Becky wrote a great guest post at Already Pretty about how thrifting while fat allowed her to experiment and develop her personal style.
I wish my thrifting experiences were as good as hers. For me, thrifting has been at best a chance to score some cheap basics, and at worst an exercise in frustration.
One of my thrift store finds: cute and comfortable, but not particularly me.
In my area, thrift stores tend to have a decent plus size selection–and some straight-sized items that are stretchy enough to fit fat people–but they very rarely include anything interesting, funky, or wild. I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked into a thrift store and seen gorgeous, unusual, sparkly, riotously-patterned, tulle-adorned, vintage, or punky clothes in straight sizes, while the plus sizes consist of jeans and solid-colored tops.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought, “I would dress so much more outrageously if this stuff came in my size.”
I can’t even read straight size thrifting blogs, because it just hurts to see someone finding so easily, so cheaply, the kind of clothing I have to search hard and/or pay lots of money for.
I’ve been lucky, though, to experience a taste of cheap plus size variety at Re/Dress NYC when it existed, and at the Big Thrifty here in Boston. And despite my limited options, I’ve always found ways to experiment with style–from my high school days of green lipstick, dog collars as chokers, chunky Mary Janes, and safety-pin bedecked skirts to the tutus and tiny hats I wear today.
I am heartened by events like the Big Thrifty and New York’s Big Fat Flea. I am heartened by the explosion of fatshion blogs and indie plus size designers. I hope that the events spread beyond large urban centers, and that the clothes spread beyond small, expensive indie brands.
I hope that someday, I can walk into a thrift stop and be surrounded by Domino Dollhouse, SWAK, Torrid, ASOS Curve, Igigi, and Kiyonna. I want to see a world where fashion experimentation is an option for everyone who wants it.