How to Share (and Host a Clothing Swap)

I am NOT a shopper. Period. Going to the mall makes me hyperventilate. I’m making it a life goal NOT to ever step foot into a Norstrom Rack. But I’m a new fan of my neighborhood’s clothing swap.

Last weekend, we congregated in a neighbor’s living-room-turned-giant-dressing-room with our cast-off’s and “I love it but never, ever wear it’s!” Although it was my first time going, I was not a newbie to the neighborhood hand-me-downs. On occasion, a little baggy will show up at my door with a note and a doodle. And wouldn’t you note it, those well-loved, slightly-worn items have always been my wardrobe favorites.

I like to tell of a couple of springs ago when I absolutely refused to go swimsuit shopping.I made a declaration, out loud to one of my girlfriends… I want a swim suit to show up at my door: two-piece, sporty. Less than a week later, Emma showed up for a late night cup of tea. As she stood up to leave, she reached into her bag and handed me a bundle, “Do you need a swim suit? I don’t know if it will fit…”

“Of course it will fit. I ordered it.” 🙂

Like most mamas, I have a whole collection of swim suits that I DON’T wear! But Emma’s is the one I’ve pulled from the drawer, almost every time for the last two years. And every time I put it on, I think how lucky I am to have friends that love to share.

So I’ve been looking forward to this seasonal session forever! Seven or eight girls, some with little people, and all with bags of clothes. We posted notes in different sections: shirts, dresses, pants….

Our hostess set out muffins and gooey butter cake, coffee, and tea.

It was delightful. Really, no other word quite describes it. There was the thrill of finding something cute, for sure. Then there was the added bonus of having your friends pick out things they thought would be “Perfect on you!” and then having a crowd say, “You have to get that!” Then also the “No… it doesn’t fit me right but I bet it will look great on Heather.” And of course that sentimental part of my that just loves that “this was Suzanne’s!”

Wouldn’t you know it, Zen Mommy walked away with three things from my bag. Tee! Hee!

Our youngest shopper.

The night before, I dutifully sifted through my belongings and selected those items that just didn’t quite fit right or was just always trumped by something else. It felt good to purge and I was so excited that these overlooked goodies might find a home in someone else’s closet. For some reason, I did not expect to come home with three times as many clothes as I gave away!!!!

Look at my fashion haul!

So if we see you at the Type A Mom Conference this weekend, you’ll know where we got our wardrobes!

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?