How to Host a Clothing Swap
By Whitney Moss of Rookie Moms
1. Set the date
Invite your most stylish friends and acquaintances for a two-hour swapping party at your place. Let them know what they should bring (good stuff only!) “DO bring that cute dress that you bought for your cousin’s wedding that got cancelled. DO NOT bring your Connecticut College t-shirt collection.” Make sure daddy and any crawling/walking children agree to clear out during your soiree.
2. Pick, clean and fold your garments for the swap.
Set aside a good hour and purge your closet of stuff you don’t wear. Be brutal. If you’re feeling those pesky postpartum body issues, get a good friend to help. (Do your marriage the small favor of not asking your husband if your “butt looks big in this”!)
3. Prep your party space.
Have a full-length mirror handy. If you have room to “merchandise” your stuff, it is more fun for your guests to “shop”. Label the piles by category of clothing are so that guests can sort their offerings (pants 8 and under; pants 8 and over; sexy tops; work dresses…) Save a few blank labels available for the day of. A portable closet rod is a worthwhile investment for your party. It allows you to hang skirts and dresses so that you can all browse them like it’s your own personal second-hand store.
4. Invigorate your wardrobe on the cheap.
Tidy up your house, wear cute underwear, set out some snacks, and wait for everyone to bring you new clothes! We usually begin by browsing the piles casually and trying on the clear winners. After that, the claws come out: once you try on a cute spangly dress, it is fair game for someone else to have a go at it. Let your friends decide who really looks best in it.
5. Donate the rest.
There will be bags and bags of leftovers that no one wants. Get someone to help you load the car and then take the bags directly to a donation center. This is a good thing. We wouldn’t want to maintain the same collective level of closet clutter. Purge and be happy.
Published May 20, 2009. Last updated May 24, 2018.