Day 13: #joyfulgiving366 – swishing

These were just some of my clothes – and not everyone else’s clothes.

On day 13 I had friends over and we went swishing. Say what?

Swishing aka a clothes swap party is one of the coolest things you can do with your friends. Or at least, I think so.

Canberra weather

The day was much less smokey, although not clear enough to open the balcony door when I had guests over. I organised it as a way of connecting with girlfriends who might be experiencing stress during the fire fires. I also suggested people ‘pay it forward’ by donating to the RFS Hoskingtown-Rossi Brigade if they wanted to. No pressure.

I worried no-one would come to the party

I was one of those geeky, awkward kids at school who never felt like they were part of a clique. While I am pretty sure I have moved past it, sometimes when I organise an event I get that momentary sense of “oh no, everyone will think I am weird and no-one will come.” The day before the event I only knew of three people who would come and I almost cancelled. But then I figured you never know until you have a go, so I went ahead. And nine lovely friends showed up – including my lovely friend Trish who came even though she is on a year-long challenge not to bring any new clothing into her house.

We had so much fun chatting and connecting

What surprised me was how people just talked. We chatted, drank Prosecco and Moscato, had cups of tea in my China tea cups, snacked on the way too much food I prepared (and the way too much food other people brought with them). I think after so much caving indoors to get away from the smoke that people needed to socialise.

And we also swapped clothes.

Every woman needs a ball gown

This princess dress has been hanging on the back of my door for 18 months. I bought it from an op shop (without trying it on), thinking I would wear it as a dancing dress at our wedding. I fell in love with it. I wanted it. When I did try it on at home, I realised what should have been obvious: this dress suited a taller woman with a narrow waist. I have been hoping to lose enough weight to wear it, but it just stared back at me. On a whim, I gave it to my friend Alexandra to try on. And wow – sit just fitted her perfectly! Doesn’t she look beautiful in it?

It is lovely to see how beautiful and happy she looks in this dress.

I ended up getting a beautiful white and black lace City Chic ball gown as well. It is a little large and needs to be taken in a bit, but will be perfect to wear on a cruise. Or not. I believe that it’s always important to have a perfect ball gown in your cupboard – just in case. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve been invited to something fabulous at short notice, and believe me, it’s so hard to find the perfect dress when you are searching.

Everyone seems to be wanting fewer clothes

After everyone left, I sorted through the clothes. There were two bags of beautiful clothing that I will donate to the Zonta Pre-loved Fashion Sale, and one bag of okay-ish clothes to go to an op shop.

Then I had a bit of a try on myself with what was there. While I didn’t need anything, I came away with some wonderful clothes. My friend Tracey, who I used to work with, brought some wonderful things that fit me really well. She came to my last clothes swap, and laughed when she saw me sashay into work on Monday wearing one of her outfits!

I loved this comfortable long-sleeved David Lawrence dress. It will be perfect to wear in winter.

I was surprised at the number of beautiful clothes that remained after the clothes swap. And there were some fabulous, fashionable things there. While Trish was the only one who was on a ‘no new clothes at all’ challenge, most of my friends had decided to limit the number of new things that their brought nto their homes. They all have so many things! And even if it is free, you need to find somewhere to put it.

Today, I managed to give away:

  1. One orange top;
  2. One beautiful ball gown;
  3. One hairpiece for someone who just got engaged;
  4. One red and white cardigan;
  5. I think that’s it.

I picked up quite a few new outfits – too many, truth be told as I was trying to give away clothes rather than get new ones. Overall I gained more than I gave. I could count this as a decluttering fail. But I had so much fun!

Have you ever been to a clothes swap? Did you have fun?

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