[Edit: 3 March 2010- Please read this incredibly well thought out comment for a rebuttal/ flip side of my "review" and my response.]
As I mentioned, I went to the Rock 'n Swap Saturday night, and I've spent a good portion of my day thinking about it and responding to emails from people that attended. I wasn't involved in any way whatsoever in the planning, so I can't take credit for any portion of the evening. Big ups to Austin Eavesdropper and Magnolia Family Vintage for making it happen. I'm sure it wasn't an easy task to organize a swap on this scale! There must have been between 250- 300 people there, and I bet that 99% of the people there had a good time.
The only thing I planned was what I was wearing. Initially I was going to wear my Top Shop Kate Moss dress, but then I picked up this cute h&m dress at the Blue Velvet sale and opted for it, instead. Smart choice! It's been super cold here in Austin lately:
date: 30 January 2010
occasion: clothing swap
dress: thrifted h&m (Blue Velvet)
jacket: vintage (Goodwill)
shoes: thrifted Liz Claiborne (Savers)
Again, I want to preface all of what I'm about to say with I had a really good time at the swap, and I appreciate the hard work that went into planning it. I'm sure it was a learning experience for all, and I was able to garner a lot of knowledge for my own (much smaller) clothing swap that I plan to host in March after the New Media Fashion brunch and boutique crawl.
1. Most people were jovial, and it was a joy to see so many people come out for this event. I met at least a dozen of my readers (hi, y'all!), and I got to see Esti from Buy Definition and Michelle from Wicked Whimsy. I also got to meet Elizabeth from Vignette Photography, Amanda from Disheveled Stars, Sarah from Magnolia Family Vintage, and Nikki from Darling Nikki Vintage.
2. There was absolutely no shortage of clothing. Since you could either bring 10 items to swap or pay $5 to swap, I was nervous that a lot of people would pay and we'd be terribly short on clothes. This was not the case at all.
3. I don't think the venue hit capacity, so everyone who wanted to come was allowed in. They weren't checking RSVP's at the door, so... I don't really know why we RSVP'ed, but I'm glad that everyone was allowed in regardless.
4. Unlike a couple of the last Austin parties I've been to, this one started on time and I didn't have to wait outside at all. Me waiting past start time = me grumpy!
5. By getting there right at 6:00 I didn't have to fight the crowd (at first) and my friends and I even had time to try stuff on in the bathrooms!
1. The clothes were not pre-screened. There was a table full of tops that had the distinct odor of mothballs (barf!), and I was so sad to get one of my belts home to find that it's utterly useless because the buckle is broken.
2. The men's "selection" was lackluster and mostly size XL. I kid you not: most of the men's clothes were ugly, old t-shirts (like "Company Baseball Game 2006", i.e. the kind that you get free and you never wore new and you'd certainly never wear used). I really regret letting some of Hub's cute stuff go when he seriously got nothing that was on par to what he gave.
3. The swap was held in a dark bar. This meant that the navy blue dress I grabbed turned out to be black and the flag skirt I adored turned out to have faint pink stains all over it.
4. There were only four rolling racks and four long tables. The tables were not accessible on all four sides, so this made sorting a monumental task.
5. Because the clothes were not pre-screened, the sorters were totally inundated with bag after bag of clothing that came in, and they (understandably) couldn't get it out fast enough. The women were like vultures, literally descending upon these poor volunteers and hijacking what they were bringing out before it even had the chance to get on a rack or table.
1. There was a vicious rumor that the sorters weren't putting out all the good stuff. I got several emails asking me if I knew this to be true. I don't know the answer, but I highly doubt that was the case. I'm sure the sorters were allowed to take ten items just like everyone else, and of course they'd get first pick, but I really think that if you didn't see your own stuff hit the floor it's because it got snatched away so fast!
2. (And this is the story that you've all been waiting for!) I almost got in a fight!
I had a short, olive green sundress in my hands, and I checked the tags to see that it was an F21 small. I am, by no means, able to fit into a small at Forever 21 (I am a solid medium), so I saw a cute, small, empty handed girl at one of the (empty) rolling racks, and I asked her if she liked the dress. She said yes, so I said, "You can have this if you like it." Her eyes lit up, and she was all like, "Reeeeeally????", and just as she was about to reach out to take it from me, a different girl reached her arm through the rolling rack and snatched it right out of my hands and then threw it to one of her friends, like it was a game of football or something! I SHRIEKED! I was so angry (and trust me, anger is not an issue I experience very often), and I said the meanest thing I have ever said to someone's face in my life. (Oh, Lord, please forgive me). I screamed, "You're not even a size small!" I am, officially, the rudest person on earth... followed very closely by the rude snatcher that insighted all this. She puffed up like she was going to punch me (and I kind of deserved it, right?) so I RAN. I ran and hid! And laughed. I am still in shock that that happened! Snatcher, if you are reading this right now, I'm sorry I called you unsmall, so I hope you forgive me for that. Truly I feel terrible about this. I wish I knew who you were so I could apologize. I do know what you look like, and although I'm sorry, you are not invited to my swap in March! Otherwise it may turn into this madness, and I get black eyes really easily, and 'though I haven't booked any acting work this season, I'm trying. So for my safety, maybe don't sign up for my swap, okay?
The rest of you: let me know your thoughts on swaps in general, as I'm in the early planning stages. I'm not going to publicize my swap anywhere but on here, and all the clothes will be pre-screened (meaning they must be dropped off ahead of time). I'm aiming for no more than 50 people, and no snatching allowed! Most likely, it will be at my house, so let's try to keep it civil. Um, can someone please remind me of that the day of, though? I'd really like to do a swap with all my teeth in tact and no black eyes to report.
Comment of the Day: Is it wrong that I LOVE the fact you almost go into a fight? I'd pay to see that...and I'd put my extra money on YOU! You could've taken down whoever that snotty person causing crap was...YEAH! And you would've done it looking super cute in your huge bow! I LOVE the bow! -Wild as a Mink