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| Fashion |

Swap the old and shop the new with Fast Geek Boutique and the Frock Shop Sample Sale

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What's better than scoring a perfectly fitting designer dress or a one-of-a-kind pair of shoes on a shopping expedition? Snagging the good stuff at a decent price -- or, even better, for free. This weekend, Fast Geek Boutique will host its first-ever Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap and Fashion Denver will open its doors for the first annual Frock Shop Sample Sale. Both events aim to push the notion that good fashion finds don't have to come with hefty price tags.

On April 14 and April 15, the Frock Shop Sample Sale will fill Fashion Denver with dozens of tops, dresses, accessories and more from local and national designers. Garbarini, Goldyn, GoGoMarj and Audrey Marie are just some of the shops and lines offering apparel for up to 80 percent off the retail price.

"It's kind of a win-win for everyone," says Frock Shop proprietor Katie Gartner. Shoppers get great deals on well-made merchandise and boutiques get a chance to liquidate inventory.

A few years ago, while studying apparel and merchandising at Colorado State University, Gartner interned for a designer. She noticed that pieces made for the runway weren't always manufactured; many of those designs never again saw the light of day. That realization led to the Frock Shop;s creation, and Gartner is celebrating the first edition of this sample and discount sale with the help of Fashion Denver, which supports local couture.

The Frock Shop Sample Sale runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 1070 Bannock Street. The event is free, and will be accessorized with cupcakes from Sugar High Cakes and champagne courtesy of Vino Vino.

Also on Saturday, Fast Geek Boutique is throwing down a fashion event of the free kind. At this first-time clothing swap, anyone is invited to bring gently used clothing and accessories down to the store at 321 West 11th Avenue for trading and chatting from 4 to 8 p.m. Fast Geek's Tina Budda puts big emphasis on the casualness of the swap -- there are no rules about how many items to bring or what to bring. It's all about utilizing the spring-cleaning mentality and getting unworn stuff out of the closet and into the hands of new owners.

"I was originally just doing the swap with a couple of friends, but then they invited some friends, too, so I decided to open the shop for it," Budda says. All unswapped items may be traded to Fast Geek Boutique for a 30 percent off coupon good for anything in the store. Those items will then be donated to charity or to local designers who utilize recycled materials.

For more information on the Frock Shop Sample Sale, visit the company's website. For details on Fast Geek Boutique's Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap, go to its Facebook event page.

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