What oh A Thrifty Mrs reader! Apparently it's National Clothes Swapping Week, who knew such a thing existed? Actually isn't there a dedicated week for everything nowadays? National Green Snot Week coming to a wrist band near you soon. I jest. Or do I?
Anyway, clothes swapping, s'good right? Actually it really is and it's something I heartily recommend if you're on a budget. I've been to a few swishing parties (which is what clothes swapping is known as) and had a great time. Some of them have been more successful in both organisation and swapping bounty than others but they generally seem to be good fun.
How do they work?
Loosely you just bring a long something you no longer wear and swap it with someone else at the party. Don't bring anything grubby or in need of mending, bring items you'd in the state you'd like to receive yourself.
The parties I have been to have ranged from just a group of girls sitting in a living room swapping clothes (and accessories) over a bottle of wine whilst watching a DVD to full on military precision events for 100+ women. Some have rules, some don't. Some value each item and give you a stamp card so you can claim items up to the same value however some give you a little stamp or ticket for each item you bring. So if you're going to a swishing or clothes swapping event try to have a word with the organiser or check out their website for details.
Why are they good?
- You get new clothes!
- You can try things you'd previously never have had the courage to try on, who knows you might find a new style that suits you. Yes lots of the items are pre-worn but if you have an issue with that not to worry because a large chunk of the things on the rails at swishing parties I've attended have still had their tags and labels on them.
- You're able to declutter and get rid of items you no longer wear.
- It's a form of recycling. You are Captain Planet (if you know the theme tune sing it now.)
- An excuse to meet up with friends or even meet new people.
This winter I'm going to be clearing out a lot of clothes I've been hanging onto as a security blanket. I'll be inviting over friends and family for swaps, chatter and vino in the comfort of my home but I may also try to attend some larger events in my area. I've been thinking about hosting a big swishing event myself for about two years but I'm a bit nervous about it, would you come?
How to host your own
Bigger events are obviously going to take a lot of thought and preparation. However if you're just going to host a swishing party at home with friends then you just need to ask them to each bring at least three quality items of clothes with them. You can decide if you want to include shoes and accessories or not, personally as a larger lady I like it when they're included because a lot of my friends are teeny tiny and my arm wouldn't fit in their trousers and they prefer pencil skirts to my a-line numbers. Lay on a bowl of punch or crack open a bottle of wine, turn up the music and make sure you have space for people to try things on.
There are quite a few sites dedicated to swishing or clothes swap parties so I'll list some of my favourites below.
P.S. What say ye? Would you attend a swishing event? Have you been to one? What have your experiences been?