The best vintage shops in the Twin Cities

The nascent vintage and second-hand fashion movement has been credited for everything from its budget compatibility to a collective shift towards more earth-conscious shopping habits, not to mention the incomparable thrill of scoring a unique discovery.

Vintage shopping can seem daunting, so it’s best to start with a general idea of ​​what you are looking for and look for items that catch your eye and reflect your personal style.

Curious to try vintage? Whether you’re a newbie to the thrift scene or a seasoned pro, here’s how to buy it and where to find it in the Twin Cities.

Where to go

If you are looking for something truly special, my favorite vintage shop in the Twin Cities is The Vintage gold pearl (507A Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-378-3978, thegoldenpearlvintage.com). The shop offers the best quality vintage wines in town for all genres from the 1920s to the 1990s, curated with the expert eye of owner Audra Frizzell, who is often on hand to give advice.

Some other favorite places for special and finer pieces include Audrey Rose Vintage (2237 E. 38th St., Mpls., 612-822-2009, @audreyrosevintage), which offers a very curated and well-kept collection of more refined and separate clothing; Go vintage (995 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-646-4455, govintageshop.com), a destination mainly for pieces from the 1920s to the 1950s; Lula vintage clothing (1587 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-644-4110, lulavintagemn.com), which sells some of the best clothes and coats in town; And June (5027 France Ave. S., Mpls., 612-354-3970, junaresale.com) for a selection of vintage designers. For more casual looks, check out the nostalgic and cozy finds from Vintage tandem (316 W. 38th St., Mpls., Tandemvintage.com) e Oddities of the moth (2201 NE 2nd St., Mpls., Mothoddities.com), whose finds come from the United States and Italy.

Also, don’t miss the monthly Minneapolis Vintage Market, which hosts up to 40 suppliers on a rotating basis (mplsvintagemarket.com). Tip: Bring a sturdy bag to make it easier to take your loot home.

Tips for professionals

What to look for

Fabric and quality are key – you can tell a lot about a garment by hearing it and reading the garment’s label. (I prefer natural fibers, like 100 percent wool, cotton, silk, linen, and leather.) At the end of the day, it’s all about the thrill of the hunt. Sometimes this means scoring big, sometimes you come home empty-handed.

Like Vintage Style

When it comes to wearing vintage clothing, don’t match matching pieces from the same decade or you’ll feel like you’re wearing a period costume. I recommend starting with a single vintage piece paired with something modern from your wardrobe. When you’re more comfortable wearing vintage, combine items from different decades for a more contemporary look.

Purchases and returns

While most stores accept credit cards, some market sellers prefer apps like Venmo, Cash App, or PayPal, so come to the markets prepared with multiple forms of payment. (And remember: money is king.) Know the return policy: Most vintage stores accept returns, but sellers in markets typically don’t, so make sure you love an item before committing. My rule of thumb: if you’re on the fence, walk away. If you can’t stop thinking about it, go back and get it before someone else does.

Sizing

Unlike a department store or boutique, you won’t find standard-sized garments – think of everything as one of a kind. Ignore the size indicated on the tag; sizing conventions have changed so much over the decades that you can’t rely on them. Trying on items is key: When attending a pop-up market like the monthly Minneapolis Vintage Market, it’s a good idea to bring a measuring tape and wear a snug layer under clothing to easily try on items if fitting rooms are scarce.

Repairs and alterations

Look closely for holes, missing buttons, or other damage that you may be able to repair yourself or take to a tailor. If you fall in love with something but it doesn’t fit well, consider modifying it. Turning up a hem or wearing a blouse can go a long way in making a vintage piece more flattering and modern.

Cleaning

Vintage clothes need to be cleaned more carefully than modern clothes. Machine wash only vintage garments with machine washing instructions on the label. For everything else, hand wash or dry clean.


Appeal Gen Z

Having grown up in an era of eco-conscious shopping, Gen Z have embraced vintage shopping in a way that previous generations have not. They generally favor pieces from the 70s to 90s, as well as the Y2K era (styles from the late 90s and early to mid-2000s).

If you are shopping with your favorite zoomer, definitely stop by Heredity (3406 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-545-7470, shopthelegacy.com). Owner Ruby Stinson (daughter of June owner Daune Stinson, who previously occupied the window) has used her decades of experience in the luxury retail sector to curate the shop with a new mix of elegantly luxurious and casual-cool pieces. from the 1980s to the early 2000s, including vintage denim and some high-end vintage design pieces.

Some other top places that offer a mix of trendy and affordable vintage that Generation Z will love include Rewind the vintage (2852 NE Johnson St., Mpls., 612-788-9870, rewindminneapolis.com), Exchange of clothes for everyday people (1599 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-644-4410, dailypeopleclothing.com), and a couple of new stores operated by the zoomers themselves, Retro daily dose (953 W. 7th St., St. Paul, @dailydoseretro) e Vintage Gang Scooter (2496 University Ave. W., St. Paul, @scootergangvintage).

The largest consortium of vintage Gen Zs is the Vintage holiday of the twin citiesa huge market with more than 100 vendors that occurs a few times a year in the Twin Cities (tcvintagefest.com).


More vintage sellers

There are plenty of small local vintage brands (many without traditional brick and mortar shops) that you can find on Instagram and pop up at vintage flea markets. Many have story sales on their Instagram, a drop-and-you-miss-it of their latest findings. Here are some of them:


Jahna Peloquin is a freelance style writer, vintage collector and owner of Rosella Vintage. She can be found in pop-ups and online at @ rosella.vintage and rosellavintage.com.

>> Read our Guide to Antique and Vintage Shops in the Twin Cities

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