How To Shop For Your Closet And Not Spend A Dime

I’m Tod Hallman and I’m a Hollywood fashion stylist.

For over a decade, I’ve had the pleasure of styling Kimberly for the red carpet, press junkets, and industry parties. We’ve become great friends over the years, so when Kimberly asked me to talk fashion at KimberlyElise.com, I was absolutely thrilled.

So first up, I wanted to blog about shopping and the challenges of updating your wardrobe on a budget.

I think we can all agree that we love adding something new to our closet from time to time, but the reality of living on a budget bumps summer shopping to the bottom of the “to-buy” list.

So here’s an idea that’s a fun way to shop and spend an evening with your friends that won’t cost you a dime!

Living on a budget? That doesn’t mean you can’t throw a party! Check out How To Throw The Perfect Party On A Budget!

I call it Shop & Swap.

Here’s how it works.

1. Invite your girlfriends to a Shop & Swap party.

Use funky e-stationary such as Paperless Post to set the mood.  Let your friends know that the idea is for everyone to go through their closets and find an item or two.

It can be a blouse, top, dress, skirt, pants, handbag, or pair of shoes that are in good and wearable/usable condition. Make sure that the color is still vibrant and there are no holes. Make sure it’s clean!

Assign at least two or three items to ensure that everyone leaves with something new and fun to wear.


Screenshot 2014-06-28 23.57.58

2. Ask everyone to bring an appetizer to the Shop & Swap.

This way, the responsibility isn’t on you to provide all the food. Assign a few bottles of champagne, some crackers, freshly cut veggies, and chips. I suggest making it a fun cocktail theme party! Since summer is upon us, prepare summer margaritas or sexy cosmopolitans to add to the fun.

Going vegan? It doesn’t need to be expensive! Check out How to be a vegan on a budget.

3. When your guests arrive, have them write their names on a slip of paper (all the same size).

Fold it in half and drop it into a hat or bowl.


4. Display the items for the Shop & Swap so that everyone can see them.

It’s a great way to stir up the excitement!

Screenshot 2014-06-29 00.02.15

5. Once everyone is settled in, draw a name and allow the lucky individual to go to the Shop & Swap area to pick an item of their choice!

Screenshot 2014-06-29 00.02.07

Finally, if your guests don’t want to take their un-selected items home, I suggest that you do a Goodwill or Salvation Army drop when you’re done. It’s a great way to help others in need.

Let me know how your Shop & Swap event goes!

I hope that the tips that I give via my posts here at KimberlyElise.com will help answer any fashion questions that you might have. For more fashion, check,out my blog and follow me on Twitter @TodHFashStylist.


About the AuthorTodHallman

Tod Hallman has been a standing figure in the fashion world, styling celebrities for red carpet events and both styling and producing fashion shoots for magazines, along with masterfully producing branded fashion events and shows for many years.

Hallman is frequently called upon as a voice within the stylist community.

He has interviewed with The Associated Press, CNN, Newsweek/MSNBC, Elle, Mademoiselle, Women’s Wear Daily, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Hollywood Reporter and People Magazine who regularly interview him for his style tips.  In addition, he writes his own blog “thpfashionblog.com,” and lives in Los Angeles.




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  • Reply
    Annette T. Drayton
    July 2, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Great idea. I will try this with my friends.

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