A Return to Orange…With a Split!

August 23rd, 2010 § 12 comments

A Return to Orange…With a Split!, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Blue Tank – Banana Republic
  • Red-Orange Belt – BR Outlet
  • Yellow-Orange Flower – Blue Onion Marketplace
  • White Skirt – score form clothing swap
  • Sandals – Charlotte Russe
  • Earrings – Gift from A2


Like L., I failed to get my last color-challenge outfit in last week, but here it is – a split complementary using two shades of orange!  I really wanted to push myself with this go at the Fashion 101 on color mixing.  I already tried out this red-orange shade in my monochromatic look, but this time I took it  a bit further by incorporating it into a split complementaryAs E. explained quite well last week,  a split complementary has you start with a color on the color wheel (in my case blue) find its compliment (orange) and then the two colors on either side of that complement (red-orange and yellow-orange).  If orange is a daring color choice for me, yellow-orange is flat out radical!  This fabric flower brooch from Blue Onion Marketplace is the only yellow-orange thing I own, and in the past I have only used it to adorn a summer bag or clutch. Today, I took a cue from S. and pined it up near my face.

A Return to Orange…With a Split!, originally uploaded by academichic.

I think the two shades of orange each pop off the deep blue tank and really help add the needed bunch to this otherwise simple ensemble of blue tank and white skirt. This skirt came from a small clothing swap E. and I recently went to (I also walked away with one of E.’s dresses and she left with one of my belts and a pair of my jeans). I have been looking for a fuller white skirt all summer and have even bought a few, only to return them later.  This one might not be perfect, but its a fun summery piece that fits well enough considering its price tag.  I love the scalloped hem and the embroidered and eyelet detailing.

Detail on White Skirt, originally uploaded by academichic.

Two things both the color challenge and the clothing swap had in common: the chance to reassess my closet and the chance to create new ensembles for free!

Have you ever been to a clothing swap?  Did you walk away with a bunch of great new items?  How was it organized?  Was it just free for all or where there rules? I’d love to know the best way to host one.


A Return to Orange…With a Split!, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 12 Responses to A Return to Orange…With a Split!"

  1. SE says:

    Funny- I’ve done the same think with white skirts this summer- buy and return. I have still not found what I’m looking for because they’re either too full or have odd waist band issues. I’m so surprised it’s been this hard.

    I love your skirt- nice balance of breezy but not too full.

    Swaps- the only swap I’ve been to was a limited (15) number of women, we all brought something to swap, and then it was just… pick it up and try it on. Somehow it worked beautifully and my never-worn closet orphans found homes while I came away with a few lovely things. Leftovers were donated to a women’s non-profit. I think the wonderful mix of women made it work!

  2. Beverly says:

    I just discovered your blog last week and have been enjoying it! I’ve hosted one clothing swap and attended another. At both, one important thing was to have plenty of spaces for hanging the clothes to their best advantage and for trying on clothes. The one I hosted had tons of clothes, but few participants (I think there were 4-5 of us). We were all around the same size, but we had items in different sizes. After we set out the clothes, each of us just started shopping. If we had brought an item that wasn’t getting proper attention, we modeled it or explained why someone HAD to take it. Left over clothes were brought to charity.

    Luckily, at both swaps, everyone was considerate and approached it with an attitude of fun. It did not turn into to a fiasco at all. Good food and wine helped, I’m sure!

  3. MONKEYFACE says:

    Check out how happy your collarbone is to have that pin nearby! So charming.

  4. Melissa says:

    I’ve never been to a clothing swap, I feel like I’m missing out! Living in Orlando, you’d think I’d hear of tons of them but I haven’t heard of a single one.

  5. Love the simple pop of orange! =D

  6. tanya says:

    My friends and I have been doing an annual clothing swap since….2008, I think, which means the one last January was the third annual.

    We get anywhere from 7 to 12 of us, and we’ve gotten to the point where it takes multiple rooms to lay out all the clothes. Basically, we all bring food (which goes in the kitchen/dining area). Then all tops go in one spot, all pants/skirts/bottoms in another, and so on. This last year, we had to designate one room for larger sizes.

    Everyone loves it, and the leftovers go to charity.

  7. [...] A. and L., I had to let our color challenge spill over into the following week. I just wasn’t [...]

  8. EvaNadine says:

    i have been to a few iterations of the same swap here in the DC area, which is held once a season.
    swappers are required to bring at least 5 items to swap, and there is also a fee of $5 in advance ($10 at the door) and 2 canned goods. (the money and food go to local charities).
    when you sign in, they give you a group number, which tells you when it is your turn to hit the tables. each group is limited, so the earlier you arrive, the earlier you swap!
    the items are separated according to item type: pants, skirts, tops, suits, shoes, purses, accessories, etc.
    swappers can take as many items as they like (there is usually a ton of stuff at the particular swap) and anything that isn’t claimed at the end of the day is donated to Goodwill.

    i have always brought home a decent haul — since it’s mostly free, i can be a little more daring with my choices and try new things. if they don’t work out, i just donate them back to Goodwill or save them for the next swap!

  9. sjb says:

    I only do swaps with friends – anywhere from 6-15 ladies. It’s a good idea to have attendees who are fairly close in size, so no one feels left out for bringing clothes that won’t fit anyone else or not being able to take anything. However, close in size but not same size is the ticket – then things that are a little too tight, or have been shrunk in the dryer, or you bought before you lost 10lbs usually find new homes. We group by dresses, tops, pants, accessories/shoes, spread things out in those piles, and then it’s pretty much a free for all. Do it with a relaxed group of people and you won’t have to worry about squabbling ;o) IF it comes to that though, have both try it on and the group can vote who it suits best, or rockpaperscissors always works!

  10. Holly says:

    I’ve only been to one clothing swap, but it was really fun and allowed me to push myself sartorially. There were about 20 women, and most brought multiple pieces, while others brought just a few. We organized the clothing by type (pants, skirts, sweaters, dresses, shoes, bag, accessories), and then had at it.

    What I loved was how interactive and friendly it was. Someone would find a dress and then go up to a stranger and say “I think you should try this on” or “I brought this with me, and it would look great on you.” Talk about a room of personal shoppers!

  11. krage says:

    super cute! Love this look!

  12. Lisa J says:

    I like sjb’s notes on the swap.

    I hosted my first swap earlier this summer to coincide with a long overdue closet purge. Since I was hosting, I probably brought the majority of the cargo, though other six ladies packed up laundry baskets and grocery bags filled with things to share.

    I didn’t give much thought to “size” when coming up with a guest list, but I was really surprised that many items seemed to fit most of us (even though we probably range in sizes from 2 to 14). Skirts that might be tight on a larger gal looked good on a slim friend when worn lower on the hips. After a bunch of wine, we stripped down to our undies and started trying everything on. Great fun. As an added bonus, it was a swap attended by academics, so there was a great mix of “teaching clothes” and casual wear.

    A friend brought all of the leftovers to a nearby battered women’s shelter.

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