Simple Living - Buying Used Clothing - Thrifty Plus Size

My Nan was a seamstress and she worked from home so my memories of her are very vivid, with her measuring tape always hanging around her neck along with her glasses and a silver thimble close to hand. Nan would always have her foot on the pedal of her sewing machine and would be surrounded by yards & yards of fabric with pretty dresses hooked up on every spare space of wall.

I guess because of Nan, I've always enjoyed clothes and accessories. As a child I dreamt of becoming a fashion designer, as a teenager I had a bit of a knack for predicting fashions. I liked to dress a little different from everyone else and always preferred to put a quirky spin onto an outfit. During the eighties that was pretty easy to do and I must say it was a good fashion era for a teenage girl. Madonna was my inspiration, I loved her style and I would make lots of clothes full of tassel's, diamonte's, lace & ribbon. My imagination was free to run wild.

I didn't end up becoming a fashion designer, but instead a Mum to four wonderful kids (and now a Nan too). Being a Mum didn't stop my love of clothes shopping although it did restrict how much I could spend. So thrifting fashion became a necessity which now as the kids are growing and the two eldest have flown the nest, thrifting fashion is more of an addiction and is such a thrill.

People are often surprised that most of my clothes come from local charity shops and ebay. It saves me a small fortune to thrift an outfit. After giving up smoking five years ago my weight has pretty much ballooned,  infact my weight has nearly doubled which has now put me into plus size clothing. I'm working on my weight gain, But hey, just because I'm a few sizes bigger doesn't mean I can't still enjoy clothes, right?

Plus size clothing is a little more difficult to source from charity shops but it isn't impossible and I can pretty much guarantee an item, accessory or even an outfit per week. Just because we have downshifted our lives, it doesn't mean I can't still enjoy clothes shopping, I just do it on a budget rather than spend loads of money.

I blog a lot about thrifting, frugal living, recycling etc, and quite a few people have told me that I should blog about my thrifted clothes shopping too, So I thought I'd start sharing my thrifty plus size fashion finds with you and show you how easy it is to put together an outfit on a budget. Maybe in future I'll try and rope my Sister in law in too, as she is also a great bargain hunter.

As the summer turns to Autumn the weather is turning a bit chilly, so I've started thrifting warmer articles. First thing I need is a coat. I'm really into different shades grey at the moment and I'm not just talking Christian Grey, I mean my eye seems to be drawn to clothes & accessories that are grey. A few weeks back, I jumped on a bus into town with my Sister in law (who also shares my love of thrifty fashion) and we headed towards a charity shop who mainly sell clothing, but they colour coordinate all their items, which is fab because I can put together an outfit within minutes of walking through the door. I only buy items that look like they have hardly been worn. I'm not afraid to rummage or closely inspect everything I'm about to buy. Checking for rips or stains is an essential part of thrifting fashion.

Upon walking through the charity shop door my eye was instantly drawn to a black & grey coat that was hanging on a mannequin next to the changing room. From a distance it looked my size and closer inspection revealed it actually was. Result, a warm coat for under £6, Bargain!

Autumn Belted Cape Coat originally from F & F - Charity Shop - £5.99
The black linen trousers were originally from Next - Charity Shop - £2.00
White blouse originally from M & Co - Charity Shop - £1.50
Grey scarf - This season Next - New £10.00

 Total for whole outfit = £19.50
Simple Living - Buying Used Clothing - Thrifty Plus Size Simple Living - Buying Used Clothing - Thrifty Plus Size Reviewed by Emma@christmascupboard on Thursday, October 04, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Blimey! That was good, I do love a good bargain but I hate the sifting through rails to find stuff, I'm exactly the same in the sales, don't like the pushing and shoving and disappointment if I don't find something

  2. What a lovely outfit Emma. I've had to be thrifty all through my life in order to clothe my family, too. When the older two were small I used to make all their clothes, but after the younger two, time was at a premium, so, like you, I discovered charity shops. Now that all four have flown the nest, I'm still reluctant to spend lots of money on clothes, although I now sometimes buy new I very rarely, if ever, pay full price for anything, only ever looking at the "reduced" rail! Joy xx

  3. Wow, love the sleeves on the coat. Perfect bargain outfit!

  4. Love that coat, it looks great on you too! There are hardly any charity shops here, and I do miss a good sift through Oxfam of a morning, as I used to in London! :)

  5. Wow, a totally stylish outfit! You look great! I have a doppelgânger who must live locally because I find some lovely things in our local Cancer Research charity shop in my size and style! Prices are usually £2 for skirts and tops and £5 for coats etc. I love the unexpected pleasure of finding something lovely, from a new skirt to a cup and saucer.

  6. Great buy Mama. I'm a plus size thrift shopper as well and always seem to have more luck with winter clothes. I don't much like the summer clothes styles, new or thrifted so I think it might be time to fire up my sewing machine (or lose weight! LOL)

    Anne xx

  7. PS Thanks for your kind words on my blog post. It means a lot to me.


  8. Love your outfit,I love charity shops etc,as a mum of 4 myself all my money goes on them so I can get a bargain without spends loads,you look great,would love you to link your post up on my Creative Monday hop?

  9. Thanks so much for adding my blog to your blog roll,added yours to mine to :) now I can stop by more oftern.Love to see what bargain you have been buying...

  10. What a great post. I do love a bargain, but I'm not much of a shopper especially shifting through rails x

  11. Well done, I find finding plus sized clothes in charity shops a real challenge.


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