Anyone Want a Quickie?

Published June 3, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Just a quick post tonight, I’ve been out spoiling a friend’s kitties (I shall be looking after them for the weekend) and am on early shift tomorrow.  Blech!

I have some questions of you, dear readers.  Yes you, all of you.  Especially you there lurking in the corner… I can see you *waves*.

I want to ask you all where you like to shop for your clothes bargains?  Do you have any  super bargain places, budget spots or do you have any work arounds with accessories that help you spend your precious fatshion dollar wisely?  What about shoes, purses and other accessories?

What about beauty products?  Do you have budget skin care or make-up options?

I’m on a mission to compile some budget fatshion options, for those who can’t afford the big $$ stuff.

No matter where you are in the world, can you share with me in the comments below the spots you like to shop at when you’re on a tight budget please?

And if you have links, please share.  I’m working on something for you all, so anything you can give me will help.

34 comments on “Anyone Want a Quickie?

  • You have hit Queen Shopaholic’s area of expertise. So this is a big rant, hehe. But enjoy, these are the shopping methods I swear by.

    First and foremost– eBay. I don’t know what the hell I would do without it! I live in the biggest city in the world but am on a first-name basis with every single soul who works at my post office due to buying and selling so much shit on eBay. It has worked wonders for all my size fluctations but it does have its flaws– there’s been many times I got something that didn’t fit or wasn’t as described, but I’d say at least 85% of the time I’ve been satisfied with both the new and pre-owned clothes I bought on there. If something doesn’t fit or I don’t think it’ll ever fit me, I usually just sell it back up on ebay or give it to a friend or family member. But it truly is a terrific option for plus-sized bargains– I just won a Tripp skirt, brand new with the freakin tags that went for like $60 at Torrid, for only $6.50 after shipping!

    Shoes, due to my orthopedic issues I have to stick to what I know and mostly only do brick-and-mortar for that. Generally, I Iook online then look around for the best price– like my favorite Adidas shelltoes? Went for $64 online then a shoe store not too far from me considered a 6 kids’ sizes and the kids’ shoes were $40 while the mens’ ones were $50. I’ve also done it the other way around when I see a pair of shoes I like in a store, try them on, then look for them cheaper online through eBay, Zappos, what have you.

    But Zappos is also really good for shoes– that ultra liberal return policy comes in handy, I sent back a pair of shoes I had sitting in my closet for 6 months that I realized I wasn’t wearing. It’s also good to buy two pairs of of the same shoes in different sizes then sending back the ones that don’t fit. For the uninitiated, Zappos has free shipping both ways and it’s 2-day or Overnight Express. Whether you by 1 pair of shoes or 10 pairs. They’ve also always been very easy and pleasant to deal with; and have a nice selection of wide-width and wide-calf shoes and boots plus Insolia (which is a must for me!) decked dress shoes that are nice and fashionable looking and well-made, not cheap plastic like Torrid’s shoes or something that looks Dr. Scholl’s-esque.

    Purses and accessories– also done great on eBay. But Torrid’s extra 50% off of clearance sales they have occasionally have provided me with tons of $6-15 purses that last a decent amount of time. I’ve also had pretty good luck with buying clothes that way– got a pair of jeans for only $9!

    Trashy Lingerie is great for finding cheap Queen size pantyhose and thigh-highs, and a lot of pantyhose in straight sizes that easily stretch to fit a plus size woman. The actual lingerie they sell is very expensive not to mention tiny, but I’ve been a loyal customer of theirs for hosiery for 9 years.

    That’s where I love to shop. Hope this helps! I can also give eBay pointers for the uninitiated if you have yet to take the eBay nosedive, or had bad luck on there.

    • Some awesome suggestions there Rachel. I have done pretty well with eBay too.

      Shoes can be really expensive if you’ve got orthopaedic issues. I guess I am lucky in that I can wear cheap shoes in most cases.


      • Indeedy. When it comes to clothes, I drive a hard bargain unless it’s a really special or rare piece; because I know that I can usually do well with eBay and clearance racks. But the two areas I can’t scrimp on are shoes and bras. Broken foot I’ve been walking on for years, required surgery twice, can’t put too much pressure on it or else my entire leg goes up in flames. Sucks but I do what I gotta do. So I figure, all the money I save on clothes from trading on eBay enables me to afford the better shoes and durable socks I need. Along with bras, F/G cups are rare and usually expensive.

        Which brings me to one place I forgot– Lane Bryant. The place every fat chick has a love-hate relationship with. Me personally, I think the clothing is pretty meh. The pieces aren’t so well made that they are worth the asking price– but I’m not averse to buying an LB career blouse or two on ebay for my work wardrobe. Thing is, I really shop there for bras– I can take or leave their clothes, but for my bra size I can’t go anywhere else and get an F or G cup off the rack. Cacique bras are always Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off year-round, plus they send out coupons in the mail all the time if you’re on their mailing list– comes in handy when one needs to do a lot of bra shopping. I swear by the Cacique soft cotton wire-free bras that come in sizes up to 48H, those are perfect for the gym and yoga. They make some nice push-up bras too though those usually only come up to 44DD. On the occasion I see F cups I just grab those because they’re styled similarly to the more expensive Lunaire and Goddess bras sold at specialty shops but for less than half the price.

        It’d be nice if I could give more of my money to specialty shops instead of the love-hate LB, so I compromise– I keep my eyes peeled on eBay as many small business owners have ditched the brick and mortar notion for an eBay Store– I’ve gotten Goddess bras in my size for less than $20 that way!

  • May I recommenced Plato’s Closet? I’m not sure if there’s one in your area but they sell gently used, in season, clothing and accessories at very affordable prices. The one in my town carries a lot of larger sizes too. That’s where I shop on a tight budget.

  • I have had some luck at our local Salvation Army (Ann Arbor, MI) which recently opened a newer, bigger shop, and have complimented friends on clothes who have said they’ve found stuff there too. They do put the plus sizes separate and separate pants, tops, etc, on racks, but then they organize the clothes by color! So you have to do a fair amount of looking. I think the rack of plus size tops is about 20 ft long. I have found items that worked for me that do not appear to have ever been worn, for example a nice quality white tshirt for $3-4, a royal blue long cotton knit jacket for $7, and a black & white check blouse for my mom that she loves for about $6. The Salvation Army in a nearby town where my family lives has recently opened a new shop too.

  • Any tips that I’d have to offer would be pretty my-location-centric. There’s little trick to thrift when it comes to clothes, other than CONSTANT VIGILANCE. Scour those sale racks! Dig through those piles of accessories that no one wants! Search, search, search! (If I’m buying something online, it’s something I’ve likely saved and scrimped for. Shipping to Canada can be… ow.)

    I can offer a bit of a makeup tip, though. I love, love, love wearing fun eye shadow. Expensive eye shadow is… expensive, but less likely to crease on you and get all mucked up after a few hours of wear. But cheap eye shadow can be made to last a whole day if you use primer, right? …screw paying $20 bucks for a bottle of primer. A bit of concealer or foundation blended onto your eyelid, and you’re good to go. 😀 I’ve made $2 drugstore stuff do awesome things. I can spend the same amount of money on way more shades to play with!

  • I don’t know if it’ll help, but I personally love to shop at the Goodwill. I’ve found so many nice things there, many of which are favorite go-to pieces I wear constantly. Goodwill has really cleaned up their image in the last few years and most of them have a clearly designated plus size area for easy shopping. It’s a great way to ensure that no one else will be wearing what I am at a party. Also, on a DIY level, I like to take some of my old clothes that I’m not that into anymore or that are a little tight and make something new out of them or make them easy to wear again by cutting a small triangle in the waistband.

  • you did say anywhere in the world ??? Well apart from antique shops and eBay and maybe supercheap auto and bunnings i hate to shop. However when we go to Berlin to visit family i always pack light so i can buy here and look like a local.

    You buy recycled clothing and pay by the kilo. How cool is that? That included leather and fur etc. I love it.

    Now as for antique shops i love the Wooloongabba Antiques market. Not the best prices. But great coffee and cakes and lots of fun going through all sorts of old crap.


  • Kohl’s. If you watch for sales and get on their email list to get their regular 15% off entire purchase coupons and then use it during one of their “buy $50 get $10 Kohl’s cash” promotions…well, it adds up. This week I got a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, a tshirt, a blouse, and a bathing suit for about $40.

    Some of their offerings are a little…uh, matronly, but depending on the store and the time of year there are definitely possibilities.

    Ross Dress For Less. It’s very hit or miss, but when I hit, I hit big, like a lined navy blue blazer for about $12, and a black knit tank dress for $5.99. (Really. I bought a pair of clearance slides from Target for $13.99, and put together a going out outfit for under $20.)

    For makeup…Dollar Tree stores. Lately they’ve been getting in stuff from LA Colors, Maybelline, and Sally Hansen. Again, it’s hit or miss, some Dollar Tree locations get the stuff and some don’t, but I’ve picked up some amazing nail polishes and lipsticks for $1 each. Although I passed on the lip gloss with glitter in it because even though I’ll push the age envelope, that’s a little too 8th grade for me :).

    Someone’s already recommended Zappos for shoes, and I second it heartily. I have to admit shoes are one of the few places I don’t scrimp – I’d rather have fewer pairs in my closet that fit properly and look good, and I’m not easy to fit. I’ve ordered from other shoe businesses online that also offer free shipping/returns, but keep coming back to Zappos because of the sheer ease of it all. And no, they don’t pay me to say that, although I wish they would.

    • I went to Kohls when I was in the US and yes, some of their stuff is kinda matronly but it’s really good for classics like plain cardigans, good work pants and polo shirts or cargo pants. I picked up a great pair of black pants there.

  • Any store that you buy something from, always join their loyalty club! It’s a pain in the ass having so many cards (I actually have a separate card wallet for all of mine), but it pays off when they notify you of member-only sales, or send you a discount voucher for your birthday.

    On the Gold Coast, we have a Harbour Town which can be hit-or-miss. It’s pretty good for shoes (I got my wedding shoes there), but the clothes stores are mostly regular sizes, not plus sizes, so it can be hard to find clothes that fit.

    I get most of my make up from my Avon lady, although I don’t wear much anyway: Avon makeup is usually pretty good quality and nearly always discounted. If what you want isn’t discounted in one brochure, it probably will be in the next one.

    • This is true, I need to get a card wallet! I keep losing all the cards because my wallet is too full of them. The best thing is they send you emails about their sales.

  • Avon makeup is pretty hit or miss. My sister sells it to make some extra cash and I’ve gotten some good products from them– I like their nail polish when they put it on sale, and their mascaras are pretty good. Decent blusher. Their eyeshadow always creases on me though.

    Ulta is pretty good for makeup, unlike Sephora that only carries prestige brands, Ulta carries both prestige and conventional. They often put coupons in the local mailers and accept manufacturers’ coupons for things like shampoo and hair dyes. Their store brand stuff is also really good– good blusher and eyeshadows.

    I also like my tactic of just going into Sephora to try out all the new stuff then seeing if they have on it on eBay. Sure enough, I got Tokidoki Mad Rocker mascara for $10 less plus no sales tax on eBay!

    I do the same thing at the MAC store. What’s also great is to check out eBay sellers selling MAC pigments– if you only want to try just a little of a pigment instead of ending up with a whole jar of it, you can buy teeny-tiny containers for like $2-3– and those pigments go a LONG way for those of you adventurous with makeup experimentation.

    A crease-proof trick for me? I use Avon Mark’s i-mark eye gel in white or silver and color it in with MAC pigment, then let it dry. Works great for punk and burlesque shows where I get suh-wwwwwwweaty!

  • My daily moisturiser, which I love and has a high SPF, is the facial and tinted facial moisturiser from the Cancer Council. I love them and they’re cheap as chips.

    If I need a stronger facial moisturiser (as I always do in winter, when my skin becomes a scaly mess) I just use sorbolene cream. $3 a tube.

    I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but if I want some bright eyeshadows I go to Aromaleigh – Their mineral shadows are cheaper than anything we get in Oz.

    Etsy is also a great place to find cheap cosmetics. One of my favourites is Sobe Botanicals – It’s all natural, she makes everything from scratch, she has excellent customer service and great prices.

    • Etsy is awesome! Almost everything on there is handmade. You can find quilts, to handmade leather journals, to handkerchiefs, to jewelry. I had completely forgotten about it!

  • I do some digging through places like Ross, T.J. Max, and the like. But sometimes you can find decent stuff there and sometimes not.I’m not real comfortable ordering clothes online because sometimes the clothes I like don’t look good on me. Otherwise I hit the clearance racks and sales. I can usually find sweaters and t-shirts at places like JCPenny’s (no button ups though) and bra’s at Herbergers (Yonkers/Bergners). Again sales are your best friend sometimes. I’ve gotten bra’s for $10-15 at Herbergers.

    Pants I have the most trouble with. Penny’s doesn’t carry anything in my size as far as pants go, and I’ve never been real happy with the selection of pants at Ross or T.J. Max, 90% of the pants they have at our store in my size have elastic waistbands. So pants are one of my buy them when you find them.

    Periodically I’ll go into Debs. But they’re clothes are bad quality and too young for me. Unless I’m looking for a nice dress for like a wedding or something. Then I can usually find something there that looks nice.

    Shoes…I don’t shoe shop very often. So I’ve never heard of Zappos but I’ll be sure to check it out.

    As for accessories…I have one necklace that I wear regularly and I got that at a little celtic shop downtown. And a watch from Walmart. And I have a locket that my mother gave me for Christmas.

    OH and I love Hips and Curves and The Stocking Store. Hips and Curves is a purely plus size lingerie website, but the Stocking store sells better hosiery and garter belts. Though while looking at H+C I found they really only carry the in-between sizes (up to about 42 waist measurement in garterbelts). The Stocking Store…I’m not sure on all their sizes I was only looking at garterbelts at the time. :p

  • I found some gems in Lane Bryant when I was in the US. The plain cotton underwire bras they have are nothing short of PERFECT for me, and were $28! I’d pay $60 for that here. I bought a dozen and in the three years since, have literally worn the tits out of them. Their undies are great too.

    I did find a few gems by way of clothes. Some pretty little tops and a skirt I wore to bits.

    • I wish Lane Bryant shipped to Oz, I do like the look of their bras. I too have trouble finding cheap, pretty bras that fit and when I do I always buy at least 2!

    • Lane Bryant is about the only place I can get button ups and nicer summer tops and pants that last. I know a lot of people have had bad things to say about their quality but they do carry some very classic work clothes. And in complete agreement they have fabulous panties. That’s one reason I still allow my mother to buy me panties for Christmas is she gets me Lane Bryant panties. (Not that she’d stop if I asked her to.)

      OHOHOH! And for those of us who are inbetween sized, Dress Barn sometimes has really great shirts. I have this one red top that is super cute on me. And I’ve had it for years.

  • Try and volunteer at your local Op Shop Vinnies and Salvos usually let you just walk in and you can usually squirrell away some gems and get given them or a heavy discount (I’m not a fan of church based charities but I am a fan of the Op so I suck it up) Also find your states Charity Sorting centres where where you can buy clothing by the bag or by the kilo In Sydney the Salvos centre is in Marrickville and the Smith Family is in Rooty Hill and the Anglicare centre is in Ashfield (I’m assuming Brisbane has a similar setup)

    heres a few links to start you off

    On Ebay I have been buying a lot of stuff straight from the manufacturer I am a fan of for basic dresses, and lightweight coats and usually find sizing up and getting things in cotton/ poly or knit without major sleeve construction yields the best results and all the buy it now options have free shipping (average cost for trench $40 AUD) or this store for cheap Cacique lingerie and the cutest underwear up to a size 28. and the bras are excellent and for $15AUD delivered there is nothing in Australia at that price at the moment.

  • Hi, just love your blog and its good to see items for real women. I have a website for sexy lingerie if anyone is interested and am always looking for new styles and ideas.
    BTW, i am a Real woman too, take care

    • Thank you Teresa,

      I want to challenge your use of the term “real women” though. This implies that there is some type of body type that isn’t real, which is simply not true. ALL women are real, regardless of their body shape or size. Unless they are robots or figments of our imaginations, every single woman is a real woman.

      Using euphamisms for “fat” like “real women”, “curvy” or any of the other terms only further creates a stigma around the word fat. Fat is merely a descriptor, not an insult or derogatory term.

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