It’s no secret: I love clothes. I love to keep my closet on constant refresh – especially as the seasons change. As a Minnesota girl, I get the chance to reinvent myself every season! The downside COULD be painful to my wallet. But I found the Twin Cities best-kept shopping secret a few years ago and thought I’d share it with you gentle readers. But I’ll caution you right now: if you are a size small with a penchant for vintage and polka dots…stop reading. Maybe you go to Macy’s instead of what I am about to tell you 😉
Where is this magical place that is both kind to your wallet and chock full of amazing finds all specifically catered to you? It may not the first place you think of to score designer goods at a ridiculous price… but I urge you to consider the nonprofit Arc’s Value Village. Now you may be thinking “ok cool…another thrift store” but this one has an added bonus: a free personal shopping service created by Michelle Raven.
I schedule my appointment every season. I believe you have a 90 day grace period between appointments so it works out really well for me to utilize it every spring, summer, fall, and winter. The process is pretty simple and takes about 10-15 minutes to set up your style profile within the personal shopping site. I always add a link to my Pinterest Style Board to give my stylist an idea of who I am and the types of patterns, fits, and styles I am drawn to. As many of you know, I headed back to into an office environment and was desperately in need of business professional clothes. And while I love higher end brands… I do not love their brand new mall prices. So I made sure to specifically add in my style profile that I was looking for office attire.
Recently I had the pleasure of working with Sara Stomschar-Lott as my stylist and let me tell you, she did NOT disappoint. She had a full rack waiting for me with my own private dressing room set up with everything a working woman could possibly need. I was met with Jcrew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Black House/White Market, and Calvin Klein all in my size and flattering fits. Some items still had their original tags and had never been worn!
Each appointment is an hour, which may sound like a long time, but when you have 50+ outfits to try that hour goes by so quickly! I remember my first appointment years ago my main concern was hurting my stylist’s feelings if I came across an outfit or clothing that I didn’t like. I was nervous to tell them no! But my worries were naught; there is absolutely no pressure to buy anything or “minimum” amount of money you need to spend. I think we can all remember our days of buying Silver jeans from the Buckle and being stalked around the store. You don’t get that vibe at all which I think is so important in making their clients feel comfortable with the service.
My total came out to $135 for 25 designer pieces and I know for a fact those Banana Republic or Calvin Klien dresses I purchased retail for more than $135 each.
I love that Arc’s Value Village is local with 5 Twin Cities locations. I’ve been to 4 of the locations since I don’t venture over to St. Paul very often and I’d say that Richfield or Bloomington are probably where I’ve found most of my favorite scores. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve most likely seen me in an Arc’s outfit.
Thanks for following along! I really do enjoy sharing my thrifting finds with you. I hope you find some value in the tips, tricks, and places I share. If you’re interested in getting some serious fashion steals using the personal styling service, head over here and you’ll be on your way to a budget-friendly wardrobe!
*DISCLAIMER*As with most thrift stores, some of the clothes do tend to come with that “thrift store” scent but that doesn’t deter me from a good deal. A good washing or dry-clean 9 times out of 10 takes care of that.