Joan Vorderbruggen is the queen of thrifting. She’s also an artist, writer, performer, fashion designer and the new cultural arts coordinator for the Hennepin Theatre Trust. Oh, and she’s a nurse, too. How the Minneapolis woman has time to rifle through racks of secondhand goods remains a mystery, but Vorderbruggen says the basement finds are key to her personal style. Here, she shares some of her favorites.

1. Boots “I am a total boot fanatic. My favorite brand is BØrn, which is surprising because they are known for their hippie sandals, but they make the best boots ever and I have three pair, in turquoise, chartreuse and black. They are so comfy you could sleep in them.”

2. Hats “I also love beautiful hats, and have a jillion of them. The wool/felt varieties are my favorite, but I also love classic cloche, extravagant rhinestone-laden 1940s pieces and straight-up eccentric, unexplainable and laughable hats. Recently, I acquired a wide-brimmed black felt Helen Kaminski hat with a sable velvet ribbon accent. I call it my ‘Lady Night of the Hunter’ hat, reminiscent of Robert Mitchum. Throwing something dramatic in your hair or on your head is so easy and so wonderful. Drama on your pretty little nugget is the best.”

3. Leggings “This winter I have developed a penchant for super bright, patterned leggings, especially crazy floral ones. I barely ever wear tights anymore with dresses or anything, almost always colorful leggings with everything possible.”

4. Blouse “I scored this amazing blouse secondhand. I adore wearing it because I’m constantly extending my blue blousey wingspan for anyone who will laugh with me about it. It really brings out the Liza Minnelli in me.”

5. Pink Sugar perfume “I can’t live without it, and it pretty much makes me smell like a bag of cotton candy. Essentially, it’s a senior high version of Love’s Baby Soft, but more sophisticated with jasmine, vanilla and amber notes. Still, my friends always comment that I smell like a chocolate brownie when they hug me. I don’t care what other people think about the way I smell; Pink Sugar is for me alone.”

Aimee Blanchette