The weather swings in academichic central lately have been crazy, swinging up from the fifties to the nineties in a matter of a few days. Which means my wardrobe choices have been something like this:
- Cardigan: Target
- Tank: Old Navy Maternity
- Skirt: Old Navy Maternity
- Wedges: Naturalizers, via DSW
- Hat: Banana Republic
- Scarf: gift from S.
- Top: thrifted (and worn backwards)
- Shorts: consignment shop
- Shoes: Target, thrifted new
- Clutch: c/o Crystalyn Kae (don’t forget to check out Crystalyn and other independent boutiques through our boutique consortium!)
S.’s post on sharing — or not sharing — maternity clothes also brought to mind a recent reader question about what to bring to a clothing swap, that is, how do you decide what clothes to give away or exchange?
I love it when I go to a swap and people have brought clothing that is still a) in great condition, b) not obviously dated, and c) is accompanied with the giver’s desire to find someone who really looks GREAT in that article of clothing. When I’ve culled through my closet, either for swaps, for donations, or to simply pass along to a friend, I am pretty ruthless about putting anything that I haven’t worn within the past year into a “consideration” pile. If something is still essentially new — I bought it on clearance and wore it once but then never again — I might first consider putting that up on eBay to make a few bucks. But, most of the time it’s something that either doesn’t fit my body quite right or a different silhouette that I attempted to integrate into my wardrobe but just didn’t work out. In that sense, I guess I tend to think of clothes-swapping as an opportunity to right my past shopping wrongs, rather than simply a means of cleaning out my closet.
I was delighted to see S. wearing that turquoise top in her pictures! That top got the cut from my wardrobe because it was just wishful thinking and a lot of tugging that kept that empire waistline tucked below my bust. Since I knew that my torso length was unlikely to shorten during future pregnancies, it was time to let that top go. Now we both win! The deal is, clothes-swapping can actually be a humbling experience — to go back through your closet and acknowledge that you did not make the wisest choices. But it can also be incredibly fulfilling when you can be happy to see someone else looking like a million bucks in a garment that didn’t really do much for you.
Ultimately, I think a lot of these questions relate back to the notion of building a versatile, workable wardrobe that does what you want and says what you want it to say. Although these hot and cold outfits are fairly different from each other, I do think that they give some insight into how my style has changed a little since my last pregnancy. I’m a bit more daring with trends — shorter shorts with a draped top, for example — and I’m finally on board with stripes. I’m a hat lady now, too. On the other hand, the brightly colored shoes are still a big part of my repertoire, and I don’t see myself swapping those out any time soon!
How do you decide what ends up in a swapping pile?