A few weeks ago, I thought about doing a clothes swap with a few girlfriends. Ladies, if you’ve never done this, pay attention: it’s a great way to spruce up your wardrobe and clean out your closets! Bring whatever you don’t want and share with others. Left overs go to charity.
That suit you never wear? That purse you never clutch? Those jeans that no longer fit? That blouse you loved but only wore once? Those earrings that were so last year? Bring it all and let it go. And take home a bounty.
Sure, it’s a first world problem to have that much sartorial abundance. But in sharing what we no longer want, we also create more abundance of the heart currency kind.
It’s also a great way to connect -- wine, women, conversation and even an impromptu yoga class, where I individually taught each gal downward dog. And that’s a bit ironic, because my first experience of a “clothes swap” happened years ago while I was training to become a yoga teacher.
We laughed. We cried. We hugged. We talked about everything under the sun, including, of course, sex, penises, vaginas, relationships and all those wonderful thoughts women concoct on an absolutely wonderful “girls night in.”
We thought we were going to make it to the Wynwood Art Walk. But I knew better. I knew that this was a work of art in a social sense.
We gathered together from all walks of life, all ages, giving away cloaks we no longer wanted but that would bring a smile to another’s face and most importantly, sharing part of ourselves while shedding old things – things that we are attached to but that no longer serve us.
One new friend was shy about receiving lavish cast offs. "Why?" I replied. "Go. Take it. Give it love." We were all paying it forward.
My friend N, who generously hosted the evening in her beautiful loft studio near downtown Miami -- and, who incidentally is owned by a feline who took great offense to her practicing “downward dog” on the mat -- came up with a brilliant idea in response to a male-centric post on Upworthy entitled 6 Guys Challenging Decades of Stereotypes Using Only A Whiteboard and a Marker.
The challenge was to find something not so much gender-specific, but heartfelt. We did it, too. We asked ourselves: “What is the most feminine/womanly thing about me? But what also feels masculine?”
The results were interesting!
- I Catch 200 Pound Sharks and Wear Victoria's Secret Bras
- I'm Ballsy
- Courage to Move Into Unknown
- Nerdy Academic
- Art of Persuasion
- Obsessive Devotion
Over some laughs, it occurred to me that UPWORTHY was not quite SPONGEWORTHY. Because many of us that night had a tale to tell about a man who wasn’t and a man who was. (If you're not of the Seinfeld generation, please click here.)
THE CLOTHES SWAP
It doesn’t matter if your pants are too small or too big for the next woman. What does matter that you share from the heart with your beloved friends. Me? I left with a couple of shirts, a cool velvet brown cap, some lovely hoop earrings and some really awesome yoga pants that I needed to upgrade my typical caregiver schmatte wardrobe.
My friends are a bit smaller in bodily size, but their hearts are enormously, fabulously beautiful. My heart swelled larger and was more blessed for the company – the clothes make the man but the heart makes the person – no matter what fabric covers your body.
And no seamstress, no bespoke tailor in the world can stitch up these things that money can't buy.
If you’re in the Miami, consider doing a similar event and donating whatever is left over to Lotus House or Dress for Success. And if you’ve got seriously luxe items, check out Fashionably Conscious.