November 21, 2007

Host a Clothing / Fashion Swap Party



I've been getting quite a few compliments on my outfit today. What's my secret? Last Saturday I attended a Clothes Swap hosted by one of the girls at work. It was an absolute blast! The approach of winter leaves me a little wardrobe weary and the approaching holidays leave my wallet feeling about the same. The fashion swap was a great way to remix my wardrobe while staying budget friendly.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, everyone brings their neglected clothing and accessories to the swap. You can bring half your closet or you can bring a few select items. With the permission of the hostess, I'd like to share some tips for a fun and successful clothing swap.

Invite. Be sure to invite a large number of participants with a variety of body types to help ensure that there will be something for everyone. Some people prefer to swap clothing only, but I feel that added accessories to the mix gives people more of a chance to walk away with something they truly love. A clothing swap is a fairly informal event, so choose your party invitations accordingly.

Organize. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are perfect for a swap. When you try on several outfits in an evening, you definitely don't want to be stuffed. Be sure there is ample lounge space, room to change and several mirrors available for guests. The favours for the party were my absolute favourite - plastic baubles for every guest and a mixed cd with fashion-inspired hits like "Jean Genie", "PYT", "Raspberry Beret", "These Boots Were Made for Walking", "Nightgown of the Sullen Moon", etc. Yes, the perfect mixed CD is a great party favour.

Sort. As the guests arrive, place items in designated spaces. For example, at this party there were specific locations for shoes, purses, shirts, skirts, dresses, pants and accessories. Some articles suggest grouping by price range but any fashionable female knows that style is the ability to mix old and new, cheap and lux pieces.

Swap. You can use many different methods for swapping. We started out by pulling articles out of a dish (ex: I pulled purses first so I had reign over the purse pile); however, this method was time-consuming so we switched to friendly-free-for-all mode. Instead of "finders keepers", disputes over articles of clothing were settled by intense rounds of rock, paper, scissors. I was happy to find an entirely new wardrobe for myself and see that someone fit into that beautiful handmade dress I bought on my last trip to New York.

Donate. You're bound to have a few items remaining after your first successful swap - consider donating them to thrift store or shelter. At the end of our swap, clothing was neatly folded and prepped for donation to a local women's shelter.

This is definitely a great party to throw with a number of your friends (and their friends). Your closet gets a thorough cleaning, your wardrobe gets a revamp and any unclaimed items can go to the local charity of choice.