Author | Illustration by Meags Fitzgerald
"You know those clothes that you bought thinking 'Well, I could wear this, one day, somewhere, maybe Japan?'"

Wardrobe Yawns? Wallet Empty? Host A Clothing Swap! Here are Some Do’s and Don’t’s

So it’s spring. And you’re like “WOW the outside world is beautiful and I hate all my clothes.”

Okay. Yes. I get it. I really do. AND I have the solution to your wardrobe blahs… A CLOTHING SWAP! After the long, cruel winter you are going to find a lot of clothing in your closet that you can no longer stand to look at. And you may find, when exchanging your wool leggings for shorty butt shorts, that you have some spring/summer wear that you are also SO OVER. It’s okay to feel this way. I am “SO OVER” a bunch of skirts from last summer that make me look like an over-bearing Robert Crumbcharacter. But they’re nice skirts, and will look great on someone who isn’t maybe-going-bowlegged*, so they’re going in the Swap pile.

And you know those clothes that you bought thinking “Well, I could wear this, one day, somewhere, maybe Japan?” or the clothes you’re just not sure you can “pull off” (which by the way, is not a thing. You can pull off whatever your weirdo fashion heart desires. Question thyself no longer!) and you never ever wore them? Those arethe clothes to bring to the swap. WEAR IT OR SHARE IT BABY. Just be sure to choose clothes you know you want to give up. Once they’re gone, there’s no going back.


  1. Invite a ton of people to a location where said people (and a ton of clothing) can gather, I am thinking a living room or something very similar to a living room (parlour?). Tell those people to bring people. The more people, the more clothing. The more, as all materialists know, the merrier.
  2. Check to make sure one of these soon-to-be-merrier invitees is able to drop any left-over clothing at a donation centre. (Very important- you don’t want piles of clothing lumped around your house forever.)
  3. Mention what not to bring to ye olde swap: no holes, no stains, no forever-smells. If you don’t want to end up with a pile of baby boy outfits for all occasions, you have to let your guests know what kind of clothes are appropriate. How about items that need a bit of love? Things that are easily fixed, like missing buttons, are okay but broken zippers aren’t cool, ya dig? Clarify, everyone will thank you.
  4. As people arrive at the Swap have them divide clothing into piles by type: shirts, bottoms, dresses, accessories, rave wear, etc…
  5. There are lots of different ways you can go about the the actual selection process. You can have everyone browse through the piles and create a pointsystem, or hold up items and have people vote on their favourite pieces and then make them talk it out, or you can just free-for-all it. I am all about this. Someone says “go” and everyone starts digging and flinging. It’s intense. It can be competitive. Keep a clear head and you’ll be okay.
  6. Take clothing home. Lay clothing out on bed and create and upload a haul video on to Youtube. For the world to enjoy. Just kidding. Don’t do that. Don’t ever do that.
  7. Enjoy spring time in your brand new-to-you clothing!

Clothing Swap Don’t’s

“Wow, she seriously has every single dress in her pile.” Terrible. Don’t be a hoarder. The key here is to do quick try-ons and discards while moving through the piles so that people don’t hate you.

“Goddammit. She got the shirt I wanted.” It happens. Let it go. It was never yours to begin with.

Body Stuff
“None of this clothing fits me.” This can be really tough, we’re all different shapes and sizes,. Some swaps will be better than others in this way. Try not to get hung up on it.

“Noooo…. I shouldn’t have brought those shoes! I want them back!” Move on. If it’s a close friend, you may be able to ask for an item back… but otherwise say goodbye.

“No one likes my stuff!” Remember.. it’s not YOU, it’s the clothes. Chances are the things you brought aren’t a reflection of your style as as a whole. And if they are… Cool. U R A UNIQUE FASHION FLOWER! BLOOM & GROW FOREVER.

The Benefits Ye Shall Reap:

Social Time
A great way to meet new people and bond with old friends… something a bit different from the usual bar or TV night! Always fun. I promise.

There are a bunch of Rs in action here: Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle for sure. You’re not buying new shit, and your old stuff isn’t just going to the garbage. Thank you, Planeteer!

Good Will
For real. Giving feels good. You’re bringing joy (material or otherwise) into the lives of others. Share and be a friend!

No money, no problem. New clothes for freezies! Yay!

It’s nice to get rid of things you don’t need.

So that’s it dudes. I hope you’re excited to get your swap on! Turn it into a sleep over wine night. Go out dancing wearing only the rejected clothes! Giggle and tell secrets! Tell me how it goes!

*Real worry, can you develop bowlegs or are they an always-thing?

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