Thrift Shopping for Plus Sizes

Posted On Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Filed Under: shopping, Thrift Stores

Last week I received an email and the subject line read: What about plus size thrifting?

The message proceeded: Patrice, I love your blog but it must be easy for you to shop since you’re so small. I’m plus size (a 16) and I want to get in to thrifting. Will I be able to find stuff?

I responded to the reader’s email but I also wanted to post it on the blog since I’ve had people ask me this question before.

The simple answer is yes, plus size guys and gals can find plenty of clothing options while thrift shopping. Think about it: thrift store inventory is determined by donations. The average American woman is a size 14, so your odds of finding a 10, 12, 14, 16 are probably much greater than finding sizes on the smaller end of the spectrum. And from my personal experience, I usually end up belting or altering dresses and pants that are too big.

At the last Housing Works Buy the Bag sale, my friend Danielle {aka The Frugal Fatshionista} didn’t just find an awesome halter dress for me, she found great pieces for herself as well. From colorful blazers to print skirts, she racked up {check out her post here for pics}.

If you’re feeling discouraged from thrift shopping because you think you won’t find anything in your size, please remove that thought.

Thrifting is more about patience {finding a good location, sifting through clothing}, not shape or size.

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18 thoughts on “Thrift Shopping for Plus Sizes

  1. I am a plus size and I only shop the thrift stores.  Here in Houston one of the thrift shops has a sidewalk sale in October when everything is 50%. During the last hour of the sale, everything you can put in a grocery bag is 5.00.  Trust me I can pack LOTS of treasure into that bag.  Many of the shops have pricers who have NO idea of value.  I have found designer garments for 2,00 , hanging next to a Wal-Mart brand for 8.00..

    BTW, I am also an “older’ woman who does not believe I should look dowdy just because of my age.  I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to look younger—I’m just not going to resign myself to sweats and sneakers.

    Love your style, honey!

    • Wow, that $5 bag sale sounds awesome. I love your motto! Whether a woman’s older, younger, bigger, smaller, we all should strive to look our best (however we define that 🙂

  2. I have found the best stuff when going to thrift stores and im a plus size girl.  i think i might try your challenge of only buying stuff second hand and from thrift stores.  i have found the best stuff at garage sales too.  I found a LV purse and a D&G purse for super cheap!  
    My mom taught me how to look and that you have to be patient and search. you will never know what you find until you really look

    • Cheap chic finds are everywhere! I’ve been dying to hit up a good garage sale this summer. 
      Yay, definitely let me know if you join the Thrifty Threads 365 challenge 🙂

  3. Youa re so right, I clean up at the thrift stores and Ebay, I somethings get a person’s whole closet. I think when people lose weight, they give away everything to large for them. Great stuff, as always – thanks

  4. Pingback: Thrift Shopping for Plus Sizes | Looking Fly on a Dime - plus-size-dresses

  5. I’m a tall plus size girl living in Los Angeles and thanks to seeing Patrice on the Nate show have recently rediscovered the magic of thrifting (after a 5+ year hiatus).  This past weekend I plugged over 10 thrift shops into my GPS and hit 5 of them.  I’ve found that some stores are better merchandised than others…especially for plus size clothes.  Some stores lump everything that’s a Large up together and others are really great at separating each size.  I spent $39 this weekend and purchased 1 black skirt, 3 dresses, and 7 tops.  Considering I usually spend about $39 on just 1 top from Nordstrom Rack or Macy*s I’ve pretty excited to continue thrifting.  My purchases range from sophisticated work wear to some really cute weekend clothes…Patrice, thanks so much for your inspiration.  You’ve reminded me that I really can look fly on a dime.  I’m challenging myself to cut my clothes shopping budget in half by filling in some items with second hand finds…So far so good!


  6. My best thrift shopping tip is to not ignore those ugly capri pants – can be really cheap…I got several pair for a dollar each and cut them off for shorts.  

  7. Pingback: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Secondhand Shopping | Looking Fly on a Dime

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