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These are not my old fat clothes. Nor have they gone out of Fashion. Honest.

So after an exciting first recycle day at my good friend Suzies house, I think I had learnt the many ‘dos’ and ‘do nots’ of a successful party and decided to host the next one myself. With 4 months between parties and the comments from the last party like “Am sure I have more stuff in my wardrobe I could get rid of” and “I had more but just couldn’t carry it all on the tube”… Well, I have to say, I still wasn’t confident I had the makings of a prosperous day for all – I needed fresh meat. So I spread the word at work, full of bright young things who have a new outfit on every day. My god, the excitement on some their faces, well, I knew I was onto a good thing.

With a few last minute concerns from some of the girls, ‘Oh all the other girls are tiny, I won’t fit anything’ or ‘People won’t want my stuff, its old’. Any seasoned swapper will know by now that people not only bring things that are too big or too small for them, but there is jewellery, books, learn Spanish CDs, make up, hairdryers, shoes, the list goes on. There really is something for everyone. Trust me.

So its the morning of the party, a sunny but a too-dam-windy-to-sit-in-the-god-dam-garden Sunday and I have slightly slept in a bit and am slightly hungover from the night before. I set to work doing some last minute cleaning and realise I have all the ingredients to make a rather large pimms punch but not much in the way of food so I rush out to the shops and then spend the next hour at home chopping up stuff in a slight panic. A ring at the door, ahhhh, breath of fresh air, its Ali, she helps me chop (and she has shoes for me!!). Then the next lovely friend comes and another and another until I have 15 squished around the table drinking pimms. Anna is the last one to arrive, slightly late, slightly my fault being that I forgot to tell her I moved north and she didn’t find out until she went to plug my postcode into her sat nav. Shes certainly worth the wait. Anna, always beautifully dressed and fully admits she has a shopping addiction. We move upstairs, where we have sorted out things into piles and I’m watching Anna hang up a blue silk dress with the label still on. People clock on and suddenly its all eyes on her. “Its my party and surely I get first choice, no?” Did I say that? No, of course not. With halved dressed woman running around the house shrieking, lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, ‘you look so pretttttyyyyy’ and a bit of honesty too, ‘no wrong colour’, near arguments when someone would misplace their pile and see someone else wearing their cashmere jumper they had gratefully picked out earlier. Or the top they turned up in and having to explain that they never meant to give it away…. Thanks Liv, Suze, yes I am quite sure you noticed me wearing it earlier.

We were close to winding down when the door bell goes. Amy! We thought she wasn’t coming…. fresh meat, she hands over the goods, ‘Free shopping!!’ she calls out and quickly gets into the swing of things and actually manages to bag the blue silk dress.

Alot of Cinderella moments on this day and we all agree it suited her best…. With a pile of picked over clothes, (that Daisy is coming back for with the car to take to her friends charity shop) the last of the girls drift off with their bags of new found treasure. I really think the day has been a success. Not only saving a few of us from maxing out the credit card, but there were alot of happy other halves who were elated at the thought of getting a bit more space in the wardrobe and never seeing that very un-sexy 1001 Dalmatians fluffy bathrobe ever again.

Rules and tips for your own successful Recycle Day.

  1. Certain reasons why one is giving away a garment are best not to be voiced at any time over Recycle day. Noone wants to hear that these are your old fat clothes.
  2. Be tactful. Never yell out “OMG, who would actually wear this!?” because chances are there is someone in that room who did wear it… with pride… for many years.
  3. If you don’t think you will wear/use it, let someone else have it.
  4. Piles are good. Sorting out dresses, accessories etc makes it easier to pan through.
  5. Be mindful of what you think your guests want that day, if its a saturday night, maybe lots of cocktails is better than lots of food… Sunday arvo, perhaps put a little more effort into the food and ease off the booze. You know your friends.
  6. Your friends won’t like it if you declare that you should get first choice because you are the host. No they won’t, nope.
  7. Don’t throw the discarded clothes out with the rubbish, continue the recycling theme and find a clothing bin or charity shop you could give them to.
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