Brands You Should Know

Matt Baldwin's Guide to KC

If you want to understand Baldwin Denim, you first gotta know a thing or two about the brand's increasingly happenin' hometown.

Photo: Courtesy of Matt Baldwin

Since 2009, when we founded the Baldwin Denim men’s line, building relationships has been core to the brand. And over the past few years we’ve built a great friendship with two of Gilt Man’s top guys, Andrew Powell and Tyler Thoreson. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to convince these guys to pay us a visit in KC. To mark our second-ever sale on Gilt — and to convince these dudes to make the trip — here’s my definitive guide to the very best of Kansas City. While it’s aimed at Andrew and Tyler, the intel below is equally applicable to any style-loving guy who might find himself in town (and for the record, it’s one city that occupies two states, Kansas and Missouri), over the coming year. Because you don’t really understand Baldwin unless you first know a little about KC.

Get Outfitted at the Baldwin Men’s Shop: Our staff knows their denim, so feel free to stop by and talk shop. While you’re there, grab a fresh pair of Baldwins, and get them hemmed on the spot. And don’t walk out without a signature KC hat… The locals will love you instantly when you’re spotted in one.

Dinner With Good Vibes and a Badass Chef: My good friend Patrick Ryan is the mind behind Port Fonda, quite possibly my favorite local KC spot for dinner. Port Fonda offers authentic food with KC’s culture embedded throughout. Go for the chimichanga special and a Tecate tall boy and/or a small batch mescal. The staff and patrons embody KC… and they rep Baldwin, hard.

Brush Up on Your Rock Chalk: Hustling up some tickets to a Kansas University (KU) basketball game is a must right now. We’re ranked 16th in the country and looking dangerous! If you can’t make it to KU, there’s always some kind of sporting event to check out, from Sporting KC soccer to the Chiefs to the Royals.

Bourdain vs. Baldwin: Anthony Bourdain says Oklahoma Joe’s is the best in KC, but for me, Gates BBQ wins every time. They have the best KC style, spicy BBQ sauce. Period. You be the judge.

Tee Off at Wolf Creek: This men’s only golf club is one of the top private courses in the country and the number one ranked course in Kansas, according to Golf Digest.

Culture Vultures of KC: Check out the Nelson Atkins Museum and take the architecture and design tour. It’s amazing. You’ll see modern art and design exhibits from the likes of Isamu Noguchi, Frans Kline, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock.

A Drive With Hufft: Join local residential designer and close friend, Matthew Hufft, for a tour to learn about the local KC landscape of homes, designed by Bruce Goff, Joseph Eichler, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Getting Your Music Fix: Head down to Record Bar for local band performances. Bigger acts, including Phoenix, The Drums, and Walkmen, play the venue sometimes, too.

Family Brunching: In KC, we love brunch, so when childhood friend Aaron Confessori opened up shop at the Westport Café, it became the Baldwin family go-to. My recommendation, and I wouldn’t steer you wrong, is the local Boulevard Beer and eggs Norwegian.

Shop Baldwin Denim on Gilt, Thursday, Jan. 9 at noon ET >>

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