The Cat and the Cobra (Photo by Max Anderson)

Try thrift & vintage shopping

Turn back the clock, freshen up your look

When you’re in search of new clothing, don’t go straight to all the fast-fashion popular clothing brands. Instead, try thrifting and vintage shopping.

“Thrifting” is shopping at a less sorted- through store of used clothing with a wide variety of styles, while “vintage” shopping has a theme for each individual shop so you know what your going to find there and is sorted through to curate the best stuff for you.

You still may be thinking, why should I go to some crummy old thrift store? It’s an eco-friendly way to find new clothing. Better yet, it’s unique because you’re not buying something still made in mass quantities, but something that there is only one of at that store. As an additional bonus, you will usually find that when thrifting, the clothing is cheaper.

When you go thrifting, it is simply a good time — a time to scavenge for hid- den gems that you wouldn’t find at any other big brand shops. The thing about thrift stores is that it’s not one style, it’s all styles, so you’re sure to find something that you think is cool.

Fortunately, the Twin Cities offer a variety of vintage and thrift stores, here are some you should check out. Here are a few that deserve your attention.

Fieldhouse Vintage

big clothing brands, but some things can be more expensive because of their value; an average piece of clothing there would be $25 to $30 dollars.

Anthony Balisteria, co-owner of Field- house, loves working there.

“I used to do it when I was younger, my mom used to always go to the thrift store and that is kind of how we started,” said Balisteria.

“It’s a good way to just be out of the norm,” he said, “and also it’s eco-friendly.” Taking into account both of these things, why wouldn’t you want to thrift at Fieldhouse? There is something so cool about having your own unique pieces, and Fieldhouse is one of those places to find those one of a kind items.

Final Stop Vintage

If you find yourself at Fieldhouse Vintage, it wouldn’t hurt for you to check out Final Stop vintage while you’re there, because it is in the same building. Final Stop is a quaint little shop that has a variety of vintage clothing from the ‘80s to the early 2000s.

Like Fieldhouse, you will find lots of street-wear style clothing, and the pricing is about the same. The owner of Final Stop Vintage, Jason Calboni, really enjoys thrifting — and animal designs.

“It came out of necessity actually,” said Calboni. “During the pandemic, I lost my job. I had to pay the bills and make ends meet.”

Calboni stayed positive throughout it all.

“I started selling my old clothes,” said Calboni, “I was lucky enough to get my own store.”

Now that Calboni has a shop, it’s so much more fun for people to come and shop and see the items in person, instead of on facebook marketplace.

“I was really into Minnesota foresty vibes.” said senior Penny Sedgwick, who found what she was looking for and went home with some fun pieces that are unique to her.

“The older stuff I found are better quality than what’s being made now,” said Calboni, who explained that fast-fashion shops have started putting less effort into craftsmanship. With vintage clothing, you’re always going to find good materials and good quality.

Final Stop has lots of awesome un- matched vintage clothing that you can get for a great price.

Goodwill bins

If you choose to go thrifting and you’re feeling adventurous, I suggest going to the Goodwill outlet, at University and Fairview avenues in St. Paul, not far east of Fieldhouse and Final Stop.

Of course, there are lots of normal Goodwills in lots of other locations, but this one is the closest to Minnehaha.

“The Goodwill bins are a little more of an experience,” said junior Aliyah Freeman. “[You’ll be] getting your hands dirty sometimes, but it’s a lot of fun be- cause you can get a ton of stuff for a re- ally cheap price.”

Freeman is right, the prices are impeccably cheap. You pay by the number of pounds of clothing you have, and the more you buy, the less each pound costs (each pound costs around $1 to $2).

At this Goodwill, you go through rows of bins filled with clothes, and you dig around for whatever you can find, throw- ing it in your cart. The Goodwill bins are a great place to go when you have time to spare and you’re with friends. It isn’t just looking for clothes but doing so with people who also enjoy it.

Freshman Elle Stender agrees that the bins are a great place to go thrifting “because they’re extremely cheap, and it’s like a treasure hunt.”

My one piece of advice would have to be: wash your clothes at least twice when you get home, because they can be a little bit more dirty than your average thrift store’s clothes.

Smile Back Vintage

Located on Lyndale Avenue South in Uptown is Smile Back Vintage, an authentic vintage clothing store with good finds for good prices.

“I think it’s cool how it’s like a local store,” said sales associate Declan McCarthy. “Vintage is kind of a way to be a little more unique with it.”

Smile Back specializes in ‘80s- and ‘90s-style clothing and has a wide selection. Recently, I found a nice Brown puffer vest for $30, which is the pricing for an average item there. Their prices can be a little higher, because it is vintage cloth- ing that has become more valuable, and there aren’t as many of that item, Considering that, it is a good price range for their clothes.

Along with the vintage clothing, Smile Back has their own clothing, with their logo, and there are a couple different designs that are really cool.

“You’re not buying brand new stuff and then just like throwing it away when you’re done,” said McCarthy. “You’re kind of like reusing it and kind of sharing.”

The Cat and the Cobra

Hidden away in a suite on 2nd Street is where you can find The Cat and the Cobra, a vintage store that has one-of-a-kind pieces that you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

“You’re not going to see someone else wearing the exact same shirt as you,” said employee Justin Bremner. “You’re the only one that owns that item.”

The Cat and the Cobra is a mix of street- wear and grungy clothing. You can find a large rack of Carhartt pants and lots of cozy knitted sweaters. The Cat and the Cobra has a plethora of different items and they are reasonably priced, though sometimes be- ing a little more expensive than the other shops, but the value for most of their pieces are top notch.

Bremner, like all the other shop workers or owners, notices that the older clothing, like Levi’s, were made to last, and are more durable. That’s why The Cat and the Cobra would be an awesome spot to check out, because they have lots of pieces that are good quality.


Of course, there are always basic thrift shops you can find anywhere like Goodwill, which sophomore Finn Christiansen says is “pretty reliable,” or you can check out Plato’s Closet, because when all else fails you can always go to one of these thrift stores. Plus they are open more days than the vintage shops.

If you don’t already thrift, I hope this has enticed you to try it out. If you already have, I hope you go try out some of these places, because these are truly some of people’s favorite vintage and thrift stores in our area. There really aren’t any rea- sons not to thrift, because it’s cheaper, eco-friendly, unique to you, sustainable, and lastly, it’s lots of fun. Why not try it?


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