The last time I was in New York, I stopped by a store called Plus Brooklyn and there was an entire section dedicated to vintage. It had been quite some time since I had gone digging through some vintage racks, as more often than not, I am usually disappointed as a fat babe trying to find good vintage threads in larger sizes. As I was digging through the racks, this got me thinking: are there any good plus-size vintage haunts in Toronto? After doing some digging in the plus-size clothing group I’m part of, the one name that kept coming up was Value Village. I had always been uncertain of what the retailers plus-size selection would be like, or if there would be clothes for sizes 20 and above.
So I decided to head over to the location at Bloor and Lansdowne and check it out for myself. Here are some things that I found out after shopping plus size vintage at Value Village!
Give Yourself Lots Of Time!
So it is easy to become overwhelmed when you step into Value Village. When I got there, I tried to give myself a lot of time, unaware of if I would find anything or not. Also taking into account that I was going to have to try on EVERY single piece of clothing that I picked up. Does this sound exhausting? Yeah, that’s because it is. Bring water, take a deep breathe, and get ready. Not everything is sorted and the sizing isn’t always in the place you need it to be — but you can, and will find will you need.
Okay, But Honestly: What’s The Sizing Situation Like?
Actually, it’s not bad. There is a distinct section that offers XL and XXL, and during my visit,I found brands like Torrid, Joe Fresh, and Old Navy on the rack. For example, I copped a great black Torrid tank top for $6.99, which I have already worn multiple times. It also helped me have a good idea of what to expect from the sizing! I also found some more traditional old-school vintage, which actually fit my body (size 18/20) and found pieces that went up to a size 24.
The team at Value Village has told me that if you’re trying to get your hands on the newest items in the store, it’s best to go first thing in the morning. Also, some of my pals (who have been vintage picking for years) suggest visiting vintage stores or other Value Village shops outside of Toronto, as the plus-size selection actually gets better. Things to consider, especially if you have a car and are down to make a day trip of it.
Is It True Vintage Or Just All Logo Tees – Real Talk!
You know I would never do you dirty like that. So the thing I really loved while going through the racks at Value Village was that it had a mix of newer brands that we shop for day-to-day online and offline (as mentioned above). Then there were racks of truer vintage pieces, mostly from the ’80s and ’90s. I tried on a few blouses from the ‘80s that ranged in the $10.49 price point, but didn’t find anything that vibed with me. When you get to the racks, remember to keep an open mind and try everything on. I ended up grabbing a red and black, animal-print turtleneck which is not something I would normally wear. But I put it on and thought, YES. I must have this. It was $7.99 and a total steal.
Tailoring Is Your Friend
All of the items off the racks were actually in really great shape, and one skirt still had the tags still on it. One of the skirts I ended up purchasing (a hot pink number with pockets, $5.49) was missing a button. But for the price, I could totally justify taking it to a tailor, or better yet — purchasing a button and sewing a new one on myself. Another skirt I purchased for $8.49 is one of the most perfect additions to my wardrobe but it absolutely needs pockets. I have already consulted with a tailor to see how we can do this. With tailoring and the cost of the piece, it is literally the same price as something you’d buy at Forever 21.
So with all that said, I want to acknowledge that shopping for vintage can feel like an exercise in futility. But if you can find that special piece that you love, and it fits, and the price is perfect — it will feel as if the stars have aligned. Perhaps it’s time to pay a visit again to Value Village or another vintage shop.
Featured Image: StyleDemocracy
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