Thursday, June 26, 2008

No, I will not swap my clothing with you.

Within the past couple weeks I've been invited to not one but TWO clothing swaps. It seems that San Diego's entire female population suddenly wants a crack at my sweet, sweet threads. Or, more likely, the economy sucks so much that people have foregone shopping in favor of raiding their buddies' closets in the name of thrift, environmentalism, hipsterdom, and all else that is good and holy.

Clothing swaps make me uncomfortable. First, my wardrobe is hardly a goldmine of designer duds, and I don't think anyone wants faded Old Navy tees or Paris Blues jeans with mustard stains. I'd hate to see everyone's disgusted expressions as I upturn my grocery bag of discount clothes, interrupting their polite exchanges of mint-condition Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs.

Second, you actually have to wear the stuff you get from the swap, because - hello! - you got the duds from your friends/coworkers who you see on a regular basis, if not every damn day. Dear reader, I cannot handle that kind of pressure.

Third, I'm a little squicky about wearing someone else's cast-offs. I can buy stuff at thrift shops because I always tell myself that the original buyer was a Russian socialite who bought the item and never wore it. But when I'm wearing Lola From Accounting's old sweater, I know it's from Lola. Lola smells weird and probably doesn't have a clean apartment. Do I really want to wear her clothes?

And lastly, I've been regularly purging my closet, so many of my cool-but-mostly-unworn clothes have already gone bye-bye. So what do I contribute? The black Victoria's Secret negligee an ex-boyfriend gave me?

Clothing swaps: good in theory. Minefields in practice.

However, if you've had positive experiences with a clothing swap, I'd love to hear about them. Perhaps you can convince me to trot out my Old Navy and Paris Blues cast-offs after all.


Mella DP said...

I've always wondered about these things - who are these women whose 15 closest friends are all exactly the same size? Garment swapping seems far more genteel when kept in an under-the-table economy.

drwende said...

I can see doing this with a sister or an absolute best friend, but with Lola from Accounting? No. You know her both too well and not well enough.

pinkstilettos said...

A friend of mine and I were thinking about having one of these ourselves, but thought we would invite everyone in the city and have it at a convention center type thing. But then it would be a lot of work and money so we thought we would charge like $5- to get in and then the girls would get food with it also. I thought it would be something fun to do. I just don't know if I am up to it. Daisy~

Anne (in Reno) said...

I have been to them and had fun, you just have to invite the right crowd. My line is: if it's too good to donate but not right for you anymore, THAT is what to bring. I have cleaned my closet one too many times recently so I will not be having one after all. But seriously, look at the invite list before you decide not to go. You probably would look totally different in that sweater than Lola from Accounting does.

Mana G said...

Well, since my friends and I have always defined "clothes swap," as handing off stuff to the other person that we've worn once and decided we didn't like/weren't flattering, and maybe it'd better suit a certain someone else we already happen to have in mind, (even though this has happened all of three times), I must admit that this OTHER idea of "clothes swap" sounds slightly...Gross, to me. Why would I do such thing with strangers or near-strangers, since I obviously barely do such a thing with my dearest friends?

lindsey kathlene said...

i went to one recently. i was the only girl my size. i took a ton of stuff and all my clothes got taken (oohed and ahhed over - woot for my taste!) by slightly smaller girls, but i came away with nothing but a sash i planned to wear as a belt. it was kind of lame. i would have totally taken those items to a secondhand shop like 'twice as nice' if only the shops in this area weren't so dang stuck up. they pretty much take designer only here.