Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ode to a swap meet

Ode to the swap meet           

A while back my girlfriends started an awesome tradition that has since been dubbed the “Sassy Swap.”  Periodically we all to go through our stuff and bring clothing and things that we no longer want or need, we relive the origins and experiences of each item, and finally exchange them.  Knowing they will bring new joy to a new home makes it a little easier to let go.  It is great fun and because each of us has a distinct style it is always interesting to see the new interpretation of the old gems.  

After several swaps where I brought nothing but left with a bag full of other peoples cast offs I have come to the conclusion I am a saver.  My attachment to my stuff is maybe a little more sentimental and tough to set aside than others.  Several months after coming to this conclusion I am loosening up a bit but more than that I am finally arriving at a comfortable and focused place with my saver status.  Collecting clothes is kind of a hobby. 

I am a steward of history; a librarian of trends, perhaps a “trendarian?”  I will unapologetically embrace the items in the back of my closet that kind of fit, are not quite in style, or that are beginning to look like period pieces. I am determined never again to read a style how-to book or magazine article that instructs me to get rid of anything I haven’t worn in a year and get annoyed.  I am simply going to take these suggestions into consideration but do my own thing. Instead I am going to attempt to care for and critique quality and historical context as a collector would.  Really, just when I think something will never come back, it does and I am always happy I took a little better care of something than I thought I needed.  While others may think something is taking up space I feel it is waiting for its moment.

It takes savers and people that purge.  It takes all kinds. While I am approaching my clothing hobby with purpose by staying organized, staying true to my grandmother by making sure each item is mended and presentable, and staying true to myself by constantly attempting to reinvent the ordinary; the organizers are staying true to their clutter free environments by providing a steady stream of stuff for me to choose from! 

I am very grateful for the people that purge as I feel like I make out like a bandit all the time.  They, in turn, may be grateful for me in the future should all of the clothing stores suddenly run out of stuff, should they need historical references for a clothing line, or 40years from now should they be looking for a little piece of vintage youth.  In the mean time, as a matter of reciprocation, I am attempting to dig deep and bring items for swap in this decade.  At the very least this is a great opportunity to revisit and incorporate what I have as new also.  When giving up my family hand-me-downs is less than wildly successful I am writing blog posts like today and loading on the appreciation for the great new outfits courtesy of the sassy swap. 

Purple Pashmina with Purse from Lita.  Thanks Lita
Liv's shoes
Feeling bohemian with Liv's feather earrings, Lita's shirt, my mom's necklace.
Thanks Ladies!

Liv's shoes, my grandpa's belt, Liv's button down shirt.
Thanks Grandpa and Liv!
Thank you clutter-free friends for keeping me interested.  You know, if you ever change your mind, your donated items are waiting for you in excellent condition.