From high-end department stores to independent boutiques to quirky shops selling handmade local goods, there’s something for every shopping taste in St Louis. Situated in Missouri along the Mississippi River, the city’s retail opportunities are spread throughout its diverse neighbourhoods, with each district renowned for its own speciality wares, whether it’s antiques, vintage fashion, furniture, or jewellery.
Most visitors to St Louis try to fit in some shopping during their stay, and there’s certainly plenty of choice available. For those keen to discover some of the city’s more unusual shopping outlets, we’ve done some research and picked out 12 of the most unique shops and boutiques that the city has to offer.
A women and glbtqi-owned brand first established in 2014, Urban Matter’s early success led to them doubling in size and moving to a larger retail space within just five years. Situated in the South Grand business community in the neighbourhood of Tower Grove, the home accessories & gift boutique prides itself on the fact that half of its stock is sourced from St Louis and its surrounding regions, providing a platform for local artisans as well as established names. As for the delights you’ll find here, the store is a veritable treasure trove of curated goods and hand-made gift ideas, with everything from statement jewellery and stylish handbags to kitchen accessories and wax candles on offer.
LOCATION 3179 South Grand Boulevard + 3189 South Grand
Dictate Never Accept
The modus operandi of this premium streetwear boutique is hinted it in its name, which leaves little doubt that they believe fashion should be a vehicle for progress, rather than simply following existing trends. Housed within the store is apparel from a wide range of high-quality, high-value brands featuring plush details including French terry lining, handcrafted embroidery and luxurious fabrics. What’s more, the shop also features exclusive jewellery, stylish footwear and hat brands, including the shop’s own line of strapbacks and crowns.
LOCATION 1311 Washington Avenue
The enduring popularity and success of the comic book industry continues to defy those who stubbornly claim that it is a category merely for kids. In St Louis, comic book fans of all ages and tastes can count on Apotheosis Comics to satisfy their animated reading needs. A relative newcomer to the city’s commercial landscape, the boutique store is not only a purveyor of a huge variety of comic book and graphic novel titles (not to mention nerdy gift ideas), but is also a community gathering place where locals can come and enjoy coffee, local craft beers, wine, and snacks among like-minded folk. The venue also runs a full calendar of events, including reading groups for kids on weekends.
LOCATION 3206 South Grand Boulevard
Originally started as a moonlighting hobby by entrepreneurial twin brothers, STL-Style rapidly picked up a loyal following, leading to them opening their flagship retail shop in 2010. Here they design and sell a wide range of funky St Louis-themed apparel and merchandise celebrating famous St. Louis landmarks, neighborhoods and the city’s quirky local culture, often with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.
LOCATION 3159 Cherokee Street
Featuring apparel for every purpose, from office clothing to casualwear to special-occasion outfits, this well-stocked boutique store is the go-to destination for St Louis residents seeking to spruce up their wardrobe. The shop is particularly renowned for its selection of wedding and party clobber, with an impressive range of one-piece jumpsuits available in all kinds of fabrics, colours and prints. Be sure to check out their jewellery and accessories too, with everything from glitzy rhinestone cuff bracelets, waterfall earrings, metal necklaces, and jaunty hats and headpieces on offer.
LOCATION 4300 Manchester Avenue
Looking Glass Designs
Cutting boards crafted from local wood and statement jewellery by local artists are just some of the eye-catching items and gift ideas available at this hugely popular St Louis store. The shop owner also manages to stamp her own creative mark by working with customers to create custom designs, including the option to add personalised messages to your purchases. Another reason to shop here is that proceeds go to a variety of local charities and other worthy causes.
LOCATION 1917 Park Avenue
Housed in a restored warehouse is this part plant nursery, part shop and part studio, which has gained a dedicated customer base since opening its doors over a decade ago. Initially a relatively modest retail operation focussing on the cultivation and sale of plants, the venue has now grown into something altogether more expansive, incorporating a studio where regular classes, events and yoga sessions are hosted. As well as horticulture goods, the airy warehouse-style space also sells children’s toys and books, artisanal soaps and lotions.
LOCATION 4605 Olive Street
With a strong focus on sustainability, Fauxgerty is a truly modern fashion brand with a real social conscience driving everything it does. The majority of the store’s garments are locally sourced and crafted, including its stylish faux leather jackets, skirts made from vintage deadstock fabrics, and organic cotton tops emblazoned with quirky, right-on mottos and catchphrases.
LOCATION 228 North Euclid Avenue
With its vintage turntable and well-stocked bar cart, it’s easy to enter Intoxicology and feel like you’ve gate-crashed a cocktail party. Yet this quirky venue – one of the newest additions to St Louis’ retail landscape – is in fact a top notch liquor store that sells a huge range of spirits and other exotic drinks. Out of hours, the space also hosts a regular programme of classes and tastings.
LOCATION 4321 Manchester Avenue
St. Louis Hop Shop
Another sibling-run business, the owners of this St. Louis Hop Shop decided to capitalise on the city’s burgeoning craft brewery scene by opening up their own beer store. Housing a wide selection of local craft brands as well as its own in-house bar, the outlet entices many-a-patron to stay for a swift half or three when they were only sent out to grab a few cans.
LOCATION 2600 Cherokee Street
South City Art Supply
An art-centric shop with the look and feel of a quintessential American general store, South City Art Supply is jam-packed full of affordable artsy items and goods that cater to the needs of St Louis’ vibrant artistic community. Whether you’re seeking paint brushes, sketch pads, canvasses, or handmade notebooks, you’re very likely to find them here.
LOCATION 4532 Olive Street
With three fair-trade stores dotted across St Louis, Plowsharing Crafts are at the vanguard of the city’s commitment to both eco-living and social justice. As well as their sustainably sourced goods, the brand’s key contribution to these causes is the financial mechanics of the business which ensure that at least a portion of revenue goes to the artisans whose creative endeavours went into making its wide selection of home décor items, kitchenware, linens, trinket boxes, jewellery, handmade cards, bags and more.
LOCATION 6271 Delmar Boulevard