainable products to shoppers with big hearts and strong consciences.

Eccentric fashion is all about interesting accessories, so if that’s the signature style you’re going for, stylish and eco-friendly Deeter tote in citrus, graphic tees with messages like “Are You Making the World Better Today?” and Turkish T Tie-Dye scarves that SaraRose has to offer.

Other great options include the Oslenhaus Peace Pump, Awake Third Eye flats, and Meeka Numbered Rings and Necklaces.  Whatever your style, you’re sure to find something at Sara Rose that you love for its look and its conscientious philosophy.

With the return of warm weather, you can embody any style you choose.  Go with what’s tried and true or explore a new trend that’s a little out of your comfort zone.  Take a sunny Saturday to visit Oak Street, browse, try on and find something fabulous that inspires you!

Waldorf-Astoria’s Pop-up Patisserie

pop up patisserie

It is no longer necessary to stroll the streets of Paris to sample flights of macarons or bite into a sugar dusted scone as the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is serving up the classics in its patisserie pop-up. 

From macarons to the buttery Kouign-Amann cakes of Brittany, the Waldorf’s pastry team is making your sweet dreams come true. The Parisian-inspired hotel is upping its breakfast game as Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Johnson and his team creates their delightful twists on French pastries from scratch each day (items range from $5-7). From Thursday through Sunday, guests and locals alike can delight in Waldorf’s “pastry happy hour” in the lobby from 7-10am.

Patisserie Pop-Up Menu:

o   Cinnamon Coffee Cake

o   Seasonal blood orange golden raisin scones

o   Chocolate and hazelnut French macarons (rotating flavors)

o   Waldorf’s version of the buttery Kouign-Amann cake filled with homemade almond cream

o   Plain croissants, giant chocolate chip cookies and cream cheese Danishes

o   Gluten Free Items:

  • Nut, chia, flax-seed packed bread
  • Banana walnut chocolate chip muffins

o   Sunraysia bottled juices (apple, orange, cranberry)