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Friends and clothes

If you find yourself invited to a Swishing party, don’t expect to be going home with anybody’s husband.

If you find yourself invited to a Swishing party, don’t expect to be going home with anybody’s husband.

But you might just go home with someone’s jeans.

The term Swishing, coined in the U.K. in 2007 by Futerra, a sustainability communications agency, is used to describe clothes-swapping parties that are all the rage as the economic downturn wears on.

Technically, to “swish” means to rustle, as in silk.

But in this context, it means to rustle clothes from friends, says Lucy Shea, founder of Swishing.org and director at Futerra Sustainability Communications.

Michelle Balcers, a Toronto resident, says clothes-swapping fêtes are a great way to freshen up your wardrobe without opening your wallet. The 39-year-old is far ahead of her time on the trend: She said she has been hosting clothes-swapping events since her university days.

“We would have informal swaps in apartments and dorm rooms,” she said.

These days, Balcers is involved in hosting or attending at least two clothes-swaps a year and said they usually involve generous amounts of wine, some sort of potluck food arrangement and, of course, bags full of clothes.

Leigh-Ann Ingram has attended many of Balcers’ swapping parties and said swappers can really luck out sometimes.

She brought an almost new designer coat to one event that didn’t fit her properly, but fit one of the swappers like a glove.

For details on how to organize your own Swishing party, visit www.Swishing.org.

Local clothes-swap party events are posted on www.blogTO.com and Facebook.

 
 
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