Shop up a Storm in Minneapolis, America’s Most Underrated Fashion Capital

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New York City might wear the crown as America’s fashion capital, but the style of Minneapolis shouldn’t be underestimated. This Minnesota city punches well above its weight in the fashion stakes. With an unmistakable flair, and no sales tax on shoes and apparel, fashionistas should consider booking a vacation to this underrated style capital.

Excellent Shopping Malls

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Shopping malls are the ideal place for some retail therapy. Where else can you find so many stores in such a small amount of space? The open-air Nicolet Mall is a great place to start as you can enjoy Minneapolis weather while you shop. The pedestrian-friendly 12-block stretch of stores features a GAP, Macy’s, Banana Republic, JB Hudson’s Jewelry, and much more. Stay at the Millennium Hotel Minneapolis, so you don’t have far to lug your purchases.

If you’ve got more energy, consider tackling the Mall of America, the largest mall in the U.S. with more than 500 stores. Many of these are major fashion retailers including Ann Taylor, Burberry, and Calvin Klein. There are also around 50 restaurants once you’ve shopped up an appetite.

Fabulous Vintage Finds

Modern retail stores aren’t for everyone though. If you love the rich past of the Milwaukee Avenue Historic District or just have a tight budget, stay at one of the Minneapolis hotels nearby, and look to the vintage stores.

Via’s Vintage celebrates old Hollywood glamor, with old school apparel and glamorous jewelry and handbags to complete your timeless ensemble. The store has men’s and women’s items and an extensive range of plus-sized pieces.

No thrift store junkie can go past the Salvation Army in the Near North neighborhood. While it doesn’t specialize in fashion, if you’re lucky, you’ll find some great vintage pieces. Serious fashion lovers will want to bypass the tacky stuff on the top floor and head downstairs, where you can find designer-label goods at a fraction of the retail prices. Satisfied shoppers have reported leaving with designer heels for $5 and Coach purses for just $10.

Alternatively you could join Minneapolis local Carole P. on her unique tour of local estate sales. The items sold in these estate sales are invariably cheap, although as you travel in Carole’s limousine, you won’t feel like you’re shopping on a shoestring.

Exciting Original Designers

No city can call itself a fashion capital without having a strong pool of original designers. The works of many of these are showcased at Cliché, an uptown fashion boutique that caters to trend setters who love to experiment with their style.

Showroom is another exciting boutique that nurtures independent fashion and jewelry designers. Green label Kjurek, original T-shirt line F’n Write Tees, and vintage-inspired Sweet Lola Lu are among the labels that showcase their wares at Showroom. Many of these designers also sell their goods online, but Showroom allows you to touch the merchandise, try the pieces on, and get a better idea of what you want to take home.

Where are your favorite fashion stores in Minneapolis? Comment below with any that we’ve missed!

About our contributor:

Lauren Katulka is a happily married, Australian freelance writer contributing to a range of websites including Hipmunk.com, SoundsofOz.com, and many more. When she’s not playing around with words, she loves roller skating, spending time in the kitchen, watching indie films, and cuddling her Devon Rex cat, Gizmo.