The Topic: New Clothes for No Cash
The Dish: With May already speeding along, it'll be officially summer in no time. For this lady, that means the Cocktail soundtrack on repeat, extra naps on the beach, and new, summery clothes. While the first two are pleasantly free of charge (because who doesn't own that piece of musical mastery already?), the last bit can take a little work to keep cheap. But guess what? It isn't hard, and I can save some much-needed money—a girl's gotta eat (burritos).
The easiest way to score free clothes—and I know you've heard this before, but seriously—host a clothing swap. Invite your stylish friends over, have them call their stylish friends, and so on, until you have a big game of clothes-swapping telephone going and your apartment is full of people and their fancy duds.
Once everyone shows up, closet rejects in tow, kick off the evening with some cheap snacks. (May I suggest some Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos and a bottle of Charles Shaw Shiraz? Go classier, if you must.) Help organize the articles by clear-cut categories (shirts, jeans, dresses, muumuus—the usual), and finally let the shoppers loose—watch those Doritos-stained hands! From here, it's up to you how to handle it. If it's just a few close friends, take turns picking and choosing favorites. If you've managed to wrangle in 20 style-hungry women and men (you're so popular!), working out a ticket system might be better to avoid wine-fueled fights over last year's designer top.
If there are clothing leftovers, guests can either collectively decide to donate them to a local charity, or each person can take her or his leftovers. If you have extras and want to try and make a little cash, hit up the resale shops in your city, such as Buffalo Exchange, Plato's Closet, and Crossroads. Keeping your earnings as store credit earns a bit more, so if it's truly new clothes you're after, this is a win-win.
The Final Word: Not having any luck with resale shops? Check back for a very special guest post on how to get the most cash for your cast-off clothes!