The Frock Swap

Jump-start your fall wardrobe on the cheap this Saturday!

Credit: Once Loved Threads & Flickr / TheSwapTeam

The PNE has ended just as the rain is getting started. Yes, fall is coming. If you’re like me, you’ll miss the summer sunshine but you’re also excited about reconnecting with your fall wardrobe. We can start layering again!

As you prep your closet for the seasonal change, you may encounter a familiar scenario: you have some summer pieces that you’re ready to part with after a great run; you rediscover some fall items that no longer fit you (or your new style) well. They are all in good condition, but you’re ready for something different.


the frock swapthe frock swap

The solution? Go to a clothing swap! We held one at our office last year; it was a lot fun and I’ve been hooked ever since. What’s not to love? You can refresh your wardrobe and indulge the shopping bug while being kind to your wallet! It was a great, rewarding experience just swapping with coworkers, so imagine the possibilities when swapping with fashionistas from all around the city!


Frock Swap at Once Loved Threads

Actually, no need to imagine. On Sunday, September 20, 2009, Once Loved Threads will be hosting its popular Frock Swap again.

Here’s how it works: After you sign up, drop off a maximum of 10 items (clothing, shoes or accessories in good, clean condition) the day before the event. For every item you drop off you will receive one token, which can be redeemed for one item at the swap. Pieces remaining at the end of the event will be donated to the Covenant House.

I attended the last Frock Swap back in March, and it was a veritable treasure trove. The room was abuzz with vibrant energy as excited swappers searched through the wide range of great stuff on display (oh yes, we’re a fashionable bunch here in Vancouver!).

Jeans, dresses, tops, jackets, blazers, shirts, shoes, bags, scarves, jewelry—you name it. There were menswear items, too.

Among my prize finds were a get-up-and-go polka-dot dress that’s great for the office (pictured top right; the black belt is my own), and a made-in-Vancouver Jacqueline Conoir silk cocktail dress that I just love (pictured right, second from top).

“I draw the line at secondhand shoes…”

That’s what I used to say, until I realized that it’s really easy to clean vintage/secondhand shoes!

Here’s how…

Vancouver blogger and fellow Granville guest blogger Lisa Nakamura Nguyen also enjoyed a fantastic experience. She admits that she did find it a hassle at first when she found out that she had to drop off things beforehand, but she soon learned to appreciate the reason.

“I realized the organizers had to fold, hang, and organize hundreds of clothing and accessory items, by category, to make sure that on swap day, there was some order to the chaos of girls rushing into the room grabbing a handful of items for free!”

She picked up a Bebe work shirt (pictured right, third from top), which can be dressed up with a scarf and skirt, or dressed down with nice jeans; a super cute short-sleeved sweatshirt perfect for walks (pictured right, fourth from top), and a colourful pair of Asics sneakers (pictured above right).

Lisa’s tip for the first-time swapper is to plan ahead: “You don’t want to come home from the swap with a bunch of junk that’s just going to take up more space in your closet or need to be taken to the donation bins in the end—so go to the event with an idea or list of thing you’re missing in your wardrobe.”

It works! Lisa went to the last swap looking for jeans. She made a beeline for the denim section and found a pair of classic-fit Chip and Pepper jeans (pictured right, at bottom) plus a pair of Fidelity for her friend.


Register now for the September 20 Frock Swap!

What are you waiting for? There’s still time to register! Go to now to sign up for this Vancouver fashion event.