The Blog

  •  Before It Slips Away playlist

    With summer almost upon us, we put together Before it Slips Away, a choice playlist with some of our favorite vintage songs, easing us into long dreamy days and warm nights. We hope you enjoy our summer vibes!   






  • This weekend we will be hosting a Holiday Pop-Up featuring some of our favorite local designers: ceramics by Up in the Air Somewhere, textiles by Herron, and aprons by Smittee. This is the perfect time to grab a unique gift for someone on your list or treat yourself to something special.

    Join us Friday night from 5-7 to meet the designers, shop, and enjoy a glass of wine provided by 
    The Winchester. After the reception, accompany us to The Winchester to continue the festivities.

    Local Home Goods Holiday Pop-Up
    Friday, December 2 - Sunday, December 4
    Penelope's,1913 W Division St, Chicago



    Penelope's Early Spring Look Book - 2016

    Stop by the shop to request a printed copy. 


  • We are so excited for Loup's Spring 16 Collection! Danielle Ribner has been designing and producing her line in New York's garment district since 2009. She is constantly inspired by the city she lives in and French films and fashion. Danielle intertwines classic silhouettes and vintage details with a modern attitude.  Here are a few of our favorite pieces from her latest collection, in store now:
                        Tina Dress                            Sea Dress in White                            Sofia Dress
                          Nina Dress                                                            Streep Skirt
          Penny Denim Shorts                              Kara Dress
  • Location: Cape Cod

    Cape Cod's unique landmass stretches from the northeast tip, Provincetown, to Woods Hole in the southwest. Known for it's beaches, lighthouses, and seafood, the Cape also has a history of early European settlement possibly dating back to 985. The region's infrastructure heavily relies on summer businesses, making the winter quiet and remote. This February, we decided to see what a winter on the Cape was like for ourselves.
    After getting in at Logan International Airport, we took a three hour bus ride straight to the front door of our bed and breakfast, Inn at the Oaks. The inn is located in Eastham, which is less popular and less populated than it’s neighbors, Orleans and Wellfleet, but none the less beautiful. The 13 room inn was built in the 1870’s and has been serving guests, such as Henry Beston, since the 1920’s. We were the only people staying in the main house so our mornings were spent eating breakfast at the end of a 10 person dining room table and our evenings in front of the fireplace, stretching out on the couch with a glass of wine.







    Most of the restaurants recommended to us were closed down for the season, but we managed to find a place that served fresh caught fish and chips just south of our inn. The place is Sir Cricket’s and in addition to the friendly staff they have a selection of fried seafood including scallops, oysters, and calamari. The name comes from the founder Herbert Harrison’s favorite racing dog, possibly the one that made the establishment a possibility back in 1970. Locals were coming in and out to pick up dinner orders while right next door the fish market helped a few people select the freshest fish and lobster. At $15 each we managed to get a large order of fish and chips, a coleslaw salad, and a side of fried scallops.



    During the day, we walked through the woods along newly paved pathways, through the neighborhoods of classically styled Cape Cod summer homes, and up and down the windy winter beaches. From the inn, it was only 2 miles in either direction to the water and both the Atlantic and the Cape still had a few paddle boarders, horse riders, and even mid afternoon swimmers. Despite the winter, there was a restful calm on the Cape that allowed for intimate and peaceful days, a much appreciated escape for us Chicagoans.








    In the roaring twenties and soon after The Great Depression, several great shirt makers, mostly first generation immigrants, banded together to move en masse out of New York and away from its urban problems, high costs and rackets. They decided upon a rural area about four hours outside of New York City in Pennsylvania, either in or around Schuylkill County. Among them was Max Gitman, a Brooklyn native who moved his family and business to the coal-mining town of Ashland and established the Ashland Shirt & Pajama Company in 1932.



    The Ashland Shirt & Pajama Company factory remained a contract shop, making private label shirts for the most prestigious haberdashers in the USA, until 1978, when a band of young sellers, who loved and wore the product, proposed to Max Gitman’s sons, Alfie and Shelly, that they take the shirts directly to the market under their own label. And so, the Gitman Bros. brand was born.


    Gitman Brothers’ classic oxfords feature a three-inch button down collar with single breast pocket and incorporate retro details like original chalk buttons, locker loops and double-track stitching. The Spring / Summer 2016 is inspired by Tuscan seaside town aesthetics, which include a healthy mix of summer-ready staples, counterpoised by a colorful assortment of palms, parrots, postcards, and geometric motifs. Most styles can be found in long and short sleeve variations, and can be found in a well-made cotton weave, or a lighter-weight chambray.


    Gitman Bros. shirting can be found year-round at Penelope’s, so don’t hesitate to stop in and see what we have in stock - from the traditional staple to the party-goer’s favorite.

    Shop Gitman


    Happy Valentine's day everyone! Whether you've got dinner reservations for two,

    or eating a box of chocolates alone, this mix is for you ~




    Amanaz - Sunday Morning

    Orville Shannon - Oh Lover

    Becky Durnning & the Ardee's - Foolish Boys

    Funk Night Records - Another Song (About Love) 

    Lee Perry and the Gayletes - How Come You Come

    Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltons - Hotline Bling

    Timmy Thomas - Why Can't We Live Together

    The Darlettes - Lost

    Chuck Jackson - Any Day Now

    The Amoebas - Look at the Moon

    El Michaels Affair - Hung Up On My Baby

    The Lijadu Sisters - Come on Home

    The Apostles - Don't Huzzle for Love


    by Penelope's team member - Spencer 

  • Brooklyn-based clothing & object studio The Hill-Side has been on our stocklist here at Penelope's for a few years now. The attention to material detail and high quality construction championed by brothers Sandy and Emil Corsillo makes any piece by this brand a well balanced addition to any wardrobe. 
    The Corsillos pull fabrics and materials from all over the world into each seasons lines, often going directly from the craftsman's loom or shop right into their manufacturing process. As a result, we are blown away with the unique quality of each new collection.
    Aside from the soft goods in the shop, we also have a beautiful set of sunglasses the brothers recently produced. The glasses come in both a tortoiseshell and black acetate (sustainable and plant based), and are fitted with crystal clear UV-400 CR Lenses. Both pairs were hand assembled, polished, fitted, and balanced by craftsmen in Sabe, Japan. Like most classic sunnies, these are unisex, so come on in and give them a try if you need some protection from that bright winter light. 
  • Introducing our friend and musical archivist, Tony Rainwater. You can find him spinning down at Punch House in Pilsen or check out his Soundcloud for more of his mixes. He has generously put together an hour of tracks to pick us up this Sunday morning. Enjoy!



    Stefano Torossi - Family Life 
    Nu Shooz - Driftin’ 
    Colin Blunstone - Touch 
    Atlantic Starr - Silver Shadow
    Al B Sure - Naturually Mine
    Pink Rhythm - Walking In The Rain
    ???? - ?????
    Willie Beaver Hale - Get Into The Party Life
    Intense - On My Mind
    Los Pekinos - Persépolis
    Crystal - Rocking On The Beat
    Burnier & Cartier - Ficaram Nüs
    O Quarteto - Cantiga
    Cassiano - Melissa

    Penelope's has some great gift ideas and we have put together some handy guides to help you find a perfect gift for everyone on your list. Happy shopping!




  • This week we went through our in store archive to dig up the mellow sounds of Donnie and Joe Emerson and their strange yet beautiful album from 1979, Dreamin' Wild. 

    In 1979, with abounding support from their father and under the mentorship of their high school music teacher, brothers Donnie & Joe Emerson (17 and 19 years old), set out to record songs like the ones they would listen to on the radio at their rural Washington home. Their dad almost literally lost the farm taking out loans to build a recording studio on their property solely used for the recording of Dreamin’ Wild, their debut and only album. Their raw and heartfelt sound is a blend of 70s rock, Blue-eyed soul, and funk with moments of palpable genius and haunting vibes. And that cover! A perfect soundtrack for a tranquil Sunday.

    Check out Seattle-based reissue label Light in the Attic for more info.
    Also, come through the shop to take advantage of our Winter Sale and get %25 off all coats, hats, gloves, and scarves or use promo code STAYWARM on our online shop. The sale ends TODAY so don't sleep on it!
  • Penelope's has been a huge fan of Chicago-based jewelry label  Cities in Dust since their launch in 2010. Designer Meghan Lorenz continuously crafts pieces that seem to look undoubtedly contemporary while still heavily referencing jewelry design of decades past.  Lorenz's latest collection relies visually on a late 1960's aesthetic; combinations of spheres and bars arranged in neat geometric patterns have been cast and polished to create pieces that can be dressed up or down. 
    Come into the shop and check out the recently debuted Fall/Winter '15 collection.
  • Here at the shop, we have been vibing out on Sonny Smith's penultimate album Antenna to the Afterworld (2013) for a while now. Have a listen - It goes perfectly with that second round of coffee on the couch.

    Also, don't forget, we are having  WINTER SALE right now - 25% off all coats, hats, gloves, and scarves, so come on down to the shop or snag some deals online with the promo code - STAYWARM at checkout!




    French-born Emma François founded Sessùn over 15 years ago, and continues to push the Marseille-based label towards new definitions of elegance using a rich set of material references.



     Prior to starting Sessùn, François lived and traveled throughout South America for 20 years, and credits this time in her life for exposure to new material juxtapositions and pattern inspiration. François’s humble introduction to fashion began when she returned to France and started experimentation on her own clothes. She would alter the fit of sweaters, re-dye garments, and combine separate pieces to create a new unique wearable item. A little over a decade ago, you could have found François selling her creations to shopkeepers out of her backpack on the streets of Paris and Marseille. In 1999 she finally had the opportunity to debut her brand, and a Jeune Créateur (Young Designer) prize from the Institut Mode Méditerranée was soon to follow.



    We love that François’s collections cite a broad range of influences. She still travels regularly, and has stated that this is an integral part of her design process; “Even today, whenever I can, I go to the end of the world. I stay in Tokyo. I love the contrast of this city, its urban madness and refinement. I can walk kilometers, alone and wander in all neighborhoods. In China, I take pictures, and I bring all sorts of things [back] : packaging, postcards, traditional papers…” (Elle France). François has based an entire season’s tone on a song she might like at the moment, and regularly uses motifs from the most unlikely of places (an 18th century paper marbling catalogue, for example) to inspire the unique textiles Sessùn has become known for. Her pieces begin with unlikely pattern and material pairings, but somehow resolve into effortlessly classic garments that remain relevant season after season - just one of the many reasons Sessùn has stayed a headliner at Penelope’s.  We can’t wait to see what comes next from this talented designer.


    Shop Sessùn

  • Wearing Our Legacy's Regular Roundneck Sweater and their First Cut Raw Jeans

    We had Ziyad Asrar from WHITNEY in the studio the other day. Here's a playlist he put together for us.


  • The temperature is dropping but the sun is still out - we accompanied Ama and Léa to our favorite neighborhood park to with some looks that are perfect for those crisp autumn days.

    Léa wears the Sabrina Pants by Loup, the Hastings Bootie by Dolce Vita, a Half-Moon Bag by A.P.C, an Oversized Wooly Jacket by Frnch, and the Double Tweed Boater Hat by Recherche New York.


    Ama taking in the sights through Dusen Dusen's Oval Sunglasses, wearing Penfield's Hoosac Mountain Parka over a Mollusk Fisherman's sweater


    Native Youth's Longline Wool Overcoat looks fantastic over the new Ace & Jig OnesieLéa's look is topped off with a Fuzzy Beret by Recherche New York.


    A.P.C's Manhattan Coat over Saturday's Everyday Bubble Knit Sweater is a refined take on a classic monochrome pairing. Ama takes it up a notch with the Our Legacy Void sunglasses in matte black. 


    Léa breaks in a pair of Fortress of Inca Cara Boots. The High Street Jean by A.P.C is a year round staple and looks clean but casual with Sessun's Julie and Candy Parka, a J.O.A Kim sweater, and Norse Projects' 100% lambswool beanie.


    A.P.C Jean Jacket in washed denim, DIBI walter scarf, A.P.C. Basile slacks, A.P.C. Sam sweatshirt.


    High Street Jean by A.P.C., Sessun Julie and Candy Parka,  J.O.A Kim sweater, beanie by Norse Projects


    A.P.C. Petite New Standard Jeans in Mastic Overdye, Our Legacy Off Court sneakers, Saturday's Everyday Bubble Knit Sweater and Koji vest.



    Check out these looks from Sessùn's Fall Lookbook:


  • My Sister-in-law is getting married this summer, which got me think hard about dresses. I needed to come up with bridesmaid dresses, rehearsal dinner dresses, shower dresses etc. It is exciting to have many reasons for a new dress but it can also be stressful.  I wanted the dresses to classic and fun, something that you could wear again and again year after year. Here are a few of my picks:

    This dress from Paper Crown is so sophisticated and universal. Bridesmaid would love it for its timeless appeal and flattering fit. It would also work perfectly for anyone attending a wedding or special event or the mother of the bride. Flowers: Annette Gomez



    This dress is so fun! It would be just lovely at an outdoor summer wedding. Flowers: Honey and Poppies


    Pair the Objects Without Meaning Cleo Dress with some strappy sandals and you are all set for that beach wedding. Flowers: Fleur


     This elegant silhouette, unique pattern and cutouts in this maxi from Tina & Jo would modernize any bridal party.  Flowers: The Foxglove Studio


    If you are a black dress kind of gal, the Amber dress with it's effortless shape and flattering fit might be the perfect choice for you. Its gauzy linen fabric make it breathable and pockets make it playful enough to throw on with some sandals after all the events are over. Flowers: Fleur

  • Even in the bleak, cold days of winter it feels good to get outside and explore. Check out our winter lookbook, shot by Ryan Lowry at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary.




Free shipping on domestic orders over $150.
1913 W. Division St.
Chicago, Illinois 60622

(773) 395-2351

Monday - Saturday 11-7
Sunday 11-6