Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wardrobe Makeover

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!


  1. It is also important to make sure that most people invited are wearing the same size clothing. We swap clothes in my family because one person is always getting larger while the other is getting smaller. That way, we don't have to go and purchase a whole new wardrobe as sizes fluctuate. Also check out resale and consignment shops that are local. My leftover clothing will go there and then to known charities which will give a tax write-off if you choose to go that way and save cash that otherwise would go to Uncle Sam. Try Dress for Success for nicer clothing and ReFab Exchange for stylish garb.

  2. I really love all of your tips! With summer coming up, I think I am going to take a leaf out of your book and organize a clothing swap with my friends. :)

  3. The best part about a clothing swap is that because it's free, you can take risks and try out a new style that you wouldn't normally wear - after all, if it turns out that it doesn't work for you, you can always bring it back to the next clothing swap!