Wayward Living Tip: Clothes swapping

“Nice dress! Where’d you get it?”

“Hand-me-down from a friend.”

That’s a common exchange I have at the workplace.

Most people who interact with me in person on a regular basis know that I don’t spend a lot of money on new clothes. I get them from my friends. And clothes swapping is a habit about which I prosletyze constantly.

Swapped skirt and sweater, circa 2011.

Clothes swapping is something I have been doing for years, originally inspired by an article in Bust magazine about saving money.

The clothing swaps I organize typically involve a bunch of women getting together at someone’s house, each with one or more bags of clothes we are tired of. Everyone can bring as much stuff as they need to get rid of, and at the end of the event, someone usually agrees to donate everything to a local thrift store.

I can’t even begin to guess how much money swapping has saved me over the years on workwear, everyday clothes, special event outfits and even home decor items. Here are a few more examples of me wearing swapped clothes and accessories over the years:

Fancy party dress, circa 2008.

Rock 'n' roll ready hoodie, circa 2009.

Swapped wraparound dress, circa 2012.

Over the past few years (hello, recession), clothes swapping seems to be gaining in popularity. Even non-profit organizations are getting in on the fun as a way to raise money and awareness for their cause. Charity swaps typically charge a flat fee for participation and limit the number of items you can bring.

Although a friend and I are in the process of planning an informal clothing swap at her house later this month, I registered to attend a swap benefitting Friends of KC Animals on Tuesday, April 10. In addition to raising money for needy animals, this event also includes mini makeovers and adult beverages. Plus, all unclaimed clothes at the end of the night will be donated to the Women’s Unemployment Network.

Click here for more information and registration.

Have you ever participated in a clothing swap?

Credit Will Gladhart Consulting for the 2012 photo.


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on April 6, 2012, in Random Life, Wayward Living and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Crystal, I would love to do a clothes swap!

  2. I do this all the time with my mom and aunt, but friends for some reason don’t get it and I sure would like to have some of their hand-me-downs. 🙂 LOL How do you get friends to want to have a swap and have it come out okay. No one has their feelings hurt and people get stuff?

    • Good question! I sometimes entice people to join the fun by offering cheap wine and light refreshments. And I have never had anyone’s feelings get hurt. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – compliments seem to flow, and everyone helps eachother pick out new-old outfits! 🙂

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