Clothing swaps are a different way to shop

It’s still pretty early in the new year which means there’s still lots of talk about fresh starts and transformations.

It seems like everybody’s talking about closet cleanses as a great way to do that and I tend to agree.

But, what do you do with all the clothes you’ve purged from your closet?

Something I’ve found that’s really fun to do is to arrange a clothing swap.

Turn your swap into a party

For some ladies, a closet cleanse is a really personal (and sometimes stressful) activity. A few of my clients have told me how memories that they associate with certain items make it difficult to part with those items — even though they know they should. And, knowing that those items could potentially land in the hands of someone who might not treat them with the same loving kindness? Well, that’s justification to hang onto it a little longer even though it no longer fits or supports the lifestyle you’re leading, right?

Good try, but no.

You can choose who your gently, lovingly worn pieces go to by arranging a swap with a few trusted friends who have a similar style aesthetic.

Here are three easy ways to make sure you have a satisfying swap experience:

Determine a category for items you want to swap

You’ll want to ensure that your exchange includes items that are “like-for-like.” One exchange might focus on jewelry while another is all about sweaters. That way, you dispense with ambiguity and avoid potential awkwardness.

Give a minimum and maximum range of items for people to contribute

I don’t want to be the girl who brings 20 items but only has five to choose from. When you provide parameters around what’s expected from each participant in your swap, the chances of someone leaving feeling as if she got the short end of the stick goes down significantly.

Provide items that will have the ladies in your swap circle begging for more

Listen, nobody wants your faded, holey corduroys from 1975! You want to provide pieces that — even though they no longer work in your closet — will grab the attention of someone else in your group. If you’ve ever thought that something in your closet might look good on a friend, you’re probably right.

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