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Satisfaction for the Mass-es: A Guide to Shopping Downtown Lawrence


It was the 60’s when Petula Clark sang about that particular part of town where everything was brighter, shinier, and had the ability to transcend mundane life. Some forty-odd years later, I find that the premise of Clark’s “Downtown†still holds true. Since moving to Lawrence [Kansas] for school, I’ve found that a stroll downtown to Massachusetts Street always cures what ails me (and the dose of helps retail therapy doesn’t hurt either!) Mass. Street (as locals call it) offers styles ranging from moth-eaten vintage to high-end stops for premium denim and everything in between.
EPICEpic Apparel, just off of Mass. Street, tucked away at 11 West 9th Street, is undeniable proof that liberal Lawrence isn’t as “granola” as people may think. The little shop will give you your fix of fresh crops of premium denim from brands like Diesel, Joe’s, True Religion, and Seven for All Mankind. Although small, Epic Apparel’s high concentration of lux pieces will leave you reconsidering the amount of money you had initially allowed yourself to spend. However, if you are an ailing college student like me, worry not, there’s something on Mass to fit everyone’s budget.
ENVY Right down the street, you’ll find Envy, a store that definitely won’t break your bank. I first came across Envy, 911 Massachusetts, last summer. I was mighty skeptical because, for one, it was next to a Chipotle and two, the store had the tiniest of signs touting something about high fashion and low prices. However, the trendy shop is chock-full of dresses in every color of the rainbow and a cut and style for every body type. With dresses rarely ranging past the forty-dollar mark, Envy is the place to hit up when you’re in a pinch and nothing in your already bulging closet will do.
WILD MANFor some of us though, only something truly one of a kind gets our stamp of approval, and Mass. Street can provide that, too! For the vintage aficionados out there, you know how truly exhilarating and rewarding an excursion to the thrift store can be when you finally find that piece of your dreams. You also know much it can piss you off when you all come back with is a questionable pair of pumps that pinch your feet. For a vintage experience that won’t leave you feeling blue, visit Wild Man Vintage, 918 Mass. Street. There you’ll find the dreamiest of vintage pieces! But the best part, you’ll never be overcharged for it!
While my favorite stores are something I feel shouldn’t be missed, the fabulous retail shouldn’t take all the credit for serving as my only pick-me-up in Downtown Lawrence. It’s the muffled sounds of live music from inside bars, the bum playing the maracas, and the cultural energy this singular street is bursting with that always leaves me coming back for more.

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