Free Clothing Swap

Kathleen Hanna ponders the intersection between Coco Chanel and literature

We as creatures conforming to the social norm of not going out nude in public must make at least semi-thoughtful sartorial choices every day.  Some choose to follow the no-brainer, efficient regimen of Levis and a T-shirt. Some must adhere to a strict diet of Ann Taylor suits and pearls during the work week.  Some have the luxury of adorning gloriously low-end outfits with Birkin bags and vintage Hermes scarves.

The rest of us, however—those who enjoy not only shielding their naughty bits from prying eyes but also doing it with untouchable style (albeit, untouchable style on a budget)—take great pleasure in strolling through estate sales, clothing swaps, and vintage, thrift and consignment shops every Saturday or Sunday we can spare.

To wit: I’ve found exquisite Ferragamo flats for $7, a vintage all-leather Coach purse in immaculate condition for $2.97, grandpa-style cardigans (which elicit images of Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s heyday) for $4, $3 silk blouses, and other charming and old items people no longer wanted (or were unable to take with them beyond the grave).

Style, that indescribable, inimitable thing that makes you both feel and look good, is something that can be gleaned from anything that inspires you: saffron, Gregorian chants, phone books, Hitchcock movies, Brigitte Bardot, nihilism, I.M. Pei’s modernist restraint, Leo Lionni’s intricate printwork, your parents circa 1978.

Other people’s old, unwanted things, too, can be inspiring, in a found-object art sort of way. A lot of the time, they can even punctuate your closet and highlight your jewelry box with staggeringly unique pieces that can’t be found in a standard retail store.

This is why, in partnership with Goodwill, the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library is hosting its first ever clothing swap this Saturday, August 6, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.  So, fashionista/os, and aspiring Alexa Chungs of the greater D.C. metro area—unite at the WTD/Shaw library this Saturday.

Clothing

Relevant Details

Please bring: At least two items of clean, gently used clothing, pair of shoes, or accessories you no longer want.

Get: Free, new-to-you clothing, shoes and accessories in exchange!

Who: Men and women, adults and teens. All clothing sizes welcome. (No children’s clothing, please.)

When: Saturday, August 6, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

All leftover clothing will be donated to Goodwill of Greater Washington.

--My Nguyen