Thrift shop roundup with the Fashionista

A guide to finding secondhand gems around Minneapolis

Angela Behrends sorts jewelry on Thursday at Rewind Vintage in Minneapolis. Rewind offers vintage clothing and accessories for men and women at an affordable price.

Juliet Farmer

Angela Behrends sorts jewelry on Thursday at Rewind Vintage in Minneapolis. Rewind offers vintage clothing and accessories for men and women at an affordable price.

Micaela Resh

 A constricting budget, which most college students know too well, can hurt a wardrobe and limit clothes shopping.

But luckily, an abundance of thrift and vintage stops dot the Minneapolis cityscape. By taking the short trip off campus to scour thrift shops, cash-strapped students can find unique pieces for excellent prices.

Shuffling through dated and sometimes smelly clothing is part of the experience, and a few tricks make for a painless shopping trip.


Sifting through the masses

Honing the art of thrift shopping is done with practice, and with a little persistence, it’s easy to do.

Stumbling upon unworn clothing with original retail tags does happen. But when it doesn’t, pick fabrics that don’t show a lot of wear and tear.

Taking heaps of clothes into the dressing room will help uncover the perfect gem. Items often look and feel different on the body versus a hanger; the two minutes it takes to try something on will show what truly works. Coffee and optimism come in handy.

   And little imperfections shouldn’t rule out an item. A missing button or zipper is easily remedied.


Know the deals

   Most thrift shops rotate their merchandise on a monthly basis in order to sell older pieces and keep their inventory current.

Tags of varying colors may signify different discounts, depending on how long the item has been in the store. Asking a sales associate what is currently on sale and what will be in the near future is a good way to spot deals.

   The Salvation Army located in downtown Minneapolis sells by the pound. Items from Tupperware to clothing are sold by weight. Tuesdays and Thursdays are special deal days, where a pound of clothes costs 99 cents.

“You can come and dig through everything; you’ll notice people have carts full of clothes because they understand the great deal they are getting,” said Michel Wong, product development director at The Salvation Army.


Understand the benefits

Customers choose to shop at places that benefit causes they care about.

The Salvation Army Minneapolis Adult Rehabilitation Center operates as a free, long-term service made available to men throughout Minnesota.

“They go through this program, which is a six-month to one-year program,” Wong said. “It could be anybody. Maybe they had a run in with the law or maybe just lost direction in life and need that help.”

Shoppers at Salvation Army stores help fund the program, Wong said.

Steeple People located on Lyndale Avenue South donates money to various charities within the Minneapolis community.

“It is our goal to take good quality, used merchandise and sell it for a fair price in this community,” Steeple People manager Bob Jensenn said. “Then [we] donate the money back to the community and needy organizations, like food shelters and homeless people.”


Search with a mission

   Looking for themed or decade-specific clothing calls for a vintage specialty store.

Rewind Vintage carries pieces that are hand selected by the store’s owner, each with unique style and personality.

   “We specialize in ‘50s to ‘90s vintage apparel and accessories. We are big on being unique and having your own style,” said Becky Engel, a sales associate at Rewind Minneapolis.

   Shopping vintage is a bit pricier than traditional thrift shopping, but it’s the perfect option for finding specific brands or styles.

Rewind Minneapolis’ items generally range between $12 and $44, Engel said.

These three shops are just a taste of Minneapolis’ thrift-shop market. And with a little persistence, shopping secondhand delivers special finds at prices that won’t break the bank.


What: The Salvation Army

Where: 900 N. 4th Street, Minneapolis

Phone: 612-332-5855


What: Steeple People

Where: 2004 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis

Phone: 612-871-8305


What: Rewind Minneapolis

Where: 2207 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis

Phone: 612-824-1350