Happy Sunday, everyone! To continue what seems to be my obsession with coral and red, here’s my Sunday outfit. I’m wearing one of my favorite thrift finds– this coral button-down jumper dress. Inside the jumper, I have on a bodycon dress worn as a shirt. I’m trying to make appropriate use of old bodycons lol. These days, I’m going for a more modest look.
Excuse the wrinkles, I was folded over in the pews this morning.
Be sure that you explain what a clothes swap is in the info section of the evite. Many people are apprehensive about swaps because they have no clue what to expect.
Watch this quick video to learn more about clothes swaps:
2. Find a Venue
Depending on the kind of atmosphere you want to create, you need to pick your location wisely. I have been to a clothes swap in a small boutique with strangers (as an attendee) and I’ve hosted many in living rooms of homes with friends. Both were entirely different experiences. The boutique was interesting because I was getting to shop in strangers’ closets. It was nice to meet the other ladies and sample treats from local vendors. The swaps I had in homes felt comfortable and fun. I saw old friends and made new ones. I have concluded that there is no right or wrong location for a swap. You simply need to find a space that is big enough to store and display the clothing, a mirror for guests, and perhaps a private area (like a restroom) where they can try on clothing.
Another thing to consider is the size of the venue. In my experience, it’s best to over-invite. Cancellations are expected of any event. On average, I have about 15 guests at my swaps. This is a good number for such an event. 15 people will provide variety among the clothes, yet it is a small enough number for the event to still have an intimate feel. Make sure the venue can hold the number of invited guests and their belongings.
3. Collect donations
There are a number of ways to get clothes to your swap. First, look in your own closet. Purge it of any items you no longer wear. Wash the items and put them aside for the swap. Then you can send a reminder to your guests to start putting aside some items about a week before the event. Guests often ask me what to bring. I throw the question back to them.
Most guests opt to come to the event with their donations in hand.
4. Sort through the items (guests can do this themselves)
5. Mix and Mingle
You and your guests should set aside the first 15 minutes of the swap to sort through the clothing. My guests and I enjoyed some light snacks while we waited for the swapping period to pass. The snacking continued as the swap went on.
6. Setup and Organize the items into their designated areas
If everyone sorts and organizes what they brought, the process is much faster.
Shopping is the easiest and the best part. There are a couple options when deciding how gets are going to shop:
Option #1: One-for-One trade- This means that the more you bring, the more you get to trade.
Option #2: First Dibs Goes to the Highest Giver– The person with the most donations gets to pick their items first
Option #3:Free-for-All– Everyone can shop to the hearts’ content, regardless of how much they brought.
All of my swaps have been free-for-alls. I have never had anyone complain or fight over clothes. The free-for-all has the potential of appearing a little chaotic, but as long as your guests put back the items they don’t want, this option is a lot of fun.
Don’t forget to shop for yourself too. It can be easy to forget that you are a shopper as well when you’re floating around doing host-duties. By all means, help recommend clothes for your guests
8.Choose a charity or resale store to donate the remaining clothes
9. Pack them up and donate them
10. Fill out a donation receipt
If the donation is big enough, it just may help you out on your taxes.
Planning a clothes swap might take some work, but you and your friends will get more out of it than you put in. Give it a try!
We parked the cars and walked a couple blocks to the PopShop Houston event on Spring Street. I felt like I had stepped into Austin. I’ve never seen so many hipsters in one place in Houston before. The Heights is turning into mini-Austin.
We met Laura, the owner of Birds on a Wire, and I she was very sweet . Laura was a teacher, like Bunmi and I, and we were surprised to see that Birds on a Wire was a non-profit. Head over to her blog to see the story behind her shop (it’s a good one!). Her jewelry display was creative and chic. I loved the necklaces hanging from the branches and the door-knocker necklace.
Outside there were vintage business trailers all over the place.
Height of Vintage
We stopped by PhotoMoto, a vintage truck with a photo booth set up inside with props included. We paid $5 and got a set of two photo strips.
I stopped in the middle of the street for some jumping pictures. I’m a little rusty.
This may sound crazy, but as I have been preparing to move away from Houston I had already started mourning my thrifting lifestyle. I would miss the unique prints and trendy finds that set me back less than a Happy Meal. From what I had seen from my trip to New York in the summer, clothes in the Big Apple did not run cheap. Fortunately for me and my closet, Syracuse is not quite the Big Apple…more like the Little Orange (get it, because Syracuse’s colors are orange…nevermind). But really, the small town is more budget-friendly and affordable.
So imagine my delight when my new friend Kelly showed me this cute little thrift store called 3FIFTEEN on campus. Click the link for their Non-profit Facebook page.
The store had a boho vibe to it and there was a cute cafe on the inside. Kelly tells me the cookies are to die for. When I saw the face-sized cookie she bought, I made a mental note to go back and try one myself.
I’ve always had a thing for wooden pallet furniture!
The skirt and the polka dot blouse caught my eye. I was only browsing though, so I left the items in the store for the next lucky shopper.
I absolutely love this sign! Philanthropic fashion is one of my passions.
Here’s Kelly checking out the selections.
One day I will cut back on thrifting. Looks like that day won’t be coming for another 2 years! Cheers to Thrifting!
This grey baby doll dress was from my last clothes swap. I paired it with a lace removable peter pan collar. I’m actually wearing two pairs of tights for a double layered look. I got the burnt orange tights from Target and wore some sheer polka dot tights on top. I’ve been loving this layered tights look. It makes colored tights look a little more sophisticated. I wore my Mary Janes to complete the look.
I did the layering tights trick again. This time with my Apple-Red pair plus sheer hearts pair. The result is a wine color. I wore a long-sleeve tee that I got from Naturallycurly.com a few years ago with a grey skirt and wine snake-print loafers.
^ This was my outfit for when I hosted a Natural Hair Conference over the weekend.
I’ve been really into vintage-looking styles lately. A few people have asked me why I dress like I’m from another decade. Honestly, I like reinventing myself. At this point in my style, I am into mini dresses paired with tights and peter pan collars.
I recently went thrifting. Everything was an additional 50% off. Nothing I bought was over $5, due to the sale!