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Swap Clothes

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Illustration by Seymour Chwast  

You hate everything in your closet, but you don’t want to buy anything. Easy to fix. Hold a clothing-swap meet or, as my friend Jane calls them, “friendly sartorial bartering sessions.” Here’s how: Invite ten friends over. A big apartment isn’t as necessary as good lighting and multiple mirrors. Each woman must bring at least one shopping bag full of clean, lightly worn clothes in excellent condition. Wear nice underwear, since it will be seen. Serve tidy, not messy snacks. Uncork some white wine. Have each person put their clothes in a separate pile: four on the bed, two on the couch, and so on. Encourage your friends to move around and rummage. It may feel pushy at first (the wine will help), but advertise your goods: “Charlotte, this Marni skirt would look very cute on you.” Likewise, encourage your friends as they model. Within an hour, you’ll have amassed the start of a “new” wardrobe, and if nothing else, you’ll be hanging out with friends, trying on clothes and drinking.

Annual Savings: $1,000
(Assuming five items swapped at $100 per item, twice a year.)


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