Be Our Guest: Closet via Crowdsourcing

I may choose to build my wardrobe through a monthly clothing budget, but that’s far from the only way to create your style. Read on to see how my awesome friend Hannah curates her closet. – Jess

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I don’t like shopping for clothes. Grocery shopping? Yes. (I am a food-loving dietitian, after all.) Paper products at Goodwill? Yes, please – that sends me straight to my happy place. But clothes? No. No no no.

The only time I can be sure money will change hands and never-before-worn clothing items will enter my wardrobe is in the fall, when my mom takes me, Sister E, and Sister S on a shopping spree. Mom distributes Benjamins, Sister E shepherds us from store to store, and Sister S and I walk around among the pretty colors.

So how is my wardrobe stocked for the other three seasons of the year? My top source is Sister E. She actually enjoys clothes shopping and is remarkably good at it. She is also remarkably generous – she hands over a pile of clothes for me to look through at the beginning of each season. (Did I mention she is also remarkably organized?) I plucked this The Limited Top from one such seasonal pile too many years ago to comfortably reveal.

Another source is grandparents. This belt was my grandfather’s and the clip-on earrings are from Sister E’s grandmother-in-law. (But for real, ask your grandma – can I have her hand-me-downs?)

A new source of clothes for me are clothing swaps. I attended my first swap this April at a friend of a friend’s house. “When you arrive,” the Facebook invitation warned me, “you’ll probably be set upon by one or more women in various states of undress. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. We just want your stuff.” I brought a massive bag of KonMari’d clothes, a grocery bag of accessories, and medium expectations. I left with two resuable bags chock full of pieces ranging from “like new” to “well loved.” I totally drank the Kool-Aid. (Just kidding – I drank wine. Because there was wine and snacks. Because of course.). This swishy polka dotted H&M number is a fruit of my labor that evening. (Seriously – so. many. clothes. to look at and try on.)

And then there’s the old reliable: friends. These Mix No.6 pumps were too small for my roommate, but just right for me.

So there you have it – cash-free fashion for department store avoidant personalities.

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