Guest Post
Today we bring back Veteran member and friend, Antje, who does a wonderful job of organizing our annual clothing swap here in Seattle. This year’s event took place last weekend and we had a ball! It was the most well attended swap meet to date, complete with stylish treasures, good eats, banter, laughter, and lots of hustle and bustle.

My favorite moments during last weekend’s YLF clothing swap occurred in the group dressing room. Everyone was trying on loads of items, but we all spent just as much time and effort helping others to find a gem or two. There was encouragement and squeals of delight when things looked great.

This top looks fabulous on you! It hugs you in all the right places and the color is sooo flattering against your skin tone.

There was also constructive feedback when it was requested.

Your hunch is right: This might just not be the best cut for you. You can do better!

When something was a perfect 10, the crowd got stern.

You MUST leave with this skirt and wear it tomorrow!

And when something was off and seemed beyond the powers of a skilled tailor, someone was equally crisp in her verdict.

Put it back. Move on. You want a GREAT jacket, not one whose color is to die for but that is too wide in the shoulders and too short in the sleeves.

These types of exchanges epitomize the spirit of YouLookFab: generous praise, supportive feedback, and always, always, the desire to help others look and feel their best.

A few items literally got swapped around in the dressing room several times until the perfect new owner was found. Someone had brought a stunning purple shift dress – the color was beautiful, the cut was classic, the dress seemed so versatile, and many of us wanted to try it on. I went first and was very sad to see that it was just a smidgen too tight and a bit too long for my torso. As much as I tried pulling in my belly and lengthening my spine, I had to admit that it just did not work – and then immediately made it my mission to ensure this beautiful dress would find its rightful owner. I passed it to Sally, knowing how much she likes purple, but alas, on her the dress was too big and too long. Off again it went, and then Aida piped up and wanted to try it. And lo and behold, it was PERFECT on Aida! We all cheered when we saw how beautifully the dress fit and suited her, and how pretty the color looked on her.

I’m happy to say I still found a dress I loved as well: A very fun and funky black and cream swirl pattern dress with a blousy top and a wide bright green sash-like self-belt. Stephanie brought it, and when she saw me trying it on and loving it immediately, she did a little happy dance and kept telling me how tickled she was that I enjoyed her dress. This joy in seeing others going home with your former closet orphan — and a big smile on their face — is so rewarding; Jane also called this her favorite part about a clothes swap.  

We didn’t spend ALL our time in the dressing room. When welcoming the over 25 attendees to the swap, I expressed my hope that we would spend as much time socializing as we would trying on clothes, and I think we did well, judging from the happy chatter filling the room and the hugs that were exchanged between old and new friends. I hope many women felt similar to myself after the event: excited about some awesome additions to my closet, happy about having reconnected with old friends and meeting new people, and grateful for all this stylish fun Angie and YouLookFab enable. One thing is for sure: We’ll make the YLF Spring Clothes Swap an annual tradition! See you all next year!