Keep the Change

It's been quite a few busy weeks, as I've been working weekends as well. Some of my friends are in the same boat with me, so it's been hard to schedule meet-ups. Fortunately, I managed to hit 2 birds with 1 stone last Saturday. After hitting a party and meeting about 10 of 30+ people present (it's hard to chat and get to know people when there's such a huge group), I swung by my friend's house with bags of clothes I was going to donate to the Goodwill. She also had a box of clothes that would be donated to the charitable organization of her choice. But on that night, we got first dibs from each other's piles--it was shopping time! Without spending a dime!

The idea of the clothing swap is nothing new, since many people have done it before. The results are mixed, however; some people swear by it, while others swear they'll never do it again because it's all junk. If you're in the latter group, maybe you can give it another shot by organizing your own with some of your closest clotheshorses; if nothing else, it'll force you to finally get around to that long-overdue closet cleanout. When the swap involves people you know, the hanging out part tends to take precedence over the swap, so people won't be so disappointed if they end up not getting what they want. I also like the added benefit of knowing where your clothes are coming from and how clean they are, unlike some of the items from the thrift store. Let's face it--as much as I love thrifting, sometimes the dubious origins of certain pieces of clothing do make me feel skittish. I won't wear anything thrifted (including accessories) without some serious cleaning.

This is a great activity especially when you're broke but still want to entertain friends and get some new clothes. To make your swap a success, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, make sure that everyone participating has a counterpart who is of the same or similar size. If there's nothing worth swapping for or with, what's the point of going? Sure, the company, and sometimes food and music, are fun, but probably not worth the hassle of hauling all your clothes to the meetup spot and then hauling it all home. Fortunately, my friend and I are of similar sizes, so that made it easy. Also, it helps to know the styles that people are into. Otherwise, the same result as above would occur, as there's nothing they would like. Some people have other rules such as a minimum number of pieces to bring, since it's only fair that people should contribute more or less equally. I don't really care for this rule, but that's just an illustration of how people run swaps. As far as I'm concerned, the most important rule would be "go in with an open mind." You never know what to expect--sometimes you get something, other times not--but the most important thing is just to have fun with your friends.

This swap was great, as was the last one. I've been looking for more skirts and pants to match my suit jackets. Instead of having to go out and buy some, I just got a few skirts that fit *perfectly* courtesy of my friend. Heck, one of the skirts fit even better than the one that came with the suit I intend to wear the skirt with. My friend also picked up a few pieces from my donation pile. The best part is that we got to have fun before having to work again on the next day. Sigh...such is the life of young professionals.


Poster Girl said...

I've always wanted to do a swap w/ my friends, your advice is fantastic. It sounds so fun! Cheers!

Sales Rack Raider said...

Go for it! It's really fun and I hope you'll have a great time.

ambika said...

Oo, I'd been thinking about hosting something like this especially given that just about everyone always has more than they possibly wear these days.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Yes, I think most of us have overstuffed closets. A swap is pretty much a win-win situation.