Find Your New Spring/Summer Wardrobe…For Free!

Ahhhh.

It’s that time of year again. Classes are ending. Birds are chirping. The sun is (occasionally) shining and spring is truly in the air. Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of the snow!

Now, if you’re anything like me—a born and bred Awesome Mittener–as soon as we hit that 55 degree mark, I’m pullin’ out the shorts and tank tops. And if you’re even more like me, you’ll be looking to upgrade last year’s apparel. If you’re unfortunate enough to be like me in regards to finances, you may also be hoping to do this in the least expensive way possible.

Courtesy Wikimedia.

Thankfully, I’ve determined the ultimate way to save money, acquire new clothing, and have a fantastic time doing so: a clothing swap! I’ve compiled a list of tips designed to make your clothing swap a success and helpful information on what do with the leftovers!

  1. Who to Invite
    This may seem obvious, but it’s important to invite friends who are similar in size. Otherwise, some attendees may be left out of the swap. If you include a friend vastly different in size, be sure to invite at least one other person the same size as your guest.
  2. What to Bring
    Ask each of your guests to bring a certain amount of pieces (usually about 5-10.) You may choose to host a specific type of clothing swap: jeans, swimwear, scarves, etc., in which case, they may only need to bring a few articles.
  3. How to Set-Up
    Arrange the clothing by size so it’s simpler for your guests to hunt down that perfect piece. Also, increase the appeal by hanging dresses, shirts, or jewelry in separate areas on easy-to-access hangers or hooks.
  4. Keeping Track
    Upon their arrival, have attendees write down the amount of pieces they brought to the party: this will be the number of “new” clothing articles they will be allowed to take home at the end of swap.
  5. Shop…
    Allow everyone ample time to peruse the merchandise and try things on.

    Courtesy Wikimedia.
  6. Then Swap!
    In order to be fair, draw names to decide who gets to pick out a piece first, then continue in the same order throughout the swap. When a guest claims as many new items as they arrived with, they’re free to sit back and enjoy some snacks and tunes (two must-haves when you’re swappin’!)
  7. Leftovers?
    If there happen to be any unwanted articles of clothing at the end of the party, the host should donate to any number of the wonderful Mitten-based thrift/consignment shops listed below.
Courtesy Wikimedia.


Thrift/Consignment/Resale Shops in Michigan

  1. Rag O Rama, Ann Arbor
  2. St. Vincent de Paul, Marquette
  3. Lost & Found Vintage, Royal Oak
  4. Zany’s Consignment, Traverse City
  5. R3, Petoskey
  6. Urban Exchange, Grand Rapids
  7. Second Impressions, Kalamazoo
  8. Goodwill, throughout Michigan

Are there any resale shops you love to frequent that weren’t listed? Have some tips for hosting a clothing swap? Tell us in the comments!