We shall swap again! And to encourage wardrobe editing before the event, here’s how I think about what stays and what goes. I have to admit that it gets harder to discard things as they become fewer – these items have survived many editing fastivals, so there is some function or value ascribed that has saved them before. Yet despite the reduced number, there are still garments in my wardrobe that do not live up to the standard of “would this be a part of my optimal wardrobe?”
I try to let go of fears about needing them or pondering about the likelihood of anybody wanting them. I have one historical reassurance for this and one additional mental trick. The reassurance is the story of my red denim jacket and the mental trick is possible due to the relaxed concept of our swaps. I’m still kind of on the fence about several of the items described below (guess which ones!), so I’ve made a deal with myself: if nobody will want them, they are coming back home. I know for a fact that I’m not the only one calming my separation anxiety with this kind of tricks and me being there from the start till the finish of the event increases the chances of these garments finding a new body to adorn.
So these are the ones looking for a new home on September 30 (in order of acquisition):
#1: The blue peasant blouse
Came from: It’s family vintage that my mother and her sister wore in early 1980s. Came into my wardrobe sometime in early 2000s. However, I’ve worn it very little.
Made in: Latvia by a former colleague of my grandma.
# of wears since January 2016: 9.
Overall # of wears: Many but stretched over a period of more than 30 years.
Why? The fluffy sleeves are a bit too much. But mostly because this garments shows all the sweat (and I sweat a lot).
Whom for: Somebody who enjoys the peasant blouse trend and is willing to stick to this style when the trend is gone (or wait until it’s back in 2032 or so). Also for somebody who sweats less than I do.
#2: The HM romper
Came from: This is one of the last fast fashion items I willingly bought in 2012 when still browsing shops for recreational purposes.
Made in: I was still in the tag-cutting phase, so that information is lost. An educated guess would be Bangladesh or Cambodia.
# of wears since January 2016: 24.
Overall # of wears: A bit more than that, but it clearly didn’t become a beloved staple.
Why? Also this garments shows all the sweat, especially under the breasts if you are not wearing a bra.
Whom for: Somebody wishing to discreetly channel Esther Williams, at least that’s how I feel when wearing it (like this!). Again, for somebody who sweats less than I do.
#3: The Nike workout shirt
Came from: Bought new in 2013 for yoga because it has an incorporated bra part. This shirt has seen so much yoga, it should have a yoga instructor certificate by now.
Made in: Cambodia.
Overall # of wears: A lot. Not counted as this was never part of the proper capsule.
Why? The neck straps had worn out and I got them shortened, now I’m not sure about the new fit.
Whom for: Anybody looking for activewear and having a more delicate back-neck than I do. Maybe it just needs some more wear to stretch just the right amount for me…
#4: The floral dress
Came from: My mom used to wear this around the house in summer, I snatched it from her for the same purpose in 2014 and never gave back.
Made in: Some fast fashion hell, most probably.
# of wears since January 2016: 29.
Overall # of wears: Much more than that, as wearing it as loungewear was never counted. And my mom wore it beforehand.
Why? Feels worn out.
Whom for: Anybody looking for a very relaxed and easy to throw on beach/leasure wear. I wear it as a strapless dress and without a bra, because the two rubber bands give it enough structure. However, I’d look into replacing the rubber and taking the straps completely off to give it a reboot.
#5: Kristine’s yellow dress.
Came from: A hand-me-down from Kristine. Mine since 2015.
Made in: ?.
# of wears since January 2016: 20.
Overall # of wears: A bit more, but it’s clear that I’m not giving it all the love it deserves.
Why? The material and print are very nice (the print remind me of home textiles for summer houses, that’s the reason I adopted this dress), but I have an issue with the neckline. It’s weird on me, I’m not sure if it’s because of shoulders/back or breast size.
Whom for: Again, a relaxed beach/leasure number for hot weather. There has to be a body type to enjoy this little number!
#6: The fish necklace.
Came from: A gift from my mother-in-law. 2016.
Made in: China, maybe?
# of wears since January 2016: 48.
Why? I have a complicated relationship with necklaces (for me headbands are easier to wear). I have made myself wear them since I started doing the tracked capsule, but… among the four necklaces that I have, this one is the weakest link.
Whom for: Anybody looking for a low-hanging whimsical but delicate accent piece.
And for a moment of wishful thinking… What would I happily pick up at the next swap? These are very specific, but – hey! – a girl can dream. In all affairs of pre-loved clothing I pursue a bimodal strategy: I have a clear vision of what I’m looking for and open eyes for an unexpected treasure. Thankfully my idea of “treasure” has evolved and I’ve become much harder to seduce than some 15 years ago. There are still things that I’d gladly incorporate in my wardrobe, though:
A) A top that could serve as a modesty garment under the purple jersey winter dress of Riga capsule. I use the little lace blouse for such purposes in Barcelona, but having another one as versatile in Riga would be nicer than carrying this one back and forth.
B) A pair of comfy gym shorts for the Riga capsule. Again, a have my comfy shorts in Barcelona but an additional pair in Riga would be less hassle.
C) A pair of winter gloves. May random second-hand gin-promoting gloves are too short and too big to be optimal, and the long pair I got second-hand in New York didn’t survive even one winter.
What’s on your outgoing and incoming lists? What strategies do you pursue when (un)shopping?