The Fashion Girl’s Guide to Kansas City

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Halfway between Chicago and Dallas is a little big city that is swiftly becoming the coolest oasis in the Midwest. Kansas City—best known for its barbeque and World Series-winning baseball team—gained enormous cred this year when locally-owned Baldwin Denim became a front-runner for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund contest. Along with some A-list natives (Jason Sudeikis, Janelle Monae and Ellie Kemper all call it home), founders Emily and Matt Baldwin are doing their part to put KC on the map—but they’re not alone. A trickle-down effect is taking place. Young, hungry talent is leaving bigger cities and making its mark on every neighborhood in the City of Fountains, establishing tech startups, innovative bars and distilleries, avant garde boutiques and first-class art and theater. It’s all enough to make Dorothy and Toto wish they were still in Kansas (or Missouri, rather). Ready to visit? We’ve got the scoop.

@oliviawilde

Welcome To Kansas City!

Standard Style

Where To Stock Your Wardrobe

Bypass the chain stores and fast fashion for one of KC’s locally-owned boutiques, such as Standard Style (owned by the Baldwins) and Birdie’s (amazing lingerie), or visit Halls, one of the last family-owned department stores in the country. It boasts a grand legacy and shelves stocked with niche brands and high fashion alike.

Birdie's

birdiespanties.com

Halls

halls.com

Standard Style

Kansas City, Missouri, and Leawood, Kansas standardstyle.com

Coveted Home

Where To Buy Home Goods

Whether your style of interior décor skews more Southern traditional or steampunk, you will find everything you need to trick out your crib at one of KC's home stores. Nell Hill's has the preppy set covered, while Coveted Home (above) is ideal for those with a clean, modern aesthetic. Want it all? The West Bottoms Antique Stores are world-famous for their endless inventory of treasures from yesteryear.

Coveted Home

covetedhome.com

Nell Hill's

nellhills.com

West Bottoms Antique Stores

westbottomsantiques.com

Port Fonda

Where To Get Brunch

Kansas City residents take their brunch seriously, which explains the proliferation of midday menus throughout the area. Gram & Dun has a bustling bar never disappoints if you like a scene with your scones, and Port Fonda (above) has the best Bloody Mary bar in the Western Hemisphere. (We checked.) If you really tied one on last night, however, Barrel 31's menu is packed with super-rich plates that will cure any hangover.

Barrel 31

barrel31.com

Gram & Dun

gramanddun.com

Port Fonda

Kansas City, Missouri portfonda.com

Julep Cocktail Club

Where To Wine And Dine

Sip a homegrown Rieger whiskey cocktail on the eponymous hotel's rooftop while watching the sun set; pop bottles of bubbly and dance all night at Ça Va; or get cozy with your better half in Julep's elegant bar (above). The dining and drinking scene in KC is all about fresh, farm-to-table food, complex drinks and sexy speakeasy vibes.

Ça Va Kansas City

cavakc.com

Julep Cocktail Club

julepkc.com

Rieger's Hotel, Grill & Exchange

theriegerkc.com

Ambassador Hotel

Where To Stay

A clutch of boutique hotels has just opened or is on the verge in downtown KC, making it easy to crash after a long day and night of fun. We're obsessed with the Ambassador. Its lobby bar is one of the chicest we've ever seen anywhere, and its restaurant makes it possible to stay here all night. Meanwhile, the Raphael is ideal for old-school elegance, and the Sorella is its contemporary counterpart on the always-fun Country Club Plaza.

Ambassador Hotel

ambassadorhotelcollection.com/kansascity

Hotel Sorella

hotelsorella-countryclubplaza.com

Raphael Hotel

raphaelkc.com

Northeastern State University

Where To Get Cultured

Witness the world's best theater and musicians at the Kauffman arts center--its soaring architecture outside hints at the drama within. If art that doesn't dance, sing or perform is more your thing, the Kemper museum boasts one of the Midwest's best contemporary collections. And of course, the best view in the area can be seen from the hilltop at the National World War One Museum and Memorial--skyline, park and inspiration for miles.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

kauffmancenter.org

Kemper Museum of Contemporary

kemperart.org

National World War One Museum at Liberty Memorial

theworldwar.org

Woodside Health & Tennis Club

Where To Break A Sweat

If you can ever leave the resort-like pool at Woodside Health & Tennis Club, you'll notice their state-of-the-art gym and spa facilities, plus enough tennis courts to make Serena Williams weep with joy. Meanwhile, Pilates 1901 has the best Reformers in town (and the most knowledgeable instructors), while Fusion Fitness will sculpt your arms and abs to perfection at both locations.

Fusion Fitness

Overland Park, Kansas, and Leawood, Kansas fusionfitness.com

Pilates 1901

pilates1901.com

Woodside Health & Tennis Club

Westwood, Kansas 66205 clubwoodside.com