Update Your Look with Vintage-inspired Fashion

Vintage-inspired looks can be yours from lake-area boutiques.
Val's expertly mixes old and new pieces to create a fresh, eclectic look.

Occasionally, fashion forward means looking backward. Three area vintage and vintage-inspired shops specialize in helping fashionistas explore bygone eras. Mint d’or, Val’s and Circa Modern Vintage help shoppers discover those one-of-a-kind pieces to pop a current look or rock a full-on fashion flashback.


Mint d’or | 436 Second St., Excelsior; 612.240.5208

Owner Ann Hicks first operated her vintage business out of her home, collecting fabulous items from trips to New York, Phoenix and Miami. That is, until her teenage son commented that living among Hicks’ vintage finds was a bit like living with a hoarder. “That’s when I knew it was time for a shop,” she says.

Mint d’or is open one long weekend per month or by appointment. The shop focuses on putting together great vintage looks for women–for day-to-day mixing vintage with current pieces or possibly an ensemblefor a special event or trip. And although her pieces may not be new, Hicks says they are in perfect condition and are still relevant to today’s fashion. “We don’t buy anything ripped or torn,” Hicks says.

The Excelsior purveyor also stocks tons of vintage handbags and sparkly 1950s jewelry. Hicks says, “I change handbags all the time. Changing bags or adding great vintage accessories can change an entire look.” While most of the jewelry she sells is vintage, vintage earrings are typically screw-back, so Hicks is looking to add a line of jewelry with pierced earrings that are unique and true to the style of Mint D’or.

In addition to clothes, bags and jewelry, Mint D’or carries a few home décor pieces, as well as vintage glassware and barware. “Our chic martini sets, decanters and glasses are in perfect condition,” says Hicks. “They make a real statement on a buffet and also make great gifts.”


Val’s | 438 Second St., Excelsior; 952.923.2673

In 2011, Val Bishop left corporate America to open Val’s in Excelsior, a boutique that offers vintage and vintage-inspired new apparel. Bishop has always been into fashion and has been working on her own clothing line of tops and dresses made with vintage fabrics. There are a couple of racks of authentic vintage pieces in the shop, as well as some great vintage cowboy boots, but the clothing is a mix of old and new. There are contemporary styles, classic cuts, simple cuts and all sizes.

“We also offer handmade jewelry by individual artists,” says Bishop. “The pieces are beautiful and unique. Some are asymmetrical. Some silver. Some beaded. And I hope to bring in other local jewelry artists for the holidays.”

Val’s is decorated with vintage wallpaper from Amsterdam. The shop fixtures are made from unique plumbing pieces that make the shopping experience funky and unique. And when browsing through their European brands, the mix of rustic and refined will make finding your next treasure a delightful thrill.


Circa Modern Vintage | 217 Minnetonka Ave. S., Wayzata; 952.583.2389

Laura McPhillips has been a vintage enthusiast her whole life. “I’ve always enjoyed the thrill of the hunt,” she says. Circa Modern Vintage has been her baby for four years and has recently expanded to 1,500 square feet, triple their previous space.

The term “vintage” can mean designs from any previous era, but Circa Modern Vintage targets the 1950s and ’60s Mad Men period. The shop carries primarily clothing, vintage costume jewelry, handbags and cocktail dresses.

Circa Modern Vintage accepts items brought in for sale and mixes the items with some new clothing. They’re currently scouting local designers as part of a new concept to support area fashion. “We are the cool place to put a look together,” McPhillips says. “We carry vintage that someone who thinks they wouldn’t like vintage would want to buy.”