My brother and sister-in-law were having a yard sale in their neighborhood a couple weekends back, so J and I rounded up a lot of our clothes & various other stuff to try to sell. It ended up raining off and on the whole day, so the turnout wasn’t awesome. We made enough to pay for our tickets to a show we wanted to see that night at the school I work for, so that’s something! But, now we had all these clothes that I had no desire to put back in my closet. Either they never fit me right, they used to fit and now don’t, I bought them with the intention of altering them and I didn’t, they were hand-me-downs … or I’ve just had them a long time and was tired of them. I was ready to get rid of these clothes. But a lot of them were in great shape, so I hated for someone to not get some use out of them. So, I contacted a few friends and we decided to do a clothing swap.
I found a description of how to do a swap from Real Simple. This is a great way to do a more formal one, but our group decided that since we all just wanted to get rid of our clothes, we didn’t real care if one person ended up with more items than another in the end. But if you want to be more structured, that article has great tips on making sure it stays fair (i.e. the girl who brought 3 pairs of earrings doesn’t walk out with a new wardrobe).
Our swap ended up with four girls, and we actually varied some in height and sizes, but I’ve found that I focus too much on the size on the tag. A shirt that was more fitted on one girl may work great as a looser fit on someone else, or vice versa. Also, sizes can vary greatly by brand. And of course, purses, scarves, & jewelry are univerally share-able! We basically just laid out all our stuff, and then said ‘Go!” We agreed ahead of time that we would, of course, not be offended if anyone didn’t like our stuff, because obviously if we wanted to keep it, it wouldn’t have made the swap.
It was so fun for me to see my clothes look good on other people! So many of my items I thought were great pieces, they just didn’t work on me or I’d worn them so much I was tired of them, but they looked great on others! Shopping for free is pretty awesome as well. If you like it — it’s yours!
I ended up with 17 tops, 1 skirt, 4 jackets, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 purse, 1 scarf, & 1 belt for free, and a lot of my stuff was chosen. Nobody wanted to keep the leftover items, so we bagged them up and took them to Goodwill. Win-win for everyone!
I definitely encourage everyone to try it! It’s so much more fun to shop with friends than with strangers at yard sales. It’s like sharing dorm closets again!
- Invite 3-8 friends with similar tastes and roughly similar sizes.
- Pull together all the clothes that you haven’t worn in 6 months or so.
- Make some fun muffins & snacks!
- Everyone lays out or hangs their clothes based on type (you can combine everyone’s clothes or keep them separate).
- Have a few mirrors on hand for quick size checks.
- Say “Go!,” have fun and walk away with a new-to-you wardrobe!
I would advise wearing jeans and neutral shoes, and having your go-to tank top/cami on so you can really see what the clothes will look like when you wear them. And bring some tote bags to keep your picks separate and carry them home!