Springtime Clothes Swap

This spring, before you hit the mall or the web for new warm-weather clothes, why not try having a clothes swap party!?

Last year a small group of girls and I got together at my house to unload all our never-worn items and rifle through each others loot. At the end of the day I kept two dresses, five shirts, a long cardigan and a cute sparkly shrug - all of which I have worn several times in the last year. Some of them have even become favorites that I wear weekly (or more than that thank you).

If you're interested in holding a clothes swap of your own, here are some tips I have after learning from last year.

1. Sort sort sort. Before friends arrive, sort your own items into groups. As the others start to file in, they can go through their own bags and add stuff to the designated area. This saves time and allows people enough space to sort through and really look at the clothes without getting overwhelmed by choices. I even set up a rack with some hangers for particularly pretty shirts and dresses almost as a showcase.

2. Let people try things on. I kicked out Collin and Gabe that day and plan on keeping it a girls-only party again this year. With that many ladies wanting to try on clothes, giving everyone private (or at least semi-private) space is very thoughtful. Lines can form if everyone starts using the bathroom as a dressing room so think of other places you can transform. Hang a sheet to divide off your dining room and use the bedroom for changing too. Every space helps; some of you may already be friends who have no problems trying on clothes with each other but others may be less familiar or have other reasons to want privacy.

3. No even-trades required. The whole point of a clothes swap (if you ask me) is to be generous towards your friends with clothes that you already intend to donate. If you're already going to give it away, there's no need to keep track of how much each person brings or with how much they walk away.

4. Provide snacks. Sure, it's not always your favorite thing to try on clothes after you've eaten but having something to nosh on while you're hanging out and swapping keeps up the blood sugar and the morale. A light drink and something simple are all you need. As the host you can elect to do some of this yourself or you can enlist your friends or suggest a potluck style. Maybe a friend who has no clothes to contribute wants to make muffins instead? Perfect!

5. Donate it all at the end like you said. I have my own personal thrift store to which I like to donate and as the host I volunteer to transport all the leftover clothes there myself after the party. If any of my guests have another organization they would prefer to help, they can certainly take home a big bag of clothes to do so. It's a little extra motivation for people to come out if they only have to transport all their crap once.

Have you ever hosted or attended a clothes swap before? What other tips and suggestions do you have for someone looking to do the same this spring?


Brandi said...

I love closet swaps! My aunt hosts one every year and I always look forward to the great finds.