In Praise of Swapping: The LA Think Thru Fashion Swap

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Pictured: The swap table of accessories, jewelry and handbags at the Avalon Hotel this week. The blurry hand in motion belongs to Sarah of the Soignee Blog.  She was moving quick to get the deals! (photo: M. Hall)

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending a fashion swap meet amongst a group of Los Angeles fashionistas, stylists and bloggers.  The event was the ThinkThruFashion Accessory Swap Soiree at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. The event was organized by Think Thru Fashion’s Sydne Summer and was a complete success.  As we all continue to hold the purse strings tighter and tighter on our fashion wallets, swapping not shopping has become increasingly popular.  I’ve written about this growing trend before, as swap parties and even online events have been springing up around the world. The Think Thru Fashion event was a bit different as only accessories, not clothing or shoes,  were on the swap table.  Each attendee checked in at the event registration table with their items, and received a “star” for each item bought to the event. In exchange, attendees could use those stars like cash to buy swap items.  So I bought 6 items to swap, received 6 stars, and got 6 new items from the swap.  All the goods were arrayed on a table for party goers to peruse and trade.  I was surprised at the start of the event there was a flurry of activity to get the best items on the table just as there would be at any great sale. Swaps are a great way to “cull” your closet, get rid of items you are not wearing or using, and pick up some stuff that might tickle your fashion fancy without spending any money.  I traded a very shiny gold necklace, that was a gift, and not my style, with another swapper (HemptressHandbags ) who had a fantastic Scarlett bag that she had originally spent $600.00 on! If you know me, you know I love my handbags. And I definitely scored at the Think Thru Fashion Swap.

 Pictured: My swap winnings, two new handbags and goodies organized by Sydne Summer filled up a bag from LA designer Michael Stars  (photo: M.Hall)

I was able to pick up two fantastic bags at the swap in exchange for my no worn jewelry, no longer carried handbags and a hat I had abandoned long ago. Best of all, the swap featured a raffle with amazing prizes donated by some great sponsors to benefit charity.  Attendees were offered the chance to win prizes from Dermatologica, eco-friendly The Hemptress handbags, Liz Larios jewelry, Michael Stars (check their annual sale)  and BedHead Pajamas in exchange for purchasing a raffle ticket.  Sales from the raffle raised over $2,000 for Law & Order’s Mariska Hargitay’s charity The Joyful Heart Foundation  which supports survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.  Big thanks to Michael Stars, Blue Angel Vodka and Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics for sponsoring the event. Youngblood  Cosmetics was there doing makeovers, and they did an amazing makeover on my fellow blogger Elizabeth Peterson (author of the blog Traded My BMW for a Mini Van.)

Pictured: Blogger Elizabeth Peterson shows off her Youngblood  Cosmetic makeover poolside at the Avalon Hotel. Marilyn Monroe once swam in this gorgeous pool! (photo: M.Hall)

Although the Think Thru Fashion Swap was held at a hotel, remember, swapping is an inexpensive treat that you can enjoy in your own home.  It makes for a great party that is cheap and cheerful.  Just add your old stuff, your best girlfriends and some cocktails, and voila! Party!   Have any of you tried fashion swapping? Did you find it offered some great fashion savings? After all, one fashionista’s cast-offs, are another fashionista’s finds.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.