Once upon a time I loved to shop. Then I had kids and neither my time nor my cash was really actually mine anymore. I made my peace with it. It wasn’t a huge loss really. I wasn’t necessarily very good at it anyway – it’s not like I had my finger on fashion’s pulse or anything. I was no stylista. But I always enjoyed the act of shopping; the peace, the perusal, the indecision and the buzz of handing over hard-earned cash for something pretty was something I engaged in a lot. Too much, probably.
When a friend recently suggested a clothes swap, I was immediately intrigued and wondered why the hell something like this hadn’t dawned on me before now. A group of four of us met, drank, ate (rookie mistake), undressed, dressed and drank some more, making our way through a mountain of one another’s cast-offs. We each went home with new (to us) clothing and that delicious feeling of beating the system. Winner!
One man’s trash…
- It costs you nothing. You get to offload the stuff you own but no longer want and you get to revamp your wardrobe without opening your wallet.
- It’s environmentally friendly. You can feel wonderfully green because you’re saving items from landfill and from those evil bands of textile thieves who steal from the charity clothes banks.
- You get to drink with your pals. That is reason enough alone.
How does it work?
- Invite a gang of friends who have similar-ish taste and who wear similar-ish sized clothes (because well, clothes shopping is never less fun than when nothing fits).
- Invite at least one very honest friend. You know the one who isn’t afraid to point out your camel toe or remind you that your roots need redoing? Yes, her. Invite her.
- Ensure that everyone brings a bottle. Drinking is paramount to the success of the evening.
This is not a chance for you to offload utter crap. Items that are stained, damaged or just plain hideous should be left at home. Gently remind guests not to be total dirtbags and wash items beforehand. Ironing is not necessary. A mother should never be expected to do more ironing.
Easy on the food
Heavy on the booze
Honesty is (almost always) the best policy
As a general rule, if more than one person has her eye on the same item, the person on whom it looks best, as adjudicated by the group, gets to keep it. This is where Honest Friend shines. If, however, the same person looks miles better in almost everything, lying is encouraged.