I attended a fantastic clothing swap at a friend's house the other night. If you have never been to, or organized, a clothing swap, you really must! It's an excuse to get out of the house for the evening, to guiltlessly rid yourself of clothing that you never wear, and, occasionally, find some real gems to beef up your wardrobe, all while sipping a glass of wine and hanging around in your skivvies with your girlfriends - trying on clothes. There is also something to the timing of a pre-holiday swap - it's fun to obtain some new threads (for free) during the holiday season when you are generally shopping for everyone else. Of course, there's also the whole reduce, reuse, recycle angle which feels so much better than the post-mall vaguely guilty and empty feeling many of us have experienced.
From what I understand, there are many ways to orchestrate a clothing swap, but the ones I have been to are generally the same format. Everyone brings a large bag of clothing along to the event, as well as food or drink to share. We spend some time sorting clothing into categories (not by size, just by type of clothing). Then we have at it! The host generally has a couple of full length mirrors hanging around to allow you to make informed decisions; not to mention that you are surrounded by people who can give you an honest opinion about whether or not to toss the item in question back in the pile. Hopefully, you have a friend with you who knows what you like and sends things your way if they happen upon them. At the end of the night, whatever hasn't been claimed is brought by some lovely volunteer to an organization of their choosing who would benefit from nice clothes in good condition
Generally, 50-70% of what you take home, you actually make good use of! (Insert headless selfie to show the adorbs scarf and J.Jill sweater I scored on Tuesday night!)
However, certain items tend to make the swap circuit. I did happen to notice that a skirt I had brought to an earlier clothing swap had resurfaced this past Tuesday. It's always funny when that happens!
I think the next great idea should involve swapping tchotchkes and other home-related items! Stay tuned for more on that topic. Or, invite me if you have one!