Before you read this post, head over here to read my thoughts on the problem with thrift stores and the – generally speaking – lack of fashionable options for plus-size women. Below are some of my tips in response to that post.
Research plus-size only consignment shops in your area
There are a handful of shops that cater specifically to plus-size women. Even if it’s a bit of a drive, it might be worth it!
Thrift shop online and know your measurements
A number of online thrift stores are popping up and carry plus-size clothing, including ThredUp and Restitch.com. Knowing your measurements will help tremendously. If the measurements aren’t listed, it might not be worth the risk. eBay and Poshmark also offer a large plus-size selection as well and sellers usually list the measurements. If they don’t, ask them before you buy.
Ignore the size (sometimes) and try stuff on
I have mixed feelings about this tip because it can’t be universally applied. Meaning, sometimes you just know when something isn’t going to fit, because you know which styles work best for your body type. However, thrift stores carry a variety of brands, and sizing isn’t always consistent so you may be pleasantly surprised after you’ve tried it on.
Quickly browse other departments
I have found some of the best gems at thrift stores because they were misplaced. Take a quick peek in other departments, including men’s clothing to see what you find.
Find a great tailor and consider alterations
Alterations are generally a lot more affordable than they used to be about 10 years ago ( I worked for a dry cleaner all throughout high school and college, so I know firsthand how expensive general alterations used to be!) If you find something that you love that needs a bit of an adjustment, it’s worth the few dollars you’ll pay for the item and the small splurge to alter it into a beautiful piece made for your body.
Learn the brands
Get to know great plus-size brands that you love by doing a little research online beforehand and storing the list in your phone.
Ask your favorite local thrift store what they are doing to become more inclusive and intentional with their selections. Local Goodwill stores and consignment shops are often very receptive to this idea. Reach out to them on social media or send an email to someone on their retail leadership team with tips and ideas, if you have any to share.
Coming soon: a comprehensive list of places to shop in NE Ohio for secondhand plus-size clothing.