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Never Buy Clothing Again! How to Host a Clothing Swap

I rarely buy clothing, but I freshen up my wardrobe often. How? CLOTHING SWAPS. They are a budget fashionista’s dream come true!

How does it work? Well, you invite a ton of your friends (and their friends, and your neighbours, coworkers, anyone and everyone) and they come to your house with food and clothes and everyone swaps¬†for free. It’s amazing. Below I’ve put a draft of info you can use to detail your Facebook event or email invite:

Clothing Swap and Potluck!

Make some room in your closet, bring your gently used clothing that you’re no longer wearing, and leave the party with some clothes that are new to you!

Bring clothes, shoes, purses, jewellery, scarves, and other accessories! Books, dvds, cds, and unused or lightly used cosmetics are also very much welcome.

Here’s how it works: give as good as you get, and it’s first come first serve – but we’re all friends here. Be considerate, and help others find cool new styles for themselves! I have found that with so many different tastes and sizes, this always works out well and there is TONS left over.

To make this even better, it’s a potluck! ūüôā So bring food and/or drink if you’d like to partake.

Friends welcome, as long as you can vouch for them! The more the merrier.

**Leftover clothing will be donated**
**Ladies only, and ages 12+**

12pm-3pm

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This event is the social event of the year for me and my girlfriends! The older we get, the more rare it is for a bunch of gals to just get together and have a great time. It’s so fun to have a women-only party! The food gives it a really festive flair and donating the remaining clothing makes everyone feel like a philanthropist. It’s a win/win/win kinda party! In my friend group, we host them every six months (a winter edition and a summer edition). We find it’s useful to let everyone know that this is a bi-annual event, so that they can save items for the swap on an ongoing basis.

In the past, we put all the clothes into one big giant pile. But soon we found it’s hard to know which stuff you’ve already looked at, and which items are still buried. Now we organize by clothing type, and lay piles all around the room. We do categories such as: coats and jackets, dresses, pants, long-sleeved tops, short-sleeved tops, shoes, accessories, etc. It makes the whole thing more organized and easier to tell which areas you’ve already shopped.

If you’re worried that you don’t have friends your same size, stop fretting! Shoes, jewellery, accessories, and books are easily shared with people of every shape and size. Plus, the potluck angle means that people always have something they can bring and share. Don’t over-think it – just do it! You’ll have a blast. I hosted a clothing swap last weekend and I got plenty of new lovely things. Because everything is free, it’s a great opportunity to try styles you wouldn’t normally pick up in-store. Try it for six months, and if it doesn’t actually work, you can put it into the next swap. Another good thing is that this will help you keep your wardrobe curated: you’re constantly on the lookout for items that don’t fit your needs. Put ’em in the swap pile!

If you have any questions about clothing swaps, comment below or feel free to email me.

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My Favourite Capsule Wardrobes

Even though I have a capsule wardrobe, it’s not as pared-down as I’d like it to be. My three greatest sources of inspiration come from the following places:

1. Paris-to-Go 10-piece Wardrobe

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2. Save, Spend, Splurge Minimalist Wardrobes: 5 piece5-must-have-minimalist-pieces

…and 12 piece¬†:

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3. The Uniform Project

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Honourable mention goes to into-mind, because she has many capsule wardrobe guides, but reminds us not to be so rigid and to have fun and enjoy!

Meeting with a Fashion Consultant: Closet Audit

My first meeting with a fashion consultant can be found here.

After all the fun we had doing window-shopping and discussing my style, it was time to look at my closet. We went through every single item.

Things I am not allowed to buy more of:

  • Black Dresses (7!)
  • Plaid Shirts (3)
  • Black Skirts (5)
  • Black footwear (9)

When you have a minimalist capsule wardrobe like I do, these are actually really high numbers! I can hardly believe how many black dresses I have (I went and counted them twice because I was in such disbelief), and while they’re all quite different from each other, it’s still a little ridiculous when you compare it to some of the capsule wardrobes out there.

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I learned some cool tips:

  • Collared long-sleeved shirts can be worn open and like a jacket, or buttoned-up and underneath a sweater or a structured dress.
  • You can use scarves as belts!
  • Some tops look better when worn backwards (what!? But it’s true!).
  • When wearing a top with¬†a jacket or cardigan, make them different lengths from each other to avoid looking like you’re wearing a sweater set.

We didn’t get rid of much because I was already rocking a minimalist wardrobe. A few items were set aside to be altered, like my lace Aritzia top that has the world’s tiniest arm holes (I’m just going to cut them bigger and sew the seams). I let go of a few items that felt too young for me; my consultant emphasized that she doesn’t believe in dressing for an¬†age and that you can wear whatever you want, but my personal comfort level is that if it feels “young” then it’s not what I want to wear.

I added a few more things to the “donate” pile, but for me it’s really a “clothing swap” pile! I hosted¬†a clothing swap the very next day, and I’ll detail that in a future post.

All in all, it was very valuable to look at my closet with S. It is really useful to have an outside eye take a look at your closet. I was talking with my friends and we agreed that this would be useful if ANYONE looked at your closet with you! An objective viewpoint might be just what you need to see your clothing in a new way. Try it with your friends! Let me know how it goes.

 

Saying Goodbye to Uncomfortable Clothing

Shoes that pinch my toes. Tops with no give in the shoulders. Necklaces that are too heavy. Dresses I can’t breathe in. I’m not doing it any longer.

I used to wear pants so tight, that when sitting at a circus performance I popped a few Tylenol because my legs were hurting so much! I’ve worn heels so high, that I’ve had a few drinks purely to take my mind off my feet. I’ve had scarves that are so heavy, they give me a headache. What the hell was I thinking?

We say things like, “Fashion over function” and “No pain, no gain” and “Beauty is pain”. What kind of propaganda is this? It’s delusional. Who says we can’t be beautiful and comfortable at the same time? This is the challenge I give to you.

Part of the idea behind¬†Dress Kindly¬†is the philosophy of dressing in such a way that it honours my body, and a big part of that is comfort. It is hard for me to say goodbye to things that look great on me, but allowing myself to wear things that ACTUALLY HURT is a disrespect to myself. I am making a vow to myself to say farewell to anything that isn’t doing my body justice. Goodbye, beautiful Nine West pointed-toe black flats. Goodbye, dark blue jeans that make my butt look so good but leave lines on my legs. Goodbye, heavy fun necklace made of purple-dyed agate. Goodbye, pain in the name of looking good.

Do you have anything in your wardrobe that hurts? Why are you keeping it? With millions of options out there, I believe we can all find ones that feel good. Let’s make that the standard and the expectation. Demand it for yourself! We have no reason to settle for less.

The “No Shampoo” Movement is a Hoax

Or at least, that’s how it felt to me when I was on day four of no shampoo and looked like a swamp monster. Or just a very unclean street urchin. Yikes! I promised that I would update, so this is me doing that right now.

Honestly, who came up with this? It did NOT work for me. I cannot go without shampoo. Not so long as I desire human contact. (And as an extrovert, my desire is higher than most.)

I know some people swear by it… but I just wanted to go on record saying that it did not work for me. I’ll take my silicone-coated silky smooth hair over this grease nest ANY DAY.¬†I realize that I was supposed to wait five weeks before I would expect to see results, but c’mon. I have a life, people!

Has anyone had better luck than me? Is this something that really works for people?

Maximize Your Budget by Focusing on the Big Things

I am a jewellery fiend. I LOVE jewellery. But the problem with a bling addiction is that a tiny little ring can cost me $1000 or more! Can you imagine how many pieces of clothing I could buy for over $1000? A LOT.

I have had to train myself to realize that a wonderful coat, fitted pants, and a stupendous top are a lot more noticeable than a tiny bit of sparkle¬†on my finger. Not to mention the fact that you can buy costume jewellery for mere dollars… why pay thousands when you can get a similar look for less?

So when you’re on a budget and are allotting funds, consider the impact of the purchase. Thinking about the more noticeable, larger items, is a great way to develop a strong sense of style. No one is noticing your tiny ring. (Ok, except me, because I’m jewellery-obsessed, but most people are really not noticing. Trust me.)

If you ARE going to spend money on jewellery, at least make it inexpensive or big enough to see! Sterling silver is a great value, and if you like the look of gold but need it to cost less, search for “gold filled” pieces. Etsy has lots of them. It’s not plated so it’ll actually stay a gold colour, but it’s considerably cheaper than real 14k gold options.

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Fashion Helps Us Forget We Will Die

When I was little, my mom was watching some kind of fashion show on TV and one of the designers remarked that, “Fashion helps us forget we will one day die”. This is fascinating to me! Does enjoying fashion help us deal with our mortality? Does a strong sense of style distract us from our limited longevity?

Judging by the gorgeous women on¬†www.advanced.style (photo below), perhaps throwing oneself into outfit creation is a great way to live longer! Could this be the secret to a long life? Does this mean that shopping is good for my health? There’s only one way to find out.

To tell you the truth, I think fashion is a wonderful way to stay present in life. It gives you a sublime focus on the here and now, regardless of how long you live.

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Be present and stay fashionable, readers!