NOTE: I was overwhelmed by the support and love that you guys sent my way after my last post, so I just wanted to write a quick note saying: thank you. THANK YOU. You guys rock. I’m still going through all your comments – and doing my best to respond to each one of them – and taking stock of your suggestions, and figuring out where the blog goes from here. I will probably do a follow-up post at some point, but it may take me some time to articulate all of my thoughts in some sort of coherent manner. In the meantime I’ve decided to run a few posts that have been kicking about in the drafts folder for a while. Hope you like them.

It’s March, and that means it’s time for another clothing swap. I host one every year (2014,  2013, 2012) and every year I am amazed by (a) how many clothes I manage to accumulate (despite swearing up and down the previous year that it would not happen again), and (b) how much fun the whole thing ends up being, despite my twenty kinds of unnecessary stressing beforehand. Truly, the hostess power is not strong with yours truly. It’s probably because I don’t have a Pinterest account. Or perhaps why. (It’s a chicken or egg thing, really.) But, I do try:

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Setting up (with a sneak peek at our living room remod)

This year’s theme was East Meets West (think sushi and hot wings), so I had to add some fortune cookies to the mix. On bunny plates that had absolutely nothing to do with the theme, because why not. (For the record, my husband picked those out at Winners. I bet you didn’t see that coming.) Anyway, it looked cute:

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flowers & fortune cookies
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bunny guarding the fortunes
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one more photo because my Costco flowers look pretty nice

Some of my guests asked about the floral arrangements, so I’ll share my “secret” here as well, in case someone hasn’t yet discovered it for themselves: Costco flowers, peeps. Four hydrangea stems, and two dozen roses set me back about $30, and they are ridiculously easy to arrange at home. And here’s my mom’s tip for getting the roses to open up nicely: when you get them home, cut the stems down and add ice to their water. Easy peasy.

Also easy? Store-bought dessert. Keeps the party prep time to a manageable level, and is delicious to boot.

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the sweet loot

Since we’re talking about a clothing swap, I guess you might be curious about the clothes. Here is what left my closet (and my mom’s!):

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those are not ALL mine, ahem …

And here is what came in:

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LOFT lace top (sleeveless version)
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AG “The Club” flares

The LOFT eyelet sleeveless top is perfect under my work blazers, and the cream colour will be very versatile, I think. I decided to take the AG jeans, despite not being a fan of flares, because they fit me incredibly well in the waist/butt/hip area. These jeans have a definite 70s vibe to them, which seems to be a big trend again this year, so I figured this would be the cheapest way to try a new look. Because they are also extra long, I decided to keep a pair of super high platform sandals I had planned on purging. To balance out the shoe equation, I also got a pair of strappy Zara flat sandals. Oh, and some ginormous Cavalli sunglasses.

And then, there was this:

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H&M green sheath dress

I remember seeing this dress on Jean, two or three years ago, so obviously it made an impression on me. I don’t really shop at H&M for myself anymore (I do buy some kids’ stuff there), but I figured this one was worth keeping around … at least for a while, especially with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner (and a client event where we’ve been encouraged to dress to theme). If it doesn’t end up getting a lot of wear, well, there is always next year’s swap!

This marked the 8th year that I’ve hosted a clothing swap, and it has never not been a ton of fun. Getting some awesome new-to-me clothes is a big part of it, for sure, but it is even better to get a chance to catch up with friends, old and new. So, if you’ve ever thought about hosting (or attending) a clothing swap – do ittttt! I mean, you probably won’t have a terrible time or anything.

And if you’ve done it before, tell me what you thought about the whole experience.

17 Comments on Clothes Swap 2015

  1. You have a beautiful living room!

    Great finds on your swap. Do you usually invite women of similar sizes to do the swap?

    I’m looking forward to see how you style the lace top. I recently purchased a blush colored lace short sleeved tee from Loft and am not sure how to style it yet. Wearing a tight fitting cami underneathe looks funny on me because the tee is a bit loose on me.

    • Thank you, and thank you!

      I invite everyone I know, basically, which usually results in a good mix of sizes and styles. We swap everything from clothes to accessories (shoes, bags, jewelry, etc.), so there is always something for everyone. I don’t think it’s ever happened that someone didn’t find a single thing they liked. And we donate the leftovers.

      Is your tee see-through? My LOFT top has a built-in camisole/solid layer, so it’s pretty easy to style. I’ve already worn it on the weekend (and loved how it looked), and am looking forward to trying it at work.

      • Thanks for replying! The tee is see-through lace without a built-in layer. Not quite what I had expected when I got it in the mail, but I got it on sale and liked the look of lace tops.

        • Hmm, I’m having a hard time picturing it. Could you try a different colour camisole (maybe in a darker complementary pink) underneath? If you can, link to it – I’m curious about what it looks like.

  2. I literally gasped at that green dress! You look absolutely gorgeous, definitely a keeper. I’ve always wanted to be a part of a clothing swap, but like you I feel like there’d be too much stress with hosting such an event.


    • Thank you 🙂

      Hosting a clothing swap is honestly not bad, I just get easily stressed out about any sort of hosting. I tend to micro-manage, and over-think, the little details and, well, that’s not good for anyone’s stress levels. But if you keep things pretty chill (not to many rules, lots of wine) then the swap is usually a success no matter what.

  3. Your clothing swaps always look like so much fun, your “Tea” themed one from 2013 looked really awesome! (it was fun seeing your tea pot and cup collection in that post.). Your living room is really lovely as well, your black chair withe white piping is drop dead gorgous! I’m excited to see you style the flare jeans as well, as a shorty I’ve been a total skinny jeans convert but I really like the 70s influances this year.

    • I have stayed away from flares for yeeeeears, but this AG pair came along at the right time, what with the new runway trends. I’m not convinced they’ll be closet staples for me, because I need VERY high heels to wear them (their previous owner has 3 inches on me) which is not practical for my off-work life. But, we’ll see. AG jeans are so comfortable, and fit my tush so well, I can never pass up a free pair – even if I’m too cheap to pay retail for them.

      I actually love planning the themes for the parties – it’s just the “day of” execution that stresses me out. The “tea party” one was a favourite of mine as well – I love any excuse to use my tea cup collection.

    • I wore it for a St. Patrick’s day client function at work. I looked very Irish, LOL! (I’m not, at all) I think it’s a little too low-cut, unfortunately, for everyday office wear so I’m not sure how much I’ll be wearing it 🙁

  4. The green dress looks fabulous, what a great find! I also really love your flowers, hydrangea are among my favourites but I never thought about combining them with roses. This unusual combination gives the classy all white look a nice modern vibe!

    • Thanks! I love hydrangeas too. And roses – so, really, I just combined some of my fave things. I like the monochromatic look, but with different textures.