Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hey Doll, It's Time For a Fall Haul!

And boy, have I been taking advantage of the deals this season! You gotta get out there, Thriftdoggers. That's all I'm sayin'. Especially if you are seeking the fall 2014 uniform all of your coworkers are wearing - skinny pants, long sweaters, tunics, leather or jean jackets with shirts peeking out underneath, denim shirts, boots or flats, big scarves and large, preferably leather or tried and true Coach/ Dooney/ Longchamp totes to pull the look together. I call it the waiting-for-the-Light Rail-but-everyone-knows-you-own-a-nice-car look. Smart, polished, hipster, affluent. Yet the look is almost laughably easy to get on the cheap if you know where to buy.

Here's the thing about shopping in the Twin Cities and it's outlying areas: there is no reason, IMHO, to buy clothes for full price anywhere. I mean, why would you? Have you been to a Clothes Mentor lately? Or to the Salvation Army Thrift Store - Bloomington?  You know what I've found in said places in the last few months that have convinced me not to pay full retail price anywhere this fall? Well, I'm going to tell you. No really, I insist.

Thriftdog's Fall Haul

Salvation Army Thrift Store - Bloomington: I've reviewed this place before and I adore it. This fall alone I purchased a hip length, Gap all-leather coat for $14.99, a beautiful grey and black tweed Wet Seal tea-length coat bulky enough for layering for $11.99, a deep green/black Saudi-style scarf, which I've had comps on everywhere I've worn it, for $0.99, a beautifully soft, men's Chinese cashmere sweater, which I wear with leggings, the green scarf and boots, for $5.99 (five bucks for cashmere!!); a jean jacket for $4.99 and a red tartan, super wide belt with big silver studs all over it (punky but not dangerous), which I can wear with a simple black dress, the jean jacket and boots.Oh, and a like-new pair of fab grey and turquoise Converse sneaks for $5.99. 

ALERT: If you are looking for leather and suede jackets of all lengths and puffer vests - before you shop at the mall, come here first.

Clothes Mentor, Eden Prairie: A black Coach Bag for $45.00. Ok, it's a Coach Factory bag, but it' s beautiful, roomy, beautifully lined, perfect condition and 45 bucks
Plus a Dooney "Tiny East West" black pebble leather handbag - perfect for a night out, mint condition - thirty bucks! For a leather Dooney!!

(P.S. - As of this writing, there is a pumpkin orange Longchamp tote on sale over there for seventy bucks. Almost bought it, but I didn't, so if you want one...)

Clothes Mentor, Roseville: Another Dooney bag, this one brand new with the tags on and registration card still in the pocket - a huge tiger striped tote for $125.00 (discounted about 50 bucks off the store price). A gorgeous, deep chocolate brown, shearling lined Calvin Klein down coat for $45.00. A gold, shiny Jennifer Lopez military-syle slouchy sweater for $14.99 (some of her clothes are amazing), a couple pairs of designer jeans in the 14.00-16.00 range and a couple of thick, higher end sweaters in that price range as well.

Needless to say, right now the Clothes Mentors in town are my new best friends. I've found great stuff at the stores above, plus the ones in Edina and Woodbury. They specialize in designer and higher end label women's fashions for a bit heftier price point than the Goodwill-type stores, but still very reasonable given the merchandise. While they are all individually owned and franchised, I have yet to find a one so far, in my grand sweep of the Twin Cities, that has disappointed me. I have seen labels there, in addition to the ones I purchased, from Rag and Bone to Banana Republic to North Face to Ann Taylor Loft. Designer bags of all types. They even get a few Louis Vuitton's drifting through on special days. 

So really, if you need  your own  Hipster Fall Haul, my recommendation is this: Start at a great uber-cheap place like Salvation Army Thrift Store - Bloomington for the fun basics and a few treats, then head over to a Clothes Mentor or two or three for the stuff you want but would rather walk over nails than pay full price for. Then when you head off to work, not only will you look cool enough to stand next to the "right" people on the Light Rail, but you may even have saved enough to actually park your car downtown.

Clothes Mentor Roseville
2401 Fairview Ave N
Roseville, Minnesota 55113 


Clothes Mentor Eden Prairie
8425 Joiner Way 
Eden Prairie, Minnesota


Salvation Army Thrift Store - Bloomington
710 West 98th Street
Bloomington, MN 55420 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Burnsville Salvation Army

Reviewed March 22, 2014

So, I'm now comfortably ensconced in my new Lowertown St. Paul digs, spring is in the air (sort of), and my good friend Dorene invites me to do lunch and some end-of-season thrift shopping. Did I jump at this chance? Well, duh. I needed all kinds of stuff for the new place and, like most of us at this point, I have major winter cabin fever. Time to bust out the single dollar bills and fill up the Hefty garbage bags with lots of new second-hand stuff. (Ok, I don't really use Hefty garbage bags. I just said that for dramatic effect. No offense to Hefty. I actually use my fire-engine red Dooney tote when I shop ' cause, you know, I be stylin'.)

The first place on our list was the Salvation Army located on Fairview Drive in Burnsville, (formerly 14101 Irving Ave.South), a side of town I had never shopped before.  I came in looking for lots of stuff - bedding, bath mats, sheets, spring tops and whatever else I could find to add some spring zest to the new place. I found almost everything I was looking for  - two high thread count sheets (one of which was brand new) each for around $5.99, two beautiful white embroidered linen pillow cases for a couple of bucks, a lovely pink bath mat (let's face it, the best place to find cheap furry bath mats always seems to be the Salvation Army), a perfectly tailored, beautifully fitting Express spring jacket for $6.99 and a great Target leopard print top for work days for about the same. Dorene made out like a bandit in the purse department, picking one faux Kate Spade color block number that easily could have passed for the real thing.

Now, at this SA I really didn't see anything much in the way of "designer", such as you can find over in the Bloomington SA if you look real hard, but this one certainly won the top award in several categories: merchandise care (both Dorene and I were impressed -  no grubby, wrinkly stuff to be seen here), cleanliness of the facility and the simplicity of the layout - do you hate going to places where there is no rhyme or reason to where they place things, just throwing all the stuff willy-nilly on racks for YOU to figure out? Me too. Well, here the merchandise was placed politely by size, type and color, and I found grabbing things to throw in my cart very easy - all I had to do was roll it down the aisle, jump, grab and pull, and before I knew it, I had my shopping cart full to overflowing.

Which, when all rang up, came to a grand total of $37.00 for two king sheets, a bath mat, two tops, a blazer,  two pairs of workout pants, two pillowcases and a great pair of comfy black slippers. Not high-end label stuff perhaps, but perfectly usable just the same. More wonderful still, that feeling of triumph at a superior thriftdogging experience, long missing this cold and barren winter, washed over me anew like liquid sunshine.

The Salvation Army in Burnsville is a great place to start your spring thrifting romp. If the selection is still as good as it was on the day we went, then you, too will surely feel a bit of sun under your pits as you raise your arms to grab stuff. And that, as we Thriftdoggers know, is a great way to start the spring.

The Salvation Army
13901 Fairview Drive
Burnsville, MN 55337                                                                                                                         

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji  EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji
Salvation Army Thrift Store on Citysearch

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hey, There!  Hi There! Ho There! It's Spring Shopping Time!

I'll bet you thought I dropped off the face of the earth, didn't you? Well, it sure felt like I did - didn't YOU feel like that this horrible-ist of horrible winters??

My apologies, Thriftdoggers, but it was just too damn COLD these last few months to go anywhere but to work and the grocery store and then back home and under a blanket or ten. But guess what?? It's now above freezing, the snow is melting, I need tons of new spring clothes and I'm heading to the Burnsville thrift stores this weekend! So beware and watch out and whoa Nelly!! New reviews up sooon--------

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Holidays from the Donut Queen!

Hi there. You may be wondering where I've been these last few weeks. (Or maybe not. Maybe you're too busy thriftdogging merrily through the chilly weather to notice.)

Unfortunately, I've been unusually busy with some other projects which have left me with very little time to post. My apologies, for in addition to this blog and my "day job", I have some outside gigs I do to feed my thriftdogging pockets which have been taking up all of my time lately, and will do so until after the holidays. So you might not see as many ThriftDog updates as usual in the next month or two. I am trying to put up a couple for the month of December though, and hope to be able to bring you some reviews of places closer to the St. Paul area after the New Year.

In the mean time, here are my top three recommendations, from ThriftDog's current list of reviews, for finding great gifts this holiday season...

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji Clothes Mentor, 7585 France Ave S., Edina, MN

An awesome place to buy something special for the fashionista on your list for mere bucks. Great stuff, great condition, great prices. I practically live at this place.

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji75% Salvaged, 50th and Xerxes, Minneapolis MN

You can find wonderful, vintage  gifts of all kinds at this fun store for very reasonable prices.


EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiFashion Avenue, 4936 France Avenue South, Edina, MN
(952) 929-7919

Ok, dudes. Are you ready to buy your special one and only a Louis Vuitton bag?? Almost every woman wants one. What? You can't afford two thousand bucks for a brand new LV? Well, head on over to FA and pick up a gently used one for mere hundreds! (Women have been known to put out extra, um...cookies for one of these, you know.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Clothes Mentor, Edina MN

Reviewed October 20, 2013

Ah, fall. There is simply no better time, IMHO, to shop thrift and designer consignment for all the yummy cold-weather castoff's from well-heeled and generous women's closets. It's heaven
for this Donut Queen, especially if I find some place that always seems to have a fresh new crop of better-label merchandise to explore every time I go in there. This fall, that place for me has been Clothes Mentor in Edina.

I LOVE this store, for many reasons. First, it's located on France Ave., right down the street from Southdale and in the same strip mall as the Whole Foods where I shop, and second, because it's in Edina, and let's just say they have a bigger slew of higher-end donations in this part of town..

I was actually at Clothes Mentor TWICE this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, that's how much fun I was having. On Saturday, I picked up a luscious, camel-colored Ralph by Ralph Lauren shearling vest for fourteen dollars that is beyond cozy to wear and - wait for this - a North Face - yes, THE North Face - fleece pullover, in perfect condition, for eight bucks. On Sunday, I found some like-new Gap basics and a lovely DKNY sweater, for around thirty bucks total.

(To be fair, when I came back on Sunday hollering to any employee who would listen that I'd purchased a North Face top there the day before for eight dollars, they all graciously congratulated me but said that that piece was almost certainly mismarked. So while they do get North Face here, apparently due to a pricing error I got uncommonly lucky with my purchase.)

Still, their prices, while not Salvation Army low, are extremely reasonable given the styles and condition of the merchandise. The shop is clean and roomy and, though not high-end couture, still carries everything from J. Crew to Ralph Lauren to Citizens of Humanity and all kinds of great brands in between. Everything I saw on the racks was clean, expertly pressed and sanely organized for customers according to size, subsize, color and category. It's very easy to find what you are looking for here, which is one of my pet peeves about the Salvation Army-type stores. I hate having to try to find my size in row after row of jeans just pushed onto the racks unorganized. It's such a pleasure to be able to go right up and find my size without hassle, even if  doing so costs me slightly more than $4.99 a for pair of Gap 1969's.

Do they carry Dooney & Bourke and Coach bags? Yes. I know because I've sold some of mine there. When you sell with them, you get cash on the spot, as opposed to waiting for a consignment sale. You might get slightly less than if you sell for consignment somewhere else, but you don't have to wait for your item to sell to get paid, and compared to the jack-sh*t returns some places give you on your used clothing (ahem, Plato's Closet), you'll get a fair price here if your stuff is in tip-top condition.

So if you're in the area and you need some new fall threads on a budget, I highly recommend the Edina Clothes Mentor. You 'll probably catch me there, hunting for more North Face stuff or chatting with my new employee friend Ashley, who loves to talk fashion and will bend over backwards to help you. And when you're finished, you can trot across the parking lot to Whole Foods and make a healthy snack of all the free Saturday and Sunday samples they have out. Who said you have to spend big Edina bucks to rock Edina? Not you, sista.

Clothes Mentor
7585 France Ave, S.
Edina, MN 55435

EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiClothes Mentor on Citysearch