Unique Thrift Store

You must go to the Unique Thrift Store in St. Paul’s North End. Soon.

Unique Thrift Store Haul, St. Paul, MN

Unique Thrift Store haul, St. Paul, MN

Unique Thrift Store
1657 Rice St. (Rice & Larpenteur)
St. Paul, MN
(its sister store in Columbia Heights was rated 2007 City Pages Best Thrift Store, but we all know how much to trust City Pages when it comes to rating businesses – so trust me instead!)

Let me start out with one caveat: there are no dressing rooms, and there are no returns allowed. This is no place to buy a pair of jeans. That said, it is a great place to buy pretty much anything else. Why?

You can get ten brand-name shirts for the price of one. It’s all in one place. You won’t see your neighbor in your shirt tomorrow. With a measuring tape, you can guess at what will fit and/or try it on over your clothes. It has a good selection for men, women, and kids (unlike TurnStyle, which carries a grand total of 5 men’s shirts). 

At Unique Thrift Store, style again becomes treasure hunting, not the art of spending money. Fashion experiments become possible. There are wetsuits. There are sweatsuits. There are unitards. Nobody will hassle you while you search. It’s mostly well organized, but occasionally you find XL and small shirts mingling on a rack like it’s high school prom. If your style trends towards the preppie, you will find Hollister and Abercrombie brands. If you like sequins, you will find beaded and sequined articles galore. Sundresses? Basketball jerseys? McCain/Palin shirts? Check, check, and check.

It’s a business model I can feel good supporting (for-profit, but buys from charitable orgs like ARC and isn’t funneling money to keep a sweatshop spinning… most importantly it keeps unwanted clothes out of the landfill). Did I mention it’s cheap?

I spent about two hours there yesterday and made off with the haul pictured above. I have clothes to wear to work and clothes to wear not at work. I have a raincoat. I have a laptop case. I spent under $70.

It’s mostly clean, and was very crowded on a Saturday. I did feel a bit grimy and overwhelmed when I left (I had to go wash a lot of black gunk from the hangers off my hands), but I’m still not feeling any buyer’s remorse.

Try Unique! I’m sure you’ll find something to take home – for $3.95 or less! For more opportunities for thrift store shopping, or other ideas for living greenly and cheaply, check out EcoCheapo Twin Cities.

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