The good news? Minneapolis-St. Paul has seen an impressive upswing in the variety and quality of vintage retailers in the past few years. The less good news? It’s harder than ever to find the right vintage shop for your particular tastes. While every location should be explored thoroughly — because no two vintage stores are exactly alike — we endeavored to do a little matchmaking.
Your style: Glamorous
Your vintage shop: The Golden Pearl Vintage
Look no further than Northeast’s newest vintage retailer. The Golden Pearl is meant to resemble the upscale department stores of yore — your Dayton’s, your Donaldsons — with little sections for jewels, accessories, dresses and even menswear placed about the shop. Owner Audra Frizzell has a real passion for vintage that shows in her selection. Some of her pieces could easily feel like costumes. Instead they feel special, cherished. Plus? The Golden Pearl Vintage is your go-to spot when you need to glam up for an event, with an unrivaled collection of sparkly rhinestone jewelry.
507A E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-378- 3978, goldenpearlvintage.com
Your style: Hipster
Your shop: B-Squad Vintage
If your favorite outfit is little more than a flannel shirt, cowgirl (or cowboy) boots and a classic Coach handbag, then B-Squad Vintage is your store. They sell a little of everything, of course, as any good vintage store does, but they really appeal to that south Minneapolis/edge of Uptown crowd with their well-priced, cool and chill brand of vintage.
3500 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-825-4847, b-squad.com
Your style: Classic simplicity
Your shop: Corner Store Vintage
How has this shop managed to survive for 35-plus years? Because its concept works. They know what they’re good at — leather motorcycle jackets, practically an entire room devoted to vintage Levi’s — and they stick with it. Bonus: Corner Store is a vintage shop with respect for the past — every party dress and skirt suit is housed in protective plastic. If you’ve always yearned for a simpler era, then Corner Store is where you should be shopping.
900 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-1270
Your style: Unabashedly retro
Your shop: Via’s Vintage
Do you love wearing head-to-toe vintage? Do you set your hair like Marilyn Monroe? Are you unafraid of looking like you stepped right out of an old photograph? Then chances are you already know about this Uptown institution. How has this well-known shop survived for three decades? Simply because it’s one of the best. Highlights include vintage-style shapewear (to achieve the silhouette of your favorite era) and select items from the Victorian era.
2408 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-374-3649, viasvintage.com
Your style: Eclectic
Your shop: Moth Oddities
Want to dress to the nines one day? And then go grungy 1990s the next? Moth Oddities is the perfect choice for those who can’t quite settle upon one aesthetic, but want to look fashionable and interesting nonetheless. “Our collection is hand-selected all across the USA and Italy,” explained co-owner Yana Pietras. “We seek out the wildest, most fashion-forward trends from the past and focus on breathing new life into items that would normally get lost in the attic.” There’s no storefront, just pop-up shops all over the city at certain special events, plus a brisk trade on Etsy.
Check the website for updates. mothoddities.com
Your style: Minnesota heritage
Your shop: Tandem Vintage at Find Furnish
If our fair state inspires your wardrobe, then Tandem Vintage should be your go-to. Owner Amanda Baumann, who sells her wares at Find Furnish in Northeast, scours Midwestern thrift stores and estate sales to find the coziest wool sweaters and cutest boots around. Everything she sells has a heritage vibe, as if you swiped it from your favorite aunt’s attic Up North.
13 NE. 5th St., Mpls., facebook.com/tandemvintage
Looking for menswear?
Your shop: Lula Vintage
St. Paul’s esteemed boutique just celebrated 25 years in the biz. That’s a big deal in the world of vintage retail. Yes, the store is full of pretty, feminine dresses and accessories, but it also sells a good deal of menswear. Owner Hayley Bush looks for items that are from 1968 or earlier, which means you won’t find yourself in polyester city. Plus, she has an eye for fine clothing and upscale brands. Her male customers “care about how they look and the fit of their clothing,” explained Bush. Which keeps them coming back to Lula for more. Come summertime, check back for her collection of pristine Hawaiian shirts.
1587 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-644-4110, lulavintagemn.com
Kara Nesvig is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and beauty blogger.