The Fashionista: the price is tight

This style maven preaches on the positives of gently worn pieces and serves five samples of delicious shops to scour for the best.

Blacklist Vintage owner Vanessa Messersmith works behind the counter at Blacklist Vintage on Jan. 17, 2013, in Minneapolis.

Image by Bridget Bennett

Blacklist Vintage owner Vanessa Messersmith works behind the counter at Blacklist Vintage on Jan. 17, 2013, in Minneapolis.

by Shannon Ryan

A hearty welcome back is in order as we begin this spring semester with our books in bag and our wallets slowly draining the leftover holiday money from our ’rents. If you’re like most of the world, you survived 2012 and rang in 2k13 with liquor and sequins, perhaps chiffon or lace, and now it’s time to get a jumpstart on building your spring wardrobe. However, make sure you stick to that New Year’s resolution of handling your funds in a more adult way: tighten up.

I hear you loud and clear, and that’s why I tore through the Minneapolis neighborhoods to search for the best shops offering gently used and wallet-friendly pieces of clothing. I’ve got five shops to check out, and I’m serving ’em so hot you can nearly warm your hands on their flames.


Rewind Vintage

2829 Johnson St. NE, Minneapolis


A quintessential haven for the true thrifter, Rewind offers two locations stuffed with items from the ’60s to the early ’90s. Step into the days of yesteryear, and spend hours sifting through an organized array of well-treated leather goods and denim at great prices. Stay long enough to discover hidden eccentricities that add to the ultra-cool vibe of the store. I’m talking Cher cutouts and Disney references à la tees and walls that adhere to its authentic thrift shop feel.

Style Note: Jewelry is the shop’s specialty, offering unique pieces ranging from the low teens to the low 20s in price — phenomenal.


Fried Bologna Vintage

158  13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis


“Hey Macklemore, can we go thrift shopping?”

If any Minneapolis thrift stores influenced the song, I’d put my money on Fried Bologna Vintage. A definitive let’s-hear-it-for-the-boys place for the eclectic homeboy to uncover some wardrobe essentials, the shop’s small space and walls colored in comic oranges and yellows makes it feel like you should be drinking a Coors with your alt Uncle Jerry instead of perusing pants — but that’s precisely its charm. Check out the crew neck sweatshirts, cozy hoodies and aged Levis that Urban Outfitters would pay a pretty penny to replicate, and hang out for a while.

Style Note: FBV has some treats for you too, ladies — specifically in the form of Pendleton blazers around $30 a pop, worth a trip for both sexes.


Buffalo Exchange

2727 S. Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis


This Minneapolis branch of the nationwide consignment collects new and recycled clothing from locals in exchange for that paper we all love. It functions as a more organized and more interesting Forever 21, terrific for a quick stop-‘n’-shop before a night out. The store is more for the trendy T.J. Maxx-er than the die-hard digger, but the brands are occasionally better than the department store’s: BB Dakota, Ann Taylor, J. Crew and BDG are common to stumble upon. Buffalo Exchange’s clothes are in good condition — just a take home and clean washin’ away from perfection.

Style Note: Blouses are extremely current and up-to-date for ladies, and well-priced sweaters are rife for the fellas.



3406 S. Lyndale Ave.,  Minneapolis


This dashing buy-outright resale shop is a must-see for the designer diva searching for a deal. Page through articles from major fashion houses Dior and Chanel that are layered between items from renowned labels like Theyskens’ Theory, Tory Burch and Elizabeth and James, just to name a few. The most striking area of the shop is near the back through a quaint pair of painted French doors that open into a vision of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet of shoes: a carpeted masterpiece with Zac Posen, Prada, Chanel and Stuart Weitzman’s — no big deal — delicious pumps, boots and heeled sandals lining the shelves. Feel like royalty, well, at least a little Upper East Side-esque for a bit while delighting in superb prices and superior-quality clothing at June.

Style Note: As a sale-conscious shopper with an appetite for luxurious goods, I was in awe of the amount of low-end double digits on the price tags.


Blacklist Vintage

25 E. 26th St., Minneapolis


A go-to for the vintage aficionado, Blacklist offers an array of fantastic finds from the early ’20s to the late ’80s that would look pretty on any pixie darling. The shop is organized by natural waist sizes for a real lesson in fit of the past decades, and its generously sized space is composed of piece after piece of potential additions to any closet. Though the women’s selection is a bit more robust than the men’s, there truly is something for everyone. Thick flannels and unique sweaters are noteworthy items on the men’s side, and silk slips, satin bloomers and luscious furs are a few of the charming pieces that make up a mere fraction of the women’s. It’s an effortlessly cool shop, one where you could get lost for hours in pleasant layers of fabrics.

Style Note: Mixing already-housed items in your closet with vintage finds from Blacklist makes for a fantastic look. Play around.


Honorable Mentions:

B. Resale: 5456 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; Mighty Swell: 3109 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis; Savers: 2124 E. Lake St., Minneapolis