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You can also follow the latest news through our blog, Facebook group, Twitter page and the articles published below.

 

Credit crunch fashion tips

PUBLISHED 2ND JUNE 2009

With the recession making its presence felt here in the UK, most of us are making cut backs on our spending. Reports from the big supermarkets are that people are now making shopping lists and sticking to them, searching out the cheaper food products and avoiding the luxury items. In addition, many people are avoiding going out for meals in restaurants or drinking in pubs as often as they used to, opting to entertain at home. Car sales are down, as are sales in holidays abroad, especially in Europe where the exchange rate from sterling to euro is poor. In fact, there have been spending reductions in many areas, as redundancies occur, and the public tighten their belts for a bumpy ride.

When it comes to shopping for clothes, we all want to stay in fashion with the latest trends. There are many ways to update your wardrobe without having to part with a lot of money. Saving money on fashion items is probably easier to achieve in the summer months than in the winter time, as summer clothes do not get much wear, especially with the cool summers that we have experienced lately. However, if you are yearning for some new clothes, many High Street fashion shops seem to have perpetual sales lately, and those stores that are struggling to keep afloat or who are about to close down have rails of fashion items at ridiculously low prices.

Another way to extend your wardrobe with some great designer clothing is to visit local charity shops where, with a bit of patience, you can pick up some well known labels in nearly new condition for a song. Charity shops are great places to buy quality items such as winter coats, which can be very expensive when bought new.

A growing trend that is sweeping the nation is the swishing party or frock swap party. Easy to organise, all you need is a bunch of like minded people, eager for some new outfits but keen to save money. The more people who attend, the better, although a handful of friends is enough to generate enough clothes for you to swap amongst yourselves. The idea of a swishing party is to ask everyone to bring a certain number of unwanted clothes, in good condition, including accessories., handbags, jewellery, hats and shoes. If they bring five items, they can choose five different items from the collection of clothing donated by others who are present. A swishing party is also a great way to raise money for your favourite charity, by charging a small entrance fee. If someone brings a really expensive item this can be auctioned off and the money raised given to a good cause. Swishing parties are fun and very girly, so not only can you grab yourself a bargain but you can have a giggle in the process, but they are definitely not just for the ladies. You guys may find some excellent Boss mens designer wear too.

 

The rise of swishing parties

PUBLISHED 26TH MAY 2009

As shopping continues to be credit crunched, more and more people are on the prowl for the latest affordable fashion item. Bargain hunting and thriftiness are back with a vengeance. But as Primark threatens to become the new Prada, and as the English stiff upper lip morphs into a tone of defiant bartering, where can one go for decent affordable fashion? Well, thankfully more shops are having to have longer and more frequent sales. In a bid of desperation and for a bit of publicity, even Marks and Spencer`s recently hosted a 1p an item day!

But, if you do not want to wait for the high street to succumb to pressure, then why not throw or attend a swishing party? Borne of many sources, but some say from the TV programme Twiggy`s Frock Exchange - which aired in October 2008 - clothes swapping parties have been reinvented as `Swishing Parties`.

The general gist of a swishing party (apparently, `swish` as in the sound silk makes), is to get your friends together, drink copious amounts of wine, have a party and swap clothes. However, swishing parties have certain `rules`, and are not just confined to close friends. In fact there are many companies that organise huge parties and events, which is great for the attendees, as it means there are more clothes to choose from!

If you fancy having a go at home, then why not google `swishing party` and print out some invites. Get your girlies to come round to yours, each armed with at least one good piece of (preferable designer) clothing. The item must be in pristine condition, the key to throwing a good party is that it has to have clothing that people will actually want. You then allow everyone about an hour to have a look around at all the clothing, and maybe try stuff on. Let the wine flow freely at this point!

It is also a good idea to try to display the clothes in an organised and appealing way. Think clothes rail, rather than jumble sale! If you run out of space on your racks, then use the backs of doors, chairs, ladders or even a shower rail! Just make sure guests know your bedroom and wardrobe are off limits!!

After an hour, the `Swish` can begin. Ensure everyone knows they cannot take clothes before the official start, and that they can take as many items as they want. Also, let them know, no scratching, biting or spitting!

Swishing has many pro`s and con`s. It is a great cost effective way to update your wardrobe and have an evenings entertainment. It can pose problems when you see a dress you love, but it is two sizes too small! So, invite as many people as possible to widen the pool of clothing.

Swishing is not limited to clothing, guests can bring shoes, handbags or even jewellery. Invite the right guest and you might even be lucky enough to score yourself some Lola rose jewellery.

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