Resale & Thrift Store Shopping for Plus Sizes

Let’s be honest here, we all would love to look fabulous and save money at the same time, right? Nothing feels better than finding something gorgeous at a fraction of the price, meaning you can have those strappy Kate Spade heels and still have enough room in your budget for that Girls’ Night Out on Saturday.

But no matter what size you are, shopping at thrift stores and resale clothing boutiques can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. You gotta search through a ton of things that don’t fit or aren’t your style, just to find that one amazing thing you’ve been looking for – this is especially true for those of us who are plus-sized. I’ve had my ups and downs with resale shops, but over the past few months I’ve totally changed my outlook on them.

So, in an effort to change your outlook on them too, here’s a few tips for thrift store shopping for plus sizes and how to make the most of your trip there.

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My fave resale clothing store, aka heaven.

Keep your mind open – Don’t be afraid to venture out of the women’s section and search through the entire store. The most perfect over-sized Chambray button down that you’ve been desperate for could be hiding out in the menswear section, sandwiched between plaid flannel button downs, waiting to be discovered. It’s the best place to find blazers and jackets as well, especially if you’ve got semi-broad shoulders like I do. Be creative and think of unique ways to wear something to totally make it fit your own style. Try wearing a men’s dress shirt open with a dress and belt for a classic look or tie the ends together and pair it with a floral skirt for a twist on what ‘business casual’ means to you. And if all else fails, look up how to customize and make a DIY dress and/or crop top from a men’s dress shirt and I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Don’t worry about the size on the tags – When shopping at resale stores where there isn’t really a dedicated section for plus-size finds, don’t fret too much. While the sizing of structured pieces like denim are pretty true to the tag, that’s not always the case for everything. Now I’m not saying to squeeze yourself into something that you can hardly breathe in, but try it on and use your judgement. Depending on the style, shape, and material it’s made out of, sometimes a simple L maxi dress can fit someone who usually wears 2x. Sizing also varies from brand to brand and designer to designer. You may be a size 18 in jeans from Forever 21, but a size 14 in jeans from Old Navy. If you find something you really love that’s not quite your normal size, don’t immediately count it out.  Just because the tag says it won’t fit, doesn’t mean you won’t look good in it.

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So many clothes, so little time.

Dare to try things you normally wouldn’t – With the prices being as low as they are, don’t be afraid to try things that you normally wouldn’t even touch with a ten-foot pole if you had to buy it at regular price. You never know what ends up looking good on you or how you could re-style something to be a whole lot more appealing to you than it was before. Never been into lace before, but then you stumbled upon the prettiest lace top and found yourself coming back to it over and over again? Try it on. Thought you could never pull off a body-con dress because you’re closer to lumpy than curvy like I am? Try it on and see if your argument still holds true. Fall in love with a printed dress, but think it’s too big of a print for you to pull off? TRY IT ON. Resale shops and thrift stores are the best places to go outside of your comfort zone and try whatever your heart desires, even if you think it won’t look good on you.

Go crazy on the accessories – Resale stores are the best places to find shoes, purses and other amazing accessories at rock bottom prices. Chances are you’ll find something to pique your interest among the shoe racks there, especially designers shoes at Payless prices. The last time I was at Crossroads, there were three pairs of Kate Spade shoes in my size for around $25 each. And good accessories are the key to a fantastic outfit, so don’t even think twice about reaching for that $3 printed scarf or that $15 quilted purse that you swear you saw in Aldo two weeks ago for triple the price. If accessories are all you end up with, I’d consider that successful!

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Found these beauties for a mere $7 during my last trip to Crossroads!

All in all, resale and thrift stores are full of hidden gems, no matter what your size. You can inject a little life into your current wardrobe and shop-til-you-drop with minimal damage to your bank account, which is the dream. Comment below with your tips for shopping resale/thrift stores or tell me what the best hidden gem you’ve found in a resale/thrift store has been!