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.



recently thrifted: white eyelet skirt

If Sundays are “fundays,” I’ve decided that Mondays are “nonedays.” As in, I don’t want none of this. Insert sigh heavy sigh here.

Anyway, about the skirt. It’s been a long time since I’ve worn anything from Old Navy on the regular, with my favorite scoop neck black tee being an exception. But this simple cotton skirt I picked up at Salvation Army has gotten a lot of wear in the last week, both for work and play. I almost passed it up, but am really glad I didn’t. For $2, I figured I’d give it a whirl.

My documented obsession with eyelet has yet to abate.

Top to bottom

Earrings: F21

T-shirt: bought at the H & M in Bordeaux, 100 years ago

Necklaces: Bueno key & thrifted chain

Skirt: thrifted (Elk River Salvation Army)

Heels: thrifted (Downtown Minneapolis Salvation Army)

Jess snapped these pics after our long overdue catch-up dinner at True Thai last week. Thank you, lady!

Also, just in case you missed it, I’m giving away two copies of my favorite zine, “Super Friends,” this week. Leave a comment on this post by Thursday to be entered! Easy easy easy.



‘thrifty fit: hike it up

Hi there!

When I was thrifting in Elk River a month or so ago, this fancy, patterned skirt caught my eye. Despite the length, something about the gold and black buttons and bright nautical print, complete with anchors, rope and flags made me say “Yes please!”

To make it shorter without hemming, I hike it up to my pits and rock it as a strapless dress. I wind up wearing this to work a fair amount. I’m not sure what magical properties the fabric has, but it doesn’t wrinkle, which means I can pull it out from under a heap of clothes in my closet, throw it on and not have to fuss with my steamer or iron. Score!

Top to bottom

Skirt, worn as dress, Salvation Army, Elk River

Stretchy belt, Blacklist Vintage

Sandals, Jeffrey Campbell

Photos by Louisa.

Anyway, it’s been quite a day, and I’m excited to stroll around Lake Nokomis with Miss Jamie Rose, who’s currently enjoying her last week as a “miss.” Honestly, I think I’m more excited about her wedding on Saturday then she as it this point. I can’t wait!!



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!



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!



polka dots & parasols

When I saw the title of this ModLife post, I was like, yes, I think I would probably party down with a parasol.

In fact, I think I DID over the weekend.

Top to Bottom

Parasol: roommate’s

Headband: Nordstrom

Locket: grandma

Dress: B Squad Vintage

Shoes: Blacklist Vintage

Suitcase: Estate sale

The most random fact I learned about parasols, courtesy of the ModCloth post

“In the 19th century, a parasol was a popular gift for a gentleman to bestow upon his ‘intended.’ Due to their extravagance and expense, it was considered a serious impropriety for a gentleman to give a lady a parasol as a gift unless his intentions were serious, and it was likewise considered indecorous for a young lady to accept the gift unless she was serious about the guy.”

So, does that mean you’d be almost engaged when your fella brought you a ‘brella? Those wacky Victorians.

Photos by the lovely Louisa.



thrifted ‘fit: april swinson

Hey y’all!

I’m so pleased to introduce you, dear readers, to my Blingo-loving buddy, April Swinson. This gal’s a ball of sunshine—beautiful, bright and filled to the brim with all kinds of talents. From writing catchy ad copy to crafting ridiculously adorable headbands for her ever-popular Etsy shop, this little lady does everything with an easy wit and generous spirit. Did I mention she whips up out-of-this-world cupcakes on the regular? Because, yeah, she does that, too.

April’s no stranger to many of the Twin Cities best thrift store spots, and her always stylish wardrobe includes many a second-hand treasure, including the summery ‘fit pictured below.

Shirt, Downtown Minneapolis Salvation Army, $1
Vintage skirt, Tatters Clothing, $12
Seychelles shoes, Minneapolis Downtown Salvation Army, $1.99 [Seychelles for $2!!! SO jealous!]
Vintage purse, Blacklist Vintage, $18
Locket necklace, an adorable antique store in Stillwater, $8

Me: What’s your favorite thrift store in town? Why?
April: The Downtown Salvation Army gets me every single time.  It’s a great stop for clothes, cute, cheap shoes and even old furniture. In terms of vintage stores I’m quite fond of Blacklist Vintage—it’s a great place to play dress up and they have, hands down, the best hat and fascinator collection in town.  Oh, and I shan’t fail to mention that the little ladies that run the place are always so very pleasant and charming.  I miss their cozy old location, but their new one will do just fine too, I suppose.

Me: Your house and closet are full of awesome thrifted goodies. What are you top tips for successful thrifting?
April: A. Take your time, don’t be afraid to dig and disregard the current context. Much of the time, if I simply see something on the shelf or in a bin, I’m not all that excited about it. I have to think about how something would look either being worn (paired with something I already have in my closet) or on my shelf in my home if I’m looking at housewares, etc. It’s easy for things to look dusty, dingy and drab in a thrift store, but part of the fun of thrifting is realizing the potential in old, forgotten or disregarded items.

Me: Do you have a favorite piece of vintage clothing?
April: I have a set of kerchiefs that my grandmother gave me that I simply adore.  They are so feminine and proper, but I rarely drop one into my purse because they are so precious to me.  Since being the proud owner of said handkerchiefs, I can say confidently that no gal should be without at least one.

Me: What’s on your thrifting wish list?
April: I’m not one to swoon over labels and brands, but I’ve seen not one, but two vintage Coach wallets recently that were purchased by my friends from a thrift store and I’ve convinced myself that I need one too.  An old, pretty brown one with a clasp at the top would be perfect.  If you see one anywhere, let me know. [You got it, girl!]

Me: It’s summer! What are you excited to do?
April: See ponies! I’ve only been to Canterbury once, but I’m hooked and I’m really looking forward to going back and betting on the horses with clever names. Admittedly, I know close to nothing about horse racing and have nothing else to go off of. [I was there, and yes, picking the best names was indeed her strategy. I admittedly fared no better, though, betting only on horses from my home state.] I’m also excited to grow a few things of my own. Unfortunately, I don’t own a home and my gardening prowess and space is limited, but I purchased a beautiful lettuce and tomato plant a few weeks ago that I’m pretty jazzed about.

Me: Your Tulabaru shop is clean sold out, girl! What are some of the new things you’re working on? And please say you’ll be restocking soon!
April: Oh, poor Tulabaru.  It has been somewhat tossed to the side over the past few months for more important, yet less fun, tasks that life has demanded. But! That’s all about to change. There will be new items up for sale on Etsy in no time at all. [Yessss!] A few weeks ago, I picked up some beautiful vintage brooches and lace that I’m really excited to use for hair pins and headbands.  I’ve also been making a lot of big, billowy bows that I’d like to incorporate more. Another goal is to make more items for all of the kiddos out there.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think every little girl should have a bow, ribbon or headband to wear proudly atop her head.

Isn’t she a sweetie? I put together a little slide show so you can take a peek at more pics from our little photo session. Some of the photos stars include Joe (garage owner), Kiki (adorable husky), cops (arresting someone for a DUI) and an awesome 1946 Dodge Ram that I’m utterly gaga over.

[rockyou id=157705640&w=700&h=233]

If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured, please shoot me an email!

Well, I’m off to spend a couple hours in the company of this very special little gal.

Aaaaand, if that wasn’t enough fun for a day, it’s Wednesday which means tonight I’ll be eating nachos, drinking Pacificos and catching up with a handful of my favorite ladies (minus one, who is hanging out with her Grandpa-in-law-to-be…we’ll miss you Jamie!)!!

I <3 nacho night!!!

I hope you all have lovely Wednesdays!



wardrobe remix: tara sloane

Whoa, did this this weekend go by waaay too fast for anyone else?

To ease our collective “Monday-is-here-and-it-sucks” pain, here’s a a fun lil Q&A with Tara Sloane, intern extraordinaire.  Typically at work, I’m too preoccupied with trying to cross things off my never-ending to-do list to notice a whole lot, much less what the interns are wearing. Tara’s adorable style, however, caught my eye. Perfectly broken-in cowboy boots, vintage high-waisted skirts, flirty floral prints—there’s no way I was going to let her internship end without featuring her pretty self.

Me: Where’d you get all the pieces of your outfit?
Tara: The blouse and necklace are from my grandma’s closet. She’s saved every piece of clothing she’s owned since probably the ’60s. The skirt is from My Sister’s Closet on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Tights are Topshop and the boots were my grandpa’s old work boots. The glasses are from Savers.

Me: Where would you wear this outfit?

Tara: Class (who says all college gals have to wear Victoria’s Secret Pink sweats?), interning, bookstore or art gallery browsing, wherever I feel the need to look “all grown up.”

Me: You mentioned you get a lot of clothes from your grandma. That’s awesome. Tell me a little about her and her style. What are some of your favorite finds from her closet? If you’re not the same size, what are your tricks for making her clothes work for you?

Tara: From what I gather, my grandma was quite the fashionista. My grandpa used to do a lot of shopping for her, and he has excellent taste. My grandma was always all dolled up. The things I find are mostly classic feminine—satin blouses, floral skirts, housedresses, cardigans.

It’s hit or miss with what fits me. I can’t wear any of her shoes or boots (I have big feet, sigh.), and a lot of things are too big or the styles are too long. I alter a lot of floor-length skirts so that they’re shorter and I belt some of the dresses and blouses so I actually have a waistline. But I love over-sized sweaters, so I”m in the clear there. My favorite thing is a yellow, blue, red and white-striped mod dress. It’s short, kind of jumper-like and zips up the front. Of course I wear it with very Twiggy eyeliner. And get a lot of bizarre looks on the bus.

Me: Do you have a favorite piece of vintage clothing? If so, what is it?

Tara: My grandpa’s boots! I think I’ve given them almost as much wear as he did. I’m also obsessed with my grey tweed Moffat blazer. I like to think these pieces go with just about everything.

Me: What’s your favorite thrift store in town? Why?

Tara: Blacklist Vintage, hands down. I could spend all day in there. Their collections of reinvented vintage are always so fun and quirky, they have the greatest hats and the selection of retro knick knacks (Lite Brite, anyone?) is to die for. They also have a Ms. Pac Man game upstairs you can play for free.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting?

Tara: I guess it’s no different from shopping anywhere else, but don’t buy something unless you absolutely love it. And don’t buy vintage designer just because it’s designer. My grandma has this white and navy Oscar de la Renta cardigan I’ve been trying to make work for years but it won’t. I think it’ll always be frumpy.

Me: Do you have a go-to outfit, something you can throw on anytime and always feel great?

Tara: My friend made me a skirt from this jewel-toned purple fabric we found (surprise, surprise) at my grandma’s. Maybe it’s because she made it for me, or maybe it’s because nobody else in the world has one like it, but I feel so fabulous in that skirt. Plus I can dress it up or down, which is always a plus.

Me: What’s your favorite classic rock song?

Tara: I have been known to belt Queen’s “Somebody to Love” at obnoxious volumes when I need a pick-me-up.

Me: What are you excited about this spring? Any shows? Trips?

Tara: Graduation! Now the fun part of trying to make it as a journalist (ha.) I’m more excited for summer, though, for outdoor shows, music festivals and freckles. I love Minneapolis in the summer because we have to cram in as many outdoor events as possible before it gets cold again. It’s so exciting. A friend and I are also road-tripping to Chicago for Lollapalooza.

Me: Last but not least, are your glasses real?

Tara: No…busted! They’re from Savers, and I wore them to a costume party purely for frivolity’s sake. Then I wore them one night while I was studying, and somehow they just stuck. Now I guess I feel too ordinary or something without them.

Both photos were taken by the very talented Tate Carlson.
Thanks, Tate!

Don’t miss Tara’s article on Uptown’s Cult Status Gallery in the June issue of METRO magazine. It’s a great write-up about the new unique, much buzzed-about art venue.

If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured, email me!

I hope your week is off to a lovely start! Be back later this week with a useful, money-saving how-to.