I am a recovering T.A.C.S. (Therapeutic, Aerobic Clothes Shopper). There is nothing more exciting than donning that new periwinkle blue outfit that matches your eyes in the morning. When you have picked wisely, you will get compliments that will make your day. Even though my wardrobe has always consisted of ‘classics’, there is nothing like that great new blouse, pants or dress to put a little spice in your life. Conversely, there is nothing worse than A.B.R., (Aerobic Buyer Remorse), especially when you have spent a fortune on that great new outfit, that was guaranteed to make your day.
Over 25 years ago, I started to realize that having over 100 pairs of shoes (pre- Imelda) and running out of room, (thus constantly donating to Goodwill) and spending a fortune in clothes, that shopping was taking over my life. I needed to get a grip on my space, checkbook, bills and life. TACS and ABR where taking over and I was losing control.
But how can you breathe new life and get that therapeutic experience without the dollars? What can a workalcohic, driven woman who aerobics shops between sales calls, do to get that energy lift in the morning?
Therapeutically I needed to do the following: 1.) Better communication with friends, especially those who started to have babies. 2.) An event that no Men and Children could attend. 3.) At least 1 evening for everyone could get together and let their hair down. 4.) An event that had a healthy cause. 5.) Way to revamp our wardrobes.
From this grew The BATTERED WOMEN BAKED POTATO FEST CLOTHING EXCHANGE.
Every year in May, we all get together and exchange clothes. Very simple and fun, and you can do it too.
Heres What I do
1.) Email a invitation out to your 15 -20 key people: What’s the best date? Majority Date wins.
- For me the Date is always on a Friday nite.
- The earlier you book it the better. Giving at least 2 months in advance gives people plently of time to clean out the closets.
- I always plan on being home from about 2 p.m on, so people can come over after work and can avoid traffic issues. Plus, I’m chopping, slicing and dicing.
2.) Invites go out to the 15-20 Key People with date confirmation
- Open invitation, they can invite anyone they chose.
- You do not have to bring clothes to attend.
- I have a small house, and have up to 25 people at the event. For me the more the merrier, it leads to great fun.
- I don’t ask them to bring anything, but you can always do a potluck.
Since i don’t cook, I needed to come up with something really easy. Ergo: the BAKED POTATO FEST. I get about 30 of the largest baked potatoes I can find, and I serve them with over 25 toppings. You can have Mex, Ital, Vegan, Chinese, and more types of toppings. The only drinks that are serves: Water, Diet Coke, Wine, Beer. You don’t like them, you bring your own. This year (2008) and about 8 years ago, I deviated from the BAKED Potatoes, and I think it almost started a riot! Sometimes I’ll get a dessert (cookies) rarely not. Most of the women don’t care. Leftover veggies serve as Appetizers. Leftover dips can serve as toppings.
Here’s the Fun Part.
- Each Person has to sell their clothes. That means they take their bag of clothes to the front of the room and tell us the story of the clothes, Why they are giving it away, funny story about the item, why they never wore it, who gave it to them. This little dog and pony show becomes the comedy hour! with many remarks from the peanut gallery.
- Each person that tries on clothes has to model it for everybody else for approval. Everybody is brutally honest here. If it’s bad, it’s bad, when it’s great you gotta take it.
After about 3-5 people it becomes a huge mess. Everybody is looking out for everybody else, there are clothes all over the place, people are trying on clothes ,passing them here. It’s a giant madhouse of fun. Makes it even more fun because I really only have 1 mirror.
1.) Battered Women: Receive Fresh and mainly new new clothes.
2.) I get to see my friends
3.) We all get new wardrobes.
4.) We make new friends and share great stories.