How to Organize an Athletic Clothing / Gear Swap with Friends

by | Jan 28, 2019 | Gear

Have a ton of gear lying around? Try a clothing/gear swap to add a ton of clothing + gear to your setup without spending any $$… and getting rid of some stuff that’s not really serving you anymore! A couple of month ago, a few of my girlfriends and I did a girl’s night + clothing swap. Wine (and chips and dip) was consumed, and we had a blast trying on each other’s old stuff, and we all walked away with some new pieces and said goodbye to stuff that didn’t work for us anymore. (Somehow, I seem to shop for my friend Tori, not myself, since all of my stuff looked a million times better on her!)

When seasons start to change, or times like now, when everyone and their mother is Kondo-ing their closet, I really recommend doing this. It’s so much fun and a great way to clean your closet and refresh your wardrobe for $0. (It’s also great for a group of athletically inclined friends—we traded A TON of bike gear, jerseys, shorts, and other athletic clothing as well as regular clothes. It was an awesome way to refresh my running wardrobe!)

A few tips:

Come in with a plan

Know how you want the swap to work. We did it super casual with the understanding of ‘don’t be a dick.’ No one hogged all the ‘good’ stuff and it was super amiable. I know that the more people you add to this, though, the harder it can be to keep $hit civil. So know how you’re going to run it—maybe everyone takes turns picking one thing at a time.

Set the scene

Have a good full-length mirror somewhere accessible, have places to change, and if you have hangers/places for people to put their gear, make it more like a shopping experience.

Make it fun with food/drinks

It’s not all business! (We did a potluck, everyone brought a bottle of something + an appetizer or dessert. Perfect!)

Have everyone lay out their clothing, but walk away

Sometimes, it feels a little weird to be rummaging through a friend’s things when they’re standing right there.

Have a policy that it’s OK to not take something

I think that was what made ours a success: no hard feelings if something wasn’t right for another person. Don’t try to push certain pieces on people!! I don’t care if you think something would look amazing on your BFF—you can mention it once, but if she doesn’t seem psyched, don’t press.

Allow more than just clothing

I don’t wear the same size as a lot of my friends, so we also all brought athletic gear, shoes, jewelry, and even some small household stuff, like throw pillows that I loved but that don’t match our couch anymore. That way, even if sizing is an issue, people can find some stuff they like. And don’t forget that you can get stuff tailored, even athletic clothing. I’ve had vests and jackets taken in, bib straps taken up, etc. — so don’t freak if you can’t find exactly the right fit, but you love the style of something!

Plan to give extras to charity

At the end, pack up the extra stuff and send it somewhere—don’t take it back! (Otherwise, you’ll never get a clean closet…)

RELATED: What to do With Your Old Running Gear


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