330 S. Dearborn
When I walked into this new South Loop boutique and saw the displays of soap, candy, and wrapping paper, I figured it was going to be one of those places that can't decide if it's a clothing store or a gift shop. But a spin around the floor quickly put the question to rest. Florodora is definitely majoring in things you can wear, with a minor in home accents. Owner Michael Blossom named the store for a popular turn-of-the-century Broadway musical and also for his grandmother Florence, who worked as an office girl in the Monadnock Building, where the store is located. The historic setting influences his selections, which have a vintage feel--lots of ruffles and lace. But the sweetness is cut with enough clean design that you won't feel compelled to throw on a wife beater and jeans upon exiting. Blossom describes pieces like Tom K. Nguyen's pencil skirt of black lace over a white fabric ($185) as "classic with a contemporary edge," but there's plenty for the fashion forward here as well, including a short black jacket with a wide, folded collar in a waffle-texture fabric ($310) by local designer Michelle Tan. "Her clothes are edgy, but they also have a romantic feel," says Blossom. Shorts by Twinkle with pleats below the front pockets ($235) look like they could be part of a hipper Girl Scout uniform. A beige jacket with a gorgeous pattern of blue embroidery and eyelet lace by the "quirky and adventurous" Chan Luu is a steep $300, but her celery V-neck top with little cutouts around the collar can be had for just $59. The store also carries handbags by Chicago designer Joelle Nadine, including a dark blue leather clutch accented with an irregular stone at the clasp ($425). Vintage hats sell for between $29 and $45. Blossom notes that Florodora has a few other vintage items, including handbags and fabrics, but all the clothing is new.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Carlos J. Ortiz.