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Searching for an excuse to take a Saturday drive up the North Shore--complete with a photo stop at the Baha'i Temple and brunch at Winnetka's Caffe Buon Giorno--we found one in the recent opening of CB, a 2,600-square-foot Lake Forest shop that's billing itself as a "boutique department store."

A big sister to Old Town's Cityblue Apparel & Denim, CB reaches for a more sophisticated shopper (women and men alike) while still offering some of the affordable pieces that lure twentysomethings downtown.

Inside the navy-walled CB--with its glossy wood floors, a kidney-shaped velvet chaise and windows overlooking the Metra stop across the street--we couldn't keep our hands off a softly distressed, purplish-gray leather jacket from Maison Martin Margiela ($1,140). We imagined ourselves at a summer barbecue in a long, easy tank dress of fuchsia-and-red stripes by Aiko ($150), a picture made prettier when we finished the look with cool Thierry Lasry tortoise shades with elegant gold arms ($383).

A few additions to our warm-weather wardrobe and a post-shopping treat from the European deli next door and our boutique-hunting mission had officially become a mini vacation.

CB, 662 N. Western Ave., Lake Forest; 312-664-2222 or

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