I love the idea of shopping thrifts (and have done so for some things), but I need ideas on what readers do for hard-to-fit people. My husband is long and thin (and I am short and not- too-thin), and both of us have problem-sized feet (his are narrow, mine are wide). We have a hard enough time finding clothes in regular stores --any ideas for thrifts?
I strongly suggest you invest in a basic sewing course. Many of my thrift finds (particularly men's clothing adapted to a woman inside them) have needed darts, shoulder pads, or minor repairs to make them look nice and trim. Learning to reset waistbands and tuck shirts will also mean more clothes can be made to fit your husband.
Try consignment stores. Make friends with someone who works there and have them call you when things in your size come in.
Thrift stores in upscale areas are more likely to carry odd sizes. I know that many areas have stores run by the Jewish synagogues and these stores seem to carry very fashionable, up to date clothing. A store similar to this is the only thrift store I have been able to find clothes large enough to fit my husband (who is in the "big man" category of sizes), and also clothes in petite that were small enough for me. If you live in or near a large city go to the consignment shops located in affluent areas. Usually going at the end of a season gets you the best bargains and selections.
The Tightwad Gazzette once had a tip from a reader about finding bargains on larger size clothing. The reader suggested posting notes on bulletin boards at diet centers offering to buy the larger size clothing that the dieters were shrinking out of. They are usually quite happy to get rid of these larger clothes for a pittance.
Sandy in Illinois
I have found a few thrift stores in my area that do have the larger sizes for women. I saw some beautiful outfits in sizes up to 2x, if the item is too long -- it wouldn't be that much trouble to have it altered and it still would be cheaper than buying the item at retail!
I've found my odd size to be a blessing in disguise. I'm only 5'1" tall, but I'm too long-limbed for petites, which are WAY too expensive anyway. My fiancee is rail-thin and six-foot four.
For me, I have learned to immediately go to clearance racks and deep discount basements. I'm in no hurry for sales or "pre-season" clothing, because my weird size means that whatever fits me will not fit 99% of the population and will quickly wind up on the sale rack. My mother is shorter and rounder. We always go to the women's sizes for her and look for whatever didn't sell there as well. I don't think I've even bothered to look at the regular-priced racks in years, because it is a waste of my time.
On the other hand, my fiancee and I have become big fans of a Eddie Bauer catalogs because of their size ranges from XXXTall to XXX small.. They are a little more expensive, but the clothes are made very well, and through them we have really learned the value of buying quaility things when trying to be frugal, and also when you hate shopping for clothes, as we do.
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