Thursday, May 6, 2010

Selling as well as buying second-hand

Lying across the spare bed are a surprising number of clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes that I'm thinking of taking down to Madison Rose, in an attempt to compensate for yesterday's extravagance.

Just because I love clothes and shoes doesn't mean I don't suffer occasional pangs of puritan conscience. About which, more later.

I usually donate my own no-longer-wanted clothing (which often hasn't been loved enough to justify the label "pre-loved" nor its continuing to take up wardrobe space) to the New Horizons Trust for Women.

This outfit raises money for the education and re-training of women through its fantastic annual clothing sales. Fantastic not just because you can pick up some great bargains, but because it's such fun trying to. Even before the official start time of 9am, the hall is seething with women looking, admiring, rejecting and grabbing from the racks. Then they make their way - often with a pile of stuff they can hardly see around - to the kitchen at the back that serves as a changing room.

Even more of a crush in here. And an ever-present risk of getting an elbow in your face as a neighbour stuggles in or out of something that's caught her fancy. You ask total strangers what they think of a garment you're trying on, and they'll often give an opinion whether you ask them to or not.

A couple of years ago, a statuesque young woman was lucky enough - or determined enough - to have reached the only full-length mirror, and was fending off all comers in an effort to calculate the effect of a skirt she'd tried on.

Her friend said, "That's nice, you should definitely buy it."

And I chimed in, "Yes, you should. I made it and it looks great on you."

There's something about this event that, in spite of the apparent competition for goodies, seems to bring out the best in the women who attend. A recognition of sisterhood in the shared pleasure.

Somehow, in the course of the last year, I fell off Horizon's mailing list and missed out on donating or buying.

But back to the pile on the spare bed, which I hope will earn back at least some of its keep. I can't let it go though without recording what a couple of items meant to me at the time of acquisition.

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