Cleaning out your closet? Why not be a bargain fashionista and organize a clothing swap with a few friends? Pick a few outfits that still work – but maybe don’t work so well for you anymore – and have a fashion exchange. Clothing swaps are a fun and frugal way for you and your friends to liven up your wardrobes.
Here are seven secrets to planning and hosting a super clothing swap.
Clothing Swap Success: Ask ‘Em in
Send fun, fashionable invitations to your clothing swap, displaying your passion for fashion.
Include basic ground rules, asking clothing swap participants to bring a certain number of clean, ready-to-wear outfits. Guests should mark all items for sizing, especially if original garment tags are missing.
For the most fun, clothing items ought to fit the current season, so clothing swap guests will be able to enjoy their new outfits immediately.
Ideally, all participants wear approximately the same size of apparel, or several guests share each clothing size.
Clothing Swap Success: Show ‘Em Off
Make each clothing swap participant a supermodel for the day, modeling the outfit she brought to the party.
Add to the fun by asking clothing swap guests to write short descriptions of their outfits (including the style, manufacturer or designer, fabric, size and other pertinent details), and have a spirited emcee read the descriptions during the fashion show at your clothing swap..
Clothing Swap Success: Dress ‘Em Up
Encourage participants to contribute complete head-to-toe ensembles for your clothing swap. Tops and bottoms should go together well. Jackets, vests or sweaters might be accompanied by camisoles, tanks or tees. Belts or sashes and other accessories may be included with dresses, pants or skirts.
Skip the lingerie in clothing swap contributions – for hygienic purposes. After all, some things are just better purchased first-hand. (‘Nuff said.)
Clothing Swap Success: Hang ‘Em High
Take a tip from the top vintage clothing and consignment stores, and display your clothing swap outfits tastefully. Use curtain rods or pegboards, if you have no clothing racks or coat stands.
Set out each clothing swap guest’s contribution as a complete ensemble. Use cute padded or sturdy wood hangers to display all apparel. The idea is to make clothing swap fashions look appealing and intriguing.
Clothing Swap Success: Try ‘Em On
Make your clothing swap an authentic shopping experience for you and your guests by offering a fitting room (with a mirror) – in the den, powder room or a spare bedroom.
Clothing Swap Success: Check ‘Em Out
Complete the clothing shop fashion experience by giving each guest a bag to take home her new outfit. Save clear plastic dry cleaning bags for this purpose, or create cute, decorated satchels from old shopping bags by covering store logos with plain or printed sheets of paper.
Clothing Swap Success: Haul ‘Em Off
Be sure to enlist a local thrift store or charity to pick up all items that are not selected at your clothing swap, or designate someone to collect and drop off these fashions after the event.
A clothing swap is a fun and frugal idea for church groups, college dorm pals, neighbors, teens and more. Swap variations might include accessory swaps, book swaps, hat swaps, jewelry swaps, kitchen accessory, music swaps, outerwear swaps, perennial flower swaps, shoe swaps, sporting goods swaps, horse tack swaps, tool swaps and more.
In our town, we have even had similar events as charitable outreaches, in which local guests in various difficult economic situations were invited to come empty-handed and select several take-home outfits.