Last Sunday I went to my first ever Clothing Swap Party. I’ve heard about such things on other blogs. I remember Rebecca Woolf talking about clothing swap etiquette (on a post I can’t at all find right now, and one she can’t remember… but I swear to it.). So this was not simply an exercise in being open to the fashionably diverse, but also to my chronic fear of meeting new people. Oh the neurosis! And god forbid I mess up one of the etiquette points.
I didn’t know exactly what to bring, but I knew it couldn’t be my old, crummy running t-shirts that I should probably clear out of drawer someday. I knew that if we were really going to be trading clothes I needed to bring some nice shit that I no longer way, probably due to my own failings as a human, let’s be real. Basically, they couldn’t be inferior for any reason other than my own. I brought 5 things, of which I did not take photos of because then you’d probably say “Lauren! Why did you get rid of that? It looked so good when you wore it that one time at that one place!!” And then I would feel immeasurable guilt, and the day would end in tears. So, it’s better that you don’t know. But I brought 5 things, mentally preparing myself to take only 5 things with me. Bring certain # of clothes, take same # of clothes home, Rule # 1.
When I got to Emily’s house, I was stunned first by all of her counter and cupboard space (apartment jealousy!), and then dazzled by the spread. The 8 billion butter-rosemary-walnut cookies I ate speak for themselves. There was wine and lady chatter and as people arrived the clothing mounted. I brought 5, but most people? Most people brought BAGS. Shirts came off, pants unzipped, ladies ran around half dressed, it was a beautiful thing. And not unlike the sisterhood of the traveling pants because no matter what size the clothes, they fit a variety of shapes.
And risk I did. Enter: Skirt with movement.
I saw it on the end of the rack, and knew immediately it was 1) something I would never pick out in a store for myself and 2) something I had to rock.
This is a lesson in meeting new friends over shared fashion, a lesson in taking risks from other’s good examples.
Of short skirts, of fabric layers, and the benefit of good shoes.