Thrifting Tips: What To Do When It Doesn’t Fit

March 28, 2017 in Style / Thrifting

When I was a much younger lady, I had a lot less discretion (heck, didn’t we all?) I thrifted with reckless abandon, buying anything that vaguely looked good on me and was “on trend.” Which, trust me, meant a lot of embarrassing styles and questionably fitting clothes. So I made a rule for myself: I wasn’t buying anything unless one, I could see myself wearing it at least once a week and two, it fit me perfectly.

But when I spotted this Adrianna Papell blue paisley dress, all the rules were OUT THE WINDOW. Needed it, wanted it, had to have it, even though it was two sizes too big. Rules: they were meant to be broken.

So what should you do when your thrifted find doesn’t fit? I’ve got three tricks up my sleeves.

1. Find a good tailor

Seriously, there is nothing as good as a tailor who knows what the heck they’re doing. And it’s not as expensive as you might think, especially for thrifted pieces. What would you rather do: buy something new at full price that doesn’t quite work for your body, or something thrifted for less, so you can spend the extra budget on tailoring.

That’s the route I went with this pretty blue paisley dress. My tailor (can I call her that? Is there a magic number of times you have to go to a tailor before you can call them yours?) worked her magic and took it in not once but twice for me, bringing it way closer to my size.


It’s not a perfect fit after tailoring. You can see that the sleeves are still a little big on my arms. But it’s not terribly noticeable, and the cut of this dress was pretty up-and-down and less hourglass to begin with.

Anyway, tailoring. It’s your friend.

2. Tie it together with a belt

Great for holding up pants or accentuating your waist, belts are where it’s at.


I fully admit I got this idea from my friend Kelsie, who is brilliant. Credit where credit is due, guys!

3. Put it back

Yeah, I said it. If a tailor or a belt can’t make it right, back on the rack it goes. It’s not fun, but the reality is that not everything you fall in love with is meant to come home with you.

Have you ever gotten something tailored? How’d it turn out?

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  • Reply Dean of Little Steps March 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

    That’s a lovely dress and I don’t blame you at all for not abiding on your own rules. I would’ve done the same. 😁 Great tips too.

  • Reply Agnes March 28, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Totally agree about a tailor. The tailor is my best friend especially since I am a short girl and everything needs tailoring in the first place.

  • Reply PAULINE March 29, 2017 at 5:44 am

    That’s very useful 🙂 Thanks

  • Reply Steven Kreimendahl March 29, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Tip number three is key. I have found so many great used clothes that are just not quite my size. I used to get the because of the deal, but if it does not fit, I will not be getting a few inches shorter any time soon!

  • Reply Mary March 29, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Wonderful advice, thankfully there are many tailor companies which have opened in shopping centres around Australia.

  • Reply Sue Tanya Mchorgh March 29, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Natalie March 29, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Ooh such a pretty dress & the belt is such a good idea!

  • Reply Elise March 29, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I can totally see why you did it for that dress! It’s really lovely. Good advice – I usually go with too big is ok as I don’t mind oversized fits, and like you said you can get it tailored but TOO SMALL is what I always put back. I’m not going to be any smaller than I am now unless I have another bout of two weeks of Burmese food poisoning so what’s the point! And it’s so much harder to change things that are too small than too big!

  • Reply Gennifer Rose March 29, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    I am a HUGE thrifter as well and I know the pain of finding something you absolutely love but sadly it doesn’t fit. I have had to put many amazing items back on the shelf because deep down I knew I wouldn’t end up wearing it. But we can take solace in the fact that it will be an awesome find for another lucky gal 😉

    Gennifer Rose |

  • Reply Jen March 29, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Such a pretty dress!! I’m terrible for buying things that don’t fit and either telling myself ‘it will fit one day’ or trying to alter it myself. I need more self restraint!! Haha

  • Reply Christopher James March 30, 2017 at 4:15 am

    Simple, quick, and to the point. Nice. I appreciate the clean design of the site by the way, it makes it a pleasure to click through.

  • Reply From Jess to You Services March 30, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Cute tips and photos! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Elizabeth O March 31, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Great tips. Sometimes it is best to just leave things on the rack. I can relate as I’ve bought things that didn’t fit too.

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