My closet is a zealot’s altar to the Cheap Fashion gods. I am also a super-nostalgic hoarder who finds sentimental value in such things as the first item I bought from the first Target designer diffusion line ever. I shop a lot. I like shopping a lot. I live for shopping a lot.
But once a year I do purge. Out, out, old spotted skirt! (Just kidding, stay, you’re in.) Donating your stuff is great (OR IS IT), but getting something for it is even better.
1. Clothing swaps with friends! The great thing about fashion right now is fit doesn’t matter (tiny things look cute, as do oversized things), and the great thing about your friends is you love their clothes (duh, you wouldn’t be friends with them if you didn’t.) Clothing swaps are fun excuses to drink wine and try things on, and they don’t cost money, and everyone gets new things they love while getting rid of things someone else would love. There is no way a clothing swap can go wrong, so long as no one brings any gifts someone else at the party bought them. Oh, that would be so horrible.
2. Consignment! Why simply give your once-loved items away when you can maybe get some of the money you paid for them back? Places like Buffalo Exchange and Beacon’s Closet want your weird old shit and want to judge you for it and want to give you some money for it! Take a Xanax or something, before you roll up to the selling desk, since those fashion people can be real dicks about your favorite sweater/most important dress from high school/vintage jacket from your aunt that you always thought was cool but actually isn’t. Don’t let ‘em get you down, do-gooder — they won’t take everything, but they’ll take something, and swirling that shit back into the local economy while you, yourself, get a little cash, is as American as it gets.
3. Get a pair of scissors! If you hate the skirt but love the print of its fabric, or can’t fit into the silk top anymore, or are obsessed with the quality of denim that those jeans you wore when you were 16 are made of, don’t get rid of the stuff! Cut them up and either alter them to fit you in a new way (jorts, y’all!) or make something totally different out of them (headwraps!)(for a super-easy cloth iPhone case tutorial from yours truly, plz email). Try other things, or pick out the best items from your discard pile and throw them at your crafty friend so they can do something with them. Finally, decoupage.
Lauren Rodrigue is a shopping expert.