A plus size guide to thrift shopping…

I’m a girl who loves a rummage in a second hand shop. Thrift shops are amazing if you want to save money, reduce waste or just snap up some amazing vintage find. Thrifting is even better when the shop in question is an ethical nonprofit like my go to consignment emporium Glad Rags.

I also know there is a myth that see plus size gals can’t do this kind of shopping. Well, I’m here to tell you different. It can take a little more dedication, but trust me, there are plenty of fat sized gems to be unearthed. Here are my top tips for finding them.

Ignore the label & try everything

Sizes are anything but standard. We all know we can be a variety of sizes depending on the brand. If you’re like me you will have clothes in your wardrobe that technically should never fit you. When you thrift the nonsense of sizing is amplified. The clothes can be anywhere from a season to decades old; sizing has changed. Clothes can also have originated in a whole other country (a US12 is not a UK12), so basically, the sizes don’t necessarily mean much. If you like it & it looks like it might fit on your body, try it on. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Check for a plus section

A really quick way to scope out your size is to check for a plus section. Most thrift (& even charity shops) are organised into sizes. If you don’t have much time or don’t want to try everything, heading straight to your size is a good bet.

Get to know the staff

I’m lucky enough to have been able to build an excellent relationship with the guys at Glad Rags & a few of my local charity spots. Not only is it nice to meet lovely new people, but it aids my fashion foraging. If you are friendly with the folks in store they’ll point out things they think you’ll be interested. They may even keep something aside if you become a valued customer.

Take your time

Second hand shops are completely reliant on what patrons donate. They simply can’t maintain stock in every size. If your plus you might have to play the long game. Keep checking back to see if new stock has arrived. Try setting aside a day for thrifting; then you can hit a number of shops & really devote some hours to the search.

Utilise Social Media

I follow my fav spot on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. They post new stock, events & special offers. If you see something you love don’t be afraid to shoot them a message. If you can get into store fairly quickly there’s a really good chance they’ll hold that dream item for you.

Shop the menswear

Or women’s wear. Basically forget gender roles & rules. Check out everything & if you like it, buy it.

Consider alterations

Lots of clothes can be altered if they don’t quite fit. If you find something that you don’t want to live without, grab it & head off to the nearest alterations place. Most thrift shops will be able to point you in the right direction in their location. You will be amazed at the magic a seamstress (is still the right term???) can work without breaking your bank. On a similar theme…

Consider repurposing

Lots of items can be repurposed or customised really simply. A men’s shirt can easily become a cute tied crop. An oversized t shirt dress can become just tee a on a bigger body. Sometimes a wee bit of thought can go a long way.

Know your measurements.

If you know your measurements you will be able to see at glance if some garments fit. Lots of proper vintage & menswear items will only feature measurements on the label. If you want to be able to grab & go this is a great tip. It will also come in handy should you want to have anything altered.

So, there you have it. Thrifting is for everyone. I hope these tips may give first time fatties the confidence to explore the second hand world. I assure you there is nothing like the thrill of finding your heart’s desire for mere pennies. When you’re helping your community too, your cup will indeed runneth over.

Fat Slut, you said…

So, hello, brand new year. Unfortunately it’s also hello to diet talk overload. Yup, it’s everywhere. The diet industry goes crazy in January. Over the years  I have managed to switch off from most of the weight watcher ads & gym discount flyers. I basically make it my business to mute the diet industry; I don’t buy magazines that tell me I’m not good enough, I don’t follow social media accounts that constantly talk about weight loss & I shun brands that use body shaming in their advertising. Of course, I also actively participate the body posi community. This works well for me. However, more and more I am realising that I simply cannot escape the notion that fat is just awful. The problem is that lots of the people I really like & choose to have in my life are, to be frank, fat phobic. 

I understand that everyone will not share my views on body positivity. I also accept that other people are free to do whatever the choose with their own bodies. In fact I am delighted when people find a way to love themselves. However they do it, finding genuine peace with yourself is a wonderful thing & I applaud anyone who gets there. What I don’t appreciate is having to listen to all the fat phobic crap that others believe in. I will never understand why people think it is ok to express their revulsion of fat people to me, a fat person. If you had brown hair & I repeatedly made negative comments about brown hair, you’d probably feel hurt, or pissed off. Well, surprise, surprise, fat people have feelings too. 

You can feel however you like about your own or other people’s bodies. If you want to do slimming world or Atkins or eat raw, knock yourself out. Run & lift & body pump until your heart’s content. If your internal voice mocks & degrades others based on their physical appearance that probably needs investigation, but it’s still entirely your affair. Once you voice those insults out loud, they become my business too & the truth is, I don’t want to hear it. 

I do not want to hear how terrible you think celebs looks when they gain weight. I don’t want to listen to your jibes about naked fat bodies in movies. When you talk in disgusted tones about your own fat, you are telling me what you think of me. Your talk of how your own much thinner body is not fit to carry a child or how being fat makes a person a terrible parent, you are commenting on my abilities. Every time you comment ‘I’m a fat bitch’ on picture of food you ate or tell me what is ‘bad’ about every item on a menu you are pushing your issues on me. 

And here’s the thing, I can’t stop you. You are free to say & feel whatever you please. You can hate your body & my body & Rebel Wilson’s body & Cameron Diaz’s body too. You can laugh & be rude. You can continue to say right to my face that you find people like me to be entirely undeserving of respect. I presume that often you are oblivious. I get it. Sometimes we are blinded by our own internal struggle. Everyone has moments of complete, but unintentional insensitivity. Sometimes, though, you know. You know that you are degrading fat people in front of a fat person. Mostly, we’ll let you get away with it. I know I do. I excuse & ignore. I tell myself you did not mean to be cruel. Well, no more. This is me giving notice. In the future I intend to point out that the body you’re mocking is just like mine. I will tell you that I don’t want to hear about your diet. I will mute you on social media if your timeline is toxic because I can do as I please too. I choose not to engage in anymore bullshit. I wish you well with your own self love journey, but I will no longer be party to my own debasement. You do you. I am going to do me.