Clothing swaps popular in recession

April 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
In this economy, cutting back on expenses doesn't have to mean cutting back on style. It turns out, you can save money and still dress to impress. There's a clever idea born of necessity and gaining momentum.

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Jane Ancheta has always been a fashionista, but now she considers herself a recession-ista.

"I no longer go to the malls. I go to Goodwill and Crossroads and these clothing swaps," says Ancheta.

The clothing swap is a little bit of fun, fashion and frugalness all rolled into one night. Women bring the clothes they don't want anymore, mix and mingle while the clothes get sorted, and then shop the swap.

"Our numbers are up people are asking, 'When are you coming to the East Bay? When is the next one?'" says Suzanne Agasi, the Clothing Swap founder.

Two-hundred people showed up at the San Francisco swap -- twice as many as they had at this time last year. Even women who still have their jobs are asking about swaps. It may have been hip to show off expensive new shoes during the boom times, but now saving is the new accessory.

"People feel like they scored when they've found something at a clothing swap," says Agasi.

"Frugal is in. It's trendy," says LaMonica Esver from San Francisco.

For Ancheta it's also a necessity since she's been unemployed for 10 months, but she's finding that being frugal is fun.

"I've been having a great time finding the deals," says Ancheta.

Americans are not only spending less but saving more, which doesn't typically happen in a recession. A lot of people say they like what they're learning.

"Now I'm looking at how can I build wealth and minimize my expenses and so this for me has been a great training ground," said Ancheta.

So even when she does land a new job, she's still not going to the mall. Saving is just too much fun.

www.clothingswaps.com

www.stretcher.com

allthingsfrugal.com

www.frugalmom.net

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