How to Style – Clothes Swap Finds

So this article is not our usual how-to. It’s more a straight up celebration of styling second hand and vintage fashion. A few weeks ago we attended a Clothes Swap event. For the uninitiated, a clothes swap is all about combating textile waste. In Australia, we generate 6000 kilograms of clothing waste every 10 minutes (ABC TV). Only a comparatively small percentage of what we donate to charity shops gets sold, with the rest ending up in landfill.

The idea behind a clothes swap event is to encourage people to bring pieces they no longer wear to swap for something someone else has brought with them. It’s all the thrill of getting something new while simultaneously doing something good for the environment.

I took ten pieces that no longer fit me to the swap and came home with five very special things. It made me so happy to meet and speak with some of the women who chose the clothes I had donated to the swap. It was a pleasure to see things that I had loved but no longer fit me go to a good home. I also met a few of the lovely women who owned the things I chose to take home. Hearing the story behind those items makes each of them more special to me.

I would highly recommend attending a clothes swap. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a wonderful opportunity to find things you might not ordinarily choose, meet new people, and help do something about textile waste.

Here is how I styled each of my clothes swap finds.


Sporty Spice


Clothes Swap Find: Nike Jacket

Crop: Cara Delevingne x DKNY

Leggings: Girlfriend Collective

Sneakers: Burberry

The Story: I rarely spend money on active wear so I was quite excited to find this Nike jacket. I met the girl who donated this and she was lovely. I have been feeling reluctant to go running during winter but I feel like the bright colour of this jacket will perk me up and help me get out there.


Party Time


Clothes Swap Find: Party Dress

Belt: Gucci

Boots: Vintage Gucci from Designer Op Shop

Bangle: Vintage Hermes from Designer Op Shop

The Story: I love this dress. It’s so well made and in impeccable condition. The lady who owned it was also incredibly lovely and we had a great chat. The dress came with a little camisole to wear underneath the sheer bodice but I like to be a little naughty and have only been wearing a bra underneath. I also like to toughen it up with boots and bold accessories.


Ahoy There


Clothes Swap Finds: Country Road Dress and Mimco Bag

Belt: Vintage

Jacket: Simone Rocha x J Brand

Shoes: Vintage Versace

The Story: I was unsure about the fit of this dress on my body but paired with the right accessories it definitely works. I pounced on this Mimco bag which I later discovered had been brought by my friend Sheena from The Local Look.


A Study in Brown


Clothes Swap Find: Leather Skirt

Shirt: Vintage Givenchy

Bag: Vintage Celine

Shoes: Vintage YSL

The Story: I love a good leather skirt so when I came across this I immediately tucked it under my arm. It is however chocolate brown in colour and I am not a brown person. Consequentially I didn’t have too many pieces in my wardrobe that went with brown but after digging around I discovered a few good options.

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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