Finally… I attended a clothes swapping party organised by nlwa and actually ended up taking home 3 things I liked. Normally I take beautiful things to swap, then leave disappointed and empty handed. This time I bagged myself 3-great items that I hope to get many wears out of. The main thing for me was I attended with a different mindset – I took great quality things that I hoped would make someone else happy and had no expectations to get 10 items for myself. For me, this event whilst still lacking the ‘luxe’ factor you get when you go to a pre-loved boutique, yet it was the most fun I have had on a Sunday afternoon in ages.
3 Tactics For A Happy Swish Swap Party
- It’s not just about clothes – be social and chat to the people there. All the people I met were kind and lovely, creative and genuinely interested in being being more sustainable – they saw the value in these swapping events instead of buying new. So I realised that these little get togethers are also great for finding like minded individuals to connect with.
- Get involved in the activities. I attended a workshop that showed us mere mortals who don’t know how to use a sewing machine properly, learn how to be creative with old T-shirts and socks! It was all using scissors and a little hand stitching – during my time making a T-shirt bag I ended up getting friendly with the lady next to me who I gave my extra buttons to at the end as she found more items that I did. It was nice to be able to do something nice for someone no strings (or should I say buttons) attached.
- Patience is key! I noticed women picking up 10-15 items and hoarding a lot of the clothes, taking it to the changing rooms and then only towards the end of the event putting half of it back. I picked up only 2 things that I thought would fit – I saw a black leather skirt in the hands of a fellow shwopper which was the only thing I saw that I wanted. So I just had to wait it out and see if it went back on the rail – and it did. My tactic of waiting until the end worked.
My Swish Swap Shopping Bargains…
1. Whistles Lambs Leather Wrap Midi Skirt – Sooooo in love with this ❤️- teamed with lace and baroque detailed pumps.
2. A Selfridges Red & Black Lantern Skirt Dress – worn with my trusty black leather belt & black suede pumps.
3. A Pair of High Waisted Guess Designer Collaboration Pair of Shorts – lace top and baroque pumps (but would probably wear black ankle boots with these for a more casual look)
Why Would A Stylist Like Me Be Interested In A Swish and Style Party?
When I started to realise the truth behind fast fashion and that I was contributing to part of the problem I became more interested in being more sustainable. I then started to look at using more of what I already own – and up-cycling, or I prefer the word re-styling as up-cycling makes me think of a person walking around in a coat made out of carrier bag or crisp packets. The thing about sustainable and ethical fashion is it has a bad rep of being a bit hippie looking and un-stylish. In any many ways that’s true – a lot of it is still stuck in the unaestheticly pleasingly category. For me, I wanted to discover a few new tips and learn some tricks to make more of what I have – I love being creative and less wasteful – but I also care about how I present myself to the word. So style & sustainability need to be in equal measures for me.
I will be 100% honest – there is a lot of ugly clothing out there made from recycled materials that I wouldn’t be seen dead in. That’s why resourcefulness, creativity and style has to work together. We can all be crafty and make stuff or re-use things… but what a lot of people lack is ability to turn the ugly into the elegant – and make an outfit that makes people go WOW not OH NO! And this is an area where I know I can help…
Need some guidance on a wardrobe re-style or building a capsule collection? Just head to my website and send me a message www.robertastylelee.co.uk I’d love to help you out.
Interested In Trying A Swish Party For Yourself?
The NLWA (North London Waste Authority) have a few more events registered for March 2017:
Saturday 11th March 12.30 – 3pm Leytonstone United Free Church, 55 Wallwood Road, Waltham Forest, E11 1AY
Sunday 12th March 12.30 – 3pmJohnston Hall, St Marys, Upper Street, Islington, N1 2TX
Saturday 25th March 12.30 – 3pm The Brewhouse, 369-370 Helmsley Place, Hackney, E8 3SB
Sunday 26th March 12.30 – 3pm Studio 5, Jackson Lane, 269A Archway Road, Haringey, N6 5AA
I believe there will be free clothes fixing and up-cycling workshops at these events too. So it’s worth checking out.
For more information, visit www.wiseuptowaste.org.uk/swishandstyle
If you are interested in learning more about sustainable styling head over to www.RobertaStyleLee.co.uk and grab a copy of my FREE personal styling E-Book!
And don’t forget, everything feels better with a smile and some style!
Other Useful Shwapping, Swishing & Swapping Resources