Shopping Tips

Dressing for Your Shape in Thrifted or Vintage Finds

Hey guys! Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about dressing for your shape. No, I’m not going to get into every body size and what looks best on them. You can find plenty of resources for that information online. Rather, let’s take a look at how to make almost any vintage item you love work, regardless of whether or not it fits a little funky. I’ll explain.

I’ll never forget the first time I picked up a high-waisted skirt from the vintage section of my local thrift store. It was floral! It was long and modest! It had pockets. I excitedly took it into the dressing room to try it on, and quickly realized it was not made for someone who has experienced the joys of childbirth. I couldn’t get it over my hips to save my life!

Instead of putting it back on the rack and losing it forever, I took it home, expanded the seam and changed the position of the button. It wasn’t a perfect fit, but it worked well enough for the office and that was enough for me.

The thing is, that trick won’t work all of the time. Sometimes, there are simply items that, no matter how we try, just don’t look right and that’s OK. Here are some tips for making the most of what you’ve got and working it, vintage style!

1. Wiggle that waist up.

For some reason, vintage skirts can run tinier than a thimble. That said, remember how they’re supposed to fit. High-waisted, longer vintage skirts sit above the hip, not directly on it. I’ve found that waiting to zip the skirt once it’s already up above my belly button helps tremendously. If you’re more comfortable in elastic or stretch waistbands, there are plenty of those options as well!

Accentuate your curves by looking for skirts that hit just below the knee and flare out a bit. This is a popular style from the sixties that’s relatively easy to find in a variety of sizes.

2. When in doubt, size up your top.

Maybe it’s the mama style in me, or maybe I’ve just grown a little more practical with age. My own mom used to take her clothes from the dryer when they were still damp and stretch them out. Horrified, my sister and I would remind her to not touch our clothes. We wanted them as form-fitting as possible! Now, there is no item of clothing I love more than a slightly oversized, baggy top, preferably tucked into some high-waisted or slimmer-fitting bottoms.

To that end, whether you have an hourglass figure, a pear-shaped one or any shape in between, don’t be afraid to rock a loose-fitting top! They are eternally forgiving, look effortlessly chic and come in so many vintage styles. This semi-sheer number features some pretty embroidery. One pro tip: Avoid t-shirt material, as it can look boxy. Instead, focus on soft fabrics that hang on your curves just slightly. You can always tie a pretty sash around the blouse if you don’t love it super flouncy, or a thin, braided belt works wonders, too!

3. Go forth in confidence!

Dressing for your shape is easy when you’re oozing confidence. If you see a great piece that you love and looks great on you, pop it on and step out feeling fresh. The next time you’re out thrifting, try something new like a bold skirt or brightly patterned top that you may not have normally gone for.

To complete the look, pump up the volume in your hair a little, swipe on a red lip and slip on some cute boots. It’s hard to feel uncomfortable when your look is so happy! There’s no right or wrong way to approach dressing for your shape when it comes to thrifting. Part of the thrill of the hunt is finding pieces that appeal to you personally and rocking them like only you can.

So head out, look for those pieces that speak to you and don’t be afraid to try something different. If one piece fits funky or you just don’t love it, swap it out for one you feel great in. Thrifting is personal and shopping vintage can be tricky, so keep at it and have fun!


  • Emily Ferrell Wegener

    Hey Courtney! You blog is great, my mom told me about it and I love it! I too am a big thrifter! I used to have that striped orange, pink, and red sweater, and loved it but alas after having a baby it grew too small! I had to pass it on! Keep up the great writing and tips! 🙂

    • admin

      Hi Emily! Great to hear from you! Thanks for checking out my blog! Haha! Isn’t that sweater the best? That picture was taken before I had babies, too! It’s SO SMALL. I think they made it to fit a toddler lol! Maybe we should have kept it:) Hope you’re doing well:)