Out With the Old in With the Old

Posted on August 7th, 2012 by Tonia 7 Comments

Mike and I went through our closet this spring, tossing anything we don’t wear into boxes to donate. I had already done this last winter, as part of the 30 for 30 Challenge, so I didn’t have very many pieces to donate this time around. I decided to be really strict with myself and even get rid of things I really like, but never wear.

For example, I had a beautiful gray wool dress from J Crew that I had never worn because it was a tad too big on me. I’d been saying I’ll get it tailored for the past two years. But there it sat, untailored and unworn in my closet. It was time to face the fact that I was never going to bother with it, so I may as well give it to someone who will use it.

That same week, a friend of mine decided to host a clothing swap at her house, ladies only. Perfect timing! I brought my small box of clothes and a six-pack of beer.

There were eight or nine of us total and, thankfully, a few my size! We chatted, drank beer, stripped down to our skivvies and played dress up. Our host had thoughtfully propped every mirror in her house along her livingroom wall. I was reminded of all the hours spent in the basement as a kid, digging through our enormous wooden chest of dress-up clothes {thrift-store prom dresses from the 1980’s} and putting on fashion shows. I convinced my poor little brother that “all the cool boys wear dresses” so that he would allow me to dress him up as well {I’m so, so sorry about that Danny…}

It was fun to see my friends enjoying my clothes- they looked damn good in them! And I found a couple things for myself:

This sheer blue top is so breezy and easy to wear on a hot day. It’s long enough to be worn as a tunic, with leggings or skinny jeans, or over my bathing-suit for going from the beach to town.

These Carhart overalls were a major score. They’re a little big on me, which makes them perfect for layering long-johns or pants underneath for working around the farm in the fall. There’s nothing better than a pair of already-broken-in Carharts. I snatched them up the second I saw them!

Next time I’m having trouble donating clothes because they’re “too nice” to dump on the curb in front of Goodwill, I will definitely host a clothing swap. In related news, I have been doing a great job at shopping for clothes a LOT LESS. And when I do, it’s for things like flannel shirts, a new bathing-suit because the old one was stretched out, and horseback riding breeches; things that will get used heavily and last a long time. I still love fashion, though. But I’m content to window shop for the most part.


  1. Laura says:

    A group of girlfriends (about 10 or so) & I have a clothes swap about three times a year. My favourite bit is at the end my sis-in-law does a fashion parade of some of the random stuff (hilarious!) and my sis holds everything up for inspection & giggles. Some of the clothes have been back & forth for a few years now!! We all bring some cash & give to a charity as well. Some of the best nights of the year!

  2. liz rose says:

    wow that sounds so rad! What a fun time, I’m always trying to figure out fun, non cheezy ways to bond with my gfs now that we’re all out of college-age, this would be a ball.

  3. MelD says:

    You wear clothes very well; I like your clothes posts, in fact, I found you through Project 333…!
    Are you growing your hair out long again, btw?!

  4. Tonia says:

    Thank you, MelD. Mike always rolls his eyes when I tell him I’m going to do a “fashion post”. But hey. Clothes are a part of our daily life, just like the garden, animals, food- and this blog is about all of that!

    I am *sort of* growing my hair out. I want it just long enough to put up in a ponytail when I’m working outside. It’s pretty annoying when you’re hot and sweaty and your hands are covered in dirt and your hair is falling in your face.

  5. Trish says:

    that is so great! I keep my horses at a barn and we sometimes swap riding clothes but it is mostly the kids who get to do the swapping. we sometimes swap gear as it seems that all of us have extra bridles, have switched out bits and have old ones, old spurs, etc. I was just noticing a pair of my summer weight riding tights were about shot, which is really disappointing!

  6. Tonia says:

    Trish- What a GREAT idea! A barn swap! I am so going to organize one at the barn I teach lessons at. I have a bunch of old gear that doesn’t fit my new horse.

  7. Alison says:

    Nice post. Clothing swaps are great! New Day Shelter always likes donations of nice and gently used clothing too, fyi.

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