I am very fond of a number of things that are not particularly mainstream… one of my true passions is a Clothing Swap Party!
After having a rousing and hilarious conversation with some of my roommates, I came to the conclusion that the concept of what a “clothing swap” is not known to most people. We will not delve into what images came to my roommates mind as I fumbled to explain the premise of this event and how fun it could be. I’ll let your mind run wild with conjecture for a bit…
When your done with that…
Let me tell you what a Clothing Swap is about!
Clothing Swap parties can be organized in a number of different ways: Free, Paid, Donation, No-Donation, Gender Specific, High End Garments Only, Family Friendly, Adult Only, Sorted by Item, Giant Pile, Potluck+.
I have personally attended every kind of Clothing Swap Party listed here and can tell you they are all unique and have their own set of Pros and Cons depending on who You are and what you are looking to get out of The Swap.
What do you want to get out of The Swap??! Well for one you can feel your Ecological Footprint for Yourself and Your City shrink a bit as you clean out your closet and leave the mall alone. You likely want some more space in your closet, this will happen! …sort of. You may also want some “New to You” threads, it is difficult to leave a Clothing Swap without finding some magical item that wants to be Yours.
Yeah, those ‘Wants’ are a bit vague so lets get to the explanation of what is going to have to happen for you to get the full “Clothing Swap” experience:
- You get invited to a Clothing Swap
- Dedicate at least 1-2 hours a couple days before the big event to go through your Clothes picking out anything that is clean and still in good shape but you do not use enough to warrant owning anymore. Put all your finds in a bag or bin.
- Take Your clothes to the Clothing Swap (depending on the type of swap you attend this is done before or the day of the event)(You may also be invited to bring a snack to share or BYOB, Yum)
- Swap Clothes! This usually lasts for a couple hours, background music might be playing and if your lucky there are lite snacks for you to munch while you peruse the clothing making new friends.
- Leave with a “New to You” wardrobe!
What can I Swap?
Whilst you are sifting through your closet and other clothing storage apparatus’, items that are desirable to bring to a Clothing Swap are:
- Tank Tops
I tend to prefer the swaps where items are sort of organized into piles of type of clothes or by size, however the Clothing Swaps where everything is in a giant pile are an adventure all of their own. 🙂
Clothing Swap Etiquette
There is, Clothing Swap Etiquette, that, after many years of Clothing Swapping, I have realized most people assume you should just know. Let me, let you in on the Clothing Swap lowdown…
Lets say You and another Swapper both picked up the same piece at the same time… WHOA!! What do you do??!! No one wants you to start a scene and battle to the death over a scarf… or maybe they do!
At a Clothing Swap it is not so kosher to battle over garments. How to decide who gets it?? I personally like to go the rock/paper/scissors route, after checking the size to see if that will be the determining factor in who the victor will be. You can also, be the bigger person and let them have it (this means there is a chance you may be the receiver too).
That’s how it happened, You made a friend and a connection over that piece of clothing or glass of wine that you shared with some like minded individual… who may just become your friend. In fact its 100% more likely that you will leave a clothing swap with new additions to your wardrobe and your social life.
At the end of the day you may come home with less clothing than you left with, the exact same amount but completely different clothes, or WAY more clothes than you left with; Clothing Swaps are always surprising!
What does Your host do with any left over clothes?? Every single swap I have attended the items leftover are donated to charity! Gives you a big warm fuzzy feeling inside, doesn’t it?! I currently give my leftover goods to The Downtown Eastside Womens Centre.
I will be hosting a FREE Clothing Swap this coming Thursday, March 8th in the Evening, would love to see you out at this event (DM me on FaceBook for details).
Do not hesitate to check out this Community Clothing Swap happening on March 18th at the Wise Hall for a $10 donation. Pay Clothing Swap Vancouver.
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Check back soon for another account of Frugal adventure with the always Fantastic Jamie Learning!