Wearing Someone Else's Clothes
When your income is a combination of an assistantship stipend and student loans, certain words begin to take on a whole new meaning: "Sale", "Discount", and "Clearance" come to mind. Paying full price for anything seems somehow ludicrous.
As a result, the lure of Black Friday, the weekend after, and this newfangled "Cyber Monday" (which seemed to pop into ubiquitous existence from the ether this year... When did that get coined? And am I the only one who thinks it sounds dirty?) seemed shinier this year than in times past. But, much to the benefit of my bank account, I avoided the post-Thanksgiving promotions.
But I did manage to get a whole new array of clothing added to my closet today, thanks to a clothing swap with some of the lovely ladies in my program.
I somehow have acquired more clothing than is excusable for a non-celebrity to own. So when we had a clothing swap last spring, I was overjoyed to learn just how magical these endeavors can be. It gave me incentive to try on everything I owned and weed out all the things that I didn't love (one of my tests for keeping clothing was, "If I didn't already own this _____ and I saw it in a thrift store today for $1, would I buy it?"). And then, I got a bunch of new (well, new to me) clothing to replace it with. Of course, last year I somehow managed to bring home more than I'd given away, which made my overflowing closet situation even worse. (The skirt in the above picture of me is one of the things I grabbed in the last swap's organized chaos.)
I started taking clothing out of my closet for this swap before the school year had even begun. I filled a HUGE suitcase (think "semester abroad" size) with clothes, and had a bag of accessories to contribute as well. And this time, I was a little better about not bringing as many things home with me as I had dropped off. But I did get a couple of cute dresses, several skirts, some tops, a pair of pants, two bracelets, and a headband. And all of them are made even better and more wonderful than they already were because of one little word: free.
In order to take things home from the swap, you have to donate something. We have a system for settling disputes over articles adored by more than one swapper. And when the swap is over, any unclaimed items are driven over to the local Goodwill donation station. So not only are we getting cool things and cleaning our closets, but we're also being charitable. And staying green, by wearing each other's clothes instead of buying new ones. And swapping clothes? Even gentler on your wallet than taking advantage of Black Friday sales.
Does anyone else out there do clothing swaps? If so, share your tips for successful swaps in the comments section.