A clothing swap is when you and your friends get together and exchange (swap) clothes.
It’s a great way to organize and clean out your closet, plus you all get new outfits, and you get to see some of your favorite pieces that you no longer wear go to a good home!
There are some key tips, however, that you need to follow in order to make sure your swap is a good one:
How Many Guests?
Invite at least ten friends “ if you don’t have enough people, there won’t be enough clothes for people to look over and find something they like. But don’t invite more than 20 “ you don’t want your swap to be overcrowded or overwhelming.
Send invitations, even if they are just by e-mail, to let people know the premise of the swap. Tell them what to bring, including accessories (shoes, purses and belts are fun to swap, too). You may not think this is necessary, but remind them to bring items other guests will want, and that items should be clean and pressed.
If you don’t do this, you just know someone is going to bring a bridesmaid’s gown or a shirt you wouldn’t be caught dead in after ninth grade.
Buy or borrow some clothing racks to hang clothes on. Have boxes for people to put their wares in, or set aside certain areas for clothing (e.g., cocktail dresses on the sofa, cute sweaters on the coffee table, etc.). Print up signs or write up labels for sizing (e.g., Small “ 4-6, Medium “ 8-10, etc.). Dividing by clothing type and size is a great time saver for everyone.
Rules of the Game:
Don’t let people begin browsing until everyone has arrived (or at least the on-time guests “ latecomers will be left with the leftovers). Otherwise, someone may arrive early so they can pick over your items first.
You can hold your swap in whatever way works best for you and your guests. There can be an open browse, or you can allow everyone to pick three items, try, discuss, choose, and then pick three more. You can make it like an auction and hold up certain pieces, with whoever gets their hand in the air first being allowed to try it on first.
If someone brings an item that several people go crazy for, consider having a raffle for it in order to avoid bad feelings.
Encourage everyone to try items on
Have a bedroom or bathroom set aside for the shy, and put a full length mirror in the main room you are holding your swap in.
Serve snacks and drinks, nothing fancy, and have some fun music playing.
It is a party, after all, and you want to encourage your guests to have fun while they are playing dress up. You’ll be surprised by what a good time everyone has, and you’ll have thrown one of the most fun and economical parties of the year!