Chalk of Evanston Review - High Fashion Comes to the North Shore

Nestled in old  Evanston on Prairie and Central lies Chalk, a new upscale boutique catering to women who fancy basics with refined details.  Owners Sharon Watrous and Carrie Kane have merged their love of fashion and style to create a store that they call, “urban chic, but inviting.”

View from the Street

Founded in 2008, Chalk carries dozens of lines, specializing in modern tailoring with minimalistic accents. The clothes speak for themselves. Kane defines the store as “smart fashion,” allowing every client to find something that fits their price point and personal style.

Aimee browses for accessories

Echoing their mantra of "a smart approach to styling" is the interior of Chalk. Streamlined and white, with touches of a warm ambiance from sweet smelling candles and perfumes, the store is welcoming, making it a nice departure from the somewhat pressures of downtown designer shopping.Both owners are passionate about the use of eco-friendly items whether it be in the store itself or in carrying lines such as 88 Orange, Susan Woo or in accessories like nature inspired glass Tre rings by Casey Kettleson. Adding to its uniformed aesthetic, clothes are displayed by color rather than by brand. This allows the shopper to mix and match styles and designers, rather than buying brand specific pieces. You will notice a lot of black, but don’t be fooled. Chalk is far from dull. While the color is understated, the fine attention to detail in each item makes for an interesting and one of a kind garment.

i spy an olive green Current/Elliot military jacket!

With accolades from numerous Chicago publications, Chalk has made a name for itself on the North Shore as a go-to for fashion lovers who crave distinctive items. Whether it’s just stopping in to browse or by special appointment, Chalk employees want customers to leave the store with a sense of confidence in themselves and their purchases.

Tre yellow glass ring

As we browsed the store with complimentary iced coffee in hand, Kane updated us on the hottest late summer/early fall trends. She also told us that Chalk isn’t just for women; men looking to update their wardrobe can also rely on the store’s variety of options. Casual chambray button downs, tailored black jeans and broken in sneakers highlight this season’s shift from summer to fall.

Men's Rack

Layering sheer basics is all the rage this season!

For women, you will find anything from a Current/Elliot military jacket to a breathtaking red, ruffled chiffon mini skirt by Giambattista Valli. Super comfortable basics await you from brands like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s line The Row. Soft knits and leather leggings lend a downtown vibe to the most suburban dwellers. Throw on a vibrant, standout accessory like a belt from designer Meredith Wendell whose buckles add a touch of color to any outfit and top off your look with a jaunty cap in black or grey by Hache and you’ll be ready to hit the streets!

Belts and clutches give any outfit a little something extra!

Gorgeous statement belt by Merideth Wendell

Specifics to look for this season? Paris street style is all the rage, bringing back fur, military jackets, shades of cranberry and electric blue, Current/Elliot soft denim and Rick Owens leather jackets. As for our personal obsessions... Chris Benz’ sheer, cream blouse, Blouson Noir’s tweed fringed suit and MiH skinny jeans, paired with a pair of simply fabulous suede Balenciaga boots.  

We couldn't take our eyes of this Giambattista Valli mini!

Close up

Black boots are a seasonal staple

Upon leaving the store, we could not help but feel like we just been a part of something unique. Few stores can leave such an impression like that of Chalk and there’s no doubt that we’ll be back for another high-fashion fix!


Photo Credit: Ellen Hager and Aimee Rancer

Chalk Boutique
2611 Prairie Avenue

Evanston, IL

Phone:  847.424.0011

Email: [email protected]

Hours: Monday—Saturday 10 to 5

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