How to Do Style Swap Like a Pro

The Baer Minimalist offers tips on how to decide which clothing items to bring to Style Swap.

Clothes, Andy Warhol believed, should be “like bread and milk and magazines and newspapers”—once they expire, you should toss them. 

But what’s “expired” to you—that great pair of jeans or a holiday dress that no longer fits your lifestyle—could become someone else’s “new favorite piece,” says Maria Baer of The Baer Minimalist, a residential home organizing service.

That’s where Style Swap Indy comes in. The event, Nov. 15 at the Indiana Design Center in Carmel, invites you to bring one or two pieces of clothing and one accessory from your own closet. (All styles, sizes, and brands are welcome.) In return, you get to “raid” the closets of more than 100 other local women, while enjoying cocktails, food, and music, and browsing top local vendors and the center’s showrooms.

The hardest part isn’t deciding what to wear to Style Swap. It’s deciding what to bring. Don’t overthink it. If you loved it, someone else will, too.

“It’s a chance for you to find something new and unique, and hopefully outside of your box,” explains Baer, who plans to bring a gorgeous DAY Birger et Mikkelson sweater “just begging to be worn this holiday season by someone else – other than me.”

It all starts with taking an honest, and practical look at what’s in your closet. Baer has some guidance for choosing something that will bring Marie Kondo-esque joy to another woman’s life.   

“Don’t overthink it. If you loved it, someone else will, too.”
  •       Style Swap is all about exchanging one fabulous item for another, so please bring quality items that are still in great shape—think “like new” or “very gently used” condition.
  •       Funky accessories, purses, hats and jewelry are one-size-fits-all and make great additions to the swap.
  •       Please keep items seasonally appropriate (Fall + Winter) – and don’t worry, there will be another Style Swap in Spring 2020.
  •       Check items for stains, snags or imperfections (those items may be better off being donated if they are still in decent shape). In fact, you might come across a whole slew of items just begging to be donated. Find a recommendation for just about everything in the The Baer Minimalist’s Indianapolis Donation Guide.
  •       If there’s an item you love and can’t seem to part with, consider how a tailor or stylist can help you “breathe” new life into it. Baer told us she’ll never get rid of an Anthropologie green sweater cape that her husband gave her 10 years ago for their first Christmas together, even though the elbows are threadbare. She’s going to have a tailor add cool suede patches.


Amanda Kingsbury is Co-founder and Contributing Editor of Indy Maven. If her closet caught on fire, she would save a 1990s Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress and a pair of baby Converse signed by Steve Alford after her daughter was born.

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