February 15, 2012 by Gina
You may recall that one of my goals this year is not to buy any new clothing for our family. I wrote about this, and a few other goals, several weeks ago. Well, it’s mid-February and so far, no new clothes have been bought. It’s been something I’ve really had to think about. I’ll be at Target and see a cute shirt and then remember my goal. Now, I just don’t walk past the clothing department which cuts down my time at Target. Or, I’ll see an advertisement for Gymboree in “Parenting” magazine with a coupon attached and realize I don’t need the coupon since I won’t be buying new clothes for the boys.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I don’t want new or different clothing. So on Friday night, I attended an “All Sizes Women’s Clothing Swap” that a friend of mine organized. A few months ago, she sent out an invitation to attend this event and asked all of us to let our friends know about it. In the meantime, we all cleaned out our closets – everything we’re swapping has to be in good condition (no stains, tears, holes, etc). But we all have clothing or accessories we just don’t wear or that don’t fit us or we’re tired of or we wonder “why did I buy that?”. I brought a few dresses that are too big for me, a few shirts and some jewelry I don’t wear anymore.
About 15 women gathered at 7:00 pm at a local church that allowed us to use their space for free. We all put our clothing in their respective sizes in large piles. At exactly 7:30, we started digging and going through the piles of clothes to see what we wanted. It was so much fun! And it was friendly too – I’d find something that I didn’t like but I thought would fit someone else and hand over the item. Everyone was commenting about how cute an item was or how it might look better worn a different way.
I really didn’t expect to find any clothes or many clothes for myself. I’m 4’11” and weigh about 100 pounds – I have a hard time shopping for clothes in retail stores, let alone swapping them. But I did find stuff – lots of stuff! I got six shirts, 3 pairs of pants and a swimsuit. I can’t believe I got pants! Of course, I now need to make a trip to the tailors to get about 6 inches cut off of them but they fit perfectly everywhere else.
Everyone walked away with at least a few items of clothing and the left over clothes were bagged up and donated to a local charity. After we cleaned everything up, we all chatted, ate brownies, hummus and other items people brought to share. It was a clothing swap and a mom’s night out. It was such a great night – I cleaned out some stuff I’ll never miss, gave those clothes a new life with another person, donated other clothes and came home with a new wardrobe. All for free!
It was such a hit we’re doing another swap in May and a kid’s swap in March. Think about organizing a similar event in your circle of friends. You’d be surprised how easy and fun it is!