With an enticing array of locally owned boutiques, specialty shops, and large shopping centers that offer recognizable national names, it’s easy to shop your way through Kansas City. You’ll find the greatest concentrations of local boutiques and shops in pockets throughout downtown, Westport, and the Plaza; although some may be hard to find, the inviting interiors filled with carefully arranged displays make the journey worthwhile.
To coincide with the city’s flourishing arts community, local fashion is becoming more prominent thanks to boutiques like Tomboy that offer custom-made clothing and accessories. If you’re in Kansas City in mid-June, check to see if your trip coincides with the brilliantly energetic 18th Street Fashion Show (http://westeighteenthstreet.com), an annual display of locally created fashion that, in just a few years, has attracted a sizable crowd eager to see the evolution of the city’s favorite designers. Smaller fashion shows are held throughout the year to accommodate an increasing number of designers and a greater demand for locally created garments and accessories.
Head outward to the suburban areas and you’ll be greeted by a sea of shopping centers and strip malls. Outdoor districts built as walkable mixed-use environments are the current trend; just two indoor shopping malls remain in Kansas City. Most of the shopping centers average a 20-minute drive from downtown Kansas City and feature a plethora of dining and entertaining options on the premises.
Several of the newer developments, billed as destination shopping districts, combine movie theaters, concept restaurants, and other interactive attractions that offer much more than a mere shopping trip.
- Best Local Bookstore: Rainy Day Books
- Best Kids’ Store: Brookside Toy and Science
- Best Lingerie Haven: Birdie’s
- Best Picnic Supplies: City Market
- Best Home Decor: Black Bamboo
- Best Local Boutique: Bon Bon Atelier
- Best Candles: 5B & Co. Candle Makers
- Best Paper Products: Hammerpress
- Best Edible Artwork: Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates
- Best Pet Treats: Three Dog Bakery
- Best Local Shops: 18th and Wyandotte
© Katy Ryan from Moon Kansas City, 1st Edition