Apologies for the fact that this post is about 3 weeks late, but I thought what happened was a nice enough story to tell so long after the event.
In the middle of November I organised a Swish (clothing swap) at work for all my lovely, creative colleagues, a handful of fashionable friends and a couple of other green-minded charities and companies in London. We had some organic wine leftover from a previous event, some delicious treats from Marks and Spencers (I forgot to make my own!) and several rails of lovely clothes.
Ladies arrived armed with suitcases of unwanted clothes and canvas bags stuffed with items they never wear. Wine was poured, biscuits were gobbled down and new friends were made. Then when all the clothes were hung up, we dug in. In much the same fashion as our previous Do The Green Thing swish, comments were flying through the air, recommendations could be heard from rail-to-rail and squeals of delight erupted when a particular beauty was uncovered.
One such squeal came from me.
A few years ago I needed a dress for my boyfriends end of uni Summer Ball. Dressing up smart doesn’t come naturally to me and so I dragged my feet around the posh frock shops for several weeks, muttering curses and continually being sidetracked by pretty, floaty, floral dresses. I dutifully took photographs of myself in each dress I tried on to send to my boyfriend for his approval (I’d already been told that most of the dresses I’d picked were not ball-suitable and would look more at place in a field of daisies with a cow chewing thoughtfully at the cud by a small, tinkling stream – NOT at a Summer Ball where everyone else would be looking all smart and grown up). One of the dresses that was deemed unsuitable – albeit he did agree it was very pretty – was a very floral, very floaty, very cute dress that I was sad to put back on the rails. But back on the rails it went and, eventually, I found a posh dress and – in true fairy tale fashion – I did go to the ball. A few months ago my boyfriend revealed he had kept the photo of me in the much loved floral dress because I looked so pretty in it.
So when I discovered the very same, very floral, very floaty, very cute dress at the Swish in my size and with no other hands grabbing at it, I couldn’t help it, I squealed. Yanking it off the hanger and pulling it on over my t shirt, I pranced around in joy that the dress had come back into my life. I was obviously meant to own this dress. I think it might be a bit of green karma for all the organic, locally produced food I’ve been eating recently!
And if that isn’t enough to make you think ‘wow, I need to get me to one of these Swishes’ then maybe the second trimuph of the night will convince you.
My friend Holly came along with a few items of clothes she no longer wanted. She was Swish virgin and came with equal parts of ‘helping my friend out with the event she organised’ and “free clothes? yes please!” She arrived, a bit frazzled with the recent news that the Hen party she was attending the following week had suddenly been announced to be attended in 1920’s style. Where on earth was she going to get a 1920’s dress in such short notice? (Can you see where this is going?)
The ever wonderful and always fashionable Liv, of The End of the New fame, had only gone and bought a vintage 1920’s style dress with her to the Swish that night! In ture Swish magic, it fit Holly perfectly and there was even a pair of shoes to match the dress. An unbelievable end to a fantastic Swishing story.
So come on, you must be convinced of the amazingness that is the Swish now? If you want some info about how to set one up or find one in your area, take a peek at the official Swishing website.
Trust me, you want to get this in your life.