Clotheshorse

    Each year in April I make an effort to perform my ritual of Spring Cleaning. The whole house gets a once over with a feather duster and a mop. I try to get into every nook and cranny if possible. This also includes cleaning out my wardrobe. I have a love hate relationship with my wardrobe. It contains treasures and trash, for once I pull everything out, I never seem to fit everything back in. It's the perfect time to do some downsizing by getting rid of the old in the hopes of making room for the new. Each year I manage to put together a sizeable pile of clothes that I need to get rid of. I divide these into the "charity lot" and the "too good not to sell lot". [photo:1349446686973] Here in Vancouver, we have many second-hand stores, or as they are more commonly known, consignment stores, which I think is a great idea. Why not make a little money from your once loved clothes. Most of the shops operate on a similar system, which is once they have agreed to take on your clothes they receive 50% of the sales. Some shops even go as high as 60-40 split. Whatever method, it seems only fair. They take on your old clothes put it in a shop that has overhead (rent, electricity, etc) and sell it for you and receive a commission. In return, you receive a nice little sum of money to put towards your next shopping trip. With that as an incentive, I happily sort out my clothes into the two piles. Actually, there are three including the pile of "toss in the bin" clothes that you wouldn't even consider giving away. [photo:1349532060401]I think a peek into someone's closet can be a revealing slice of a person's personality and character! I could make a duvet or two with all my scarves, but, I love them and each year I end up purchasing a few more. Shoes! Now I know for sure I am not the only one with a costly shoe habit. I jokingly tell people I must have been barefoot in my previous life and I'm making up for it in this life. Then there are those impulse buys, "the item I love it so much that I have to get it right away, but only use it once if at all". I mustn't forget handbags and other accessories. I usually end up with quite a big pile. I'm not sure what that says about me. I shop impulsively or I'm ready to move on. I like to think the latter. [photo:1349532114883]Recently, I heard of a novel way to rid myself of my clothes. It's called Refashion, an event held downtown at the Yaletown Roundhouse Exhibition Hall. It's not a yard sale, flea market or clothes swap. Instead of dealing with a consignment store, you can sell directly to the public by renting a space with a table for about $70 including a clothes rail with 45 hangars. The organizers stipulate that in order to sell your clothes, the clothes, shoes and accessories that you are selling must be new, gently worn and not worn more than three times. Everything must be approved by the organizers before it goes on Sale as they want to ensure that every shape and size is accounted for as much as possible. This year at Refashion there were as many as 60 individually sellers. [photo:1349532172669]With my curiosity piqued I headed to Refashion to check out the clothes. Truthfully, I was hoping to not buy anything especially as I was trying to find ways to get rid of my own things. However, that idea went out the window as soon as I arrived. Just as advertised, there were stalls upon stalls of new, nearly new and gently used fashions and all at a very reasonable price. It is strictly a "Cash Only" event and some sellers are even willing to bargain a little bit. I found a very trendy Lady Gaga worthy leather gladiator platforms brand new and still in box for a fraction of the original price. Alas, I am not Lady Gaga and do not have the fashions to go with the shoes, so the shoes did not come home with me. There were designer clothes of every price point, long dresses, short dresses, leather coats and the list goes on. [photo:1349532281636]I spoke with some of the other Refashion shoppers to try and see what they were hoping to find. Many were very happy to be there. One shopper told me that she was pleasantly surprised to find clothes to fit her "baby bump". Definitely there's something for everyone. Well, almost everyone. It seems girls will always be girls and most of the clothes at Refashion are almost all Ladies clothes. Sorry guys. The men need not feel too left out though. While waiting for their female companions to shop, there were many other vendors on the sidelines including a very enticing cupcake stall with the cutest cupcakes adorned with handbags other designer recognizable monograms, coffee shops and even a French Bistro were serving up bite size yummies for free. After spending a couple of hours at Refashion I came away feeling much better. I think it's called "Retail Therapy". Yes I have many clothes but I'm not the only one. I have many good quality clothes that I probably won't wear again, but fortunately now, besides your trusty neighbourhood consignment store, next year I can consider setting up my own table at Refashion. There is one problem though, I don't know how to bargain and might just end up giving it all away! [photo:1349532365723]