Category Archives: Fashion

Bra Whisperer Needed


If you’re looking for a paid job with benefits, paid time off, and doing something to help women in a practical and fun way through fashion, check out this job opportunity at The Pencil Test in NE Portland.

My daughter and I have had bra’s fitted here before.  It’s a store for the endowed woman looking for bras that support, uplift, and shape in a way to feel confident.  A good fitting bra is pretty close to an important public service so wanted to give a shout out to any fashionista who might be looking to use her skills in a way that ‘supports’ other women.

If I hear about other living wage jobs with benefits in the positive fashion industry/local business, I’ll try to pass them along here.



What to bring to free swaps?

There’s been some discussion amongst swappers as to what is acceptable to bring to free clothing swaps. As long as the item is clean and in good condition, we’ll accept it at a swap (unless the swap specifically says ‘2 year old or less modern styles only’…but I’ve not heard of a free swap that is doing that…yet). The reason I say that, is just because I find a color/style loathsome on ME, there always seems to be someone who has been searching for just that item for themselves and looks fabulous Continue reading

Grateful swapper tells a ‘Swap Positive’ story!

I got the following note today from a grateful swapper who wished to remain anonymous.  It’s stories like this that make my heart sing and my hands happy to serve in our free swap community.  We all are privileged to be in the presence of caring ladies (and teens and men) who bring things in great shape, take what we need, and give back to ourselves and others freely:

Dear fellow swappers,

I want to thank everyone for making the December gift swap such a wonderful experience.  I had fun talking to many of you and it was fun Continue reading

floral skirt and black sweater/jacket

I got this floral skirt and black sweater/jacket at a free swap.   Continue reading

See Diana and Jennifer talk about Swaps on TV!

Many thanks to Diana McIntosh (volunteer swap hostess for the all-size Tualatin swap), and Jennifer Smith (volunter swap hostess for the kids clothing and stuff swap) for being guests on KATU’s AM Northwest show Friday March 23rd!  They did a great job explaining what clothing swaps are all about, showed off a table full of clothing items they’ve found at swaps, and even had some of their daughters model clothes.  It was a fun segment to watch.  If you haven’t seen it, please check it out here.

Free Swap Rules

With swaps increasing in size, and now partial swap information going viral, people have asked me to put together a down-and-dirty Free Swap Rules list.  Free Swaps are self-policing, meaning we keep an eye out for each other to make sure everyone has fun, each of us keeping in check any ‘over reaching’ or un-swap-like behavior.  I ask all swappers to be eyes and ears to help swaps run smoothly.  Thank you for your participation!

Free Swap Rules

1.  Free Swaps are UNIQUE!  Coordinators volunteer their time for free.  Venues donate their location for free.  Swappers bring clean items in good condition for free, and in return find ‘new’ items for themselves or to give as gifts.  Remainders are donated to organizations and individuals who will GIVE them away, not sell them.  Everyone gets to play with kind, generous, thrifty, sustainability-minded people.  No money changes hands.   That is the mission of Free Swaps.

2.  Bring only CLEAN items in good condition (no obvious rips, stains, no broken or missing zippers, no pant legs without the pants).  If it is a clothing swap, only bring WEARABLE items in the sizes stated for that particular swap.  If it is a stuff or gift swap, bring stuff/gifts…and only wearables that are one-size-fits-most, such as hats, scarves, etc.  Offer your non-swap-appropriate items on  (Even with everyone respecting the swap, if you are only looking for new clothes with the labels still on and hanging up in pristine condition, you’ll be happier at a department store:)

3.  Do NOT take anything before the swap coordinator says ‘go’.  We all start at the same time so everyone has the same opportunities.  If you take something before the swap begins, those around you will ask you if you are a first time swapper, and if so, remind you of the Free Swap Rules/What to Expect, and you will put the item back until the swap begins.   Swaps are filled with generous kind people.  If the thrill of the chase and all that wonderful free stuff for the taking brings you to a panic mode of greed – slow down, take a deep breath, and know that there is plenty for everyone – including you!  And just like in a retail store, sometimes you find a lot that you like, sometimes a little.  So please don’t worry to the swap coordinator if all of your dreams didn’t come true this time.  Be thankful watching the thrill as others get things they need, and come back with an open heart next time to see what treasures are in store for you.  It’s all good:)

4.  Be kind and generous to those at the swap.  Don’t take stuff you will not PERSONALLY USE or give as gifts.  If two people want the same item, the person who has less gets the item – that’s an example of being kind and generous.

5.  By being here, you agree that you WILL NOT SELL ANYTHING that you received for free at any Free Swap(s).  If your goal is to sell things, there are plenty of other places to get them.  Free Swaps are NOT one of those places. To learn more about what Free Swaps ARE, click here.

6. If you attend Free Swaps, you are agreeing to abide by the Free Swap Rules above. Generous, kind people are welcome at Free Swaps.  Re-sellers, hoarders, and  factious people are not welcome and will be asked to leave so the rest of us can play in peace.  If you feel these rules are unreasonable, do not attend.

Cute silk knit t-shirt from a recent swap

I got this great silk knit t-shirt at a Free Swap!

I got this silk knit t-shirt at a recent medium clothing swap.  Learn more about it here.  If you’ve found items at a swap, you might be able to share them here as well.  Check Other Swaps if you are looking for a swap in your size, or in your area of town.   If you don’t see a swap in a size, interest, or area of town that is close to you, you can start one!