Sooo Smart: Chalk Boutique Makes Its Mark

For years Evanston has lacked a modern women’s boutique, a place to shop for gorgeous American and European designer clothing and accessories.


A niche exists to provide a service to North Shore women, those professional life-jugglers with very little time to find a great dress in the city. They’d like a local shop that stocks high-quality merchandise, and they’d appreciate warmth and humanity from a knowledgeable sales staff.

And, here it is: Chalk Boutique opened quietly in February, a beautifully restrained retail space filled with cutting edge pieces by KaufmanFranco, Jason Wu, Alberta Ferretti, Balenciaga, Narciso Rodriguez, Stella McCartney, VBH handbags, Fiorentini + Baker footwear, 88 Orange, and MIH Jeans, among others. Every item in Chalk is a signature piece—in the construction, the hand of the fabric, the design house’s history or the intrinsic intelligence of each cut, fold, drape and pleat.

Chalk is a visceral experience, a long streetscape of panel-filtered windows and clean lines. Graceful built-in displays, a great interior color palette and low-key furnishings create a comfortable, welcoming environment, and provide a perfect showcase for what can only be described as very smart clothing.

Smart, as in, forward-thinking concepts. Smart, as in, just-right colors and perfect tailoring. Smart, as in, Wow, I’ll live in this piece for the next 25 years, and it will look as great then as it does now.

This is classic-with-a-twist couture (some pieces have a sharper twist, for those who like their high fashion nearer to the precipice). Chalk offers investment pieces—art pieces, really. There is nothing throwaway or trendy or right-now-this-second; it’s all luxury, in the true sense—sustainable clothing that you work and re-work and re-work. What better approach to fashion in this economy?

Chalk is a gem of a store, a new aesthetic for the North Shore, thoroughly modern, curated and edited by 2 Evanston women with 7 young children between them. Co-owners Sharon Watrous and Carrie Kane are filling a community need, enjoying themselves, building a business and making a life. Niche defined, niche filled. Go see for yourself.

Chalk Boutique
2611 Prairie Ave., Evanston