Shopping second hand when midsize and over can be tricky - this is how I do it
I have always been a vintage lover.
Ever since I was a kid, if it was from the past I wanted to wear it and to be honest I used to get a bit of slagging for it when I was a teenager.
Now however, vintage and second hand shopping is very en vogue but it's a little bit more attainable for some than others.
Having gone from straight sized in my early 20s to mid size in my early 30s I've noticed a drastic difference in the vintage and second hand options available.
Shopping second hand when you're mid size or plus size can be a struggle, so here are some tips from my personal experience that might help you expand your sustainable wardrobe.
Find retailers that sell a range of sizes
Follow vintage and second hand retailers that you see regular post items in a variety of sizes.
Again this can be tricky as many second hand shops, particularly vintage ones, cater mainly to UK size 10 and under.
If you need a jumping off point here are some of my recommendations:
- Hazel Nuts About Vintage
- Preloved by Shay and Jo
- Community Aid Thrift Shop
- Henny Penny Vintage
- Lucy's Lounge
- Studio Minti
- Lily White Vintage
- La Luna Vintage
- What's In Stor
- Baby Doll Vintage
You can also browse my Instagram story highlights (click through the photo above) marked Sustainable Style and Vintage part 2 for more suggestions.
Know your exact measurements
Knowing your measurements is a must, especially for vintage shopping as vintage sizes are completely different to modern day sizes.
Typically if you see something marked vintage size 12 it's actually more of a modern day size 8 and it's something I've been caught out with in the past myself.
Even if the vintage shop doesn't mention the specific measurements (though many will) you can always ask them. In my experience vintage sellers are more than happy to provide.
Don't forget about online charity shops and Depop
I mentioned some of my favourite online charity shops to buy online from above, but you can find many more through apps like Thriftify.
Second hand apps like Depop are also great from picking up a zero waste bargain but again, you would double check measurements with the seller as sometimes things are marked a size bigger than they actually are.
On apps like Depop I'd recommend sticking your size into the filter option. That way you're not wasting your time looking at items in the wrong size.
This can also help you discover some great gems or sellers than mainly stock your size.
Don't disregard the men's section
I don't know why it took me until my 30s to realise I should have been buying trousers in the men's section.
While I'm not suggesting that you shop exclusively in the men's section as the lads need sustainable options too, it's just a fact that men's trousers are sized better.
While in women's clothing a size 14 can vary from shop to shop, men's trousers are usually sized in inches which makes it a lot easier to find the right fit.
Alterations are worth the investment
We all come in different shapes and sizes and one thing I've been guilty of in the past is passing up something because I thought it would be too baggy around my waist or too long.
Since I've gotten curvier and bustier, I found it hard to come by tops in my size that give me any shape around my mid section.
Alterations and the right accessories have completely changed the game for me.
Items that once made me look like a potato sack can be completely transformed by being taken in at the right section, or even with the addition of the right kind of belt.
Following more mid size accounts on TikTok have helped too, as they have given me a whole new way of styling clothes for my body shape.