Shop Local: The Best in Kansas City Fashion
By Katy Schamberger
Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect souvenir or want to instantly update your wardrobe with a one-of-a-kind garment, Kansas City’s selection of locally themed or locally made clothing and accessories is the envy of any closet. Here are a few favorite destinations assembled by category, so you can easily find whatever you’re looking for. Let’s shop!
There’s a lot to explore at The Bunker, but make sure you don’t miss BunkerMade apparel and accessories, designed and produced for those that The Bunker staff calls, “fellow Kansas City connoisseurs.” Westside Storey, in the heart of downtown Kansas City’s charming Westside neighborhood, has become a favorite spot for Kansas City-themed T-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets in sizes ranging from baby to adult. Westport retail screen printing shop, Normal Human, carries a selection of apparel and accessories with original designs made in-house, not to mention a host of other locally made brands. Beloved Kansas City T-shirt designer Charlie Hustle Clothing Co., known for its KC heart shirts, has a storefront on the Country Club Plaza—the perfect place to stock up not only on KC merch, but also the brand’s nostalgia-inspired shirts. With three locations, it’s easy to find a Made in Kansas City boutique near you. Each store features merchandise curated from more than 50 local creators, including apparel designers like Bandwagon Merch, Farm Dog Studios, Freelance Brand Clothing and Ocean & Sea.
Unmentionables worth mentioning
Described as an “intimate apparel apothecary,” Birdies Panties is the go-to local source for a delightful assortment of intimates and swimwear. Can’t get enough Birdies? Enroll in either the sock of the month or panty of the month club, the perfect gift for that special someone—or yourself! Birdies founder Peregrine Honig is also the brains behind All Is Fair In Love And Wear, a calming, welcoming space that features functional, attractive gender-neutral intimates—or middlewear—designed by Honig and Laura Treas to help ease the transition process for transgender people. The idea began as a Kickstarter project and, after exceeding the initial fundraising goal, now includes a Downtown Kansas City retail space.
Tailored to Perfection
Purchase a piece of clothing from TOMBOY Design and you’ll treasure the garment thanks to local design and fabrics milled in the U.S. The TOMBOY collection is available at Threshing Bee and Halls Kansas City. Or, you can contact TOMBOY creator Laura McGrew for a custom-made gown. If you crave the glamour, polish and style of decades past, don’t miss a trip to The Paolini Garment Company. The luxury custom clothier features suits, sport coats, trousers, shirts and more, all thoughtfully designed and impeccably tailored. HADLEY is a fashion boutique focused on delivering “heirloom garments” directly to customers through annual collections. Browse a selection of international independent designers at Anaphora, a sleek, perfectly curated space that’s a delight to explore. Peggy Noland’s storefront is a must-see, an eye-catching installation that exaggerates current cultural trends. Inside, shop Peggy’s “content-driven clothing,” fans of which include Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
Enduring style is the focus at Houndstooth, a men’s shop in downtown KC’s River Market neighborhood that features suits (both ready-to-wear and custom), sportcoats and casual wear. Find perfectly fitted jeans at Baldwin, the creation of KC designer Matt Baldwin, which features American-made premium denim designed in town. While you’re there, pick up the boutique’s signature KC Hat, patterned after 1950s baseball caps.
Trendspotting New Threads
The West 18th Street Fashion Show has become a favorite early summer tradition, an evening of fashion and glamour as local designers showcase their latest creations under the stars in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District. The annual show features a theme around which apparel and accessories designers create their own concepts. The runway spans part of 18th Street, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for designers, models and audience members alike.
The city has a long, rich fashion history that thrived in Downtown Kansas City’s historic Garment District, a clothing production hub that was once second only to New York. That fashionable tradition lives on during Kansas City Fashion Week, a celebration of seasonal collections created by local designers. Fall/winter collections are showcased the preceding spring, while spring/summer collections take the runway in mid-fall. In addition to several runway shows, KCFW features events such as cocktail parties and special shopping nights. Be sure to check the schedule so you don’t miss a minute of the fashion action!
Don't forget the details
Give your sock collection a much-needed style boost with Sock 101, quality-made socks designed to be professional and stylish. Find Sock 101 socks at several Kansas City boutiques, including Westside Storey and Made in Kansas City. Or, join the Sock of the Month Club online and get one or two pairs per month. Bring back the art of the hat with a beautifully made custom creation from Amina Marie Millinery. The discerning staff will ensure you find a hat that best fits your physical features and style—and will guarantee you’ll never want to take it off. Inside a century-old factory building in the Crossroads Arts District is Niall, a Kansas City-based luxury watch company that’s dedicated to sourcing and manufacturing in the U.S. wherever possible. Shop Niall watches online or at Tivol. Local fine artist and jewelry designer Jennifer Janesko creates sleek, modern jewelry in a variety of collections. Her KC-themed designs, including a Missouri/Kansas outline necklace and KC necklace, studs and cufflinks, have become favorites for those who want to wear their local pride—literally! Shop Janesko jewelry at several retail locations, including Clique Boutique, Coveted Home, Standard Style and Halls Kansas City.