Swapping, Renting and Auctioning your clothes!

Last week I was doing a spring clean of my wardrobe/s and I found the most extraordinary, long forgotten items. Say hello to the evening dresses, carefully packaged and some not worn. Bags and shoes to match. High heeled monsters that made my feet cringe. Then there’s the Professional Collection. In my corporate days especially in the late 1990’s the ” corner office” image was everything. I found an Armani Jacket that I’d bought in a sale and Carla Zampatti was a favourite… mostly bought from outlet stores. If you’re an Australian do you remember Blooms and Teena Varigos? Many pay cheques funded my Professional Collection. Matching accessories were a must have. I’ve kept these items, lugged them from one home to the next but because they’re ” good clothes”  I’ve never been able to throw them out or sell them.

I don’t wear these clothes any more now that I’m retired. No professional wear needed. My body shape has changed too and my current clothes are less fitted and are made of low maintenance fabric that’s great for travelling. I love the more relaxed style and playing with different looks. My categories of clothing are now- Work Wear (gardening & painting), Clean Casual (local & relaxed), Out & About Wear (city, occasion, a bit dressy)

Do you keep clothes, just in case…? Do you have bags and shoes you never use? Are you heading to the races or a wedding and know you’re unlikely to wear your chosen outfit very often? Have you ever swapped clothes or loaned them to friends?

Have you ever thought of renting out the items you don’t wear? There’s a growing trend, particularly in designer fashion to recycle and re- purpose fashion.  Livia Firth and Stella McCartney are part of the sustainable fashion trend which is about using sustainable fabrics but also re-purposing fashion. You can rent out your little used clothes, re-purpose them to make new , more wearable clothes or rent outfits for single occasion wear.

In Australia every 10 minutes, 6 tonnes of clothing is thrown out and on average we wear an item of clothing only 7 times before we discard the item. At this years Melbourne Fashion Festival held in March I went along to a Plaza Block Party just out of interest. It worked like this. Fashionistas were told to drop off up to 5 items between 12-1pm at the Plaza. The Swap meet then took place from 1-3pm. It was like a Middle Eastern Bazaar and lots of fun. Instagram: @globalfashionexchange @the clothingexchange.

Swapping is one thing but have you ever thought of selling your fashion wear? Like a classy garage sale or TupperWEAR  party! Have you ever thought of organising a clothes market to raise funds for charity, your local school or to fund an overseas holiday. Get together with a few friends, create a carnival atmosphere and have fun trading!

Remember the old suit hire companies? In the late 1970’s we were still poor students or teachers. Friends got married and everyone went to Formal Hire for their suits and bridesmaids’ dresses. If your mother didn’t sew you rented the wedding dress too.

Would you consider hiring your Melbourne Cup Day outfit? A quick check came up with these options.

www.mydressaffair.com.au offers designer dresses, a stylist service and express delivery of dresses for holidays, the races, formal events, weddings etc. There’s try-on service and dry cleaning is included. They also offer wardrobe makeovers and seasonal styling.

www.onsboutique.com.au  in a national Australian company and you can go in store or online. They have collections from Zimmerman, Thurley, Camilla and many others.

www.glamcorner.com.au  has an extensive service and includes Alex Perry, Camilla and Marc, Bianca Spender, Halston heritage, Karen Millen, Maticevski, Nocola Finetti and many more.

…………… and what’s available for men?

Mr Fierze www.mrfierze.com is an international suit hire company and stocks labels such as Zegna, Dolce & Gabbana and Paul Smith.

There’s a whole world out there. Check it out.  Forget BitCoin………Your clothes could be making you money or you could be saving on your fashion wardrobe.




30 August 2019 | Life-Style


  1. I still cringe when I think of all the money I spent on work clothes that I didn’t even particularly like. When I retired they all went to a group who provided clothing for women starting over in the workplace. I love how casually we live nowadays, almost no rules, just expressions. However I just must remember not to wear my caked on dirt gardening clothes to get the mail.

    1. Hi Maureen thanks so much…Yes everything gets translated now into how many overseas trips I could fund! My old corporate wardrobe could have sent me around the globe a few times! The idea of donating clothes for new job entrants or job seekers is a great one. We have such organisations in Oz..Thanks for the tip!

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