Friday, January 30, 2009
Clothing swaps (naked lady parties if you're nasty) are an at-home miracle of social engineering. You bring your unwanted clothes and then try on all the unwanted clothes everyone else brought. Usually there is some arrangement or order to this. Or, at least, the piles of clothes are organized by size and general garment type. Other than that, they are often free for alls, but they tend to be social rather than anti-social occasions. Far more so than the average party where everyone may or may not know each other. For one thing, girls tend to strip in front of each other, so you have twice the normal number of exposed tattoos for conversation pieces, and you're naked, so no one can really get away with acting too snotty. Plus, if everyone gets naked then you know everyone is pretty down.
Women who have never been to a clothing swap party are often skeptical: "What if there isn't anything in my size?", "What if everyone else brings crappy clothes and I give away nice ones?" All I can say is that they have a way of working out just fine.
The best thing about an event like this for a chronically misguided person like myself is the benefit of unsolicited advice. That's another thing that just sort of happens at these things. They have a way of marrying the wisdom of the crowd with a personal shopper so that everyone receives the equivalent of expert (and often psychologically insightful) advice: "You keep trying that on with different things. Just take it."
Good clothes sometimes fall into the wrong hands and end up looking like bad clothes. Clothing swaps are a natural way of setting things to rights. This last one was the best yet. I left in a complete new outfit. Behold.