One Person’s Trash

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I went to the CRAZIEST (non-alcohol related) event last night. Well, it was at a bar so I’m not sure it was entirely non-alcohol related, but I didn’t drink at least!

A clothing swap hosted by The Swapaholics!

I’d never been to one of these events before, and it was definitely fun, but very intense. The way it works is you bring a big bag of lightly used or almost new clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, hair dye (!?) or whatever else you want to trade in. Here was mine:

That’s a HUGE bag, fyi. Though I’ve done a relatively good job of getting rid of clothes as they get too big, I still had a ton of things in my closet I never wear or that don’t fit quite right. Not anymore!

After you get to the event, you hand over your ticket (which was $20) and your bag of clothes and the organizer takes the bag and dumps it into the swap area. A group of volunteers organize the clothes by item into piles of dresses, skirts, jackets, shirts, shoes, bags, etc. so that it’s a little easier to find things, and then everyone at the event hangs around waiting the 8pm swap time.

Lining the bar:

And another entire room filled with ladies eager to trade clothes.

Once 8pm on the dot came around, one of the organizers came of the swap room, and I should have realized when she said “Be nice and courteous to each other” that things were about to get insane.

Ready, Set, Swap!

Some people literally sprinted into the room, and it was soooooo overwhelming for me. Each table was piled high with tons of different clothes of all different sizes, and each table was surrounded by fashion-hungry girls.

It was INTENSE. Here’s a view from the stage in the room that doesn’t do the crowd much justice. Each concentration of girls in this photo is surrounding a table or rack full of clothes, and the advice I was given was “be a vulture!”

That said, after getting over the initial shock of it all, I did manage to find some SUPER cute clothes. I was shocked by how many size 10s there were – I was worried it would mostly be size 2s, and while there were many of them, I found tons of things in my size. One thing I did notice was that I kept picking up clothes that were in sizes far too big for me – 14s and 16s – thinking they were my size until I looked at the label. Still getting used to it my size, I suppose!

I did end up meeting up with Katie at the event, so we had a blurry picture snapped in front of the Swap sign.

After the clothing swap was done, the organizers got up to give away some prizes! I was also glad to find out that all the leftover clothes would be donated to Goodwill.

Unfortunately I didn’t win anything, but was not happy for those who did.

After I got home, I realized I did in fact make out with some pretty awesome clothing. Check it out:

4 skirts, a suit, several tops, two jackets, and some unpictured jewelry and shoes, all for the price of the $20 ticket and some used clothes! You know what they say – one person’s trash is another’s treasure – it really is true.

Have you ever been to an event like this? Would you go to one?

I would definitely go to something like this again, especially now that I know what to expect. Next time I would think a bit harder about what I wanted before I went so I could go into the room with a strategy, but I am pretty happy with what I came home with this time.

I’d also think it could be fun to host a small event like this so its not quite as intense, though I guess sizing could be hard if it’s a small group of people.

32 Comments on One Person’s Trash

  1. Linda
    July 15, 2011 at 8:34 am (9 years ago)

    What was the end of the week news?

    Reply
  2. Cait @ Beyond Bananas
    July 15, 2011 at 8:35 am (9 years ago)

    That is SO cool! I’ve never been but would love to go to an event liek that!

    You got some great pieces!

    Reply
  3. goodtastehealthyme
    July 15, 2011 at 8:54 am (9 years ago)

    Wow this looks so crazy fun! I would definitely be ALL over that! Plus I am the cheapest person alive so all that stuff for $20…I’m sold!

    Reply
  4. greensandjeans
    July 15, 2011 at 8:59 am (9 years ago)

    Jealous! I read a couple of fashion blogs and those girls go to swaps in Boston all the time! Maybe I need to come down to DC for the next one…

    Reply
    • Beth
      July 15, 2011 at 10:09 am (9 years ago)

      Yep! They are based out of Boston!

      Reply
  5. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    July 15, 2011 at 9:07 am (9 years ago)

    I have not heard of such an event — only small at-home things with friends. I would love to find something like this though.

    Looks like you got a lot of great stuff!

    Reply
  6. Liz
    July 15, 2011 at 9:23 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve been invited to a small one a coworker hosted but couldn’t go. I think I would be overwhelmed by those crowds!

    Reply
  7. Lisa @ Lisa Letting Go
    July 15, 2011 at 9:43 am (9 years ago)

    That sounds like fun! I’d probably be a bit overwhelmed too (I’m not bit on crowds and lots of pushing/shoving), but I’d still give it a try. It’s always fun to get some new stuff!

    Reply
  8. Amy @ Second City Randomness
    July 15, 2011 at 10:05 am (9 years ago)

    Hilarious! I don’t think I could handle an event like this because I would get too anxious and overwhelmed… I don’t even like normal shopping… lol

    But my friend Danielle would have a field day there- and probably injure every other girl in attendance in the process. :p

    Reply
  9. Jennifer
    July 15, 2011 at 10:37 am (9 years ago)

    WOW! You did get some great stuff.

    I like the *idea* of this swap, but in reality I think it would be a bad scene for me. I would feel very overwhelmed.

    Reply
  10. Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic
    July 15, 2011 at 10:47 am (9 years ago)

    Wow, that looks like a lot of fun and it looks like you got some great clothes. I would like to go to one after I lose some more weight and get back into normal sizes. I also think a smaller swap might be a lot of fun although it would probably be harder to find your size.

    Reply
  11. Danielle
    July 15, 2011 at 11:05 am (9 years ago)

    Aww, I’m sad I missed it but had family in town and couldn’t make it. I “liked” it on facebook so hopefully I find out about the next one and can make it then!

    Reply
  12. Amy @ Conquering Self
    July 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm (9 years ago)

    That is awesome! I cannot believe the stash you were able to walk away with! That sounds like such a cool idea. I live in the OC so I’m sure there must be something like that around here but I’ve never heard of it. I would definitely be intimidated because I am terrible at making quick decisions and I feel like you have to think/act fast in that situation. Looks like you are good at it, though!

    Reply
  13. DefineDiana
    July 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve never been to anything like that before, but it looks like a lot of fun!

    Reply
  14. Weighting For 50
    July 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth, WOW….what a fantastic event! It’s a win/win situation, you cleared out your closet, and scored some amazing clothes and a bargain price!!! I’m going to have to look out for one of these in my area. Have a great Friday!

    Reply
  15. Julia @ The Bosky Blog
    July 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm (9 years ago)

    oh my!!

    This looks like soo much fun! I would so totally go, I have so many clothes I could swap!

    Reply
  16. Heidi
    July 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve always loved the idea of going to or holding a swap but my friends and i are all such different sizes i’m not sure it would work for us 🙂

    perhaps a dc bloggers swap? 🙂 😉

    Reply
  17. vanessarose10
    July 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm (9 years ago)

    That is so cool! Wish we had something like that around me!

    Reply
  18. Kelsey
    July 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm (9 years ago)

    YES YES YES! I LOVE CLOTHING SWAPS!! so much so i felt the need to hit caps lock haha <3

    Reply
  19. Tiffany @ Turbo Fire Review
    July 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m not one for crowds and would be totally overwhelmed at an event like that but it would be really cool to get all that stuff for that little amount of money. I think what would annoy me the most would be the catty women who just grab about anything and knock you over in the process. LOL

    Reply
  20. Amy
    July 16, 2011 at 11:31 am (9 years ago)

    i think this is a terrific idea for a school fundraiser! and too keep stuff out of landfills. GREAT!

    Reply
  21. Heather
    July 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm (9 years ago)

    Today I hit up a local resale store that was having a “grab bag” sale. For $10 we got a bag and everything from the clearance section that we could fit in the bag. I only ended up getting a dress because it was so overwhelming. When I lose a little more weight I will definitely go when they do it again because they had lots of cute jeans, but I can’t fit in them yet.

    Reply
  22. michellerunsnyc
    July 17, 2011 at 9:46 am (9 years ago)

    This looks like fun but I think I would be a little anxiety riddled with all the crowds!

    Reply
  23. Emily
    July 18, 2011 at 10:41 am (9 years ago)

    my friends and I all host clothes swaps at our apartments in NYC about twice a year – complete with mimosas and veggies for snacks – its so much fun, and a great way to spruce up our wardrobes and get rid of stuff that we dont want. plus its so much friendlier on the ole budget!!

    Reply
  24. Lauren
    July 19, 2011 at 11:17 am (9 years ago)

    do you know if there are more in the DC area?? how did you find this??

    Reply
    • Beth
      July 19, 2011 at 11:22 am (9 years ago)

      A friend told me about it, and I’m not sure of other in the DC area but I’ll definitely announce it on the blog if I hear of one. I realllllly want to go to another one – I got so much cute stuff last Thursday for so cheap!!

      Reply
  25. Lindsay M
    July 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow! That event looked awesome. I wish i would have known about it! The Ballroom seems like a perfect fit for that sort of event. I want to go to one.. WAH!!!

    Reply

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