Friday, 23 October 2009


I am unseasonably excited right now, as I am off to a clothes-swapping party this evening. Clothes swapping, or swishing, as it is known, is the new hot craze sweeping the credit-crunch-stricken nation. All across Britain, fashionistas are banding together to share precious reserves of fabulous in these straitened times.

Swishing is like freecycle for fashion, with the added attraction of wine. I had a swishing party to celebrate my birthday last month (a camp invitation - above - always helps) and it couldn't have been easier: just invite your most stylish friends, ask them to bring at least one item of clothing, shoes or accessories, arrange everything on tables and let the swishing begin! There's no need for rules, just let everyone have a good old rummage and take whatever they want. I've found from experience that it's a good idea to reassure everyone that quality, quantity, size and age REALLY don't matter. No one knows who brought what, and there will always be something for everyone. One woman's trash really is another one's treasure when it comes to swishing.

Here is just one of the outfits I got at my birthday swish:

The cream silk blouse is People Tree and came via Anna, the funky, brown, high-waisted, Per Una flared jeans were from Sara, the Mulberry-inspired bag was Elaine's, and I have no idea who brought the brand-new, unworn Cote Femme gold heeled loafers, but I adore them. I would probably never have put this outfit together on my own, but I really love it, and have worn it again and again over the past month.

Have a look at this useful site for more information and tips on swishing, then give it a go. What have you got to lose but a load of old clothes that have been sitting at the back of the wardrobe for more seasons than you probably care to remember?

I'm off to get the bin-bag-full of clothes from my last clear-out down from the loft now. Stay tuned to see what goodies I return with...

p.s. Just in case you're wondering whether these photos of me posing next to a cot herald the arrival of a mini-Cockatrice, I must disappoint you: it belongs to Anna, whose full-length mirror happens to be bigger than mine!

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