Size really doesn’t matter…

Posted in Daily Outfits, Second Hand Shopping.


Thrifted silk kaftan, Primark cardigan, Topshop leggings, Steve Madden boots, thrifted bangles, Primark ring, vintage belt

Last weekend during my thrifting adventure, I spotted a flash of colour peeking out from a rail of black and grey. I made a beeline for it and grabbed it with both hands. This is how my thought process went:

1. It’s so pretty!
2. It’s pure silk!
3. It’s only ÂŖ2.99!
4. It’s a size… 20?!

Feeling more than a little dejected and suddenly wishing for more flesh on my size 12 frame, I made my retreat. As I huffed and puffed my way through pair after pair of size 12 black trousers, I allowed myself more than one sneaky glance at my first find. Could I alter it? (More like could I be bothered to alter it or will it languish at the back of my wardrobe along with my sewing machine and needle and thread!) Wear it loose? Belt it? As I pondered, a ray of sunshine caught my eye. This is how my thought process went:

1. It’s so pretty!
2. It’s got the most wonderful yellow print!
3. It’s only ÂŖ3.99!
4. It’s a size… 8?!

Damn and blast! Not having much luck in the charity shop. Feeling fed up. Need to be much fatter or much skinnier and can achieve neither before my parking meter runs out. Harumph.

I wandered round aimlessly, watching other people eye up MY finds and cast them aside. After 15 minutes of hawk-like circling, I grabbed them both and headed for the fitting room. First up, the size 20 kaftan. Not bad, not bad… With a belt? Yes! And then, the size 8 skirt. Feeling totally devoid of hope, I inched it up… up… up! How did that happen? Am I wearing a size 8? Yes I am! Woohoo!

I think the volunteer at the charity shop thought I had body issues, as I’m clearly neither a size 20 nor a size 8. But I found a way to make those thrifted bargains work for me. The kaftan is worn as a dress and given shape with a simple belt. The skirt you all loved on Monday is hitched up to waist level, rather than slung about the hips, and belted into place. Both are miles away from my actual size but look (and feel) like the perfect fit.

Next time I’m thrfiting, I’ll definitely take a look at the higher and lower ends of the size scale. I don’t think I’ll be squeezing my way into size 6 jeans any time soon, but if there are gems like these to be found, it’s worth keeping an eye out!

PS – Here’s the kaftan in all its glory, and me allowing myself a smug smile and thumbs up for my belting expertise. 🙂

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The title says it all!
I hate womens clothing sizes … they differ so much depending on the actual item itself.
I find skirts are pretty easy to adjust, I have many a time squeezed into a smaller size just by wearing it a different way

The kaftan looks great 🙂


Such a fab idea to belt up, i never would have known that was an oversized top until you said but you totally made it work- well done you 🙂

Cafe Fashionista

This post only serves to reaffirm why I adore you so much, Jen! I’m so thrilled that you found such amazing pieces. You’ve inspired me to try on different sizes in the future, as well. Perhaps something unexpected will fit.

And ohmigosh I adore your boots – they work so perfectly with your belt, my love!! 🙂


You were so right not letting the ‘official’ sizes detract you, Jen! Especially ‘too big’ is often just fine, I find. Another place where one should never go for the sizes is topshop – sometimes I’m an 8, sometimes a 14, I can’t rely on the numbers and just have to try things on. Lovely kaftan and beautiful colour scheme!


Oh wow, the difference a belt makes! Those last two photographs are hilarious Jen, thanks for including them.

And I’d never have thought that yellow skirt was a size 8 – there’s so much fabric in it. Both pieces look fantastic on you though, what excellent bargain hunting.

Vintage Vixen

Your crazy picture cracked me up!
First rule of chazzing, never EVER take any notice of labels. Volunteers are often mad. I’ve found ladies trousers on the gent’s rails, size 8’s in the kiddie section and batwing tops labelled as OUTSIZE.
You look fab.


A salutary reminder that the number on the label is only that – just a rather arbitrary number. The kaftan looks great on you, what a bargain. xx


Ooo.. i love a good thrift in the charity shops! I found the prettiest dusky pink silk scarf the other day – £1.20! Bargain.. I think it was the first time my hubby was pleased witha purchase of mine! he he..

Love the finds, theres always a way to make it work with sizes. Always! he he x

Pink Flower

Wow, belts really are a staple they can totally change an outfit and make it fit perfectly. I’d of never of guess [with the belt] that the kaftan was a size 20!

E is for Eleanor

Great post and so so true! I have size 20 and size 10 items in my wardrobe and i always look at all the rails and piles when thrifting!

The kaftan is a beauty! will be great for summer xx


Clothing sizes are really annoying as they vary so much! Although thank you for pointing out the fact that larger things can be belted as I would never have thought something at a size 20 would have fitted you so perfectly! 🙂


This is a great look. I really like that you show us how big your top actually is! I think this proves that when we’re shopping for clothing—be it thrifting or whatnot—that we shouldn’t disregard sizes that are ‘too large’ for us!

Thanks for sharing this. You’re on my blog roll 🙂


Haha aw that second last picture made me laugh so much! Youre always so cool, calm and collected and I wasnt expecting such a random picture as that 🙂 made me giggle! but total high five for your belting skills. What a bargain 🙂 Lets defo be sistas from another mista! xx


Great post – love the outfit 🙂

Totally agree about the sizes, although sadly I don’t seem to ever fit into smaller ones! Bigger though, definitely easier to work with. I bought a gorgeous Topshop top from Ebay the other day – it’s 2 sizes too big, & is maternity wear, so lots of additional fabric at the front.. but like you, with a belt & leggings it’s a perfect dress & I love it!

La FÊe

aha I do the exact same thing – size is not an obstacle if I love an item of clothing! belts really are a godsend 🙂
lovely outfit too my dear!


You did great Jen… I normally am not bothered with bigger sizes because yes, we can belt it. I love your kaftan. xoxo


Haha, you definitely made them work for you, girl! I love reading about your thrifting adventures, it sounds mighty exciting!!



haha the third pic is so funny lol i’ve gotten something that was supposedly for pregnant women but i did the same thing with the belt noone could ever tell!!!



Love the pics!! 🙂
That kaftan goes perfectly with the cardi. Really pretty print.

I’ve bought a top before then realised it’s maternity – then thought ‘hell to it!’ and put a belt on it or altered it in some way. Only you know what you are wearing.

X x


love it, and the liarious pictures, and thank you for the reminder..
i was in primark the other day, and found some dresses i loved, none of which were available in a 12, so i grabbed the smallest size they had (18) and have decided a belt will help me fake it!!


That kaftan <3

I’ve been known to buy clothes far too big and pull them in with belts and such,
I mean, a bargain is a bargain right..especially if it can be altered and worn in more than one way!


i just love seeing your thrifted finds! the latest does not disappoint. the kaftan is so cute on you! clearly it needs the belt, but if not for that last photo where you show it on it’s own, i wouldn’t realize it wasn’t made to be worn cinched at the waist. it looks great. ~joelle


I love the kaftan my dear!! cant believe it is size 20!! i went shopping today and got clothes in size 6,8,10!!??? how am i three sizes!!
great post my dear 🙂
vicki xo

Light Stealer

It happens to me all the time!
I have clothes in ALL sizes, dependind on the fit I want…
This for example works just fine on you! 🙂

PS: I also always think people at the tills must think I’m a little confused or something..! 😛

The Owl Diary

cutest entry ever. i loved reading about your shopping adventure. & the outfit looks too, too adorable. love the last photographs especially. hehe. hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. xx

Katie, Tinda Keelie

Haha. I love the pic without the belt. Priceless. I think the same thing when I see an amazing piece of clothing that’s way too big- bummer- but now I have some inspiration to take a second look!


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