5 Thrifting Tips for Plus-Size Women

Posted by on October 25, 2013

There are actually some really great shopping options for plus-size women, especially online. It’s not too challenging to find great dresses, tops, skirts, and pants that are designed to fit and flatter curvy women. However, sometimes you just need a fashion fix, and the wait time post-shipping does not always make online shopping the “funnest” way to get your fashion fix.

If you have a few hundred dollars a season to revamp your wardrobe and a saintlike patience with your UPS service, then online shopping can serve you very well as a plus-size woman. However, for those of us who don’t have unlimited means and patience for week-long waits, thrifting is a great alternative.

Unless you’re going to a thrift store that specifically caters to plus-sizes, of which there are unfortunately very few (one of the most well-known is the formerly NYC-based, now Cleveland-based, Re/Dress), it isn’t going to be easy to find a lot of options that work for you if you’re a US size 12+.

Re/Dress

The Re/Dress CLE is located at 2678 W.14th street in Cleveland and I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. Credit: Zero Style Blog

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Bright Colors and Polka Dots: Chatting with Plus-size Blogger Bridie Duffey of Thrift-O-Rama

Posted by on October 2, 2013

One of the absolute best parts of the online, plus-size fashion community is the sheer number of fashion bloggers that are open to sharing their outfits of the day (OotD), their shopping tips, and their styling techniques, all while providing unwavering support. People consistently identify with others who remind them of themselves in some way, shape, or form, so it’s unsurprising that plus-size women find inspiration from other plus-size women, especially plus-size fashion bloggers. Bridie Duffey, of the blog Thriftorama, 19,  finds a lot of her fashion inspiration from fellow fashion bloggers. A few of her favorites are the well-known and thoroughly fabulous, Gabi Gregg, the thrifty and adventurous Nadia Aboulhosn, bold Tiffany Tucker, and the creative Sakari Singh. “I wouldn’t be the person I am without the “fatshion” community,” says Bridie.

"I’m kind of a dork, but I’m a dork who cares about things. I specialize in angry feminism, pretty skirts, and Netflix. I love to laugh," says Bridie. Credit: Bridie Duffey

“I’m kind of a dork, but I’m a dork who cares about things. I specialize in angry feminism, pretty skirts, and Netflix. I love to laugh,” says Bridie. Credit: Bridie Duffey

Bridie, a Gender Studies and Anthropology student at Mount Holyoke College (which coincidentally is Gabi Gregg’s alma mater) in Western Massachusetts, discovered her love of fashion at a young age. “I loved sparkly sneakers, horizontal stripes, and pretty dresses,” says Bridie. “And I would  describe things as ‘very fash.’” However, while growing up, there was a time when Bridie felt that she was being left out.

“As I got older, I drew into myself. Chubby and four-eyed, I didn’t think fashion was meant for people like me. And I was given compelling, if deeply misguided, reasons to believe that: I could never find clothes in my size, and I was constantly forbidden by my culture to feel comfortable in a body like mine. I spent far too many years in huge shirts and even huger jeans, trying to hide myself.”

"I like bright colors, polka dots, and unrelenting tackiness. I love all things vintage. Most of my clothes are second hand and thrifting is extraordinarily important to me," says Bridie. Credit: Bridie Duffey

“I like bright colors, polka dots, and unrelenting tackiness. I love all things vintage. Most of my clothes are second hand and thrifting is extraordinarily important to me,” says Bridie. Credit: Bridie Duffey

Bridie rediscovered her interest in fashion and clothes during high school when, on a search for some school shoes, she wandered into a thrift store. “I found myself rediscovering a sadly repressed obsession. Thrift stores had vintage. Thrift stores had my size! I was hooked. By the time I graduated, a love for not paying very much for clothes that spoke to me met a rejuvenated interest in feminism and body politics. I’ve never been the same in the best way. My clothes make statements,” says Bridie.

Now, with a very visible and successful internet footprint, Bridie has found a way to use her love of fashion to create a brand and to inspire other women. Bridie took a moment to talk with IGIGI about her favorite looks and her body positive journey.

"It’s empowering to push at the edges of your comfort zone." Credit: Bridie Duffey

“It’s empowering to push at the edges of your comfort zone.” Credit: Bridie Duffey

Jane: Have you ever had a specific moment when you really went out of comfort zone with an outfit and just felt great?

Bridie: Early in my first year of college, I wore a stretchy pencil skirt to class, just because I could. It showed everything. There was no denying my hips, stomach or thighs in that skirt and it was bright, bright red. Somehow, through some miracle, I felt amazingly hot in it. I paired it with red lips, a full bun (back in the days when my hair was long), and high heeled boots. I utterly took on the world that day. I’ve mostly become a person interested in A-line and circle skirts, but there was something incredibly liberating of that skin-tight vixen’s skirt.

Jane: What advice would you give to women who want to dress more adventurously, but aren’t sure where to start? 

Bridie: Find yourself. It’s great to look for inspiration among other fashionable people. It’s fun to follow trends. It’s empowering to push at the edges of your comfort zone. But find yourself. Reach for colors, silhouettes, and styles that speak to you. Disregard fashion rules. Stop trying to dress so that your body will look a certain way. Try to cut out the negative and nasty opinions of naysayers and search purely for what you like. The rest will fall into place.

Jane: If you could pick any IGIGI dress to style, which would you choose?

Bridie: The Rita Vintage Polka Dot Plus Size Dress in Coral! It’s gorgeous! I love coral, and polka dots are strewn across my soul. I’d pair it with bright lips, huge sunnies, wedges, bangles, and a neutral scarf tied around my head for a sweet, picnicky look!

Bridie cares very much about women’s empowerment and education, and she hopes to eventually pursue her interest in fashion even more. To keep up with Bridie, follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Lookbook and her official blog.

Where are your favorite places to thrift? Do you have any tips? Tell IGIGI and Bridie in the comments.

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