Simple concept: take some nice clothes you have in your closet, lonely and forgotten. Go to the party and swap them for what others have identified as equally lonely and forgotten. The party (it is, after all, a little gathering with nice people, food, drinks, and good old fashioned mingling) took place last Saturday at The Hub in Brussels. My friend Diana invited me, so I packed several nice pieces of clothing I never wore (some of which didn’t fit anymore), put on the nicest makeup and a brand new blouse and off we went!

My friend Diana and I ready for some action!

The first impression was not very favorable I must say. There is an items drop-off first; you bring in your clothes (which can be up to 10 items) and you get some tokens for them. You can bring in anything except jewelry and lingerie (imagine if you could…ewww!) and they need to be in great condition. The last criterion, which is a bit tricky is, they need to be nice. Allow me to illustrate my point: I have a certain taste in fashion and you my dear reader may have a completely different taste. During this drop-off session, your clothes don’t just go through the expected quality inspection, they also go through an almost fashion police control. If the fashion police you get stuck with dissapproved of your fashion sense, you bet you will have to carry the same stuff you came in with back home.

What happened, you may ask? My friend Diana went first, she gave her items to a nice lady who very politely commented on some of her articles: “I will give these back to you because usually these pieces usually stay on the racks”. If you put some thought into this, you’ll know this was a very nice way of saying “your fashion taste is horrendous”, especially since the party invite says whatever does not go, will be sent to charity. But in the end, Diana faired well. Now it’s my turn. One of first pieces, a very cute H & M dress I wore once got rave reviews. I got two tokens for it (you get at least one per item). There were two somewhat controversial items, a skirt and a dress, again, the dress I had only worn once, the skirt, never. The very nice lady did not know what to do or say. So she signaled someone else and pointed at those items. Now, I would’ve settled with the same answer Diana got, but instead, I kid you not, the signaIed lady gave a reaction close to this:

The nerve! I’m standing right there!! Couldn’t have she had the decency to just say no and laugh behind my back? I have nagged non-stop about this. The older I get, the “naggier” I become. By the time I’m 80, I’m sure I’ll knocking my neighbors doors demanding silence and writing angry letters to newspaper editorials (if they still exist then). I was appalled and outraged. I felt like a mistreated customer! Luckily, there was a fashion show right after which dissipated my rage and made me feel happy and joyous. The clothes were beautifully styles and as a fan of all things pretty, I was pleased with the selection. Having said that, I wonder who the hell in Belgium wears this stuff! Whoever they are, they must hang out in some exclusive places because the stuff was quite trendy and way too edgy. Or maybe I am a fashion fiasco, like that lady properly expressed. Here are some pictures of the show (click to enlarge):

Nicely styled look that could work for outside of the runway. The skirt is not something I would personally choose, but the overall look works well.

Pretty simple outfit. Sometimes less is more. This guy, however; did not look like he was enjoying himself.

I inspected the individual pieces afterwards and they were quite nice, but together I was not too fond of this one.

Earlier in the show, this guy walked. Wearing nothing but overalls and an oversized scarf. I would’ve not mind having him go paint the walls in my house! This look is also very well styled and definitely can work in day to day life.

Lovely combination of colors and extremely wearable look for all sorts of ocassions. I could probably pull this off at work. It is business appropriate with a little playful on the side.

No thanks. Not even to paint my walls.

Stunning look I would not even know where to wear. Maybe if I lose enough weight, I can wear this for the next fashion show!

The actual swishing activity went pretty smoothly, no catfights over nice outfits or general agressive demeanor from the participants. You have to be quick though, as the more experienced swishers will definitely step on your toes! I found that having a target of what to search for helped and everything aside was added value. My goal was shoes and a jacket and I got these beauties here (click to enlarge):

How about this bad boy here? Fit perfectly….ok, almost didn’t close, but I would not wear it closed. While I tried on someone complimented it. Maybe it was the previous owner!

This was the first thing I grabbed and luckily, no one else was fighting for it! I’ve been trying to get my hands on some brogues (or oxford shoes if you prefer that) for quite some time. These did fit perfectly

These ones were actually way too big (nothing that some insoles won’t fix), but the tomboy in me could not let these babies get away!

I noticed the clothes I brought in (even the questionable ones) were quickly gone! My friend Diana even took one of my dresses. I know it has found a very nice home! Unless she already donated it to the second hand shop. Did you? Towards the end, when everyone was gone and we had all “paid” for our items, Diana and I found a couple of leftovers we were allowed to take home! That certainly compensated for the initial hiccup with the clothes drop-off and the extremely disappointing goodie bag we received at the end. I’ve definitely seen much better ones out there!

It was a nice girls night out in general. We had a chance to chat with the runway show stylist and we may do a little feature on this blog! Another nice thing to compensate for the crappy goodie bag! Now although the event concept is quite nice and it was really cool to hang out with Diana, the different negative aspects I have mentioned above make me a little bit neutral about this one. I would not recommend nor advise against. Maybe it deserves another chance? We’ll see!

Paola’s mood after going to this event:

 

1 Comment

  1. Diana

    hey Paola,
    I just read your post about the Swishing 🙂

    I was quite satissfied with the result, but the “clothes control” was indeed a bit dissapointing…

    I did not give away your dress, I actually washed it and got all the other clothes that were in the machine to shine and sparkle 🙂

    I'm glad you enjoyed the evening and will definetly invite you for the next event!

    Diana

    Reply

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