Online wapping adds up to 'net savings.

Secondhand Sartorialism: swap ‘til you drop

I recently wrote about how perusing Wardrobe Remix, a Flickr community, can help those of us who become easily bored with our wardrobes to find new and creative ways to wear our clothes. Perhaps you read that post, checked out Wardrobe Remix and became totally re-inspired by the pieces that you already own. Or, maybe you read it, mentally or literally filed through your wardrobe and thought, "Nope. I still don’t have anything to wear. My wardrobe is played out. End of story."

Might I suggest an epilogue?

Last year, I discovered some websites that allow registered users to swap their new and used clothes for items being offered by other users. Swap meets have gone high tech! Anyone with new pieces they never got around to wearing, or used pieces that still have life in them, can now log onto such sites and swap to their hearts delight. While there are many different sites out there to suit all different sorts of sartorial sensibilities, two of the most intriguing are Swapstyle.com and Rehash Clothing.

Swapstyle.com, described on its site as "an online fashion swap party where you can swap, sell and buy fashion, accessories, cosmetics, shoes and lots more," is geared toward individuals who are more interested in higher-priced and designer labels -- but I've seen postings for everything from prom dresses to used bottles of moisturizer.

Anyone interested in swapping, selling or buying through Swapstyle.com must be a registered user. Though swapping is not 100 percent secure and guaranteed, making users register and allowing them to rate their transactions with each other does provide a bit of security -- although I did see a forum posting where an established member was warning others about "swaplifters" with fake accounts. As always, buyer (or swapper) beware -- no one wants to send a former favorite off into the distance only to receive nothing in return. A yearly membership is usually $19.95, but it's currently free to join. So now may be a great time to get in there and start swapping.

Rehash Clothing, which bills itself as a "fashionable way to trade your clothing, books and accessories with others online," is geared toward individuals who seek to be environmentally conscious by trading their used clothes rather than tossing or donating them. There is no cost to be a registered user at Rehash, which is appealing, but I get the sense that it is also less secure than Swapstyle.com and that there is a greater chance of having something swaplifted. However, registered users can communicate in a forum and even post lists of items that they are seeking in trade.

So, if you find that your wardrobe no longer inspires you, but you know that many of your pieces still have value and may inspire someone else, consider logging onto one of these sites and trading what you’ve got for what you want. By merely paying the cost of shipping you could open up a whole new chapter for your wardrobe. Happy swapping! -- TaRosa Jacobs

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