Thrift Shopping Tips For Plus Sizes
Sure there are plenty of online places & specialty shops that sell vintage plus size clothing but with these retailers you are more likely to pay much higher prices. The true vintage shopper not only utilizes these sort of resources but can also scout out vintage clothing at secondhand thrift shops!
The very first rule when shopping for any vintage fashion is that you absolutely MUST try it on before making a decision one way or another. Vintage clothing often operates on a sizing scale very different from our own modern sizing. For example an item from 1950 may read medium or large when it may fit more like a small or extra small based on current sizing standards. This size discrepancy is influenced by past trends & styles, a result of natural shrinkage, as well as the simple fact that Americans have grown, & our sizing has come to follow. It’s also important to try things on even if you assume they will fit because you never truly know how something will look on your body until you are actually wearing it. Don’t waste money, try it on first.
Browse the plus size section. I feel that there is a stigma to shopping the plus size section of a thrift store, you are more likely to find an elderly woman browsing this department than a young woman. This is a complete shame as there are so many great pieces to uncover here. Even if you are on the smaller end of plus sized this is a great place to look. Having previously worked at a Goodwill I know that the matter on which they sort & organize clothing can be inconsistent to say the least. Clothing is moved around all the time, one employee may register a size large top as plus sized while a second employee would place the item with the rest of the women’s tops instead of the plus section. There is so much variance in the sizing & organization throughout the store that you must be willing to do a little digging.
The plus size section is also a great place to find those oversized pieces that we all love. As I previously mentioned the sizes in the plus department range greatly & because of this it’s often easy to find oversized pieces no matter your size!
Being a regular at the secondhand store circuit I come across so many cute & chic pieces in larger sizes every time I visit. This is potentially even more than I do when browsing for smaller vintage clothes. I also believe that finding smaller vintage clothing can be difficult because of all the competition there are for these pieces. The stigma between larger sizes & predispositions about weight & body lead to less people shopping this market, this means that there is a surplus of vintage plus size clothing available for purchase. The key to finding great vintage clothing is having a keen eye + learning how to look at an item & identify the ways that you could wear, style, & accessorize it. Possessing such a vision will help you recognize the potential in pieces that you may not have seen before. Ditch your predispositions & get exploring, you never know what you may find!
I've included a gallery below with a few of my own vintage plus size items.