It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the cozy Petworth neighborhood, and Fia’s Fabulous Finds thrift shop was a flurry of energetic activity. Multiple racks filled with colorful, plus-size fashion from sizes 14W to 28W adorned the sidewalks, the smell of freshly popped popcorn filled the air, and the promise of a margarita from shop owner, Fia, could be heard in the distance. This was the scene at the VIP Plus Size Party on March 1.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education, “The average size of an American woman is now between 16 to 18, which is an increase from 10-year-old data that indicated most women in the U.S. were a size 14.” As the new average expands, so does demand. In a typical vintage/thrift shop, the plus size selection is pretty scarce. Safisha (Fia) Thomas of Fia’s Fabulous Finds would like to change that. A mainstay in the Petworth neighborhood for almost a decade now, this black-owned business (Safisha co-owns the shop with her husband Frank Thomas), has a loyal and dedicated following. Boasting a plus-size inventory of more than 1,000 pieces, Fia’s wants to become a staple for all curvy fashionistas in this city, and beyond.
A favorite among DC bloggers and influencers, the shop frequently collaborates with influencers in the thrifting and fashion community, and even gives multiple local small business owners, space in the store to showcase their goods. Among those are Fearless Threads, founded by Naima Dozier in 2011. Naima incorporates vibrant Ghanian fabrics in her selection of handmade bags and accessories. Also available at the shop is Bermuda Triangle Vintage by Ebony McMillian, which specializes in vintage clothing, accessories and suitcases from the 1920-1980’s. The most recent addition to Fia’s shop is Mya Price’s More Than Your Average. In addition to being an online vintage shop owner, Price is also a stylist and blogger. Frequently showcasing her colorful goods on her instagram account, modeled by local plus size bloggers in elaborate photoshoots.
The VIP Plus Size Party was bustling with excited shoppers, many with a growing pile of secondhand fashions in one arm, with the other still exploring the many racks filled with both vintage, designer and on trend pieces of plus-size wares. On hand was Amber of Eat-n-Style Blog, who served as host and stylist at the event. Amber is a local food and fashion blogger with a passion for thrifting and secondhand fashion.
As you explore Fia’s shop, you’ll spot the carefully curated showrooms of the aforementioned local online vintage shop owners, each showcasing their own distinctive style. Also located towards the back of the shop is the fitting room area, which during the event, became somewhat of a communal changing room, with women sharing the space and trying on their finds together. With a plethora of compliments and nods of approval exchanged, the plus size event was a welcoming space, and a refreshingly body positive zone for people of all ages to come together and enjoy fashion and community.
Fia’s Fabulous: 806 Upshur Street,NW; 202-492-8278; www.fiasfabfinds.tumblr.com