Last month we introduced you to Shwop, a boutique in SE Portland that allows members to swap clothing, shoes, and accessories for the entire family for a modest monthly fee. Laurie, one of our local contributors, is is trying Shwop out over the next three months and reporting on her experience.
You can read more about how Shwop works here.
MONTH ONE UPDATE
The first time I walked into Shwop, I knew I was going to love this opportunity. As a frugal mom I generally tend to purchase clothing that my children need as they grow (anyone else buy clearance a year in advance?), and pick up some items throughout the year for my husband, who happens to be very particular about what he likes to wear. My own wardrobe however is a mish-mash of clothes I’ve had for way too many years (some since right after high school, sigh), hand-me-downs from friends and relatives, and odds and ends from clearance racks that I happened upon at Target or Old Navy while shopping for something else. So my style? Well, the last time I shopped with my personal style in mind was quite a while back.
Marci, the owner, has a great selection of clothes, and what I love so much is that the inventory is always changing. Every time I go in (and I try to make it in once a week) there are always great new items available.
So far, the experience has been absolutely positive, and I have managed to bring home multiple items for every member of the family. Here’s a sampling of what my crew has found at Shwop:
This super cute green blazer is an example of me trying to act a little more grown up. My tendency is to dress for comfort, and my default “jacket” used to be a hoodie sweatshirt, generally belonging to my husband. I have learned in the past year that swapping out a snappy blazer for the sweatshirt makes me look like I actually have put way more effort into my look than the 5 minutes I took to get dressed, brush my teeth, and comb my hair before feeding, dressing, and loading my crew of three into the car for whatever appointment we are running late for. Who knew a blazer could do all this? Priceless.
I have come across so many cute blazers at Shwop. The pants are a great basic I have been lacking. Again, trading up to some decent pants from my usual jeans makes me look (and feel) so much more together.
I found this pair of Levi’s at Shwop and they seriously look as though they have never been worn. My husband has always told me that I am not allowed to buy him pants, he is really picky about his pants and how they fit, but I took a gamble when I saw the size matched his, and he loves them!
Although the selection of menswear is not as huge as the women’s section in the store, there are plenty of great things to be found, and he has now picked out a few shirts also for himself.
My oldest found this pair of green cords and the shirt the first time we went, and has worked them into her regularly rotation of clothing choices (translated: she wears them once a week or more). She also begged for the pink high tops last time we went in, and I made her day by saying yes. One of her favorite parts of Shwop? The accessories. Every time we go she is allowed to pick out a new pair of earrings. For someone who just got her ears pierced last November, this is like winning the lottery.
This is a great gray and white striped skirt, wearing this just makes me feel like someone out of a GAP commercial. And you can see my attempt to brighten my wardrobe with the cardigan. Wearing bright colors is out of my comfort zone, but I love the concept of Shwop because I can bring something home (without spending a ton on it) and try it out for a few weeks. If I get a compliment or two on it from my girlfriends, I generally keep it and work it in more often. If not, I just tuck in back into my “Shwop Box” and take it back in next time I go. A total win/win situation.
Shoes! Children’s shoes! This is so exciting to me to find shoes that my kids love and are in good shape. They are stoked to be able to find a pair that fits and that they like while I browse for myself. I am stoked to find decent kids shoes that don’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s so great when we all go home happy.
Crop pants and a little black shirt? Yes, please. Totally cute.
So, to sum up my first month with Shwop? Overall a great experience. Marcy is terrific to work with, there is a great selection at the store, and I have had no problem finding clothing for all 5 members of the family. In addition to the pictures above, we have also brought home some pajamas for each of my boys, shirts for the three year old, a dress, skirts and pants for the seven year old, shirts for my husband, and some great additions to my closet. I look forward to sharing with you next month my new finds as I head back to Shwop.
A bit more about the boutique: Shwop is a membership-based clothes (and more) swapping boutique, or as Shwop says, it’s “a resale, thrift, consignment store and swap party all rolled into one.” Members pay a monthly or discounted yearly fee that allows you to swap clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. Swapping is one-for-one — if you bring in five items, you can leave with five items. You can also wait to use your swapping credit for another trip, so no pressure to take something out that you don’t love or won’t use.
Shwop is offering an limited-time discount just for Frugal Living NW readers:
One month memberships (perfect for those of you wanting to try this thing out):
$25 for an Individual Membership (swap for one person only) – regularly $35
$55 for a Family Membership (swap for your immediate family) – regularly $70
Three-month memberships (prices are discounted off the year-long membership — crazy good prices!):
$60 for an Individual Membership (swap for one person only) – regularly $75
$140 for a Family Membership (swap for your immediate family) — regularly $160
To start your membership, just bring in a bunch of items you no longer want during business hours and tell them you heard about Shwop from Frugal Living NW!
Restrictions: Individual memberships may bring in clothing or accessories in any size, but can only take out clothing in the member’s size (meaning you can’t take out clothes for your child, spouse, or sister — you’ll need a different membership for that). The 3-month discounted memberships must be three consecutive months. Payment for any of the discounted plans must be paid in full to start the membership. After the initial FLNW membership is complete, prices go back to the normal rates.
Shwop is located at 2419 SE Powell Blvd in Portland (SE 24th & Powell) and is open Tuesday – Sunday (check the website for specific hours). Be sure to sign up for the Shwop newsletter (look on the right hand side of the screen) and “like” Shwop on Facebook — Marci updates the FB page often with new items and specials!
Shwop provided Laurie with a three-month family membership to facilitate this review. All opinions are her own.
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