Answer: Hold a clothes swap party! I’ve hosted one each Spring for the last five years. Clothes swap parties can be great fun and a fantastic way to refresh that closet or wardrobe of yours. However, there are some things you should know before you start.
1. Send out invitations to all of your friends. Use the internet for this – a facebook event, email or an evite. The more friends you invite, the greater the clothes selection. Be clear on your invitation to let everyone know how many garments to bring. Of course, everyone is welcome to bring as many items as they want, but set a minimum (I usually say at least one shopping bag’s worth)
2. Go through your own closet to pull out the clothes you no longer wear. Include only clothing that someone can still wear in your clothes swap pile.
3. Find a large space, either in your own house (I’ve done it in three different rooms which is fun), a friends house or hire a public space eg. a community centre, church hall. Set up tables and garment racks. When your friends arrive, take their clothes and display them just as you would if you owned a store. If you can, have a room with mirrors (and privacy!) where people can try things on.
4. Now this is where it’s up to your choice – you can either create a system whereby people take turns picking items from the collection and each person chooses one item OR you can let people loose on the clothes and hope for the best (ie. no cat fights). I have always chosen the latter and so far (fingers crossed), I’ve had no catfights!
5. Continue until every piece of clothing has been claimed or until the party has a natural end point. Donate any unclaimed items to a charity.
At the end of the night you can leave with a completely new outfit without spending a cent!
N.B You can also have games – I’ve had a door prize some years which has been pretty fun and with smaller groups have run a trivia game, always with prizes. You can serve refreshments either you providing them or get people to contribute. Some swap parties charge an entry fee, I always make mine free – again that’s up to you. People can also bring accessories to the clothes swap party, too. Everyone can swap purses, shoes, belts and jewellery. Some year’s I’ve also had people bring Men, Kids, Maternity clothes as well as books and homewares… again up to you!
P.S Oh – for any readers in Vancouver, BC, I am hosting a clothes party tomorrow (Saturday 26th) night if anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll forward you the details!