So last Saturday, November 12th, I attended my first ever clothing swap! The Swapaholics came through last year, they are an organization that hosts clothing swaps in cities across the U.S., but I missed it. I also think that my missing it could have been due to an entrance fee, maybe $25 if I remember right, and maybe stricter guidelines on the clothing. Regardless, my first clothing swap was a great experience and a lot of F.U.N. Tran Wills of Super Ordinary Art Gallery, and Anna Newell Jones, of “And Then She Saved” blogging fame, and a super talented wedding photographer, Newell Jones & Jones Photography…check it OUT were the hostesses with the mostest!
I first heard about Anna a couple years ago on 850 KOA on the morning talk radio segment. RARE and weird because I was driving my husband to work that day, and was in the car, which is random because I commute by train and bus and he takes the car. Mrs. Jones is the gal who paid off her debt by going on a spending fast and on a meager State employee salary! Disciplined, yes. Strong and frugal, yes. Inspiring, heck yeah! Stylish…YES! She is all of the above and sweet to boot! Damn… if there were more gals out there like her….It was so great to get to meet this busy body in person! Check out her blog, And Then She Saved, on tips, ideas and inspiration on how you can pinch pennies in this tough economy, and still maintain your cuteness!
So Tran Wills is super creative and everywhere and anywhere in Denver, and runs a gallery out of her live/work space off 31st and Larimer in a very cool area that borders Five Points and TAXI district. She was also the one who organized the Project Runway weekly showings at Beauty Bar, back when Mondo Guerra was on. She has four kiddos and manages to stay involved in so many creative and fashionable Denver projects, including last week’s H&M opening with the YSL Sewing Challenge, and more! She used to head up the Fabric Lab, R.I.P., and also has a hand in styling for 303 Magazine, check out the latest issue, AND, if that’s not enough to make you want to redo your resume, she also recently landed a gig at locally based, E-Bags as a Social Media Director for Handbags.com!!!! Where does she find the time?! It was my first time at the gallery, and I can’t wait to go for another show. What a cool space! Tran knows how to throw a good party, free wine and PBR, and delicious red velvet and pumpkin spice cupcakes by Pastel! Look ’em up guys, here on Facebook!
All photos were taken by me, so please give credit or link to this blog if you wish to share. give credit where credit is due. don’t steal man! Also, A couple of the photos here were by Newell Jones & Jones Photography, obvioulsy it’s the good ones. They are not to be copied, or shared. Thanks!
The criterion to participate in the clothing swap was EASY, and the invitation was addressed to “If you are a lady in Denver…” but there were a few guidelines that were strongly encouraged to follow, even though there were some people who clearly interpreted this differently- to the person who hand wrote on college ruled paper, “Missing Buttons,” and “I Need to be Hemed,” yes, “hemed,” not “hemmed,” this means you. Guests were also asked to bring a small clothing rack to display items. I found mine the same day at Family Dollar for $10!!! My husband has already adopted it for his school soccer uniforms, so I’ll be back to get another!
Scoping out the goods…
And let the swapping begin!!!
And what I scored…
These were the logistics:
– Bring 10 clean women’s clothing items (no shoes or accessories) and then you get to take home 10 items. (sorry guys, this swap is for women only)
I only wound up with 6 pieces, one of which is too small. I brought 10 items, but I didn’t manage to scoop 10 pieces I liked. I think I was too slow as I was mingling, eating cupcakes and drinking wine, and taking pics for this here blog post! Oops!
– Bring GOOD things that you would give to your sister or best friend after you’ve gotten sick of them (please don’t bring crap)
Some people missed this bullet point.
– Bring things that you’ll be okay with parting with as it will be an honor system swapping method
Last, all of the items that weren’t swapped at 9 pm, were put in garbage bags and hauled off to donate to Safehouse Denver, a women’s domestic violence shelter.
So upon arrival, Anna took my items and started hanging them on the empty racks. As people started to arrive, racks were built, pants were folded and placed on tables, and hangers were flying as all items were placed and mixed in with everyone’s swap collateral. Some were smart and scoped out the pieces they wanted before it started, 7:30 on the dot, and I was busy stuffing a cupcake in my mouth. I did scope out a colorful orange and gray, silky tunic from Forever 21, and a black strapless dress, that felt heavy, and seemed interestingly constructed, I later scored it and discovered it was an original design by the local designer Tricia Hoke!!! At 7:30, I went straight for the tunic which was folded on a table, and grabbed the dress, in the far corner, then I took my time, taking photos for the blog, and taking my picture at the photo booth provided by Anna Newell Jones and her artsy hubby, hence the collab photog company they started, Newell Jones & Jones, LOOK at what they do!
I had a lot of laughs with a couple friends. We were laughing about a teeny tiny plaid skirt that was a size 6X! Did someone bring a children’s skirt?! it turned out to be our friend who brought it! Hysterical! No worries, Tran scored it for her daughter! LOL! I ended up scoring the items mentioned above, as well as a mustard yellow knit vest from Forever 21, a good layering piece, and a great white angora sweater by Ideology, and a evergreen hued silk tank from Nine West, which still had the tags on it! At the end of the night, I was scrounging for 10 items, and my friend reminded me that I didn’t HAVE to have 10 items, but wouldn’t you? So I found this pair of brown corduroy pants, super in right now, from J.Crew and still had the tags, too bad they were a size 2 Tall! I took them home thinking they were a size 12! No wonder they were sitting there! Needless to say, they did not fit! Buffalo Exchange?
It was really interesting to see everyone and what they picked out, and it was even more fascinating to see someone else trying on what you brought, and…liking it! Swapping for your castaways! pretty cool feeling to know it is recycled back into the world. In fact, one gal, she had three of my items! Put a smile on my face!
Overall it was a fun night, so worth it and I can’t wait for the next one. Some friends even showed up without swapping threads just to scope it out and see what all the buzz was about; now they’ll be prepped for the next one! A BIG THANKS to Tran Wills and Anna Newell Jones for organizing this. SUCCESS! You can also read more coverage of the event on Westowrd in an article by Susan Froyd.
If you were there and want to see and purchase your photo booth pics, here’s what you do:
– Click on: The Site
– Click on: Client Proofing
– Enter password (all caps): SWAP
Tags: 303 Magazine, And Then She Saved, Anna Newell Jones, Beauty Bar Denver, E Bags, Forever 21, Handbags.com, J. Crew, Mondo Guerra, Newell Jones and Jones Wedding Photography, Nine West, Pastel Cupcakes, Safehouse Denver, Super Ordinary Gallery, Swapaholics, The Fabric Lab, Tran Wills, Tricia Hoke, Westword