There are few activities that bring friends together as readily as trying on clothes; add some wine and snacks, and you’ve got the perfect ladies’ night in! I have several friends who host clothing swap parties from time to time, and my friend Larissa’s are some of the best. This past weekend was one of her semi-annual soirees, and as always, it was a total blast.
As far as parties go, the clothing swap is a pretty low-maintenance concept; guests contribute some clothes that they no longer want, and everyone goes home with new (free!) finds. It’s like a shopping spree through your friends’ closets. Who wouldn’t love that?
Here are some basic guidelines for hosting your own clothing swap party.
Invite all your most stylish friends. Encourage them to bring others along too–the more people attend, the better! Instruct your guests to do a deep purge of their closets, and gather their clean, gently worn clothing, shoes and accessories (or even beauty products and books–the scope is up to you). You can set a minimum number of items if you like, but it’s not really necessary as long as everyone brings something, especially if you have a large group of people. Guests should also bring a large bag to carry home their finds, as well as a drink or snack to share.
Set aside about an hour before the swap actually begins for people to eat, drink and mingle. During this time, guests can also lay out the clothes they’ve brought in designated areas. It helps to be organized; handwritten signs delineating the sweater pile from the jeans pile are a nice touch.
Before everyone dives in, you can take a moment to explain the rules: no touching/trying clothes on in advance, you must try everything on before placing it in your bag, and no hoarding armfuls of clothes–only try on one thing at a time. Now let the madness begin!
Without fail, everybody goes home with something they love–and it’s free! As a bonus, you can donate whatever’s left at the end of the night to Goodwill or the charity of your choice.
Have you ever been to a clothing swap party?