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âWhen you find pieces that really suit you, you hang in there,â says Kelly Christie.
Kelly Christie has been shopping second-hand since the age of 20, her passion starting with vintage housewares. It was when her children were young that clothes became her focus, both for the affordable prices in op stores and for the interesting range on offer. She was also looking for things for herself, but never found much in her size that attracted her.
There’s a shortage of great plus size clothing in the first place, says Christie, which is why it’s so hard to find second-hand.
âI have been plus size all of my teenage and adult life and there are definitely more options now for buying new. But when you find parts that really work for you, you hang in there – you know it’ll be an effort to find the next big thing – so few quality parts ever make it to op stores.
Although she notes, “it’s probably a good thing in terms of durability.”
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Her Instagram store, You + Me, is all about finding great second-hand clothing for women of size 14 and up, searching well and going often. Christie gives detailed descriptions of the items and usually models them herself.
This had unintended consequences for Christie’s own wardrobe. âBecause I try on so many different types of clothes, this gig really made me try more with my own style, not to be afraid, to have fun rather than worrying so much about what other people think. , and don’t take me too seriouslyâ¦ the style is real, it doesn’t need to be tweaked all the time.
Five pieces that I own and love
United Colors of Benetton vintage jersey
The colors hooked me to this mohair beauty – so many shades – that, and the lovely vintage label. Luckily it also adapts!
A pinned denim jacket
I love denim jackets, especially ones with badges or pins. They are like tattoos, telling the story of the person wearing them. These two Baby Loss NZ pins are for my deceased daughters – they will stay on some of my clothes forever.
Holy Chic cheetah sweater dress
It tells the story of how store bought items sometimes need a little reinvention to make them work for you. The previous owner had taken it in 2 inches on each seam, even sewing the pockets. I unchecked about 20,000 stitches and found a perfect fit. Now, this is the most comfortable (and probably the most versatile) thing in my wardrobe.
Vintage Ermenegildo Zegna blazer
Again, op-shopping makes you think outside the lines. You find it for the fit, color and style, not the tag size or gender. This vintage ’90s men’s blazer hooked me perfectly and looked divine to me, as it should for its original price of over $ 3,000. I love the big brass buttons on it. Vintage blazers have become one of the most popular items I sell.
Golden sister earrings
I adore these little beauties who, surprisingly, seem to work with almost anything in my wardrobe. I rarely shop at retail, so the experience of buying them from Sister Golden in WhangÄrei adds to my love for them – an exotic treasure trove of vintage and new, like stepping into another world.
Three pieces that I would like to add
Tailor pattern by Liam
Finding the perfect combination is an elusive unicorn. I would love to own one, but rarely find a piece that fits my height and body. Having tailor-made clothes is often the only way in plus size, I’ve done this for prom and wedding dresses before. But maybe I could do mine this time?
Ruby’s sister brand, Liam, has started selling their patterns, and they’re coming up to size 24 soon. I know this jumpsuit is a perfect fit for me: V-neck, wrap side, wide legâ¦ and damn beautiful. Maybe a summer challenge ?! Pray for me!
New Balance 327
NBs are my favorite shoe because of their retro vibe and sheer comfort. I would have all the colors if I could justify it. While I’m having a hard time buying something new, these sherbet color numbers are calling my name.
Dylan Kain bag
A shoulder bag is a pretty essential savings outfit to me – leaves your hands free. I love the simplicity of this piece, the big metal details. Perfect size, perfect colorâ¦ and a reasonably local Australian brand.