Monday, May 11, 2009

Clothing Swap!

My recent gig in Florida reminded me that I've been so merciless with my wardrobe that I (rightly) got rid of roughly 98% of my summer clothing. The increasingly gorgeous weather here in NYC has made me realize if I didn't pick up some new pieces soon, my 1 pair of cargo pants and 3 tank tops were not going to keep me happy no matter how beautifully I accessorized.

PROBLEM - lack of funds...and the desire to avoid being the poster girl for consumerism.


I had some great clothes that had never been quite right but I could picture on some of my friends. Other pieces were just so nice, someone must be able to use them, right?

It was on. I sent an evite to 12 women for Saturday from 3-6 at my apartment. The requirements were that they be in my age group (30-mumble), between the sizes of 6 and 12, and women I knew would be honest if I looked ridiculous in something. I provided light snacks and iced tea, booze was provided by the guests. 9 rsvp'd 'Yes'. One ended up not being able to come but dropped by a bag of clothing.

From 3-3:30 they started arriving, laden with shopping bags and rolling suitcases. we laid out the clothes in groups on every available piece of furniture: skirts, pants, casual pants, sleeveless shirts, sweaters, casual shirts, suits/blazers, button-down shirts, dresses, outerwear, shoes, purses, scarves/hats/belts.

Before we dove in, we toasted the day...and then got down to business.

Everyone chose a place to start (usually where something had caught her eye), dropped trou, and went to town. At one point, I'm pretty sure most of us were in our underwear.

Advice was flowing like the white wine provided and being replenished regularly by my co-host, Z-coil. No one was allowed to talk themselves into something they didn't look fantastic in. A few folks took some three-month trial pieces ("If you don't wear that in three months, it goes to Goodwill or back to the next swap!"). A few times there was discussion over a certain piece ("I like it but I don't love it. If you love it, you should take it. It looks great on you!").

We ended up giving verbal awards (next time, there will be prizes).
The kicker? For a $2 donation from each person, I will be taking the remaining clothes to the Salvation Army. the cost of a Zipcar in my hood is $13/hr. Perfect!

What a fantastic day. We all supplemented our wardrobe for free, got rid of some clutter, and spent the day with amazing women. Every Saturday should be so fun!

*Click on any photo to go to my Flickr stream to see documentation of the whole event.


Lisa Stone said...

This. Is. Brilliant!! I love that you "casted" your swap so that people could be in the right size ball-park. And that you created a tough-love style zone. That's what the fashion-challenged among us (moi) need. Brilliant that you offered the zipcar solution. How many bags of stuff were left over?

Next challenge: Can you make me look like Saskia? That's what I really need.

Anna said...

The two huge garbage bags you see (7 bushel capacity) which I can't actually lift off the ground with one arm, the blue duffel full of accessories, and one more small bag. Whew!

I'm sure Saskia would say the same of you if the table were turned, my dear!

Wendy said...

I LOVE this! I also love that the sizes were allowed to go up to 12. When Gabra told me about this event I smiled but inwardly thought, "there is no way in hell I could fit into any of those clothes there." Feeling a bit more reassured. Please oh please invite me next time. And I'll bring my fake Spanx.