KC: Splurge on luxury goods, rifle through antique treasures or find great outlet deals
When it comes to shopping, Kansas City is best known for the Country Club Plaza, a 14-block upscale shopping center about 5 miles south of downtown. And for good reason: It’s gorgeous.
Residents often lament the loss of local retailers on the Plaza and the influx of national chains. But strolling its European-style avenues among the 1920s classic Spanish architecture beats shopping in a typical suburban mall any day.
It features 180 shops and restaurants, carriage rides, sidewalk cafes and dozens of fountains and sculptures.
Locally owned shops worth checking out on the Plaza include: Baldwin Denim and Collection, a clothing store for men and women founded on modern design and American manufacturing; Scandia Home & Terrasi European Collections, which sells European bed linens, handcrafted furniture and other home decor; and Decori, which carries a hodgepodge of stuff including authentic Polish pottery, costume jewelry and accessories, and holiday decor.
If you like antiques, retro furniture or refurbished vintage items, a First Friday weekend is a must.
That’s when more than a dozen West Bottoms warehouses containing vintage flea markets with names like Good Juju, Bella Patina and Liberty Belle Vintage Experience open their doors.
The West Bottoms is a historic area on the northwest end of downtown that for years was home to the Kansas City Livestock Exchange and stockyards. The multistory buildings are now chock-full of vendors selling furniture and accessories ranging in style from shabby chic to midcentury modern. A lot of it has been refinished in brightly colored chalk and milk paints. There’s also quite a bit of architectural salvage, industrial treasures and jewelry.
Vendors are carefully selected, so the merchandise is a cut above what you find in most antique malls.
A few of the warehouses, including Studio 1404 and R.B. Martin’s Vintage Decor and More, are open every Saturday, in addition to the first weekend of the month.
A few miles south, a similar monthly flea market called Urban Mining Vintage, 3923 Main St., gets a jump start by opening from 5 to 9 p.m. on the Thursday before First Friday weekends.
If you love outlet malls, there’s The Legends in Kansas City, Kan. It’s the perfect place to shop before or after taking in a Sporting KC soccer game at Sporting Stadium or a race at Kansas Speedway.
And if you’re looking for a neighborhood shopping experience, check out two areas along Brookside Boulevard. The Crestwood Shops at 55th Street include antiques and home decor boutiques and upscale clothing stores. Near 63rd Street, you’ll find a store called Stuff, Reading Reptile, the New Dime Store, World’s Window and 5B&Co. Candlemakers.
— Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian, The Kansas City Star
St. Louis: Sift through vintage shops, browse boho chic boutiques or hit new outlet malls
No matter what kind of fashionista you are, there’s a shopping scene for you in St. Louis.
Looking for upscale boho chic? Head to Town and Country Crossing Drive in the suburb of Town and Country for Laurie Solet and Klutch Boutique. Stop for sushi and proceed to Ladue for a visit to Cha Boutique and Vie. And try the charming Clair de Lune lingerie boutique for something pretty.
For edgy trends, head to Colonial Marketplace in Ladue for Ivy Hill and Splash Boutique. Also check out Women’s Closet Exchange (upscale resale with a reality television series claim to fame), at 2325 Brentwood Blvd.
Bargain lovers will want to proceed directly to the outlets: St. Louis Premium Outlets and Taubman Prestige Outlets, both in Chesterfield, are shiny, new and full of big-name stores like Kate Spade, Restoration Hardware, Nike and Coach. St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood features a number of shops in addition to a race track, ice skating rink, mini golf and more.
Vintage shoppers will find paradise in the Cherokee Street district at Retro 101 and Ruth’s Vintage Clothing. Then hit the road to the Future Antiques, 6514 Chippewa St. Warning: You’ll have to wander past scores of pick-me-up-and-buy-me midcentury furnishing delights to reach the clothing shop within the store. Next stop, Vintage Haberdashery on Morganford Road and the Green Shag Market, with tons of vendor booths full of unexpected treasures.
Fear not, gentlemen: There are great wardrobe finds in the Central West End at 10Denza and AG Jeans.
— Debra D. Bass, St. Louis Post-Dispatch