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Clothing swap parties

clothingswap.jpgOkay. We know how much you love that tiny pink tutu with the matching headband but your baby outgrew it at least six months ago and she’s getting odd looks from the other babies at story time. Instead of holding on to clothes that have passed their load limit, consider taking a picture of your baby in her favorite outfit and holding a clothing swap party. Mothers have been hoarding ill-fitting baby clothes for too long, it’s time to break free and regain your basement!

The best part of these shindigs is the stories that go along with the clothes.

“Steve’s mother bought this for Alex when he was born” Alicia told us at a recent gathering. Holding up a frilly lavender dress, we knew more about Steve’s mom than we wanted to and the look on Alicia’s face filled in any other questions floating around; Alex happily munched on his plastic truck and ignored the women sending him pitying glances.

I wanted to unload the boxes of clothes from five girls. The ones that had been mended or washed so many times you couldn’t tell a Carters from an OshKosh were sitting in bags waiting for the donation truck but I clung to these last bits of babyhood like that tiny splooge of potatoes at the bottom of the baby food jar. These women would know how to treat a hand knit sweater that fit for about twenty minutes but I couldn’t bear to part with it. Until now.

Inviting the women was easy. My neighborhood teemed with women in various stages of motherhood, from waddling to swaddling. Spreading the word with email shot like wildfire across our town. Arriving with bags and babies under their arms, my living room became a Mecca for snowsuits and snap-up pants, rumba panties and impossibly tiny socks. Naked children ran through the house while their mothers chatted about storing breastmilk or who was new at the Pediatrician’s office. It was a great way to meet new moms and find a pair of shoes at the same time; it was multi-tasking at its finest.

Try a clothing swap in your neighborhood today. It’s good for the planet, great for your budget and you don’t have to feel guilty about no one wearing that freakishly pink outfit your grandmother bought your son.

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