Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sweat Swap

I made it to my first live clothing swap and lived to tell the tale. The danger was not in the form of rabid, rude swappers (it was all very genteel), but the threat of heat stroke. It was hot, hot, hot, and humid in the swap gallery.

Shirt, Converse One Star (thrifted). Skirt, thrifted, shortened, and dyed yellow. Belt, H&M. Bag, Nine West. Shoes, Franco Sarto. Earrings, Urban Outfitters.

Photos by Beefy Muchacho

I’ve heard a few horror stories about in-person clothing swaps, so I was very curious as to how the swapping would be regimented. Would my items be inspected before being permitted into the swap? Would there be tickets and turns? It turned out to be almost entirely unstructured, but that seemed to work very well. The swap was set up as follows:

1. I entered U•turn with a bag of clothing.
2. I told the greeter that I had 10 items and she wrote “10” on my hand with a sharpie and handed me 10 hangers.
3. I hung my items on a clothing rack and set the shoes and hat on a table (there were four available racks and a table).
4. I browsed (and sweated) and collected clothing.
5. I left, displaying my hand and telling the greeter how many items I was taking.

Perhaps the heat had beaten us all down, but everyone was very polite. There was no grabbing or fighting. The quality and variety of items was good. During my 45-minute stay, swappers arrived and left. The free-flow worked well because the racks were continuously refreshed with new items.

The Brush Factory was upcycling on the spot. An artist took the jacket I brought and a striped dress donated by someone else and created an adorable little frock.

I brought ten items to the swap, but didn’t expect to leave with ten. I was more interested in the experience and the people. I didn’t leave empty-handed, though. I brought home three dresses, two vests, and a scarf. Amusingly, the white eyelet dress was Londyn’s and she left the event with two of my dresses and one of my skirts.

My give (left) and my take (right).

Check out Beefy’s and Tamia’s blog entries on the event.


C said...

I've been to a couple swaps. I almost never find anything. Which is fine I like getting rid of stuff. However when I go with people I know they almost always come away with my stuff. So this year I got rid of the middle man and hosted a come'n'get it party. Where people brought food or drink and went through clothes I would get rid of or swap.

Look forward to seeing your loot!

Anonymous said...

How exciting! Can't wait to see it all in action!

Mascara or Motoroil said...

Thanks so much for coming! It was great to meet you.

I definitely can't wait to have another swap in a cooler month. We may have a little more structure in the next one, but since this was our first is was kind of a free for all for us even. :) We were talking about possibly getting people to drop stuff of a few days ahead next time so we could sort it better.

Lorena said...

WOW.... I wish we had swaps here.
We don't even have thrift shops.
Sounds like an interesting experience.
Did it $ cost to participate ? Did you meet any other bloggers ? I bet you were recognized... :)

Kasmira said...

Lorena - you'll have to organize one in your area!

The event had a suggested donation of $5 to participate. I saw Londyn of BlogFashion there and finally met Jessie of Mascara or Motoroil.

Rebecca said...

I've never been to a swap. It looks like you got some cute pieces.

Emma at Daily Clothes Fix said...

Glad you got some stuff. All the swaps I have been to have been nice and polite - glad yours was too.

Kim said...

I need to move to Cincy.

Leah said...

I love this idea... wondering if they have these in the Indy area! =) So funny that Londyn ended up taking home some of your items.

Paige said...

Hey my dress and your jacket got married! The brush factory did a great job, I was kind of in awe.

Midwest Darling

Sanchez said...

Hee hee...that's my little black and multi-colored flower pattern dress peaking out of the back there...I'm glad it's finding a new home with someone who can put it to good use. I bought it about three years ago and it has sat, untouched, in the back of my closet since. I haven't even worn it once. I loved that dress, but because of health issues, put on a lot of weight in a short amount of time. I kept hanging on to it, thinking that as soon as I lost the weight, it would be one of the first things I wore.

While I was getting ready for the swap, I noticed that I had been hanging on to a lot of things like that, from my previous size. The health issues are under control, and the weight is coming off, but as I stood there looking at my closet, I decided matter how much I loved something, or how little(if at all) it had been worn, when I finally get back to the size I was, I want NEW CLOTHES. Not clothes that I've been sadly staring at for three years.

I brought over 50 items, and left with about 8. I found a few things for a friend, a dress, a jacket, and a cardigan for my daughter, and a terrific purse for myself. I told the girls at the door that I know the limit to bring was 10, but no matter how much I brought, I wanted to leave with less than 10, and I did.

Now when the weight finally comes off(it's getting there...), I'll have room for new clothes to celebrate :)

I think I saw you there, but I didn't really talk to anyone...I was feeling under the weather before the swap, and the intense heat had me kind of subdued. Thank goodness for Whirly Girls and their refreshments :)

Kasmira said...

Sanchez - how fun that I ended up with your dress! You donated very generously. I'm sorry you weren't feeling well. The heat was just a killer.

Healthy and Homemade said...

I just freakin love that skirt!