As FrOctober looms, talk at HQ has turned to whether any of us have enough dresses to keep us going for a whole month and how we can acquire a few more without enraging the Bank Manager/selling an organ. One great idea is Swishing – eco-chic clothes swapping. Not only can you lay your hands on some lovely new frocks, but by holding your own Swish, you can raise some money for FrOctober too…
What is Swishing?
Swishing is a fancy term for swapping – it’s as well someone came up with it, as otherwise we’d all have to call it Clothes Swapping, which sounds like there’d be car keys going into a bowl at some point. Swishing enables you to clear out your unwanted clothes (Be gone, hideous angora sweater dress I bought when blinded with PMT!!) and swap them for some new-to-you outfits, without spending much (if any) money. Win-win, people, win-win.
How to Swish
- Secure a Venue – whether you go for someone’s home or a village hall, you’ll need a reasonably-sized venue with room for your guests, the clothes rails/clothes dryers/clothes horses & hangers, an area for trying stuff on and somewhere to put personal belongings that are not part of the Swish.
- If you’re going to make it a FrOctober Swish, decide whether you’re going to charge an entrance fee or ask guests for a suggested donation.
- Set a date and send out invites – make sure you give guests lots of notice so that they (and you) have time to sort through wardrobes – everyone must bring at least one item of quality clothing.
- Nominate some Swish Monitors – get a friend to keep an eye on what arrives, make sure all the clothes are displayed nicely and that sure no one starts before you want them to!
- Explain the ‘Rules of the Rail’:
- Everyone must bring at least one item of quality clothing.
- You will have half an hour to browse before the swish opens.
- No item may be claimed before the swish opens.
- As soon as the swish is declared open, everyone may take what they want.
- Remember no scratching, spitting or fighting (!!)
- After your Swish, bag up any leftovers for donation to a charity shop
Make Your Swish Posh
- Give your Swish a theme – use music and refreshments to set the tone, whether that be genteel ‘40s Tea Party or Breakfast at Tiffany’s cocktail party swish!
- Book a personal stylist to provide objective advice and styling tips to your guests
- Rope in a dressmaker/someone who can sew to provide advice on altering/re-styling garments – which should mean fewer leftovers!
More info on organising your own Swish can be found at the official Swishing website
If you’d like to Swish, but don’t want to organise a party yourself, there are events taking place all over the country – details can be found on the Swishing Facebook page
You could also try swishing site Swishing Online