I’ve been doing way more thrifting lately, thanks to the Slow Fashion Season challenge I’m on (no brand-new clothes from 6/21/19-9/21/19). With that, I’ve learned how to become super crafty in making my thrift store gems work for me. I’m very petite (5 feet tall, 120 pounds), so it’s hard sometimes to find clothes that 100% work for me fresh off the rack. Today I’m sharing some of my top used tricks for wearing secondhand clothing well. Read on to learn more!
Tip 1: Belts are a lifesaver!
This is tip number one because it’s honestly my go-to solution for literally everything. I wear a lot of oversized clothing, and you would be surprised at what something as simple as a belt can do! Is your blazer swimming on you? Belt it, and it instantly defines your waist and gives you more of a polished look. Did you find a printed dress you love, but it doesn’t hang right? Wear a belt in the middle to break up those lines. Or in my case, the perfect vintage pair of mom jeans I found from DC Goodwill? Entirely too big for me (as in, the waist has to at least be 36” on those pants and I’m 29”), but wearing them with a belt gives them that perfect oversized slouch, high waisted look I love. Fun fact, I also get questioned frequently on how I tie my belt knot, so stay tuned for a mini tutorial sometime soon!
Tip 2: Tucking is your friend!
One of my main rules for thrifting (as I don’t try anything on in the store most of the time) is that I prefer the oversized fit for a few reasons. One, because I would rather the item be too big and I can work with it, over it being too small. And two, a slightly oversized fit just looks better with some items, especially blouses. I find many of my vintage tops in one or two sizes too big for me. The solution is to just tuck them in! Especially when you have jeans and skirts, tucking a blouse in allows for more of your figure to be seen. I prefer to do the loose top and tight bottom ratio in this regard, so I will wear my oversized tops with skinny jeans, straight leg jeans or bodycon/pencil skirts.
Tip 3: Cuffing makes all the difference!
Everyone knows I love a good oversized blazer. But the main reason my blazers work for me is that I cuff and roll the sleeves. If you noticed, my sleeves are pushed up in most of my blazer photos on Instagram (if you’re not following me at this point, we have a real problem! Go check me out @NaturallyKam ✨), for both aesthetic and practicality. Rolling the sleeves gives that more laid-back look, and it also saves you for when the arms are too long (for a blazer that may be way too large). I also do this with some of my long sleeve tops, because I prefer to have my arms exposed so my watch can be seen. Cuffing a blouse (along with tucking it in) opens your options to almost anything on the rack in any store, not just secondhand. Especially when you see a printed top or blazer you really like, but it may not be your size. Just remember to go at least one size up for best fit!
Tip 4: There’s nothing wrong with stuffing your shoes!
Growing up, my mom would sometimes buy my shoes a half size too big, and then put cotton balls in the toe area to fill in the extra space. While this was used as a measure to save money by allowing me to grow into the shoes before buying new pairs, it serves as a very practical tool I use in my everyday life. I have very short toes, so I often find myself stuffing cotton into the front of my shoes so that my feet don’t slide around as much. However, this can also be used while buying secondhand. If you come across a pair of boots or sneakers that are maybe a half size too big, stuff them! Cotton balls are most comfortable, but I have also used toilet paper and napkins in my shoes. Just be smart about picking your shoes, because you still need to be comfortable and to be able to walk at the end of the day. If you wear a size 6 and you see a size 8 shoe that you really like (even a size 7, honestly), leave it there for someone else, in order to avoid foot problems for yourself down the road. I only go up half a size, because I don’t play around about my feet!
I hope my tips have been helpful, lovelies! What about you, what are some of the ways you like to shop and make clothes work for you?