Here are some tips for when you're searching for plus-sized vintage to keep in mind, especially if you're searching online.
1) Invest in a flexible tape measure, the kind you can pick up for like $2 at any sewing store, and measure yourself! Be honest in your measurements, you don't have to share them, but be sure to be accurate. I found this page on measuring yourself correctly to be really helpful. What I liked about it is that it shows you measurements that you often forget - like your arms! I can't tell you how many times something has fit everywhere else, but the armholes were just too tight. For a plus-size girl this is an important measurement that's often left off of listings. Don't be afraid to ask the seller to measure this for you.
Also, consider buying items that may measure an inch or two bigger than your actual measurements. I know, we all love to stick to the skinnier sizes - I feel your pain! But honestly, you look so much better if something isn't skin tight and fits appropriately and a little give can give you room to have the piece tailored if you need to. It's always easier to alter something that's too big, than too small.
2) Look for dresses or shirts and skirts that offer the following:
- Stretch fabric
- "Open" hips
3) Accessorize! Look for things like:
Then if you're looking for a little fun gloves, purses and jewelry can add a punch. No one really wears elegant gloves anymore and it's a shame. They can make your hands looks so delicate and they came in so many styles. I love to wear mine when I head out somewhere nice. It's a touch of class automatically. I also can't tell you the number of compliments I've received when I bust out some of my vintage handbags. They had so much flair! They weren't about shoving everything and the kitchen sink in the biggest bag possible, they were about style, art and elegance. Trust me on this one! And the jewelry is a given. Nothing looks nicer than some sparkles!
The final, number one rule to dressing vintage in plus-sizes? Wear what fits you and flatters your figure. The style guide isn't that different from today. Learn what shapes fit you best and search for them. They're out there girls!
As a helpful hand in your search here are three Etsy sellers that either have a plus-sized section in their shops or carry a fair amount of plus-sizes. I can personally speak for threadoverheels, as I've purchased from her myself and I think I've "favorited" more than a dozen of her dresses. But I also liked what I found at iloveswift and sarahblackheart.