If you’re a regular reader you might already know about my penchant for clothes swaps. If you’re not then let me fill you in. Picture a night with your best girlfriends, combined with snacks, wine and enough once-loved clothes to fill a small branch of Topshop.
You get to chat, browse and walk away with a whole new outfit (or five) for free! Oh, and did I mention the feel-good vibes you get for donating any unwanted clothes to charity?
My friends and I arrange swaps once or twice a year, and on Friday evening it was my turn to play hostess. Over the last few months I’ve been putting unclothed clothes, accessories and books to one side and I surprised myself by having over 40 items to swap. Unsettlingly this has barely made a dent in my wardrobe, so I had a strict limit of only allowing myself to swap five items. My resolve cracked a little and I ended up with eight in the end, which I don’t think is too bad, given the 200+ items we must have brought between the seven of us.
Here’s what I found in the swap. Forgive the random chunks of brick – our fence blew over in the recent storms and we’ve only just had it put back up, hence the rubble!
This t-shirt is a brand new one that I picked up in the recent Zara sale, for a ridiculously cheap £1.99, but the swapped pieces are these Topshop trousers and the black leather ankle boots. I’m not sure where they are originally from but there is a little Russian doll printed on the inside sole. They’re a little big for me but so comfortable and will go with so many outfits. The brushed cotton trousers are a greenish grey colour and despite the slightly creased appearance, are very smart. I love the turned up hems and asymmetric panel that cuts across the front of the trousers.
One of the best things about clothes swaps is that, as well as looking for capsule wardrobe pieces that will go with everything, it also allows you to try out trends or styles that you wouldn’t normally go for. This black pouch bag with gold studs is one such example – something I might have been interested in in a store but not quite persuaded to buy. Now if I don’t use it that much I can simply take it to the next swap I attend. The sweatshirt is actually from Topman (who says swaps just have to be for girls?) and the skirt is a pleated floral number that was shortened by its former owner.
This is quite a casual look but I’m chuffed to bits with these skinny, indigo jeans, originally H&M, as I’ve been after a pair of jeans for a while now. I tend to only wear jeans at festivals or on camping trips, so I’m trying to branch out and incorporate them into more outfits. The biscuit coloured fine knit cardigan will be perfect for layering over dresses and t-shirts during the transition from winter to spring, and the vintage bag, my favourite find, is structured with a gold clasp – perfect for dressing up any casual outfit.
Are you a fan of clothes swaps? What’s the best piece you’ve ever found at one?