Friday, 20 November 2009

Swishing: The new kind of jumble sale

I went to my first ever swishing party, not swiffing (the gadget you use to get the dust off a laminate floor) Swishing. And it's not one of those parties that involve throwing your car keys in a dish...

Swishing is a clothes swapping event, the one I went to was for charity, organised by www.bigwardrobe.com (a clothes-swapping website). Basically you take along your old clobber, hand it over, in return you get a receipt telling you how many 'high street' items you've handed in, and how many 'premium clothes' you've handed in. The idea is that you get back what you put in, sounds very organised doesn't it?

In reality, when they announce 'okay ladies, start swishing' it's one huge scrummage. Women racing to the rails (labelled by size) grabbing, pulling, elbowing, pinching from others 'stashes' and then retreating into a 'safe' corner to actually see what you've picked up.

I've never been to the first day of a NEXT sale, but I imagine that this is what it's like.

Not one to be frightened of having a good rummage, I got stuck in. There were still a few polite 'oops sorry...excuse me...please can you hand me that item' but essentially it was one big fight.

The downside to a swishing party, you can't guarantee the sizes, you're relying on others to donate their size 12 dresses and hope that they have the same great taste as you - I noticed this in the 'premium clothes' area - mostly skinny size 8s and 10s. Luckily I grabbed myself this Billy Bag so I was pleased with that.

I also won a prize in the raffle, I got the £100 of John Lewis gifts, which was a stroke of luck - as one of the other prizes was tickets to see Peter AndrĂ© at The Sage.

So, will I go swishing again? Yes
Any words of advice for new swishers?
1. Don't go with a shopping list, consider anything and everything
2. Take clothes that you're happy to donate
3. Don't expect to get back like for like
4. Be prepared for a scrum - survival of the fittest.

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