art, history, film, books for the culinary enthusiast

POSH, European Vintage Shopping in Chicago

POSH, European Vintage Shopping in Chicago

P.O.S.H. Chicago, Vintage shopping in River North

Last weekend I visited P.O.S.H., a unique shop in Chicago that I make it to about three or  four times a year. It’s in Chicago’s River North neighborhood and it inhabits one of the many long, narrow retail spaces common around the city. The buildings in this part of town have a lot of character in their old brick walls and wood floors – a far cry from  the cookie-cutter stores so frequently found in Any City, USA.

POSH chicago shop in River North. Posh Chicago

In fact, P.O.S.H. is housed in a historic 1894 building of note – Tree Studio. It was designed as an artists’ residence and commissioned by a philanthropist who happened to be married to the daughter of Marshall Field, the department store giant. Since its inception the building has housed over 500 artists, according to the P.O.S.H website. John Singer Sargent was one of the most famous.

With its classic Queen Anne style details, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. As you can see from the first image, it borders a lovely courtyard through its back french doors. The morning I was there (having coffee and pastry at the neighboring Alliance Patisserie – more in a later post) it was being adorned with pretty flowers and arbor for a wedding.

POSH Chicago Tree Studio. P.O.S.H, Posh Chicago shop.

But of course, it’s not all about the bones…it’s about merchandise too, and P.O.S.H. doesn’t disappoint with its mix of old and new.

Silverplated Sugar Shaker from Posh Chicago. P.O.S.H.

Some of my favorite items include monogrammed silver and vintage hotel wares.

silver spoons from P.O.S.H. Chicago, Posh

Another thing I like about P.O.S.H is their use of handwritten tags. In a small way, they really enhance the vibe of the shop, adding yet another layer of one-of-a-kindness. Little details make the difference, right?
That was a rhetorical question, we all know the answer.

antique tureen at P.O.S.H. Chicago shop.

Pretty dishes are found throughout. This would be a wonderful place to mix and match for a vintage tablescape (even though I hate that word).

Uniques dishes from old to new at Posh Chicago

Mixing old with new  makes P.O.S.H a real ‘finds’ kinda place. I posted an image on instagram and said that when I worked in boutique retail, I often found that the displays that drew the eye closest, were those that weren’t neatly shelved. There’s something about a shop that’s set up almost like an attic, that gives one the enjoyment of a ‘discovery.’

Ceramics, kitchen items at POSH Chicago

Sorry for the bit of bluriness, but I wanted to use the photo. Love the milk glass in jadeite, and vintage canisters. As a cook and baker there’s  something very seductive about kitchen-wares from another era. Or maybe it’s just kitchen-wares in general…I love them all.

french glass at POSH Chicago

Lovely old brands…en Francais even.

Well, to sum up – it’s amazingly hard to find unique items today – every shop seems to visit the same gift shows and buy from the same vendors. With a collection that spans the globe, P.O.S.H avoids the same old, same old…even though much of it is, indeed…old – but in a very good way.

Oh, and btw, if you’re wondering what P.O.S.H stands for…
It was an acronym for Port side of the ship going Out of England and on the Starboard side of the ship for the return journey Home.

If you want to find out what this actually means, visit the P.O.S.H website. They explain it all and more!

Please visit if you’re in Chicago.
P.O.S.H is located at:

613 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60654
tel. (312) 280-1602