Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Fund Raising Made Fashionable" (Swapapalooza!)

I had no idea what to expect from an innovative event called  Swapapalooza which I attended earlier today. I came away thoroughly impressed. Not only does this event raise money for neighborhood schools and provide clothing for women's shelters (whatever is left behind: not "swapped" or purchased), but the experience is unique, extremely fun, and I walked out with some very nice clothing.

Last evening I dropped off my donations of clothing and shoes as did about 100 other women who had registered in early January for this event. The organizers and volunteers for Swapapalooza sorted through all that "stuff" and somehow arranged thousands of items into presentable form by category: dresses, pants, tops, outerwear, shoes, purses, hats and scarves, even jewelry. Points are assigned based on the number of items submitted for the swap; 2 items equals 1 point. When it comes time to trade in the points, each treasure found can be had for 1 point. The great part of swap is that extra points can be purchased in real time to cover the cost of any extra items that just have to find a home in your closet.

Picture 100 women lined up this morning at 9:00 AM, ready to hit the inside of that gymnasium where thousands of articles of clothing and accessories were on display. As predicted, large mirrors positioned throughout the space made for (fairly) easy viewing of the style and fit; all very up close and personal.  Photos of the friendly mayhem with clothing strewn everywhere and women in various stages of  un-dress would really tell the story's not fair to do that (or welcomed). My pictures are rather bland compared to what was really going on in there for two plus hours.

The professional on site fashion consultant offered lots of  helpful advice

 If at first there's a sense of : "Sigh, there's nothing here for me", JUST WAIT. With some patience and a little time, what disappears off the racks resurfaces continuously and the options become richer by the moment. I found a cool pair of gold tone flats within the first 5 minutes but came up short when scanning the racks for anything I'd think of wearing. Much of the clothing was clearly made for a younger generation and was very much weighted toward summer styles.

But then, over the next hour, I found a couple of gorgeous black leather jackets (never have owned one) and a long, sweater with a wonderful drape in my favorite color, blood red. I didn't come across and must-have tops or pants but but did land a cute purse to round out my 6 points. Wow!

I'm already considering the closet clean-out for next year. I'm definitely IN for the next Swapapalooza.

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