spring looks i’m excited to thrift

The spring thaw is in full swing here, and holy crap, I forgot what a joyous time of year it is. Sure it’s muddy, slushy and ugly out there, but there’s also humidity in the air and puddles on the sidewalk, heck, I even opened my windows this weekend! All that good stuff aside, spring in Minnesota can be a horrible season to dress for, with 50-degree temperatures in the afternoon and snow flurries a few hours later. (Happened just yesterday, in fact.) To get inspired for the mercurial month or two that lies ahead, I rounded up a few key pieces I’m scoping out the thrifts for that will hopefully make the transition easier.

Leather moto jacket: A tea bag once told me that intentions create your reality, and so right here, right now, I’d like to say that 2014 is the year I intend to thrift a perfectly fitting, cropped leather jacket, any color will do. C’mon manifest destiny, do your thing!

high plains thrifter // spring looks jacketsPhoto sources: The Little Magpie / Maritsa / unknown / The Locals

Belts + midis: High-waisted, belted midi skirts and dresses are a mainstay of mine year-round, but I still can’t wait to be able to wear them sans tights.

high plains thrifter // spring looks beltsPhoto sources: unknown / unknown / Inunomimi / Wonderland London

Slouchy pants: I’m lazy about trying stuff on at the thrift, but I’m going to have to suck it up and face that fitting room if I ever want to find pants that’ll fit right or a jumpsuit that doesn’t give me camel toe.

high plains thrifter / spring looks pants

Photo sources: unknown / Emma Dime / Stockholm Streetsyle

Sweaters + midis: I’m sick to death of ALL my winter coats, which makes me favor skirt and sweater combos like the ones below, which will keep me warm, unencumbered from my heavy jackets. And yep, more below-the-knee length skirts.

high plains thrifter / spring looks sweaters

Photo sources: Bethany Marie / Who What Wear / Fab Sugar

Belted trench: The only trench-like coat I own is a yucky mauve color (not sure what I was thinking with that purchase), but I’d love just a plain ol’ tan one.

high plains thrifter / trenchesPhoto sources: Glamour Mag UK / Gal Meets Glam / Blue Montana / Etsy

Other things I’m on the lookout for: old leather booties, brown leather flats (to replace the ones I wore out last year), vintage Twins gear, silver jewelry always, ’60s/’70s maxi dresses, denim vest (seeing as I misplaced my favorite one), more blouses for work and short-alls and cute bathing suits since summer’s coming!

Are there any particular pieces you’re hunting for this spring? I’d love to hear what you’re scouting out!



my new $1.50 dress

Hi hi hi!

Guess who got themselves a pretty new dress for $1.50 yesterday? This lucky girl, of course! And, master of restraint that I am, I just had to wear it to work today. (After the mandatory run through the washer and dryer.)


Sunnies, Forever 21
Earrings, thrifted in my hometown
Dress, Valu Thrift, ($1.50!!)
Belt, Salvation Army Downtown (downstairs)
Tights, Anthropologie
Boots, Urban Outfitters

I had a wee bit of free time on hands this a.m., so I prettified my hair with my favorite hot rollers from Bourbon & Lace. I wish I had naturally curly hair, like, everyday of my life. My mom does, and tells me often how lucky I am I don’t. The grass is always greener, I guess.

Speaking of green, did y’all party it up in honor of St. Patrick? I met up with some pals for sushi, which might be the least Irish food in existence. But it sure was tasty.

Happy almost weekend!



thrifted ‘fit: mickey mouse sweater

I know, I know. This sweater is completely ridiculous. But…you’re crazy if you think that’s going to stop me from loving it or wearing it on a lazy (i.e. non-dress) day.

From top to bottom…
Sweetheart Sunglasses, Urban Outfitters
Mickey Mouse sweater, thrifted this weekend for $1.49 at the Elk River Salvation Army
Dickie’s cut-offs, thrifted
Tights, Target
Socks, American Apparel
Cowboy boots, thrifted



thrifted ‘fit: britt malec

Hi there!

Yes, I know, you shouldn’t pass judgment on people based solely on their appearance. But when I spotted this fresh-faced gal last weekend, I just *knew* she was cool. And she is! I love how she paired her acid-washed, high-waisted shorts, crisp white blouse and minty belt with those intensely badass, shit-kickers. That trifecta—’90s-girly-grunge-y—is sooo hard to execute, and Miss Britt does it perfectly. (Rhiannon’s also got it down pat, but I pretty much think she’s perfect, so…yeah.)

Anyway, the histories of the pieces of Britt’s thrifty outfit are fantastic, as are her tips for thrift-store shopping (including leads on where to find FREE clothes). I hope you enjoy our little Q & A!

Me: Where did you get all the pieces of your outfit?

Britt: A lot of the clothes I own have a story, so bear with me. My friend’s dad just bought a house in Northeast, Minneapolis and the attic had been sealed since the late 1970s. When he opened it up, he found bags and bags of old yarn and clothing that belonged to the lady who used to live there. This embroidered top was one of the attic finds.

The blue camisole I had on under it, as well as the socks, belong to my best friend. (We treat each other’s rooms as one collective closet.) The shorts are easily my most complimented upon piece of clothing. They used to be pants, but I cut them after I got them from the Savers on Lake Street last month. The boots used to belong to my friend Rachel. She got them from the drummer in her black metal band who got them from his mom. These boots have seen more punk shows than I could possibly imagine. Most of the jewelry I have used to be my mom’s.

Me: Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Why do you like it?

Britt: I love Savers.  It’s hit or miss most of the time, but I like it because it’s cheap. I just can’t justify spending a bunch of money on clothing. Also, Diggers (aka the Goodwill outlet in St. Paul) is great.  You pay for things by the pound.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting?

Britt: Persistence. It’s also not a big deal to go into a store and not find anything. There is a lot of surplus in this society. Have a clothing swap with your friends, check the free box at Hard Times Café or Seward Café, look inside dumpsters of apartment complexes. We’ve all heard that old adage: One persons trash is another person’s treasure.

Me: What are some of your dream thrift-store finds, like, what would you freak out if you found?

Britt: I don’t usually have something specific in mind when I go, but it would be really nice to find some brown motorcycle boots. I’ve also had a mini fantasy about going to Savers only to find that some punk decided to sell out and give away all their old Crass T-shirts.

Me: Do you have a prized piece of vintage?

Britt: I have a jumper that I found in this abandoned house in West Bend, Wisconsin. It was a giant mu mu from the ’70s but I loved the pattern and the colors so I took it home, washed it twice and sewed it into a one-sy.

Me: Who’s inspiring your personal style right now?

Britt: I’m inspired by all the grandmas of the world, my Mom’s fashion in the 1990s, Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” and “Tank Girl.” [Yep. Grandmas’ styles rule.]

Me: Do you have a favorite summertime classic rock jam? If so, what is it?

Britt: I have been listening to a lot of Black Sabbath lately. And Bruce Springsteen‘s “Spirits in the Night!” [Yesssss!]

Me: What’s left on your summer to-do list?

Britt: So much swimming! And, a camping trip would be nice. I have also  really wanted to have a barbecue while listening to Thin Lizzy. [Um, can I come? I make crazy good baked beans.]

I hope you all have had great Tuesdays! I’m off to meet up with Rae from Bourbon & Lace to talk about a super exciting plan we’re hatching for September. I wish I could tell you about it now, but I’m going to wait until some of the details have been worked out. So. Dang. Excited.



‘thrifty ‘fits & an awesome giveaway: whittney & lauren kebschull of spilled milk factory

Hey you!

Today’s going to be great. Why? Because I get to introduce Whittney and Lauren Kebschull, and their creative brain child, Spilled Milk Factory, to y’all.

For their collection of beaded jewelry and fabric accessories, this sassy pair of sisters looks back to by-gone eras and indigenous cultures, and the ending results are spot-on modern (not to mention all kinds of awesome). Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down for some fries & conversation about our shared love of thrifting and vintage, how they work together as sister-friends and what’s on tap for Spilled Milk this summer. I hope you enjoy our little Q & A!

Did I mention they put together a kick-ass giveaway for y’all?

Well, they did. (Details ’bout that are at the end of the post!) Without further ado…

Meet Whittney and Lauren!

About their styles…

Me: What has inspired you fashion-wise?

Lauren: If I could dress like anyone it would be Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair. But in real life, I’m drawn to comfortable clothes and uncommon brands. Rarely do I buy anything new. When I thrift , I’m drawn to vintage pieces, but I do have a secret love for J. Crew. Their stuff is so timeless and easy to accessorize.

Whittney: When it comes to my style, I try to incorporate a bunch of eras and cultures. The one movie that always sticks out in my mind is Out of Africa. Meryl Streep has so much class, yet a masculine edge that is very attractive. Even Robert Redford…I would love to take a stroll in his shoes and trousers for a day.

Me: You both know the value of thoughtful accessorizing. What are your tips?

Lauren: Don’t try too hard. Try not to match everything you’re wearing. Little flashes of colors are eye-catching and add interest to even simple outfits. Finding accessories at craft fairs or thrift stores is great because they’re most often affordable and you’re unlikely to see anyone wearing the same thing.

Whittney: I’d agree with the don’t try too hard thing. You have to be comfortable with what you’re wearing, or it won’t come off as fashion, but more like your closet has projectile vomited on you.

[rockyou id=158178763&w=650&h=217]

Thrifting tips…

Me: Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Why do you like it?

Lauren: I love Digger’s for old sweaters and I always find something handy at a Unique Thrift ( my favorite one’s on Rice St.) Grand Addictions in St.Paul is my favorite place to find vintage buttons. As a Duluth native, I like to hit up thrifts there when I go back to visit.

Whittney: I have to say there aren’t too many thrifts  in the Minneapolis area that I find outstanding. They all get ransacked pretty fast. I stick to a shopping mostly at garage, yard and estate sales. If you can get out to the ‘burbs, I have found some pretty amazing stuff at Valu Thrift in White Bear.

Me: What are some of your essentials for a day of thrifting?

Lauren: I try to bring a list so I remember what I’m looking for. There are so many basic little things I should get from Target, but will go to Savers first to see if they have them there. Tablecloths, tea candles, serving dishes—simple stuff like that. Having a list helps.

Whittney: Water, music and good shoes. I’m getting old and can’t be prancing around in heels. Give me some SAS-style granny shoes and I am a thrifting machine.

Me: What are some of your dream thrift-store finds, like, what would you freak out if you found?

Lauren: Vintage Buttons and fabric to re-purpose for Spilled Milk —our hoods, bags and scarves are all made with thrifted fabric and accented with old buttons. Honestly, I could look at old buttons for hours. I think they’re gorgeous and all so unique.

Whittney: I have already experienced absolute thrift-utopia! It wasn’t a thrift store but a yard sale across the street from my house. Dresses beyond dresses, all in my size! It was hard to control myself, but I would up buying five immaculate vintage dresses for $4 each. The people who were putting on the sale hundreds of antiques sitting in their basement from previous generations in the family. Everything was unbelievably cheap and super rare …they were my fairy godmothers for a day.

About Spilled Milk Factory…

Me: Tell me about Spilled Milk Factory. How did you get started, what do you make, what inspires you creatively?

Lauren: At the most basic level, we started Spilled Milk Factory so we could make things. We both like beading, sewing, fashion, thrifting and vintage, and all of those likes to give us a reason to make things. In our beadwork, we’re inspired the colors and patterns of Native American and African designs. For the sewn accessories we’re looking to create designs that are interesting and functional, like cozy hoods, wallets and fabric necklaces.

Whittney: Lauren initially started Spilled Milk and as usual, I hopped on the bandwagon. Our work is very complementary to one another. She is the realistic one and I like to go a little overboard.

Me: Where can people buy your stuff?

Lauren: You can find out work at I Like You in Northeast Minneapolis and Gallery 360 in Edina. We will be at the Red Hot Art Festival this Saturday (July 31) and Sunday (August 1) and at the Caffetto Craft Fair, also on Sunday, August 1st. You can find the most up-to-date information on our Facebook page. We’re hoping to get a website up-and-running before the end of the year, too. Fingers crossed!

Click here to see more pics of Spilled Milk Factory’s lovely creations, including wristlets, totes, cozy hoods, fabric necklaces and of course, gorgeous beaded jewelry.

And now, my favorite part, the giveaway!

So, how would you like to WIN a pair of earrings or beaded necklace made especially for you? It’d be awesome right? Well, all you have to do is stop by Spilled Milk Factory’s booth at either the Red Hot Art Festival or Caffetto Craft Fair, both happening THIS WEEKEND, and mention “High Plains Thrifter.” The girls will jot down your name and address, and will pick a winner at random next week. Easy right?!?!

I hope you enjoyed the interview and are fully motivated to swing by the art fairs to meet these two sweeties in person.

If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured on the blog, email me at hpthrifter@gmail.com.

I would love to hear from you!



thrifty ‘fit: brett von schlosser

Howdy, and happy Friday!

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my pal Brett, comic book artist, print-maker, librarian and super-star thrifter.

Me: First off, where’d you get all the pieces of your outfit?

Brett: Well, I guess I’ll start by saying a few years ago I worked as a donations sorter for Value Village Thrift Store. It was a really great job for getting first crack at weird items. I got the belt and the buckle that way along with countless other items. My pants and jacket are also both from Value and my shirt was my dad’s. The Popeye watch was found at a flea market and given to me by an ex of mine.

The buttons and patches I wear are often made by friends of mine and given to me. This patch in particular I got in New York a few years ago, at the MOCCA convention. It’s a patch by Gary Panter. He says it was his proposed design for the Twin Towers monument, intended to strike fear into the hearts of America’s enemies.

Me: Who inspires your style?
Brett: I like Western wear and work wear, especially work clothes from the ’60s or ’70s. Dickies shirts—I like the utilitarian look of stuff like that.  And simple inexpensive Levis, Lee or Wrangler jeans—those kinds always seem to fit me best.
Though not thrift stores, Schatzlein and Kaplan Brothers, both on Lake Street, are great stores. And those Mexican shops on East Lake? You can find some interesting belt buckles there. I have a few. I used to have one with a rodeo clown on it, but it broke last fall and I am still grieving the loss.
Me: Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Why do you like it?

Brett: Value Village in Richfield. It’s a great place. Richfield is my hometown, and it’s ranch-style houses all have attic crawl spaces and basements full of strange stuff from the’ 50s, ’60s and ’70s. So Value Village is always a place where I’m able to find unique and unusual items. And it’s run by the nonprofit ARC, a great organization to support with your money.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting? Any advice you learned from being behind-the-scenes?

Brett: Thrifting for clothes is kind of difficult for me. I am a big dude, I think here in the Midwest large men wear our clothes till we are done with them and rarley donate anything. So when I go hunting, I try and just look at the sizes and see if there is anything I could wear. I don’t bother getting sidetracked looking at stuff that looks cool. It’ll only be depressing when I see that great vintage maroon suit is sized only for a Dio- or Frankie Vali-sized man.

Also, I try to get in and out quickly if I can’t find anything. Otherwise I get that thing where I’m wandering around looking at random stuff video game cartridges for systems I don’t have, or a dirty plastic kids table mummified in Garbage Pail Kids stickers. And suddenly I’m like “hmmm…well, maybe I actually want this stupid thing and what if it’s not be here next time” and then I accidentally buy something I don’t need at all.

I am a dude whose home is filled with loads of wacky weird stuff, suffice to say many people’s trash is my treasure. It may be beautiful garbage, but I just don’t have room for more. I have to remind myself to be a discriminating collector, not a hoarding amass-er.

Me: You’re kind of a comic-making genius. Will you be at Zinefest tomorrow? What projects are you working on now? Where can people check out your work?

Brett: Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to Zinefest, but I will be at the Minneapolis Indie Expo on August 21st at the Soap Factory. Comic books are the great passion in my life. Currently Kelly Krantz, Tim Sievert and I have been making a fantasy adventure nerdstravaganza series called “The Intrepideers.” If I don’t screw up anything, our fourth issue will be debuting at the expo in August.

Unfortunately, I am bad at websites and keeping them alive, but I’m  good with  plants, so maybe that makes up for the difference? Tim is so much better than me in the Web department, and information about “The Intrepideers” can be found on his site and also, here.

Copies of our comics are available at Big Brain Comics and here.

Me: Of course I have to ask you something about music…Do you have a favorite, summer-is-here-let’s-party classic rock anthem?

Brett: Yes, Wig Wam Bam by Sweet. That song has magical properties.

[Dear God, he’s right. This video is amazing!]

Me: Lastly, what are some of your dream thrift-store finds. Like, what would you freak out if you found?

Brett: It’s hard to say. The great thing about thrifting is never knowing what you will find. However if you see any  clown belt buckles, cheap plastic Halloween masks (this type) or any madballs, let me know….

Will do, man! I hope you all enjoyed our little Q & A!

If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured on High Plains Thrifter, shoot me an email at hpthrifter@gmail.com!



square-dance skirt

Hiya, lovelies.

Every time I put this skirt on, I feel like I should be going to a barn party where I’d square dance with fellers named Pud, eat a pound of barbecue  and drink keg beer out of Mason jars until I’m cross-eyed. Sounds like kind of a fun night, actually.

Anyway, there are lots of things to love about this handmade beauty: the girly floral print, both eyelet and ric-rac trim, ruffles  & a cut that lets me to forget about my thigh anxiety for more than a minute. Did I mention it has an elastic waist?
Love, love, love all around.

From top to bottom

Locket, a gift from grandma

Bueno Bueno key necklace

Tank top, Target

Bracelet, had for ages

Skirt, Salvation Army, Blaine

Shoes, Salvation Army, downtown Minneapolis

Tan, good ol’ Mother Nature

Thanks to Rachel Anderson for snapping my pics over lunch.

Regarding the shoes, I blew out my last remaining pair of flat sandals a couple of weeks ago and have been wearing these thrifted cuties often. In fact, I’m pretty much stuck wearing heels to work every day now. And while this delights my boyfriend to no end, I’m getting a tad sick of it. I need some new flats, ASAP!

It’s really hump day already!? Is this short work-week flying by for you all, too? I sure hope so!