Tips from A Serial Swapper: How to Have a Great Clothes Swap Experience

The swap experience can be incredibly exciting, but it can be overwhelming too especially if it’s your first time. As a serial swapper, I’ve found these ways help me get the most out of the experience.

During The Swap

  • Come Early: You’ll give yourself time to lay out your clothes, so that you’re ready to swap and mingle when the swap begins instead of trying to play catch up.
  • Dress for Success: Wear clothing that are easy to change in-an-out of. My favorites are either leggings and a fitted top or a sports bra underneath, so you can just slip clothes on top of it. A maxi skirt is also helpful to slip on pants/skirts underneath. Swaps usually have limited changing rooms and a lot of ladies with armfuls of clothing, so depending on your comfort level you can beat the crowd and change wherever you’re standing instead of waiting for a changing room.

My favourite outfit for swapping is leggings and a fitted top / sports bra

  • Bring Your Bags: Instead of carrying your haul around, slip them into a tote and leave your arms free
  • Use Your Phone As A Mirror: If you find too many people crowing around the mirrors, create your own personal mirror by setting up your phone on a surface and turn on your selfie camera. This will give you a good idea of how your ‘new’ outfits will look like in photos too.

Getting the Most Out of Your Haul

  • Plan Your Haul: Head in with a clear goal of the types of clothing you find are missing from your wardrobe e.g. work clothes, outfits for an upcoming beach getaway, etc.
  • Quality over quantity: Swapping and shopping can share similar traits, sometimes we take home too much clothing than we can really use in the heat of the moment. It can be helpful to set a ‘maximum number’ for yourself so that each swap doesn’t add to the volume of your wardrobe, but instead trades the ‘unwanted’ for the ‘useful’.

Edit Along The Way: Towards the end of the swap session, edit your haul to remove any items you may have picked up impulsively. You wouldn’t want to overwhelm your new edited wardrobe at home with a fresh mountain of stuff you might never wear, so be mindful of the items you’re bringing in.

  • Accessories are easy wins: You won’t need to try them on to know they’ll fit! And they’ll jazz up any existing outfits you already have without having to introduce more outfits into your wardrobe.
  • Observe How You Use Your Swapped Items: After the swap, give your clothing another wash. Then observe over the next few weeks how much use you get out of them. The good thing is, you didn’t cause any harmful environmental impact (or impact to your wallet) with a new fashion item, so even if you ultimately find the item does not quite fit into your life, you can easily bring it reswap at the next event

While swapping can be a great way to refresh your wardrobe responsibly, the experience of trading stories, sharing our fashion, and seeing them go on to serve someone else is what makes for a wholesome experience.

I hope these tips help you in becoming a savvy swapper, I’m sure you have great tips to share with me as well! Drop them in the comments below. Go forth and swap!

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