At the beginning of each new season, I have a need to be in touch with my inner “gatherer.” I’m not sure if it’s a female gene or something more than that, but I have this overwhelming itch to go gather new seasonal touchups for my wardrobe.
At one time, I blamed living in Los Angeles as the culprit for my material desires. Then I realized I’ve always had them I just hear it louder now.
Summertime is here and I’m feeling restlessness to add some fresh summer dresses, tank tops and shorts. My challenge is two fold (1) I’m rather frugal, which can be a headache when I find the perfect updates outside of the dollar amount I want to spend and (2) I don’t like adding more clothing to my full closet without getting rid of some.
So here are my two favorite frugal wardrobe tips to update your look and reduce what you currently have in your closet! YES
1. Go to recycled clothing stores where you can “Buy, Sell, or Trade clothing.” It’s not a typical consignment shop or thrift store. Yes, you can just buy clothes there, but you can also sell your clothes for cash or trade them in (exchange them). This is for both men and women!!
How it works:
- Bring in your clean items of clothing that are in good condition
- You’ll have the option for cash or store credit to buy “new clothes.” Some of the clothes are “new” in that they still have their tags on and others are previously worn.
In Southern California, we have, Buffalo Exchange and Cross Roads Trading, both of these stores have nationwide locations. You can look online for “clothing stores that buy sell trade” in your area. Bring in the clothes you no longer wear and leave with ones you like!!
2. Have A Clothing Swap Party. I’ve been to several of these and I find they work best when there are 15 or less people. Much more than that and it gets chaotic.
How it works:
- Designate one or two people to coordinate the party, one of which will host it in their home
- Make a list of who you want to invite and decide if you want them to invite others. Evite is great for this! Require an RSVP so you have an estimate of people. You can decide if you want both men and women. I’ve been to both, ones that are all women and ones that are coed.
- Tell the guests to bring a bag or two for the “new” clothes they will take home.
- Invite the guests to bring as much clothing and accessories as they want. Tell them to go through their closets and pull clothes they no longer wear, what no longer fits them. The clothes must be clean and in good condition.
- Have a few clothing racks and/or tables to display the clothes. Ask the guests to bring extra hangers (and if they have a clothing rack or folding table bring that too).
- Be sure to have a couple of full length mirrors (tell guests to wear leggings with tight tank top, or anything tight so they are comfortable slipping on clothes in front of people.
- Be sure to have clothing sections set aside: pants in one area, tank tops/t-shirts in another area, blouses, sweaters, dresses on the clothing rack and an area for accessories and miscellaneous (purses, belts, scarf’s, shoes)
- As the guests arrive, instruct them to put the clothes they brought into the correct area.
- Have some fun music playing and have a table of snacks and beverages (afternoon cocktails are great) for the guests as they arrive. It’s a chance to mingle, and to preview (try on) the clothes before the selection process begins.
The Selection Process:
- Divide the group into teams.
- If you have 15 participants have three teams Team Red, Team Blue, Team Green with 5 people per team. To find out what team they are on, participants will pull their color-coded number from a hat.
- When you write the numbers on paper, be sure to have them color-coded have numbers 1-5 in each color (red, blue, green). The participants will pull their number from the hat they will have a red 3, or a green 5
- Take an article of clothing to represent each team (such as a scarf or T-shirt). When it’s person 1 on the RED team’s turn to select an article of clothing she wears the scarf and makes her selection. Then she passes the scarf to RED 2 and she picks an item, and passes the scarf to RED 3 and she picks an item. There should always be 3 people at a time (one from each team) trying on and choosing an item. This keeps it organized.
When it feels like things are wrapping up (usually two hours later) have a free-for-all and whatever items are still left at the end, bag them up and bring them to Goodwill or clothing charity of your choice.
* photo credit stevendepolo Flickr