If you have ever looked into your closet and felt overwhelmed with the amount of clothes you no longer wear - don’t fret. You are not alone! There can be many obstacles in your way that prevent you from sorting and deciding what stays, and what goes. Sometimes the thought of parting with them can be tough. So having a clothing swap party can be the answer to all of it.
What is a Clothing Swap Party?
If you have never been to one before, then you might be asking what it is! Basically you gather all your unwanted gems from your closet. Get all your friends to do the same and then take turns picking from each others clothes. The best part is, that you get to see your garment get a new life! You also get to leave with new garments to replace the sadness that losing some old favourites has brought!
Pick a Venue
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy - your living room is perfect! Even out in the yard in the summer is a nice place to display all the clothing that has been brought to the party. Just make sure that you have a place near-by to act as a change room.
Get a Rack & Hangers
Once all the clothes arrive you're going to need somewhere for them to go! For $19.99, you can buy one from IKEA https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/rigga-clothes-rack-white-50231630/ or there are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest about how to rig up a rack to hang the clothes on. Next, decide whether you are going to provide hangers for all the clothes people are bringing or whether you will request all clothes come with hangers. I am partial to asking guests to bring the clothes on cheap hangers with their clothes and then all they need to do is hang them on the rack when they get there.
The best way is to start a group on either Facebook or on Messenger called “Clothing Swap Party” and invite everyone you think will want to come! It’s always good to invite people of all different senses of style and sizes - that way there is a good variety for everyone you invite. Also decide on how many people you want to come. I’ve been to smaller more intimate parties with around 6 or 7 people and one with almost 20! They both have their merits, but its definitely nice to have a lot of variety in clothing. If you don’t want people bringing too much clothing you can also include a limit to how many clothes to the swap. 10 pieces that are in good shape is a good limit. ( I also went to one that included footwear and jewelry on top of the limit, which I thought was great!)
Snacks and Drinks!
A good way to go is to do a potluck for snacks. Especially if you are doing all the hard work already. Of course you don’t have to have any, but starting a list on attendees on your online group and letting them add what they are gonna bring works great. That way everyone can see who is bringing what as it comes in, so you don’t end up with 4 veggie platters…:)
Decide Who Goes First
To make it all go smoothly and have some fun at the same time, you will need to be a little organized. Here are some fun ways to decide who gets to pick out the clothes first.
- Make a list of guests as they arrive and the first to arrive gets to go first. The last to arrive will have the last spot of the swap.
- Wait until everyone gets settled and write down everyones name in a bowl. Pull each name out and write down the order.
3. Draw straws. An oldie but a goodie, this method is still fair and fun!
Set the Rules
I find that letting three people go at a time is perfect. Also set the time limit for each group as well. 8-10 mins is seems to be a good limit. Next, decide how many garments each person can try on. This will of course depend on how many garments your friends ended up bringing! But it is always okay to start low - 5 garments per person and then when everyone is done they can try more again. After a couple of rounds everyone is usually done - so you can open it up to a free for all!
Don’t let it stress you out when it’s all over and there are clothes left over. You can always leave the option for people to take home their unclaimed goods, but you can also bag it up and take it to a good will store. And better yet, you get the final round of picking through everything again!
Now it is time for you to get the ball rolling and have the most amazing Clothing Swap Party ever!