New York, Paris, Milan…The Suburbs Of St. Louis?

Stroll the main drag in Kirkwood, Missouri, and you’ll notice exceedingly well-dressed store windows. The bedroom community nearly 30 minutes outside Downtown Saint Louis is home to four independent boutiques carrying women’s apparel, both high-end and low. Meanwhile, in Chesterfield, even further away from the city center, small shops like Pulse and Rachel’s Grove serve the chic suburban set from strip malls located just off the interstate.

Rather than bemoan their residents’ refusal to venture into the “dark, dangerous city,” these new ventures herald a much sunnier trend: the revival of locally owned and operated fashion boutiques in communities that have more or less sold out to big-box and international retailers for the past 30 years. Jared may have chased away the small-time jewelers. The Galleria will always command big dollars. But finally, there are more options for St. Louisans on the edge of the city who prefer to shop local. Below, a short list of the outer-corridor boutiques we’re supporting this season.

Blush
Saint Clair
Webster Groves
Http://blushboutiquestore.com
This sun-filled store on Kirkwood’s busy Argonne St. is filled with the work of local jewelry-makers, Midwestern labels like The Normal Brand, boho favorites such as Wildfox Couture and a collection of bohemian home goods. Come here next summer for your LouFest wardrobe, if not before.

Klutch
Town & Country
Http://www.klutchstyle.com
If you are still grieving the closure of Kitson and Scoop NYC, then Klutch is the destination for you. Inventory is curated for the Snapchat set: Wildfox, Bailey 44 and Rich & Skinny are just a few of the trendy, LA-inspired brands that fill its racks.

LA Luxury Activewear
Webster Groves
Http://laluxactivewear.com
Hot yoga devotees, rejoice. This year-old shop sells nothing but active wear with a luxury aesthetic and a sleek studio-to-street vibe. Prices match the high-end (and high-quality) vibe. Bonus: LA Luxury Activewear’s online inventory is just as good as its brick-and-mortar store.

Paisley
Webster Groves
Http://xopaisley.com
Paisley caters to the fashion-obsessed girl on a budget, so if you want to buy all the trends and not just one, then this is your spot. Denim, statement t-shirts, and casual accessories line the shelves, while dry goods like candles and matchsticks crafted by local artisans add local flavor. This store strongly supports local fashion bloggers so you’re bound to see their brand pop up on the ‘Gram.

Paperdolls
Ballwin
Http://paperdolls.boutique
A robust web experience makes this locally owned mini-chain stand out, but to get the full experience, you must visit their Ballwin outpost. Racks are stocked with party looks by brands you’ve never heard of at prices that won’t make you faint. Plus, a well-curated supply of extras such as makeup, lingerie and seasonal gifts make this a one-stop shop for the bridal shower-bound.

Pulse Fashion
Chesterfield
http://pulsefashion.com
The price for a dress tops out at $50 here, so you’ll always find room for one more Pulse purchase in your closet. This Chesterfield boutique is a favorite of high school and college students as well as young professionals, making it the perfectly place to find everything you need to keep up with your cooler younger cousins or coworkers.

Rachel’s Grove
Chesterfield
Http://rachelsgrove.com
Chesterfield’s most high-end shop carries established and independent brands like Laundry by Shelli Segal, Sail to Sable, and Parker Smith Jeans, and to a very preppy contingent. Think Palm Beach-ready printed dresses, white denim & cheerful accessories for the woman who doesn’t spend winters in Missouri.

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