Real good for free (or cheap): Clothing

For those in need:
• Salvation Army gives away back-to-school outfits for children whose families can’t afford to purchase new clothing. According to an article in the Citizen Times, “Parents/guardians may receive one clothing outfit (up to three garments) for each child age 12 and under. The Salvation Army has been gathering and sorting children’s clothing since June to get ready for this and are eager to help as the back-to-school season arrives.” Donations for the program are accepted at 1076 Patton Ave., West Asheville; 2247 Hendersonville Road, Arden; 204 Haywood St., Asheville. Outfits can be picked up at the Patton Ave. and Hendersonville Rd. locations.

• The First United Methodist Church supplies clothing to those in need. According to the Citizen Times, “A free community lunch will be 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. every Wednesday at The Haywood Street Congregation, 297 Haywood St. During those same hours, a clothes closet will be open to men and women in need of free clothing and shoes.” Info: Jill Gottenstrater, 337-4944.

• Find free stuff on Twitter: Free_asheville runs listings of everything from furniture and fill dirt to apparel. Recent tweet: “Free baby clothes” and “Free Ladies Clothing – Size 2-4: Cleaned out my closet.” The listings are a feed from Craigslist (just look closely because many seem to come come from areas outside of Asheville as well).

• Check the free section for the Asheville area on Craigslist: “bag of ladies shoes. sizes from 6 to 7.5.”

• Clothing swaps are get-together, usually in someone’s home, where everyone brings clothing they no longer want and takes home new-to-them pieces. The host of the swap usually donates all the left-overs to a charity l=such as Goodwill. Find a clothing swap on

Really cheap:
• Yard sales are a boon for low-cost, new-to-you clothing. Find upcoming yard and garage sales here.

Save some cash:
• N.C.‘s Sales Tax Holiday runs Friday, Aug. 6-Sunday, Aug. 8. The specifics are: “Clothing, footwear, and school supplies of $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreational equipment of $50 or less per item; computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax.” Read more here. Many stores are holding concurrent sales. REI writes, “Items included in this tax free sale are: clothing, footwear and school backpacks $100 or less, per item.”

• Shop consignment stores like Miss B’s Consignment Shop, Lulu’s Consignment Boutique, Second Gear, The Enchanted Forest, Christine’s and Phase II Fashions where you can trade in gently worn clothing toward new-to-you items.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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3 thoughts on “Real good for free (or cheap): Clothing

  1. childrenfirstbc

    Another great resource for high style low-cost clothes is the Children First Annual Rummage Sale Saturday August 14 from 7 am-12 pm at The Emma Elementary Cafeteria 37 Brickyard Road. All the proceeds go to fund the programs at The Children First/CIS Family Resource Center at Emma such as a food & clothing pantry, Latino Outreach, Emergency Assistance and more. Call 828-252-4810 for more details.

  2. Denise

    I want to thank you for mentioning Phase II Fashions. I opened my store 11/01/09, so it meant so very much to me that you mentioned my store. Just some information for you. I have been telling and advertising to all of the customers that I will be having a bag sale 08/21/10. Depending on what they select that should be able to get 6 – 7 items at apprx. $4.25 per item. I have blue jeans (mostly name brand) average price $6.50 (summer pants less),for the next month. I think this will be profitable for the store and the customer. Once again, thank you so very much.


    Denise Sluder

  3. Susan Andrew

    Wee Trade, the huge consignment sale for children ages 0-18, is underway in the Expo Building at the Agricultural Center this weekend (across from the airport). Huge selection, and good prices on things in great condition: clothing, shoes, costumes, toys, books, bikes, furniture, baby gear, everything kids need. On Sunday, most things go to half price!

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