Have you ever been to a clothing swap? I went to my first one this past week and let me tell you it was an experience! The general idea is that you bring a bag of clothing that you no longer wear and donate it to the collection. Everyone’s items get hung and grouped by type while all the swappers line up outside the room. Then the doors open, there is a mad rush to get into the room and get your hands on something amazing. 15 minutes later it is all over. The racks are empty, the tables bare and our bags are stuffed with new-to-me things.

Since it was my first event I literally had NO idea what I was doing. I took my time, glancing at the racks, checking the sizes and checking for imperfections. That technique screamed ‘beginner’ to the experienced people who saw a color, pattern, or design they liked and grabbed it no matter the size or condition. Some people were tugging around several overflowing bags. I ended up with two dresses, a skirt and one crazy top I’m not sure I’ll ever wear. (The skirt I landed is the one pictured here.) One of my fellow fashion bloggers walked away with a totally adorable rabbit-fur jacket!

In my opinion the concept is revolutionary – to get new things while getting rid of your old things and for free, or nearly free. (The event I went to this past week had a $5 admission charge.) I’m sure it is a product of the depressed economy and the entrepreneurial mind-set of the young professional generation. Something for nothing? Why not?

This swap model isn’t just relegated to fashion events or bloggers. Swap.com, for example, trades video games and other such electronics among its members. The site will soon add clothing items and accessories.

Have you ever gone to a swap event? Would you attend one?


Katie Hinderer

Katie Hinderer is a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Over the years she has transitioned from traditional publishing...