9 essentials i’m thrifting this fall

 It’s the same old story each and every autumn: the air turns crisp, leaves drop, days shorten and pumpkin spice lattes and apple orchard adventures overtake my Instagram feed. As soon as the annual chill arrives, without fail, my practically Pavlovian-style response is to run out (or hop online) and spruce up my wardrobe. And now that I’ve completed a fall closet clean-out, giving my unwanted goods to Savers, there’s actually a wee bit of room to squeeze in some new goods!

To keep me focused as I browse the thrift-store racks, I honed in on the pieces I was missing (so easy to do after a thorough closet clean-out) and inspiration, both old and new, I can’t get out of my brain. By refining my thoughts and making a list, I’ll save time when thrifting big stores like Savers and money I may have accidentally spent on items I don’t need. Below are the essentials that made the cut!

fall trends collage 1Dark florals: I feel more than a small twinge of sadness when it comes time to pack up my favorite summer florals. Fortunately, thrift-store racks boast plenty of saturated prints and I plan on sussing out at least a dress, blouse, skirt or scarf before the snow flies.

Jeans to destroy: “Oh hell no!” = my instant reaction to the prices I’ve seen on tattered denim ($148 for the pair of jeans pictured above, OMG!). I figure if I thrift a few pairs that fit  well and screw one up in the distressing process, no bigs, I’ll still be about $130 ahead.

Black denim jacket: Seeing as I wear my denim jacket four out of seven days a week, seeking out a black one seems kind of like a no-brainer. To me, a good denim jacket fits like I borrowed it from my boyfriend, so I’ll definitely be combing the men’s section at the thrifts for this.

Photos c/o: Let it Be / Nasty Gal / Free People

fall trends collage 2Midi skirts: My love of midis will not wane, so what? But truly though, what’s not to appreciate. They’re an acceptable length to wear to work, warm and, perhaps best of all, super easy to thrift. For fall, I look for wool or wool blend midis, and maybe a poly option or two.

Turtleneck sweater: Ever since elementary school, turtlenecks and I have kept our distance, but I’m feeling like this year is THE year to get over my aversion. If I can find one that’s a fun color, like the nubby Orla Kiely beauty pictured above, I’ll be in cozy town in no time.

Vests: This summer I wore two denim vests so much, it made me realize how more  belong in my closet. I love how they can introduce another texture to an outfit, plus, they’re warm! From suede to crochet, fur to wool, I know I’ll have lots of luck finding some solid options secondhand.

Photos c/o: B. Jones Style / Orly Kiely / Waiste

fall trends collage 3A bold coat: Green, black, green, black, navy. That’s my coat collection in a nutshell. This fall, I’m on the hunt for something bright and something bold. Mustard, emerald, red, baby blue, oxblood, pink…as long as it’s not black, green or navy, I’m game!

A simple shift: Solids are out of my comfort zone, but the big-haired beauty above has given me hope that I can wear a non-printed dress and not feel totally drab. If I follow in her footsteps, pairing it with some huge hair and a killer bag, this staple just might work!

A wide-brimmed hat: Turns out, I’m kind of picky about hats! Disappointed by the quality of the ones I’ve found at the mall, and reluctant to shell out for one, I’m going to keep my eyes peeled at the thrifts, shopping both the men’s and women’s departments ’til I find the perfect one.

Photos c/o: Jalouse / my tumblr / Bohemian Diesel

Are you hot on the trail of particular items this fall? Does making a checklist help keep you focused? If you’ve got any fall shopping routines or tips, I’d love to hear ’em!



P.S. My friends at Savers sponsored this post; all opinions are my own.

’tis the season (to clean out your closet)

tumblr_mgs0roXvCe1r2phi9o1_1280With the first days of fall under our belts and the weekend around the corner, it seems like a natural time to get geared up for a closet clean-out. No matter how many purges my wardrobe and I have undertaken together, mentally preparing beforehand continues to be an essential step in the process. Here are the six things I remind myself before embarking on a seasonal mission of minimizing.

1. You’ll need to go it alone. Those articles that encourage you to invite a pal over and open some wine while you go through your closet together…forget that! A closet clean-out is an inherently dirty, personal and emotional task, one that’s best attacked alone. That said, who am I to turn down expert guidance? My friend Sally McGraw authored Already Pretty, an incredibly friendly, honest and uber-positive guide to defining, refining and owning your one-of-a-kind style. To help psych me up, I reread pertinent portions (chapters 2, 5 and 6 if you must know)…there’s something about Sally’s writing and sage advice that keeps me focused on the bigger picture. (Craving hands-on help? She’s available for style and closet consults, either in-person or online, too.)

2. It’s not going to take an afternoon. Sure, if you’re looking to skim off the top and barely make a dent, you’ll probably be set after an hour or two of work. But in case you’re a hoarder like myself, you may have a lot to cull through, and setting a short time limit could add unnecessary pressure, especially if you’re going to try everything on (which you absolutely should). Personally, I prefer to set myself a deadline a week or two out, and then carve out time when my schedule allows. A half-hour here, an afternoon there, just pick a category—pants, purses, accessories, work skirts—and get to work.

3. You’ll need a system. When tackling a wardrobe reboot, I bring an entire BOX of garbage bags upstairs with me, setting aside a bag for items that need dry-cleaning, one for pieces hurting for repair or tailoring, another for clothing that I could potentially resell (or find a new home with a friend) and the rest for items that are destined to be donated. (Clothing that’s worn-out, ratty or ruined is earmarked for the rag pile.)

4. Facts will be faced. Paid top dollar for a pair of boots you’ve only worn once? Scored a gorgeous designer piece that isn’t really your style, but it was SUCH a deal, you can’t bear to let it go? Haven’t fit into your “favorite” pair of jeans in years? Just. Be. Honest. The fact you that once upon a time you were fiscally irresponsible/had bad judgment/size 8 isn’t anything to be ashamed of. We’re only human, y’all! In fact, getting rid of pieces that bring up of feelings of disappointment, shame or self-loathing can be downright cathartic, especially when you consider all the room you’re making for pieces that make you feel AMAZING.

5. Letting go can be hard. One truism from Sally’s book that consistently stands out to me is “Clothing is imbued with emotion, steeped in memory, and parting with it can be downright painful.” Not to mention stressful! Get ready for emotions to arise when making decisions about what to keep and what to part with. One trick that helps me maintain objectivity is asking “If I were to see this item at a store today, would I buy it?” If the answer is no, the attachment is purely sentimental. Take a minute to remember the good times you had together. Then, let go.

6. A good exit strategy is key. Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to get your unwanted goods out of your house ASAP.  For me and my crazy schedule, finding an organization with convenient drop-off donation service is a must. Savers recently opened eight Donation Drop Stations in Minnesota, including metro-area spots in Robbinsdale, Apple Valley, Columbia Heights and Richfield. Every donation made not only gives gently used goods a second life and keeps them out of landfills, and also supports local nonprofits like the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota  and Vietnam Veterans of America. Savers pays these local organizations for every single donation made, whether or not it makes it to the sales floor. With locations close by, and convenient drop-off hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week), getting your unwanted clothes at Savers makes total sense. (Just don’t forget to ask for a receipt!)

Y’all cleaning your closets out this fall? If so, I’d love to hear your tried-and-true tips for maximum effectiveness. My overstuffed drawers and I could use the advice!!



P.S. My friends at Savers sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

memorial day weekend sale circuit: may 23-26

tumblr_m4as1nCK2b1rsoo94o1_r1_500Memorial Day weekend is here, which means summer has officially arrived and sales galore will be happening Monday at area thrifts. As the clock winds down to the weekend (not that I’m counting, LOL), I’m here to share the sales that belong on your radar.

Salvation Army Family Stores: Head to any Salvation Army Family Store on Monday and enjoy half-off savings on all clothing, in addition to in-store specials. All locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

ARC’s Value Village Thrift Stores: Enjoy 50% discounts across the board Monday during ARC’s store-wide sale. (Exclusions include sale items and merchandise with white and orange tags.) Bonus: Village Rewards Members get to shop the sale starting Sunday. If you’re not already a member, don’t worry, you can join the day of! Stores will be both Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Goodwill: Take a break from the barbecue Monday and pop into any Goodwill location for 50%-off savings on all apparel with blue, green and yellow tags. Stores will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hidden Treasures Thrift Store: With 30% off savings today and 40% discounts tomorrow, there’s plenty of incentive to shop this recently expanded strip-mall gem. (The store will be closed Sunday and Memorial Day.)

Family Pathways Thrift Stores: If you find yourself traveling on the northern portion of I-35 Monday, stop in at any of the Family Pathways Thrift Stores and save 20-60% off everything in-store including clothing, home decor, accessories, furniture, antiques and collectibles. Store hours vary by location—find out which location’s open when, here.

Savers Thrift Stores: Bask in 50% savings on all clothes, shoes, accessories and bed and bath amenities on Monday. (Offer excludes new merchandise, books, jewelry,  items tagged housewares or furniture and is not valid with any other coupon or discount.) Stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Unique Thrift Stores: Take 50% off everything (except red-tagged new merchandise) at all Unique locations on Monday. Sale also applies at the Valu Thrift in St. Paul. Stores open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Second Début: Shop and save 25% on all secondhand designer fashions at both locations of this Goodwill offshoot.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer: Today through Sunday, save 30% off your entire purchase at both the Orono and St. Paul locations. (Note that both stores will be closed  Memorial Day.)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!



Photo c/o: Fillips Hideaway.

heads up: one-day dress sale at Savers + Unique Thrift Stores

tumblr_msh9i3GjjE1qaujg4o1_500I don’t know about y’all, but I am beyond stoked that sundress season is back. And though I’m in no way in need of any new (old) dresses, that doesn’t make me any less  tempted by the 40%-off dress sale happening at Savers, Unique and Valu Thrift Stores today. The event, running at all area stores from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., includes dresses for both grown-up and little ladies alike (but excludes frocks with red tags). You must have an I M Unique Club Card or Super Savers Club Card in your possession to partake in the savings. (Do NOT try registering for a card today, they won’t allow it on sale days!)



Photo c/o: Ghost Vintage Clothing.

recently thrifted

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I shared some thrifted finds with y’all! Truthfully, I’ve been on a bit of a “look, but don’t buy” kick, as I continue to edit my belongings (and stick to my budget). That said, here are a few functional items that’ve made the cut.

 The graceful lines and mid-century-like starbursts on this vase sold me. Found for $2 at the New to You Thriftique in Golden Valley.high plains thrifter // recently thrifted

 I finally bought pillows for a pair of handmade lace-covered pillow cases I thrifted at Bibles for Missions oh, about three years ago. They were 25 cents a piece (the prices at that place are nuts!).Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 I scored two ’30s-era Ovenex Starburst-patterned muffin tins at a neighborhood church rummage sale for 50 cents a pop. I gave ’em a workout this morning, whipping out some Cream Cheese-Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread bites for our snow-day brunch. (Both plates pictured are thrifted too.)

high plains thrifter // recently thrifted

 My boyfriend thought our old coin jar was too small, so I was “okay Mr. Moneybags!” and got this canister for him and his (never-ending supply of) spare change. Found at the Salvation Army Family Store in Burnsville for $2.99.

high plains thrifter // recently thrifted

I bought this fruit bowl made by Royal China Jeannette at the Savers on Lake Street for $3.99. (The hand embroidered tablecloth was purchased at Treasures From the Heart in Baldwin, Wisconsin last April.) They look good together, no?

high plains thrifter // royal china jeannette I’ll never have enough vases (or things that can act as vases), which is why this circa-1975 souvenir glass from the Treasure Chest Gift & Thrift earned a spot in my cabinet…I think it was $1? P.S. I got that freesia for my Thanksgiving table!!!

high plains thrifter // thrifted finds

Another find from the Savers on Lake Street, this covered basket/nest for our (many) remotes (it was $1.99). The verdict’s still out on whether or not the boyfriend will adopt this store-the-remotes-in-the-basket system. If it’s a fail, to the rummage-sale pile it goes!

high plains thrifter // basketHave you thrifted anything you’re stoked about? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve found and how you’re putting it to use!



heads up: black friday thrift-store sales


Truth be told, I’m not big into Black Friday. Yes, I love me some bargains, but I also love me some sleep, especially on a rare Friday off. And the thought of getting up at the crack of dawn to bust down the doors of some mega-chain store? Not appealing in the least. But since a fair amount of thrifts have hopped on the Black Friday bandwagon, I feel it my duty to tell you what’s the haps in case you’re out and about shopping on Friday and are looking to save some moola.

Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores
Enjoy 50% savings on clothing at all Twin Cities and Saint Cloud stores. Keep an ear out for special deals like half-off books, housewares, etc. announced every hour on the hour. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Super Savers Club members will save 30% on all used merchandise. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Second Début Pick a black licorice you’ll get 15% off your entire purchase, while a draw of red licorice gets you 10 percent savings. Sweet! Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

VIP Unique card holders take 30% off all used merchandise at all six Twin Cities locations. (More info on Unique’s VIP program is right this way!) Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Hidden Treasures Thrift Store
Take 40% off EVERYTHING in the store, including Christmas merchandise and furniture! Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

ARC’s Value Village Stores
All items with a green tag will be 50% off. Be sure to check out the Merry Thriftmas boutique while you’re there! Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Stores
Early birds arriving between 10 a.m. and noon will get a big ole’ 50% discount on their entire purchase!

Have fun shopping!



Photo: source

heads up: donate + save deal at Savers and Unique thrift stores


Has the holiday spirit got you feeling generous? If so, round up two bags of reusable clothing or household goods and bring ’em to any Twin Cities-area Savers or Unique thrift stores today, tomorrow or Saturday. In exchange for your donation, you’ll get a coupon for 25% off at Unique (or 30% at Savers) good on any purchase made before January 5, 2013. It’s a pretty enticing offer, especially if you’re like me and have a full bag (or four) of clothes to donate at the ready. (And don’t forget, if you get your receipt for your contribution, you can still write it off on this year’s taxes!) I’m planning on using my coupon for a last-minute emergency shopping trip…or maybe an after-Christmas spree when I want to stock up on decor, etc. for next year. If you go this weekend and get a coupon, let me know what you plan on using it for!



heads up: black friday thrift store sales


Truth be told, I’m not big into Black Friday. I love me a bargain, but I also love me some sleep…especially on a rare Friday off. And the thought of getting up at the crack of dawn to bust down the doors of some mega-chain store? Well, it just doesn’t have that much appeal. But since a fair amount of thrifts have hopped on the Black Friday bandwagon, I feel it my duty to tell you what’s the haps in case you’re out and about shopping on Friday and want to save some money.

Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores
Enjoy big, fat 50% savings on clothing all day on Friday, and special deals like half-off books, etc. announced every hour on the hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Friday only, take 25% off all used merchandise.

Hidden Treasures Thrift Store
Take 30% off both Friday and Saturday on everything in the store, including Christmas merchandise.

ARC’s Value Village Stores
All items with a pink tag will be 50% off. Be sure to check out the Merry Thriftmas boutiques while you’re there!

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Stores
Hope Chest stores are celebrating “Pink Friday” with 30% off savings on any item of your choice; 50% discounts on all red-lined merchandise. They’ll also be offering a door buster special of 75% off all china sets between 10 a.m. and noon.

Empty the Nest
Take half-off one item on Friday or Saturday at the new ReHome Center in Burnsville, offer good only with a coupon. (Get signed up for their mailing list ASAP to get coupons and sale alerts.)

Happy hunting!



heads up: one-day sales at savers and unique thrift stores


Tomorrow, both Savers and the Unique family of thrift stores are having one-day sales. At Savers, club card members will save 30% on clothing, shoes, accessories and goodies in the bed and bath department. (You can find the store nearest you here.) Customers visiting Unique thrift stores (and Valu thrift in St. Paul) will get a hefty 50% discount on clothing, shoes, accessories and bed and bath supplies, but only if you have an I M Unique card. (You can find a complete list of their locations here.) Signing up for both savings clubs is totally free…just don’t try to register for an account on a sale day. That’s a no-no.

Happy hunting!



P.S. There’s still time to enter the vintage styling guides giveaway. I’m giving away all three books to one lucky reader. Enter today!

heads up: president’s day weekend sales

Hey lovelies, happy Friday!


If you’re looking to get your shop on this weekend, here’s the scoop on some President’s Day sales.

Today through Sunday

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer: Take 30% off all home decor, lamps and artwork at both the Orono and St. Paul locations.

Saturday Only

ARC’s Value Village Thrift Stores: Save 50% on everything except orange- and white-tagged items Saturday only. Stores will open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Monday Only

Savers: Take 50% off all used clothing, shoes, accessories and tagged bed and bath items. Sale runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Salvation Army Thrift Stores: This year, the half-off sale at Salvation Army is limited to the downtown Minneapolis location and only applies to the goodies in the Target basement. The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Hidden Treasures Thrift Store: This hole-in-the-wall thrift kicks off a week-long bag sale on Monday—fill a bag of winter clothing or outerwear and pay just $5. Hidden Treasures is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Unique and Valu Thrift Stores: Everything in all five metro-area stores will be half-off! Shops will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Happy shopping!