Monday, April 15, 2013

Swap & Rock Fundraiser - Just One Week to Go!

So excited about this event! Details are below:

Sunday, April 21
The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W.

Show up with the clothes and any items you no longer want, and leave with a great new haul! You'll get a ticket for each good quality item you bring (max. 30 tickets). Each ticket can then be redeemed for a new swap find.

Performing in the front room:
The Bicycles
Blonde Elvis
Persian Rugs

The swap will feature on-site alterations and a nail bar!

The swap starts at 12:30, but feel free to arrive any time after 12:00pm to drop off your clothes.

Bands start at 1:00!

All clothing and accessories you no longer use that are clean and in good condition are welcome.

$8 with swap items
$5 if you're just interested in seeing the bands

Everything left at the end of the day will be donated to charity, and all funds raised will go to Girls Rock Camp!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Vintage Shoes

For years, despite my love of vintage clothing, I always steered clear of the shoe section when vintage shopping. The idea of wearing someone else's shoes, and not knowing how to sufficiently clean them seemed, for lack of a better word… icky. A few years ago I was thrifting, and came across a pair of black slouchy leather boots that I LOVED. Yes, they had belonged to someone else, but suddenly I was able to justify trying them on. They fit perfectly, and looked great. Squeamishness be damned - I had to have them! 

I have since amassed a sizeable collection of second-hand footwear, and because I'm such a cheap-o, my vintage and thrifted shoes and boots are among my most prized, and best quality footwear. A few things to keep in mind if you're thinking about perusing the shoe racks at the next swap you attend:

1. Check for wear. 
Shoes conform to the feet of the wearer, so shoes that are misshapen or whose soles have uneven wear and tear can be bad for your feet. I always check the upper, inside the shoe, and the soles, as well. If you are a bit squeamish about wearing someone's old shoes, confirming there's no wear to the soles can also be reassuring.

2. Ignore sizing. 
Just eyeball it. When buying/swapping vintage, you often don't know where the shoes came from - country, era, even gender sometimes. I recently picked up an awesome pair of grey ankle boots in a size 6. UK size 6, men's 6 - who knows? I was just pleased to find that they comfortably fit my size 8 1/2 feet.

3. Clean 'em. 
As well as the usual weatherproofing and polishing, I like to spray some deodorizer inside the shoes for good measure. Baking soda works as well. Just remove it with a damp cloth before putting them on. I also like to get shoes that are teensy bit too big when possible, so I can stick some insoles in, to soothe my neurotic germaphobe soul.

4. Get creative. 
Not really shoe specific - this is something advisable for swap finds in general. When you get something for free, trying a DIY re-do is a pretty low-risk proposition. The idea of re-vamping shoes is less likely to occur to people, though. Although re-styling possibilities are limited compared to what's possible with clothing (unless you've got some cobbling experience), it's amazing what can be done with a bit of paint, fabric, and sequins. Check out our Footwear DIY Pinterest board for inspiration.

Are there any great second-hand shoe tips I've missed? If so, please share in the comments!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Swap Events This Week: April 1-7, 2013

Saturday, April 6
Really Really Free Market Toronto 
Campbell Park (near Lansdowne Station)

Not exactly a swap, as there's no obligation to bring anything, but definitely an event that should appeal to swap fans. People bring what they have to give, take what they need, and leave the rest. It’s kind of like a potluck, but for goods and services! 

Sunday, April 7 
Clothing Swap/Wardrobe Refresh
Dovercourt House (north of Bloor)
Clothes, shoes, accessories, books, jewelry, etc. are welcome. 
Admission: $5 (goes to C4P animal rescue)

Check out our Events page for more upcoming Toronto swap events.