As someone who has (mostly successfully) only purchased second hand clothes for almost five years now, it’s surprising I attended my first clothing swap (AKA swishing party) ever only a couple of months ago. At first I was hesitant: I had just moved and thought I had already purged my closet of all my unwanted articles. But after some extremely ruthless culling, I found a few items that although I loved, I had not worn in ages and knew they could easily find a happy home. I was also wary of sizing. I wasn’t sure who was attending the swishing festivities – what if none of their clothes fit me? or none of my clothes fit them? The world is not a magical place where one pair of jeans perfectly fits 4 best friends (so stop trying to lie to me Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants). But my friend promised sangria and hummus: sold.
Over 20 fashionable ladies attended, and after a couple of glasses of sangria and socializing, we got down to business. Everyone had arranged their wares (including clothes, shoes, accessories, books, purses, and hair products) filling every nook and cranny of the apartment. It was all very civilized as we perused the items, sipped our drinks, and perused some more like we were attending some sort of exclusive fancy fashion event where you get free clothes! (I was told this was not always the case and that the world of clothing swaps can be a cutthroat place where all the clothes are dumped in a pile in the middle of the room and it’s every girl for herself. This has a level of dangerous excitement – reminiscent of the Hunger Games’ dash for the cornucopia of supplies – which intrigues me, but I’m glad my first time was a bit more chilled.)
The clothes I had brought to swap, which were either too big or too small for me, looked even better on these lovely ladies, and I was happy to see them go in exchange for some pretty sweet finds for myself. Including these amazing pants. They fit me perfectly. They’re comfortable. They’re a fun colour. And they’re weirdly soft; it’s some material sorcery I have yet to decipher. Needless to say I wear them a lot. I also picked up this skirt, something for my sister, and a few other tops which I’m sure will make an appearance here soon enough. I think my fellow fashionistas were also satisfied with their new treasures and general fun times. All of the leftover items were donated to a Boys and Girls Club clothing swap that was happening the next day. So not only did we have a chance to sustainably refresh our wardrobes, meet some awesome new people and have a fun night, but also donate to a good cause! Win win win.
- Sweater: The Patch ($18)
- Pants: Clothing Swap (free!)
- Ring: Abbotsford Flea Market ($1)
- Shoes: Gift
- Hat: Goodwill ($2)
- Necklace: Gift