how to host a clothing swap party!

I was talking with my brother’s fiance and her friend a few weeks ago about how we have too many clothes that we feel like we never wear. I know, tough problem to have…. but we’re all guilty of buying things we think we love, and then wearing them once – or never. So we decided we should try a clothing swap party with our girlfriends to get rid of some of our old stuff and exchange for some new. Most of our clothes are still in great condition, so we thought it would be fun to trade items around with our friends. Haven’t been to or heard of such a party? Here’s a little how-to so you can do it with your friends!

What to do:
1. Decide who to invite. It sounds odd, but take size into consideration. You don’t want to invite a bunch of girls who are around the same size and then one person who is much different — that just wouldn’t be fair or fun for her.

2. Choose a date and send out an email or evite. I’d recommend giving at least 1-2 weeks notice so that everyone has time to go through their closets and pull pieces.

3. Be sure to include instructions on what you want them to do. Here are some guidelines:
* Please bring a minimum of 5 items, but you’re welcome to bring lots more! The more we have to swap, the more everyone will go home with!
* Be sure your items are clean and in good condition. (i.e. — don’t bring something super wrinkly that you had in the bottom of your closet.)
* You’ll get your name on a slip of paper for every item you bring, and that’s how many items you can swap for.
* Bring a shopping bag to take your goodies home in!

What to bring?? Everything! Clothes, jackets, shoes (new), belts, scarves, hats, bags, jewelry, bathing suit cover-ups….. and don’t forget about the winter or summer clothes that might be packed away!

4. If you want, ask guests to bring something to snack on or a bottle of wine to contribute for the party.

5. The day of the party, make sure to have some bedrooms clear and/or have a full-length mirror available for dressing room areas. For hanging clothes, we just hung them on curtain rods and the sides of furniture. You could also use hanging racks, tables, couches, etc. to set everything out on. We tried to separate items by type to make it easier to sort through, but that was a little difficult without lots of hanging racks.

6. When each person arrives, take a count of the number of items they’ve brought. Write their name on a slip of paper for each item brought — that’s how many pieces they’ll be able to swap for. (If you don’t want to be that formal and strict on the rules, you could also just let everyone shop like they’re in a store and pick whatever they’d like. This is what we ended up doing — we only had 5 people, so it worked well.)

7. At the end of the night, everyone can bag up their new items to take home. If the rest is to be donated to charity, then the host or a guest can bag up the leftovers to drop off at a donation center.

And that’s how it works! It was such a fun night. What girl doesn’t love shopping for free?? I think we all really enjoyed seeing our friends trying on pieces that we were tired of wearing, but still liked and didn’t want to just throw away or donate. I ended up with 2 great dresses and 4 silky tank tops that I can’t wait to wear! And I look forward to seeing some of my old clothes make their debuts on someone else — it’s nice to know they’re going to a good home!

And just for fun — the only boy allowed at the party::

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