Fall clothing swap
Sunday night, I hosted my third clothing swap. I invited a ton of local ladies, and we had a total of 20 women to swap. Have you ever been to a clothing swap?! They're loads of fun, and a great way to increase your wardrobe, while clearing out what you don't wear at the same time! Here's how it works:
Everyone shows up around 6 pm. Sarah and I have already set up all my clothing racks, labeled and categorized. Everyone that comes sorts their own clothes and hangs them up. Meanwhile in the kitchen, those that are done sorting, or waiting their turn, snack on appetizers and have a glass of wine or soda. I always provide a large bottle or box of white and red wine, veggies, dip, hummus and pita chips. This swap I went shopping while I was hungry, so I also included trail mix, yogurt covered raisins, and white chocolate covered pretzels. I really shouldn't shop when I'm hungry!
Soon, everyone will have all their clothes hung up and ready to swap. In my living room, I pushed the couch and loveseat back to the wall, removed the coffee table, and set up all my clothing racks and some tables. The living room held dressed, jackets, shirts, sweaters, dress shirts, and more. My foyer/dining/bike room functioned as the jeans/lingerie/accessories table, putting a few tables along the wall. Once everyone was in the kitchen becoming better acquainted (not everyone knew each other, also another great part about the swaps, making new friends!) they all wrote their name on a piece of paper and threw it into a mixing bowl. I drew three names, and those three women got to go in first, picking out 3-5 pieces before the rest of us started swapping. A nice little treat for the winners.
Then let the swapping begin! I always recommend everyone carries a tote on their arm to throw their clothes in. I always keep an extra stack handy for those that forgot to bring one. The living room was a little cramped, but we all worked around each other, swapping and chatting, stepping out of the room to try on our finds, and ooing and ahhing at the great new pieces we were all so excited about.
While I didn't follow my own rules too much this swap, I always recommend ladies wear slim fitting clothes, to be able to try on over the clothes you are wearing. I'm not modest or bashful, so I'd just step behind the room divider above and change completely. There's always the bathroom or bedroom to step into and try on clothes for those that weren't able to change out in the open.
Stepping back and watching the free-for-all is my favorite part. I definitely didn't need to keep much, as my closets are always bulging! I did score a Levi's denim jacket, my new fall overcoat, a pair of Silver jeans, the I'll remove the rhinestone, and dye darker (I'm not a big fan of contrast stitching on dark jeans), a few skirts, a scarf, a Liz Clairborne wallet and checkbook, yes I still write checks, and a few other promising pieces. After the last swap, I ran into a group of women whom attended, and we were all wearing something we'd gotten at the swap. So fun!
Stella thinks the pile of trousers are all hers. So sweet. She moved as soon as the swapping began, sitting on my nearby dresser watching everyone. Clem was tucked away in my bedroom with Maura, watching cartoons. And of course Zeus was right on my heels, most of the night, with dad (Matt) away for the event. Zeus would lose me in the crowd, then push his was through when he found me again. It was so sweet how needy he was being. And he loves pretty ladies so he was in heaven!
Virginia found an awesome winger vest. We decided she'd look awesome wearing this with a V-neck, a high bun, and skinny jeans. Virginia has modeled in both of my fashion shows, and was the subject of one of my embroidered works as well. Love this lady!
My new friend, Jeanne, whom I met last night for the first time, showing off her favorite find of the evening, a blue polka dot dress. I always look like a nut by the end of the night, wearing mismatched clothes I've grabbed from swapping. Layering and layering. My favorite part about getting clothes at a swap, is that I pick clothes I'd otherwise never purchase. I'm so picky, especially when it comes to spending money, and add to that I don't buy new clothes, for almost three years now (with a few exceptions in 2011), it's easy for me to say no so much when shopping. But at a swap, it's free, and if it fits, why not add it to my closet, trying something new. But there are those few pieces that I got at the first swap, that made it into this one. Recycling the things I wasn't able to completely wear.
For more tips on hosting your own swap, visit my post from the last one that I hosted, where I lay out some helpful instructions, most of which were also outlined here...