Have you ever done a clothes exchange with girlfriends? If not, you totally need to. It’s a great way to get rid of clothes that you have outgrown (or that have outgrown you) and score some cute, new-to-you pieces…FOR FREE.

I’ve heard these types of deals called Naked Lady Exchanges before too (I’m thinking that term was created by a man), but you certainly don’t have to do anything intimidating like strip down to your skivvies and change in front of a room full of girls.

Although…for both of the clothes-swaps I’ve been to, at a certain point, everybody mostly stops caring and starts throwing tops on over t-shirts and trying on skirts over pants just to get a rough idea of the fit.

My friend, Jolinda, hosted this round, and we had such a good time eating snacks, chatting, and sifting through the clothes (we sat in a circle and held up what we brought; whoever wanted it, claimed it, and if there was more than one person interested, we rock-paper-scissored for it).

Here’s a peek at some of the outfits that I threw together with my clothes-swap take-homes and what I already had in my closet.

IMG_7845-001  IMG_7844 IMG_7838-001 

(Top: clothes-swap, $0, Jeans: Goodwill, $3, Jeans jacket: J. Crew outlet, $45, Boots: Amazon, $15)

Truthfully? I love the colors of this outfit, and I’m good with the side-view, but I think I look downright frumpy from the front. Too many layers. Too loose skinny jeans. Weirdness with the ankle booties + the jeans hem. Weirdness with the tan undershirt I chose. I could go on. Can you tell I didn’t actually look in the mirror before I walked out the door? Proof that some outfit visions should stay in my head.

Still, that top/dress was free, which means that if I want to pass it on to someone else or take it to Goodwill just because it didn’t work super-well for me, no harm no foul!

I had better luck with the next round of goodies:


I scored those cute olive-colored khakis, that striped shirt, AND that awesome scarf at the clothes exchange, and then I paired them with my J. Crew denim jacket (which, at $45, was a splurge but which gets more wear per dollar than practically anything else in my closet right now; I throw it on with everything) and a pair of $3 Goodwill espadrilles and wore it to the painting party I mentioned in yesterday’s “mediocre” post. 🙂


I also came home with a comfy-cute pair of American Eagle jeans and a navy/white striped shirt with a hoodie (I ❤ hoodies big time). I added my camo military jacket from JcPenney ($15) and a pair of camo shoes (with glitter stars, naturally) from Walmart (a long time ago) and called it good for a birthday party on a chilly evening.  This isn’t my chicest look ever, for sure, (I kind of look 12) but there’s something about laidback clothes that still make you feel decent for, oh yeah, FREE that can’t be beat—especially when you accessorize with an adorable baby-girl twin on your hip.

I wore yet another clothes-exchange find recently, but you’ll have to wait until I do an Allume style post for that one. 

All in all, our clothes-swap was a raving success. Everyone left with something they loved, and we all got rid of things that had been lurking in the backs of our closets for way too long (I came with 4 bags and left with 1, so I’m calling it a win!). Plus, we had fun. I mean, I’m all for decluttering my closet, but when I can do it with friends and food, my motivation goes through the roof.

What about you guys? Have you ever participated in a clothes-swap? This was my second time, and both times I’ve come away with things that I really like and will wear/have worn a lot.

How do you deal with the “problem” of multiple people interested in one item? Not that an all-out cat fight wouldn’t have been a smidge entertaining (Jolinda was actually a little disappointed at how polite we were all being; she wanted more rock-paper-scissor action than actually took place), but I found myself thinking on several occasions how grateful I was for how different each of our styles/tastes were and for how gracious everyone was. A drama-filled clothes-swap would ultimately be a stressful one.

Linking up with Lindsey


  1. I hosted a clothing swap last February and it was soooo much fun! I was actually doing a huge closet purge so that’s why I wanted to host. Didn’t want to show up at someones house with 5 trash bags full of clothes!! But, I told everyone to just bring 5-15 items (good condition/no underwear or swimsuits). I have a hanging rack on rollers and then I set up another “rack” of a broom handle between 2 chairs. I used my bed for folded stuff/t-shirts and a few other folding tables around for shoes, accessories, etc…..I was a little worried about sizes too, but everyone I invited was in the same “range”. I had mirrors scattered around the house and several bathrooms/rooms for trying on. When everyone arrived, we put stuff into the proper place and let everyone go “shopping”. Everyone grabbed handfuls of stuff and headed to try on. It was fun because then everyone started switching around and giving opinions in the dressing rooms. After I felt like everyone was finished trying on, we loaded our plates with food (I had everyone bring a finger food) and drew numbers. The girl with #1 got to pick first…..1 item (her favorite thing)….quickly. And then we just followed the rotation with each person picking one item each time around. This saved any fights (which I didn’t expect to have 🙂 or hurt feelings. We got some good laughs as some were disappointed to see their item chosen by someone else. After we did the rotation about 5-6 times….I just called a free for all and let everyone have at what was left. It was a great time! Got rid of tons of stuff and hauled the rest to a local clothes donation for the needy. Everyone left with about a sack full of stuff & seemed really thrilled not to have spent any money! I would highly recommend it!!
    PS: I think the dress/top from the first pick would work better with some black leggings. I like the colors in it and it really looks like you.

  2. a clothing swap would not work for my group of friends as there is a wide range of sizes involved, but we are planning an accessory swap in about a month. i’m so excited. i have tons of stuff i’d like to give a new home.

  3. Oh, I love the idea of a clothing swap! i might have to plan this with my friends. I think that sizes could be an issue though… How does that work? You just have to have lots of people, maybe?

    Also, I just have to say that I found the exact same navy stripped hoodie t for a quarter at a garage sale and I LOVE it. It just fits so nice.

  4. after looking at our reflections in a shop window we decided the outcome of a clothing swap would be really disastrous. long and short narrow and wide. how would you ever handle that one ?

  5. I have been to and hosted several clothes and accessory swaps. we line everything up all pretty in a room and give everyone a number, usually 1-4, so we end up with several groups. Then we allow everyone to shop for a few minutes before we start the selection process. Everyone in group 1 goes and they have around 5 min to make a selection, some are quick and some take time to decide. Then group 2 goes, etc. Till everyone has had one time in the shopping room. Then we go again. As items start to dwindle down we give people less time and allow them to start taking more than 1 item. At the end of the night anything left gets donated to a local thrift store. Super fun and a great way to get rid of some things and get some fun new things. We usually end up with a fashion show happening in the room where everyone is hanging out gabbing and eating.

  6. I love clothing swaps! I luck out because my one friend who always gets rid of a TON of stuff that I like is the exact same size as me. So, most of the time I get everything she has and will then pass on other things that might fit someone else just so that I am not hogging everything in the pile. 🙂 Rock Paper Scissors is a wonderful idea though!

  7. I think you should try that first top (dress:?) with leggings next time. And maybe a different tank underneath. Otherwise, I think it’s a cute look. It doesn’t come across as too many layers, the jeans are just a little off with it. I’ve been toying with the idea of having a clothing swap; we’ll have to see!

I love hearing from you guys!