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.
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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
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.
9. Hopping Gnome Brewing Company shirts
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
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.
7. Central Standard Brewing apparel
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.
6. Joyland T-shirt by Heartlandia
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
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
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.
3. ‘Neighborhood Pride’ shirts at Bungalow 26
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.
2. Local artist T-shirts on Redbubble
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
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.”