Once upon a time I loved to shop. Then I had kids and neither my time nor my cash was really actually mine anymore. I made my peace with it. It wasn’t a huge loss really. I wasn’t necessarily very good at it anyway – it’s not like I had my finger on fashion’s pulse or anything. I was no stylista. But I always enjoyed the act of shopping; the peace, the perusal, the indecision and the buzz of handing over hard-earned cash for something pretty was something I engaged in a lot. Too much, probably.

Since buying a home and having kids, new threads for mom have moved further down the list of priorities – past travel systems and swimming lessons and Paw Patrol pyjamas – and now that I’m no longer bringing in a wage, well, it’s much harder to justify a splurge.

When a friend recently suggested a clothes swap, I was immediately intrigued and wondered why the hell something like this hadn’t dawned on me before now. A group of four of us met, drank, ate (rookie mistake), undressed, dressed and drank some more, making our way through a mountain of one another’s cast-offs. We each went home with new (to us) clothing and that delicious feeling of beating the system. Winner!

One man’s trash…

There are three obvious benefits to clothes swapping:
  1. It costs you nothing. You get to offload the stuff you own but no longer want and you get to revamp your wardrobe without opening your wallet.
  2. It’s environmentally friendly. You can feel wonderfully green because you’re saving items from landfill and from those evil bands of textile thieves who steal from the charity clothes banks.
  3. You get to drink with your pals. That is reason enough alone.

How does it work? 

  • Invite a gang of friends who have similar-ish taste and who wear similar-ish sized clothes (because well, clothes shopping is never less fun than when nothing fits).
  • Invite at least one very honest friend. You know the one who isn’t afraid to point out your camel toe or remind you that your roots need redoing? Yes, her. Invite her.
  • Ensure that everyone brings a bottle. Drinking is paramount to the success of the evening.


No Dumping 

This is not a chance for you to offload utter crap. Items that are stained, damaged or just plain hideous should be left at home. Gently remind guests not to be total dirtbags and wash items beforehand. Ironing is not necessary. A mother should never be expected to do more ironing.

Easy on the food 

Provide nibbles but not a meal. Nobody wants to try on a pair of skinny jeans after steak and mash.

Heavy on the booze 

While the evening won’t descend into full on underwear-pillow-fight-fantasy territory, there will be some level of disrobing which – let’s face it – is altogether easier when a few glasses of Shiraz have knocked the self-consciousness out of us.

Honesty is (almost always) the best policy

As a general rule, if more than one person has her eye on the same item, the person on whom it looks best, as adjudicated by the group, gets to keep it. This is where Honest Friend shines. If, however, the same person looks miles better in almost everything, lying is encouraged.

Clothes Swap

Stay Cool 

Grabbing will not be well received. Nobody should go home with more items than they brought. Move fast on a hot item but remain civil, ladies, for the love of God.

Swappers remorse is a no-no. 

Of course everything you once hated looks a lot better when other people want it. Too bad. You binned it. You brought it. It’s gone. Build a bridge.

All images via Giphy. 
Have you had a clothes swap or would you like to? Reading your comments always brightens my day! 

Linking this post with some of these…
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  1. Jean O'Callaghan Reply

    I would be that honest friend, or too honest really 🙁 I will probably never be asked to one of these parties.
    but man it sounds better than a book club!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Lol Jean. You KNOW I had you in mind, don’t you?! And I love you for it! xxx I would absolutely ask to to mine! 🙂

  2. Myself and a few friends did this just before a Gilmore Girls binge in the winter. It was great. I can totally recommend it. Even yesterday when I was wondering where a particular dress was I remembered my friend trying it on and it looking fab on her. The remorse is much less when you know it has gone to a good home.

    • Sinéad Reply

      Well that’s so true. You definitley get a buzz out of seeing it look great (and in my case often better) on someone else! Proper feel good factor. I’m loving the combining of the swap with some GG bingeage!

  3. That’s sounds like mighty craic ! I’d be the one who wants the dress I hated back as soon as my other mate had it on her …then I’d get far too honest with all the drinking involved …
    Great post !

  4. jodie filogomo Reply

    I think this sounds like such a fabulous idea!! It’s like hand me downs that you got to pick out. And as a thrift store junkie—it’s better because they are free!!

  5. This is such a cool idea. I’ve been to a few of these and they really are a mixed bag. The right group, a collection of decent items to shift though and a great time is had by all. The wrong group and a room full of tat, not so much. 🙂

    • Sinéad Reply

      So true! You have to choose the invitees wisely! Lol

  6. Ooooh I need to throw a party like this. I’m not going to lie, it is mainly the copius amount of booze that sells it me. However, I do have a lot of rubbish clothes and friends with very nice clothes…..#FridayFrolics

    • Sinéad Reply

      Sounds like the winning formula right there, Emma! Lol.

  7. This sounds like an amazing idea, I so many clothes I don’t wear, and like you say shopping for me is way down my list of priorities. Thanks for the fab suggestion! #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. There’s an annual swap party I know of early in the year. I’ve been a couple of times and enjoyed it. #SharingtheBlogLove

  9. Haha! I love this! I used to go to a friends’ clothes swap party when I was living in London. But now you have inspired me to host my very own! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful idea with us on #FabFridayPost x

  10. I am really into this idea and I would love to do something like this! I have wine. I have the honest friend. I have lots of friends with similar tastes and curves. My only slight issue is that most of my clothes have now been snotted on by toddlers and washed to within an inch of their life. Oh dear. I would be “that friend” wouldn’t I? I’d better just stick to my snotty outfits for now. Love love love the idea though. I shall look forward to the day when my clothes are in good enough nick to be swapped at a party haha. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oh dear. Yes the snot! I tend to wear the same old stuff over and over at the moment too. Maybe someday we’ll be glammy mammies! 😉

  11. I saw this on your IG and I really like the idea. I was the same I used to shop A LOT for myself and now I just focus on buying for myself. Plus my tastes and shape have changed since having the girls. I have a lot of clothes that are practically new, that could go to a good home. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  12. I love this idea! It makes me so sad to see good clothes to go to waste. I’d like to host one for the kids too!! That way, I could let Amelia choose her own clothes as she so badly wants to while also knowing that most four friends have ok taste so I wouldn’t be horrified by her choices haha!! #BloggerClubUK

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oooh that’s a super idea about hosting for kids! Might try and orchestrate one of those!

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