I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure how the clothing/accessories swap I hosted this past Monday night would turn out. I had visions of everyone leaving empty handed, feeling as if they’d wasted an evening, and having to lamely remind everyone to look on the bright side – “hey, at least your closet is cleaned out!” When I looked at my contributions, which consisted of things that I had zero desire to wear anymore, I couldn’t help but wonder who in the world would want to take any of it home? Or would I find anything from another person’s reject pile to get excited about? My worries were quickly put to rest. Just take a look at what 13 stylish ladies brought to the table (and sofa, and arm chair, and floor…) Monday night:
Believe it or not, more things were brought into the mix after I snapped these pictures, but I was too busy “shopping” to capture them. Needless to say, I scored tons of things I am ecstatic to add to my wardrobe: a purse, a pair of slacks, 3 dresses, 2 quarter sleeved length jackets, 2 scarves, several tops, several bangles, and 2 necklaces! All for $FREE.99! (!!!) A clothing swap is a frugalista’s dream, I tell you!
As the girls arrived and laid out their items I noticed several people eyeing a lot of the same things, and I started to kick myself for not coming up with any elaborate rules for swap decorum. I’d read on another blog about a system that involved price level tokens to exchange for like-priced items, but that had confusion written all over it. The idea of a “walk off” was suggested – the group would get to vote on who the item looked best on if 2+ ladies were vying for the same thing – but I figured we’d just put everything in a pile and have a free for all. It worked out swimmingly, as there were plenty of fantastic finds to go around. We didn’t have even a single “walk off”! (though that would have been kind of fun…)
If you aren’t completely sold on the wonders of the clothing swap concept, check out my top 5 reasons why you should consider hosting or attending one.
#1: It’s an opportunity to gather your different groups of girlfriends. I teamed up with a friend to host our little event. We both invited people from our respective groups of friends, and then a few of them brought along a friend – the more the merrier! I really enjoyed meeting new people, including Cath and Lar of Asian Cajuns! We finally met in person at the swap after messaging back and forth through our blogs. You need to check out their blog if you haven’t already!
#2: It’s an inexpensive girl’s night. I brought a bottle of wine that I had hanging around the house and about $15 bucks worth of snacks from Trader Joes. Everyone brought a little somethin’ somethin’ and it turned out to be a nice spread. Oh, and of course there’s all the FREE swag…
#3: You can explore a trend without buyers remorse. Case in point, two girls tried on rompers and left with them in their possession. They may not have taken them to the cash register had they been in a store, but if it fits, multiple girls tell you it looks cute on you and you don’t have to pay anything, why not take it home? If you find that you never actually wear it, there is no guilt in taking it to Goodwill once and for all.
#4: It’s motivation to get your closet organized. I was prepared to focus on this aspect if the swapping had turned out to be a dud, but luckily it was just another perk. One of the ladies volunteered ahead of time to take everything left over to donate to a charity she is involved in, so nothing went back home to sit in the deep recesses of the closet for another year.
#5: It’s nice to see your clothes go to a new home. Just because you don’t want something in your closet anymore doesn’t mean you want it to end up in a landfill. This swap proved to me that one woman’s donation bag is truly another woman’s treasure trove. I was genuinely happy that this dress I bought 2 years ago (and never wore) found a more appreciative home!
She even found matching shoes at the swap - total outfit score!
I’m excited to play around with my new-to-me-items and see how they fit in with my wardrobe. Stay tuned for outfit posts!