From shopaholic to swopaholic

Swishing is hot! Shopping is not. And this trendy recessionista is joining in the new global phenomenon.

Swishing, not a newly listed sport on the London 2012 Olympic agenda combining swimming with fishing, but the latest fashion craze where friends swop clothes. There are different variations; at some parties points are given for each item you bring in which you can then use to ‘buy’ new items, at other parties it’s just every (wo)man for themselves. The general idea is the same though: free clothes! And who can say no to that?

I went to my first swop party in December. An event called Give It Forward organized by the girls from Little Green Dress. They organize regular swop parties and work together with different charities and ‘green’ organizations. So if scoring a new outfit won’t make you feel better, supporting a good cause definitely will.

My friends and I were moderately positive about our first swopping experience. The party was well-organized and the cakes from Suiker & Bloem (Sugar and Flower) were delicious. The quality of the clothing items, however, was slightly disappointing. Some people had brought clothes that should have really been thrown out long ago: white tops with sweat stains, jackets from the 90’s, exotic African shirts… Items that should have been excluded. There were also plenty of nice items. Unfortunately, these were very popular so you’d had to rely on the luck of the draw. Sadly enough, I didn’t end up with any of the items I really wanted. But, I did manage to score a casual, basic white blouse. You can never have too many of those.

My real success I had actually achieved before the event started: I was lucky enough to get two of my friend’s lovely tops. She had brought loads of stuff and before handing them over to the organization, she let me have a quick browse. Luckily for me, she has an excellent taste in clothes. Of course, I didn’t want to seem greedy, so I figured two items would have to satisfy me, but if I had allowed my inner goblin to come out, I would have gladly gone home with more. 

The event may not have been as fabulous as I had hoped, but it was certainly a fun experience and worth a try. And a reasonably inexpensive way to spice up your wardrobe a bit. Given the fact that my outfits will have to last me for the next 10 months or so, I’m grabbing every opportunity to score some new items. So after my moderately successful first swopping attempt, I decided it was time for swopaholic 2.0.

Last week I sent an invite to all my fellow ladies of awesomeness to clear our their wardrobe and bring all of their excess items to my swopaholic swishing party. So far, 8 babes are coming, hopefully all bringing lots of lovely, swopable items. The items that do not get swopped will be donated to Dress for Success, an organization that helps people on welfare with suitable work outfits or, if it’s not suitable work attire, to another charity if our choice.

Shopping in the comfort of my own home

A new outfit for free

and helping others in the process

I can’t wait!

And of course I’ll give you a full report afterwards.

BTW: this is a video of the Give it Forward Swopping Event. I’m also one of the interviewees!