Ladies, gentlemen, and the rest of us, I am excited to tell you about the Big Fat Flea: New York City’s largest pop-up plus-size clothing flea market. On one day – and one day only – NYU School of Law is transformed into a magic plus-size clothing extravaganza. $10 at the door gets you in, and the clothing is dirt cheap. I’ve gone previous years and walked away with a full suit for under $40, Polo shirts for $3, ties for $1 – and the selection, friends. The selection.
Those of us who wear bigger sizes – sizes you can’t find in most stores – we know very intimately the extra effort it takes to find things to wear at all, let alone to find a large selection. The magic of the Flea is in its variety, but also in the fact that it is an in-person shopping experience. The Flea is one of the places where I have actively found myself wishing I were larger so I could wear something particularly spectacular.
It’s worth saying that this is a full-contact shopping experience. This is the kind of event that requires bringing a friend, comfortable shoes, and clothing you can get into and out of quickly. The dressing room is usually at least semi-communal – consider this your warning – which can be a lot of fun or a terrifying depending on how you feel about yourself at any given moment. An undershirt and boxers are encouraged if you want to be a little more modest.
The selection tends to run towards the feminine, but as we all were recently reminded, pants are pants. They are actively recruiting donations of masculine clothing; for those of you who have clothes you might want to donate, you can bring them by NYU Law on Saturday between 12pm-8pm or Sunday, the day of the flea, from 10:30am-3pm.
The flea itself is to benefit NOLOSE, a largely queer national body-positivity organization. There are other fleas around the country – the Big Thrifty in Boston, Cupcakes and Muffintops in the Bay Area, and probably (hopefully!) other swaps in other places. If you’d be interested in coordinating your own big fat flea, write to them at [email protected] – they’ll be happy to help you get started.