We’re putting together a series that will guide you to the best shops and boutiques in popular business districts and neighborhoods.
First up: The intersection of Selby and Snelling in St. Paul. The area greets you cheerfully, beckoning you to park your car and wander for awhile. The neighborhood has become a shopping destination, especially for those who love a good treasure hunt, boasting a wealth of vintage, secondhand, and antique stores. It’s the perfect area for a long Sunday post brunch browse.
Where you’ll find it: 1581 Selby Avenue
What you’ll find: Patina is the grandma of local gift shops, with stores scattered around the metro. The Selby and Snelling location is one of the best, and it’s easy to lose yourself (and spend more than you intended!) as you wander through the store. Stock up on Voluspa candles or Minnesota-themed dish towels for yourself or to keep in case you need a last-minute gift. You’ll find cute greeting cards for nearly any occasion you can think of, a cute present for your favorite niece, and beautiful earrings. Patina has everything, and the store is curated in such a way that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Pro tip: Need a new rug? Patina has a surprisingly great selection of cute throw rugs.
Where you’ll find it: 177 Snelling Avenue
What you’ll find: Indulge your inner Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield at Flirt, a gem of a lingerie shop nestled right on Snelling. (There’s another Flirt location at MSP Airport.) The folks at Flirt describe their style as “sexy-sweet,” and that’s right on the money. They’ve got the sexiest of black lace lingerie, but also the softest, sweetest nighties and robes from beloved brands like Eberjey. Shop at Flirt for glam bachelorette party gifts, or stop in to get fitted for a bra that actually fits by someone who knows what they’re doing. Are bralettes more your style? Flirt has a revolving selection of the most adorable, addictive lacy treasures. They’ve even got feather fans and bubble bath, because you deserve a little glamour in your daily life.
Pro tip: You’ll often be greeted with a glass of bubbly. Just sayin’.
Where you’ll find it: 1587 Selby Avenue
What you’ll find: Lula’s owner, Hayley Bush, is a bonafide vintage expert. The shop has been around for over 20 years, and is a mainstay of the neighborhood. You can browse Lula’s selection of pieces from the ‘40s to the ‘90s, but if you’re feeling adventurous -- or need a helping hand deciding which era fits your body type best -- you can have Bush style you. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Pro tip: If you’re not quite ready to rock a full vintage look, shop Lula’s always-fantastic selection of coats or accessories.
Where you’ll find it: 1599 Selby Avenue
What you’ll find: The nature of the clothing industry is cyclical, and Everyday People follows the same pattern, constantly refreshing its secondhand finds. Previously, Everyday People had outposts in Uptown and Dinkytown. The St. Paul location continues to thrive; it’s expansive and packed to the gills with everything from Dayton’s Oval Room dresses to last season’s H&M. Like any good secondhand store, it’s different every time you visit, which is part of the magic.
Pro tip: Just cleaned out your closet? Bring in a few bags of clothing and do a trade; you can also get store credit to use on your next visit.
Up Six Vintage
Where you’ll find it: 189 Snelling Avenue
What you’ll find: Up Six Vintage opened its doors in 2001, and has been selling affordable, colorful vintage for men and women ever since. They’ve got it all: vintage Twins tees, music tees, Western shirts, ‘50s dresses, vintage exercise-wear -- you name it. They’ve even got clothes for kiddos.
Pro tip: Follow them on Instagram to check out the newest pieces first.
Where you’ll find it: 1560 Selby Avenue
What you’ll find: Tiny people need great clothes, too, and Teeny Bee is a go-to shop for St. Paul parents and out-of-towners alike. Their pieces are modern and versatile, not babyish; you won’t find any cheesy graphic onesies here. If you’re outfitting your little ones for a family photo or want to solidify your standing as the best godmother of all time, you should definitely check out Teeny Bee.
Pro tip: The store likes to merchandise outfits with kid-friendly versions of classic lit (think looks paired with pieces like War and Peace, Emma, and Great Expectations), which is a fabulous gift idea.
Spoils of Wear
Where you’ll find it: 1566 Selby Avenue
What you’ll find: If you visit the Spoils of Wear website, you’ll see that you can “Shop by Values.” The store is all about supporting fair trade, zero-waste, made in the USA, and sustainable brands, and it’s attracted a following of like-minded shoppers. As we know now, dressing sustainability doesn’t mean you have to go with a crunchy granola look; you can make a difference with your dollar and stay stylish. Owner Jill Erickson opened the store to bridge the gap between thrift stores, fast fashion, and upscale price points, andkeeps an online blog about the realities of shopping ethically.
Pro tip: Keep an eye on the shop’s events for pop-up astrology readings and more.
Mall of St. Paul
Where you’ll find it: 1817 Selby Avenue
What you’ll find: Don’t go into the sprawling Mall of St. Paul if you’re short on time. The antique mall needs to be explored, not rushed through. The Mall features antiques, collectibles, vinyl, clothing, décor, and more from over 50 vendors, so you truly never really know what you’re going to find. Will you ride away on a new vintage bike? Perhaps you’ll find the record you’ve been hunting for? Did you decide to redecorate your bathroom? It’s all possible at the Mall of St. Paul.
Pro tip: Bring a big reusable tote to carry your purchases home. You’ll need it.
Where you’ll find it: 1750 Selby Avenue
What you’ll find: If more traditional antiques are your thing, then visit Missouri Mouse. This is one of the best shops in the Twin Cities, with a thrillingly fabulous selection of everything from primitive furniture to vintage holiday décor to Art Deco glassware. Prices are a bit higher at the Mouse, but you know you’re getting the good stuff.
Pro tip: Don’t bring kids. The Mouse is full of treasures that may find too tempting for little hands. Opt for a small crossbody bag when shopping, as the aisles’ nooks and crannies can be difficult to navigate with an unwieldy bag.