Lima Al-Azzeh

Vancouver Clothing Swaps and Garage Sales Galore!

In Vancouver Events, Vancouver Style on September 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Photo by Javier Avellan

A couple of years ago, I was working as a server at a local Vancouver eatery called Subeez Café, one of those ultra “hip” spots where the staff is almost always comprised of people from all walks of life and have all manners of eye-gawking style. This job directly lead to my owning my very first Betsey Johnson dress. For the boys who may be reading this, this is a very momentous occasion in a girl’s life.

It was there that I met my friend Leesa, an Aussie transplant with a truly unique sense of style – very vintage, very throwback. One customer even nicknamed here a modern Dita Von Teese. She had purchased this gorgeous one-of-a-kind Betsey dresses – cream with stripes of black and a pattern of pale green sailor boat steering wheels all over. It’s a wonderfully fifties style cocktail dress and I gushed as she tried it on for me. The dress was on sale for $200 and she couldn’t pass it up, and I really couldn’t blame her. I was blown away when she offered to sell me the dress. She wasn’t totally thrilled with the fit and experiencing some serious buyer’s remorse. Nonetheless, she wanted to bestow the dress on someone who would appreciate it and love wearing it. She offered it to me for $50 and a promise to relish owning it and showing it off. I happily agreed.

It was the first time I’d ever really bought a dress off a friend and I loved the entire experience of it. I now wear that dress proudly to many truly special occasions in my life, as much for the dress, as for the memories behind it. Recently, I’ve realized that these types of experiences can be shared all over the city.

I’ve seen an abundance of garage sales and clothing swaps happening in and around Vancouver, whether organized meticulously by store owners, retailers and fashion do-gooders to more small scale, intimate affairs where friends will send out Facebook invites and host swaps and mini closet sales. It’s a terrific idea, and an excellent way to get affordable, loved clothing and not to mention your friends’ much coveted pieces.

One such sale is happening this very weekend in Vancouver. Hosted by local designer and retailer Dace Moore of d a c e clothing, the garage sale brings together all kinds of items from the personal closets of the woman of the hour herself, Judith Feller from lily+jae, Michelle Rizzard of One of a Few, and Elizabeth, one of the designers for Obakki Designs, will all be lending their favourite closet cast-offs. The two day event promises to be a showcase of some of the best fashion you’ve seen, and likely longed for, on the streets of Vancouver all starting at the low price of $5.

d a c e garage sale details:

Friday October 1, 11am – 8pm

Saturday October 2, Noon – 4pm

d a c e studio

300 – 76 West 6th Avenue

Frock Swap is a highly anticipated annual event in Vancouver that seems to get more popular with each passing year. This sustainable shopping endeavour focuses on the art of sharing and recycling “gently-worn” “once-loved” items. The event is impeccably organized and the final result is a neatly laid out, boutique style arrangement of participants’ items where everyone can sift through to see what they’d like to exchange for. The rules are simple, you can only exchange as many items as you’ve brought in up to a maximum of 15 items.

This year, Frock Swap is featuring a new concept called “Rock the Swap” that will allow a small group of people VIP access to swap privately before the doors are open to the public.

Frock Swap 5.0 details:

October 10, 2010 12pm-4pm

Box Studios

1622 Franklin Street

For more details on how the swap works and how you can enter your items to be swapped  visit the Frock Swap website.

Inspired by both these ideas, I’ll be selling some pieces from my own abundant closet (I’d give them away but hey, a girl’s gotta eat). Watch out for a post with photos and prices coming soon!

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  1. Thanks for sharing your first Betsy Johnson dress story. I too remember every detail of receiving my first Betsy Johnson dress. I believe I heard the angels sing that day.

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