Keeper of the Plans

Better than a Wichita flag — here are 10 of the coolest local T-shirts

Workers remove Joyland’s iconic sign

Workers with Miracle Signs remove the iconic Joyland sign that had lured families to the amusement park from 1949 to 2004. The sign has been purchased by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Wichita and Sedgwick County. (June 13, 2014)
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Workers with Miracle Signs remove the iconic Joyland sign that had lured families to the amusement park from 1949 to 2004. The sign has been purchased by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Wichita and Sedgwick County. (June 13, 2014)

This year, give the gift of the T-shirt.

The humble cotton T-shirt, when properly selected and curated, can worn year-round.

It’s no secret there’s no shortage of Wichita flag-themed T-shirts available in town.

Instead of buying that flag shirt, let everyone know your truly hip Wichita ties by getting some of these T-shirts — featuring deeper cuts from local culture.

Here’s a list of ten local T-shirts we’ve deemed the cream of the crop for this holiday season:

10. Lucky Neko shirts at Yokohama

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Yokohama Ramen Joint sells these Lucky Neko T-shirts at its Delano ramen shop for $15.99. Yokohama Ramen Joint Courtesy

Sure, we have a lot of chain restaurants in Wichita — that’s why it’s especially nice to find a good, local shop. Take, for example, Yokohama Ramen Joint, which has been getting rave reviews both here in town and nationally. In addition to selling ramen, the Delano restaurant also sells two varieties of T-shirts — my favorite of which is the Lucky Neko shirt, featuring a traditional Japanese “fortune cat,” as well as a little Wichita flag on the sleeve for good measure.

$15.99. Yokohama Ramen Joint, 613 W. Douglas, Ste. A. www.wichitaramen.com, 316-260-7031

9. Hopping Gnome Brewing Company shirts

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Hopping Gnome Brewing Company is selling “Gnome for the Holidays” T-shirts this year, in addition to other gnome-themed apparel. Hopping Gnome Brewing Company Courtesy

Hopping Gnome, in the Douglas Design District, often creates a rotating selection of punny T-shirts starring — you guessed it — gnomes. In the past, they’ve released shirts featuring phrases like “There’s No Place Like Gnome,” “Take Me Gnome Tonight” and “I’m Sexy and I Gnome It.” Right now, the brewery has its unisex baseball-sleeve “Gnome for the Holidays” shirt in stock, as well as plenty of straightforward apparel featuring the brewery’s logo.

$25. Hopping Gnome Brewing Company, 1710 E. Douglas. www.hoppinggnome.com

8. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium commemorative shirts

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Limited-edition shirts featuring a photo of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium are being sold by the NBC World Series online this year. The shirt features the dates the stadium was open. Screenshot

These aren’t necessarily the coolest-looking shirts I’ve ever seen, but for fans of the recently demolished Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, or Wichita history buffs, it could make for a timely gift. The shirts are only available online, and they’re being sold by the National Baseball Congress World Series. Long-sleeve shirts and baseball-sleeve tees (appropriately) are available. The deadline to order shirts and have them delivered before Christmas is Dec. 10.

$24-$25. www.companycasuals.com/nbcshop

7. Central Standard Brewing apparel

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Central Standard Brewing’s classic baseball tees sell for $25 at the bar. Central Standard Brewing Courtesy

In addition to being regarded as one of Wichita’s best breweries, Central Standard Brewing is also known for its T-shirts, which are readily available near the bar inside the brewery. The simply designed T-shirts are soft and comfortable — and the brewery even has hoodies and baby onesies featuring its logo.

$20 for T-shirts, $25 for baseball tees. Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwood. www.centralstandardbrewing.com/shop, 316-260-8515

6. Joyland T-shirt by Heartlandia

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These Joyland T-shirts, featuring a Heartlandia design (based off the Joyland sign), are available at area gift shops, including Lucinda’s and Best of Times. Matt Riedl The Wichita Eagle

Over the past year, Heartlandia — a project of College Hill-based Gardner Design — has grown in popularity. The series, which primarily features witty Kansas-themed stickers, has expanded into the T-shirt realm. One of my favorites is their Joyland T-shirt, available at stores like Best of Times and Lucinda’s.

Prices vary by store. Visit www.heartlandia.com to see where they are sold.

5. Little Lion Cafe artist-designed tees

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T-shirts featuring the logo for Little Lion Ice Cream are available at its cafe at Revolutsia for $20. Little Lion Cafe Courtesy

Who doesn’t love a good ice cream shop — especially of the local variety? Little Lion, which recently opened its cafe in the Revolutsia development, has a selection of apparel designed by local artists — not the least of which being the cafe’s lion logo, designed by Hannah Scott. Pick it up in the store — along with a few scoops of the frozen stuff or a breakfast burrito.

$20. Little Lion Cafe, 2721 E. Central. www.littlelionicecream.com

4. Watermark Books shopping center shirt

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Watermark Books & Cafe is now selling these shirts featuring a drawing of the Lincoln Heights Village shopping center at Douglas and Oliver, in which the shop is located. Watermark Books & Cafe Courtesy

One of Wichita’s best shops is its locally owned, independent bookstore in College Hill. Watermark Books & Cafe, in Lincoln Heights Village, always has a selection of merchandise available for purchase — but their latest offering takes the cake. The shirt, designed by Anastasia Metzger, features a drawing of the entire shopping center at Douglas and Oliver, and looks positively retro chic. Snatch it up while you still can. It comes in traditional T-shirt and baseball-sleeve varieties.

$21.99 for T-shirt, $27.99 for baseball-sleeve shirt. Watermark Books & Cafe, www.watermarkbooks.com, 316-682-1181

3. ‘Neighborhood Pride’ shirts at Bungalow 26

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These “Neighborhood Pride” T-shirts have become quite a hot item at Bungalow 26, 613 W. Douglas. The Delano boutique also sells the same designs on glassware and other items. They’re $24 apiece. Kelsey Metzinger Courtesy

Since Kelsey Metzinger started selling “Neighborhood Pride” items at her Bungalow 26 boutique, they’ve become a hot item for those in the know. The series, which started as a number of scented candles themed after Wichita neighborhoods, has since grown to include glassware and T-shirts featuring stylized designs of Wichita neighborhoods. As of now, there are shirts featuring College Hill, Riverside, Delano and Crown Heights — making for a fun gift either for yourself or for someone you know who dwells in these ‘hoods.

$24. Bungalow 26, 613 W. Douglas. www.bungalow26.com, 316-440-4846

2. Local artist T-shirts on Redbubble

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A T-shirt featuring a design of local artist Wade Hampton, sold on Redbubble.com. Screenshot

Maybe I’m cheating a bit with this one, because you can’t physically buy it in Wichita. But if you want to support Wichita artists, there are some awesome T-shirts that can be ordered at the online art site, Redbubble.com. Pick your design and your size, and the shirt will be custom-made for you. Some popular Wichita artists who sell works (that can be printed on T-shirts) on Redbubble include Wade Hampton, Dustin Parker and Angie Evans (search AngieEvans).

Prices vary. Search for artists at www.redbubble.com.

1. The Anchor baseball tees

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The Anchor sells these baseball-sleeve T-shirts for $25. They’re a popular item at the bar. The Anchor Courtesy

Now for my personal favorite Wichita T-shirt: It’s these multicolored baseball-sleeve T-shirts sold by The Anchor. The bar/restaurant has multiple color varieties, including a new black shirt with red sleeves. These hip shirts are a perfect way to show some civic pride without necessarily “slapping a flag on it.”

$25, $27 for 2XL and 3XL sizes. The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas. www.anchorwichita.com, 316-260-8989

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.

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