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Top tips for a successful swish

3 November 2010 One Comment

Leila McKellar from My SwishLeila McKellar of My Swish undresses the secrets of  a successful clothes swap

If you had three fashion wishes, what would they be? Maybe you’d wish for unlimited gorgeous free clothes and accessories?  Or perhaps it would be a streamlined capsule wardrobe, de-cluttered of all those unworn items? Or do you wish it was easier to be glamorous and ethical at the same time?

Swishing, or clothes swapping, turns all of these wishes into reality.

When my good friend Sarah and I attended our first clothes swap we realised that swishing is a genius way of getting women from all walks of life together to enjoy fashion, save money and help save the planet.

This inspired us to start My Swish and we now hold glamourous swaps in gorgeous venues like the Lansdowne Place Hotel in Hove and Pelham House in Lewes.

Of course you can always hold your own clothes swap party at home. Just invite your most stylish friends, ask them to bring at least one item of clothing, shoes or accessories, arrange everything on tables and let the swishing begin! If it’s a special occasion, we’re always on hand give advice or even plan the whole thing for you.

But if you’re happy to go it alone, here are my top tips:

Do display clothes so that they are easy to see and look their best. This means clothes rails, hangers and different areas for accessories, shoes, etc.

Don’t just plonk everything on one table if you can help it, as this gives the impression of a jumble sale.

Do make sure everyone feels welcome to come, whatever their size or age, and whether they shop at Primark or Prada (I’ve had some excellent Primark items from swishes, and one Prada dress that ended up going straight back into the next one). One woman’s trash really is another one’s treasure when it comes to swishing.

    My Swish clothes swapping event

Do take virtually everything to the charity shop or clothing bank afterwards. Only hang onto pieces for the next swish if they are undisputably 100% gorgeous.

Don’t recycle the same clothes, swish after swish. You only end up with the cumulative total of everything that’s been rejected. This usually amounts to worn t-shirts in eight shades of sludge that you wouldn’t touch with a very long stick. No better way to make everyone feel depressed before the party’s even started.

Do encourage your more reticent guests to get stuck in.

Don’t let people leave empty handed because of shyness or worries that they’re too big/small/old to find anything.

And whatever you do, don’t spend all your time dealing with practicalities and miss out on the good stuff!

The next My Swish event will be held at Lansdowne Place Hotel on Sunday 14 November. Manicures, cocktails and afternoon teas will be on offer and burlesque performances will add yet more glamour to proceedings. Book online to receive a goody bag and the chance to win a spa package at Lansdowne Place.

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One Comment »

  • cmmurray said:

    Thanks for these top tips! I had trouble finding some practical tips for organising my first swish online but these were great. I’m so excited for hosting. As it’s informal, I’m holding mine on a Sunday afternoon and offering cakes and tea! Hoping to raise a wee bit of money for charity too.

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