Why Shop When You Can SWAP?


Love your outfitHave you ever looked through your closet and realized there are many items you just don’t wear any more? How many times have you put on that really cute top you just couldn’t pass up, but never actually walk out of the house wearing it? Do you have lots of sizes/categories in your closet? (For example: pre pregnancy, during pregnancy but before maternity, maternity, post pregnancy, nursing, post nursing, then all of the above for second pregnancy because clearly your body looks different.) Sound familiar?

Well friend, it sounds like it’s time for a clothing swap! A clothing swap is my favorite way to clean out my closet, hang out with friends, grab some (FREE) items to freshen up my wardrobe, and help out a favorite charity!  

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Part of the clothing selection at my most recent swap.

Clothing swaps have become increasingly popular in the past few years as more people are paying attention to their budgets and trying to be more conscious of waste. A clothing swap is kind of like when you go to a consignment store with all your clothes and then buy new clothes at the same store. Except there is NO money involved and instead of a store, you go to a friend’s house (or your own!) and shop while you eat, drink, and socialize! Swaps are relatively simple and anyone can host (or attend) one.

At a clothing swap, all the attendees go through their closets with a critical eye. You pull out any gently used items (clothes, accessories, or shoes), that you no longer wear for whatever reason. Gather these clothes altogether and bring them with you to the swap. Once everyone has arrived, you shop each other’s clothes, eat, drink, and socialize. At the end of the swap, you go home with new-to-you clothing, a cleaner closet, and a rejuvenated spirit from some time out with your friends!

clothes swapAll clothing swaps have different rules. Some swaps are careful to only invite people who are the same size. Others try to invite a wide range of sizes (and let’s face it, most of us have more than one size in our wardrobe) so there is something for everyone. Most swaps have some sort of organization plan for the clothes. I like to sort by size, others prefer to sort by type of clothing. It really doesn’t matter; it’s just to make it easier to shop. Some people like to have rules on how much to bring and how much you can take. Others (like me) consider it more of a free for all. To each their own. At the end of the day, everyone gets new clothes for free!

At the swaps I have attended, any leftover items are donated to charity. My personal choice is Eastside Ministries, but feel free to donate where you feel the need is greatest.

If you aren’t a fan of your friends’ clothes, but still want to conserve money and waste, check out some of the online sites that have a swap like concept. For example, you can send clothes into thredup.com. You will get credit for use in its online store or a PayPal transfer.

Some of you may still be dubious, or you may have already created a Facebook event for your own swap. Either way, I highly encourage you to jump on the clothing swap bandwagon. Many of my favorite clothes are from swaps. It’s the perfect solution for a shopaholic bargain hunter like me. Really, what’s better than new clothes for free? 


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