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Need a New Wardrobe? Don't Buy One. Swap For It.

Nancy Trejos

I’ve said this time and again: I love clothing. I like dressing nicely for work. But I can’t afford to keep buying the latest styles.

As I was reporting on another story, I came across the Greater Washington Clothing Swap.

It was founded by Frances Reimers, a communications and program manager, in 2006. She invited six friends to her living room to swap clothing. They were in their 20s, tired of their wardrobe, but unable to pay for a new one.

The organization has grown with the economic downturn. At the last clothing swap last month, 40 people showed up. Reimers now even has a Facebook fan page. “Women’s apparel is expensive and women get tired of their wardrobe quickly,” she said. “This event is a sure-fire way to get rid of what you don’t want and get something equally fabulous in return.”

The idea, she said, is to promote “fashion and philanthropy.” Participants bring at least five gently used items of clothing or accessories. The price of admission is two non-perishable items that Reimers can donate to the Capital Area Foodbank. In exchange, the attendees get their pick of items. Any items that are unclaimed at the end of the swap go to Goodwill.

Reimers organizes four swaps a year. She plans to have the next one in October.
At the last swap, she got a brand new Ann Taylor dress with the tags still on.

“You have something that is new to you that you didn’t have to go out and pay for,” she said. “The clothing swap is a great way to share the wealth, so to speak.”

I’m definitely thinking of sharing in some of that wealth. I'll let you know the date and location of the next swap.

By Nancy Trejos  |  July 16, 2009; 10:07 AM ET
Categories:  Bargains , Nancy Trejos  
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Next: Looking for a Bargain? Why Not Buy Some Stolen Goods--Legally?

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