Two racks of clothing

Joyful Giving – the big clothes swap

Some, but not nearly all, of the clothes at my birthday clothes swap party

It was my birthday a few weeks ago. Most people celebrate by going out to dinner with friends (where you can safely do it in COVID times), expensive presents, and well, just being pampered. I celebrated by giving away clothes.

It was a while ago now, but to be honest, I’m still recovering. It was kind of a big deal. It took around a day to set up and I’m still putting things away. There was a lot of clothes – a lot.

A lot of clothes

I’m always so amazed at how many clothes a clothes swap party generates. I do them mainly to promote sustainability and to give away clothes. I guestimate I managed to give away at least 20 items. I probably got at least as much back, and have given away a lot, lot more. To be honest, I’m still sorting and giving them away.

What I love is the amazing experience of sharing that a clothes swap brings out. What is something once loved but clutter in someone’s wardrobe, transforms to something that another lady will wear. Sometimes you have those items that you are just a bit too attached to give to an op shop, but which you will willingly (and gladly!) give to a good friend. And I always feel so good when I see someone totally rocking it in my clothing.

COVID and clothes swaps

Thankfully, the public health situation in the ACT where I live is pretty good right now. But we don’t take that for granted. I encouraged guests who weren’t feeling well to stay at home, I had a register of guests, and encouraged people to wash their hands on arrival. Unlike my pre-COVID gatherings, I didn’t offer platters of food although I did have cake. Did someone say cake?

Bellini cake – photo by @simplycheecky

This is a Bellini peach cake, inspired by the classic cocktail. It tasted as good as it looked – even better I think. My friend Aranka, who was visiting from Sydney that weekend, kindly decorated it for me and it was amazing!

Karma of giving

While I organise these to give away clothes, let’s just say I did very well out of it. I ended up wearing a stunning fuchia pink silk dress that fit me perfectly to dinner that night, courtesy of my friend Aranka. And I scored a handbag from my friend Misty that I am getting so many comments on.

Joyful Giving

So how much did I give away?

I put out a whole coffee table worth of clothes all stacked up. I wasn’t sure how many would go – I never am – but I was quietly happy to discover that many of my friends really loved them. And that made me so happy.

I’m going to guestimate that I gave away 20 dresses, tops, pants, accessories and hats, which I think is about right. But really, the joy was all mine.

Have you ever swapped clothes with friends?

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