Curvy Girl’s Guide to Thrifting!

Today I am so pleased to feature a guest post from my girl Vivi over at Heart, Print & Style on a topic that is near and dear to her heart: thrifting! This was partially inspired by all of the wisdom she shared on the subject at the Curvy Clothing Swap. I've made her promise to take me out thrifting soon! But in the meantime, here is her guest post. Take it away, Vivi!

In a way, I've always thrifted. Well, in my early years (elementary school), I was forced to thrift because my Dad was (and still is!) a frugal person. We lived about a 7-10min walk from a thrift store (Georgia Avenue Thrift Store...which is still there!). So every weekend, my Dad would give my older cousin money and then she'd walk me, my younger brother and younger sister to the thrift store to shop. Walking home with a large black plastic bag filled with second-hand clothing, my friends would see me and always ask what am I carrying home. And each time, I would ignore them. Hugely embarrassed, I made a vow to myself that when I got older, I'd never shop in a thrift store again!

Yeah, right.

About 4-5 years ago, my sister became a stan of thrifting. She proclaimed her love everywhere she went. I mean, I could understand why she would love it - the clothing and accessories she would find were absolutely gorgeous and unique. Deep down, I was a bit curious. But also, being a bigger person, I kind of assumed that these thrift store would not have anything in my size. My sister kept reassuring me that I was wrong - that there were lots of dresses and tops and jackets in my size. She saw them every time she visited a thrift store! I still was not convinced. So, one day I went along with her to see for myself. Once I entered, I saw she was right - there were items in my size! In fact, some items that were put in the (M)edium or (L)arge section could also fit me due to the material/fabric.

But...I still was not fully sold on the idea of shopping at a thrift store. Then I decided to build my way up to loving it. Here is how I did it:

1) Start with jewelry. I'm a big accessories fan, anyway, so this wasn't hard for me. I can say that 99.5% of my earrings are from thrift stores. You can find a some great vintage earrings (clip-ons and non), rings, and necklaces from your local thrift stores.

My vintage earrings.

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              2) Move over to the purses. From shoulder bags to totes to briefcases to clutches, you can find them all at a thrift store! At one point, I was really into finding vintage Dooney & Bourke bags. I've given most of them away but I still kept two that I love. They could be found in the purses section for as much as $7.99. I kid you not. These days, due to the popularity of thrifting and vintage D&B bags, a lot of thrift stores keep them behind the counter and hiked up the prices. I've seen one priced at $49.99, which is quite expensive for a thrift store yet still is affordable.

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                      3) Time for clothes! Once I was done with that, then I figured it was time to approach the clothing section. Some thrift stores make it easy and separate their clothing by size. Yay! Some do not and you have to take your time to sift through each item to find the right size/fit. Booo! Then, there are some stores that put their clothing items by color, which I think is pretty cool. I started off with blazers/jackets:

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                      To dresses:

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                      Those are my favorite sections to visit. There are also the following sections: blouses, tops (some stores call it 'polo tops'), vests (this is usually sleeveless tops but there are some true vests in there, too), sweaters, shorts, coats, sleeping attire, skirt suits, pant suits, jeans, pants and skirts. For us plus size girls, always look out for XL/XXL. But like I said mentioned earlier, you can definitely look into the (M)edium and (L)arge sections, too, because there will be clothing that will fit you because of the material or fabric. The point of thrifting is to save money on purchasing items. But there are always deals and savings going on. For instance, at any Unique or Value Village thrift store, Mondays it's 25% for everyone, Thursdays is 25% off for VIP members (ask a cashier at any one of these stores for more information on VIP card or click here) and on holidays it's 50% off. Also, there are usually deals happening on any given day (ex. 25% off on long sleeved blouses, 15% off on shoes, etc.) Once you start thrifting, it is hard to stop. I find myself going to thrift stores to look out for a more affordable take on the hottest trends - midi skirts, neon, florals, etc. Don't forget to donate your unwanted clothing! In return, you will be handed a tax receipt to be used when filing your taxes. My favorite thrift store to go to is Value Village Thrift Store in Adelphi, MD. I have not been disappointed yet. *fingers crossed* To locate a thrift store around your area please check out the following links: Unique Thrift Store/Value Village Goodwill Salvation Army Thrift Store Family

  • Andrea

    Great tips. Thanks! Like you, I have been skeptical that thrift stores would have anything in my size. But you’ve inspired me to give it a shot!

  • curvyceo

    We should go together!!!