Shopping in Minnesota
here with a look at the affordable fashion shopping options in the Twin Cities...
Flashback Vintage Clothing has no website, but lies directly across the street from the Smitten Kitten. A small thrift type shop with mainly retro fashions for men & women. Prices were very low, especially on costume jewelry -- including vintage rhinestone pieces. One goldtone bracelete with rhinestones & small 'pearls' was under $5 -- sure, one 'pearl' was missing, but that's an easy fix. If you visit Smitten Kitten, and why not? Flashback's worth a quick look-see.
Ragstock has several locations, including a large warehouse location. We visited both the warehouse and the Uptown store. Selling mainly used clothing, they also carry quite a bit of what appears to be overstock junior fashions. If you're small enough for junior sizes & into trendy, girly gear, this will thrill you. This overstock inventory also includes cheap accessories -- retro sunglasses, fluffy boas, funky fishnets, and purses (though I didn't think the bag prices were all that cheap, but it's easy to get giddy with the other cheap items & let the moderately priced bag pass). Oh, and a tremendous collection of wigs! The typical Halloween variety as well as some interesting wigs that would be excellent for role play...
Aside from the new old stock, there are plenty of used clothing items for men & women. The bulk of the inventory seems to be in shirts: men's t-shirts, work shirts, and even embroidered uniform shirts. It's easy to get seduced by the $5 rack and the other low priced tees, but all the shirts we thought were the ultimate in cool were accordingly priced. Still, a very nice selection. And it appears they carefully remove embroidered patches (both company & personal names) from work shirts that are 'bad' and sell them individually, allowing for you to find a shirt that you do like & put the patches on yourself. One word of caution on the shirts: not all are used or even 'old' as they do sell many reproduction tees. (Equally cool, but don't be fooled...)
As for real vintage fashions, it can be found at Ragstock... especially in the warehouse. Be sure to look for stains & flaws, but clever DIY folks can easily salvage a wonderful skirt from it's stained bodice. The prices are so cheap it makes it well worth the effort. Also, girls with the time it takes to search each rack with a keen eye for detail may find quite a few steals to resell online at good profits.
Saint Sabrina's is not really a vintage shop at all, but it's so cool, I had to include it here. Upstairs is a Body Piercing & Tattoo Parlor, but the lower floor is full of fun fashions. And not just the usual skull & cross bones black garb either. Slightly punk, retro, grrly attitude fashions that are totally chic. Rockabilly girls will find themselves quite happily on their way to the wrap desk with items for themselves & their fellas.
Via's Vintage is definitely a case of saving the best for last -- this store is heaven! If you are truly a vintage fashion lover, this place has the goods. Usually when a store says 'vintage through the 80's' I find myself cringing behind a rack of polyester, afraid to get near the Cosby sweaters, but not at Via's! Lovely items in lovely condition & you pay a fair price. No, it's not cheap, but then this isn't the sort of place one finds stained & damaged goods. Via's carries women's, men's and even children's fashions, and in all sections the quality is fantastic.
Heartbreakers were the 1920's silk lingerie set and several little black cocktail dresses from the 40's & 50's. Oh, and the accessories! Beautiful jewelry, lucite & vintage 'plastic' purses, hankies, hats, men's ties -- even shoes. Really, I need to stop listing here all the items I coveted or I'll begin to cry & whine to go back...
And it's cute in it's decor too. You can & should plan to spend hours here.
Via's Vintage is located at 2405 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55405.
Unfortunately this gem has no website, but you can call them at 612-374-3649 and you can find out more information here.