Here in New England, the beginning of Summer is something we think about during the other nine months of the year. Warm weather, alfresco dining, sandals, sundresses and the lighter side of summer. It is also the time when we dust-off the clothes that have been hiding in the back of our closet waiting for warmer days. This ritual closet turn-over is something I look forward to each year – the unleashing of colors and fabrics along with the opportunity to update last season’s favorites with this season’s trends.
The challenge with this seasonal update is usually 1) finding the time 2) doing it cost-effectively and 3) deciding exactly what needs to stay, what should go, and what you need to add to your wardrobe. So, rather than walking aimlessly through the stores, a Style Swap is a fun, cheap and style-fabulous way to clean-out your closet and spice up your wardrobe. Add some friends, a few great wines and lots of style and a unique and fun night is in-store for everyone!
Last week, I hosted a Style Swap for a group of lovely ladies in Boston along with my friend and partner-in-wine, Rebecca Rethore from Pour Favor. The party was held for one of the women as a post-baby, baby shower. Guests were invited to come for a wine tasting and were asked to bring a bin or bag of gently-used summer clothes. Everything from tees to jeans to blazers and dresses were on the list. Guests arrived curious as to what to expect and ready for a fun night with friends. (Click on the image below to see the photos.)
|Summer Style Swap|
A bubbly glass of Prosecco was poured as guests arrived and everyone enjoyed cheeses and light appetizers. Once the guest-of-honor got over the surprise and was greeted by her guests, Rebecca kicked-off the wine experience for the evening. She poured three wines – a white, a rose and a red – and encouraged everyone to experiment with the flavors, colors and aromas of the different varietals. The ladies really got into it and started explaining what they liked as they tasted the different wines. After everyone tasted the wine, it was time to get on with the swapping.
Guests unpacked the items they brought and we laid everything out so the girls could see what each person had to swap. In less than 10 minutes the guest-of-honor had an arm-full of tops, dresses and skirts and was whisked down the hallway to the “try-on room”. Everyone ohed-and-ahed as she tried on a gorgeous chocolate brown chiffon swing skirt with a matching silk top. “Perfect for my ballroom dancing lessons,” she said. She also tried several items she probably wouldn’t have if she were in a department store or boutique. One item – a bright, green peasant top with rouching at the arms and waist and yellow beading around the top – was one such experiment. It was a perfect compliment for her beautiful red hair and gave her a boost of color and a hip new summer trend to add to her wardrobe.
One of the other girls tried a great pair of seer-sucker wide leg trousers that were a perfect fit, along with a deep v-neck top that accentuated all the right places.
As the guest-of-honor emerged with her new pieces for the season and the other ladies shared what they swapped, everyone nibbled on cake and drank the last of the wine before the evening came to a close. Me? Well, I was busy bagging-up the left-over clothes for a trip to Rosie’s Place, where another group of lovely ladies will put the items to good use.
Some may call it second-hand. I call it recycling at its stylish best.