Sunday, February 27, 2011

Special Trip: The U.P. Edition—Ironwood, MI Part II

Even though we have been extolling the joys of spring (and summer) dressing for the past few weeks, it is time to face facts. It is still very, very cold outside. There is still snow on the ground. Most of my thrifted fashions continue to be the winter ones. For all of these reasons, I present you with the final installment of the U.P. edition Special Trip!

As you may remember from my first post about this Special Trip, my family went skiing in Northern WI during the first week of January, which gave me the opportunity to hit up some of my favorite U.P. thrift shops in Ironwood, MI. The most exciting part of the whole deal is that we were finally able to check out the St. Vincent dePaul that had been evading me for a year. Since my mother, Molly and I spent so much time at the Gogebic Area Thrift shop the day before, we were thisclose to missing out on it for a second year. In major part because of Molly's insistence, however, instead of heading right back to MPLS, my brothers, my fiance, Molly and I decided to tool around Ironwood for the afternoon—which included some lite thrifting at the St. Vinnies.

And the wait was worth it—not only were there major deals (all sweaters and coats were 50% off, with winter hats and accessories Buy 1 Get 1 Free), but everyone had success in finding
unbelievable pieces.

St. Vincent DePaul Shop in Ironwood

My brother, Scott, right after arriving at the shop and jumping for joy.

Even though the place didn't look that large from the outside (as is often the case that thrift shops in small towns are rather tiny), it turned out to be huge. It consisted of three large rooms, one for clothing and shoes, one for furniture and housewares, and another designated, curiously, for "crafts," which included this creepy basket of doll heads.

Doll Heads at the St. Vinnies in Ironwood

(Question: is blue hair for homemade dolls 'in,' or am I just missing something?)

Chris' Cassette Tapes

Also creepy—a cassette tape entitled "Contraception—Why not?" (still unclear as to if the title is meant to be negative or affirmative). Chris walked away with a more desirable set of tapes, my personal favorite being MTV Party To Go Vol. 2.

As you may guess, the real finds of the day came from the 50% deals. Even though one would think that the winter clothing would be picked over by this time, we found some major treasures.

"Shit Happens" Sweatshirt
"Shit Happens" Sweatshirt (detail)

A perfect example of why one should always being on the look out until the last moment you are in the store, Chris grabbed this "Shit Happens" sweatshirt on his way out and tossed it on top of my pile as I was waiting in line to pay. I mean, really.

Navajo-ish Pattern Sweater
Navajo-ish Pattern Sweater (detail)

Yellow sweater, another find by Chris.

Vintage Ironwood Red Devils Sweater
Vintage Ironwood Red Devils Sweater (detail)

This vintage "Ironwood Red Devils" sweater is one piece that I was initially ho-hum about but later realized it was a great find. I purchased it for the fit and the vintage-ness, but it wasn't until I wore it to work the other day that I realized the true beauty of its super soft inside—even though the piece is clearly old, the inner fabric is so soft it feels like brand new fleece. How the fabric maintained its softness and did not pill after years of wear and washing, I have no idea, but I am pleased that it did!

Teal and Maroon Stocking Cap
Teal Stocking Cap
90's Ski Headband

Nothing like a bunch of teal stocking caps and strange 90's headbands to beat the winter blues.

Floral Patterned Dress
Floral Patterned Dress (detail)

I usually refuse to give in to the temptation to buy poly pieces, but this dress with its amazing floral pattern was unstoppable. Between the cut and the print, it may just be my new favorite dress. What is even better is that even though it is made of a thin fabric, the dark colors are such that it doesn't look weird layering it with other pieces, like a slip and leggings, so I don't even have to wait for warm weather to bust it out!

The best news? I am now all out of Special Trips to share on Operation Sparkle, so that means I get to go on some more! Stay tuned!


  1. AHHHHH!!!! I <3 that dress! I am having serious jealousy issues over here in STP! DAMNIT!

  2. Hi Holly,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Ironwood to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!