Why do we buy new clothes?
At the core, we want to find clothing that expresses our inner-identity, or make us feel like we fit in in a certain situation. Maybe we just want an injection of something new and novel into our lives. And yes, maybe it is because our old clothes are worn through and tattered (but even if that is tha case, you can see some pretty epic examples of funky mending from the gal over at Mindful_Mending to fix those issues)
We can give ourselves all that we crave by swapping clothes instead of buying new! This is something that my girlfriends and our extended circles of friends have been doing for years! You leave a clothing swap with lots of fabulous 'new' clothes that you are jazzed to incorporate into your wardrobe. You are more likely to take a risk on that unique funky item because, after all, its free! And I promise you, you get the same kind of great euphoric rush that comes with buying new clothes fresh off the shelf. It's a win for the planet, your wallet and your wardrobe.
Here are our tips from years of swappin'
don't worry if your guest list has different styles and tastes, that is the fun of it! And mixing different styles allows guests to experiment, with no risk, with their look.
make sure you tell guests to only bring QUALITY clothes. This is not a trip to the salvation army or the goodwill; people should not bring clothes that are at the end of their life or very drab. Guests must be encouraged to bring clothes that they still think are cool, beautiful, stylish, etc but for whatever reason they are not wearing anymore. This really is critical! It is no fun if people show up with only old grubby t-shirts.
sort clothing into distinct piles/arrangements at the host's house. Skirts, dresses, pants, shorts, tops, scarves, bags etc etc should all be separated for easy 'shopping'
make sure you have a couple of mirrors! You might even request a guest who lives nearby to bring over an extra.
allow friends to bring friends (under the same expectation of bringing quality clothing), the more the merrier!
crack open the wine. Clothing swaps are such a fun experience, whether it is all ladies or a mixed crowd, there are usually new faces and a lot of laughter, so a little wine is a great touch. Think shopping montage from a Mary Kate and Ashley movies ;)
be generous and not jealous. Compliment other women when things look good; encourage them to take that item and rock it! Don't get caught up if an item you want is loved by someone else. Embody the generosity of gift economy!
Trust me, once you start hosting or participating in swaps, you really won't feel the same desire to go out shopping. The planet does not need more fast fashion synthetic crap clogging up her waterways. And could use that extra cash towards bigger dreams!
Next time you are feeling bored with your wardrobe, take the leap and host a swap. What fun, I tell ya!