What Is a Clothing Swap Party?
A clothing swap party is exactly what it sounds like. It is an event where you literally swap your unwanted clothing with other people’s unwanted clothing. It’s a clothing exchange party.
It gives you the opportunity to de-clutter your wardrobe of clothes that are still in good condition but you no longer wear either because your style has changed, or the item no longer fits you, or any other reason, whilst adding new clothes that you will wear and will love.
How To Throw A Clothing Swap Party
I’ve been attending my best friend, Lisa’s amazing clothing swap parties for the past 5 years now! Here are her 12 easy tips how to host a clothing swap party.
1. Set a date for the party approximately 3-4 weeks in advance to increase the likelihood that your invitees will be able to attend, don’t have anything else already booked on that night and will have enough time to clean out their wardrobes to bring along more items.
Clothes Swap Invite List
2. Invite 10-15 friends with similar clothing tastes. A smaller number also works if all invitees are roughly the same size.
Think about your clothes swap party invitation list. If your friends are all varying sizes ensure you invite at least three or more friends in each size group to ensure there is suitable clothing for swapping for everyone.
3. Allow each friend to bring a plus 1 to join in the swapping fun. Not only will you get to meet new people but this will also result in a larger pool of clothes to swap. Depending on the size of your venue, the more the merrier with clothing swap parties.
Clothing Swap Party Rules
4. On the invite stipulate all swapping clothes must be in good wearable condition and washed. No ripped, torn, holey or stained clothing allowed.
5. Also stipulate on the clothing swap invite if you will be swapping other items such as shoes, accessories, unopened beauty items, children’s clothing, toys or books.
6. Agree beforehand what will happen with the leftover clothes at the end of the night. At Lisa’s clothing parties the leftovers are donated to charities such as Lifeline and The Salvation Army.
Clothing Swap Party Organisation
7. Organise the clothing swap party space before everyone arrives with well labelled areas, whether these are tables, lounges, racks etc, for each different clothing size and style i.e. size 12 dresses, size 12 tops, size 12 bottoms, and so on for each size.
8. Organise a separate space for accessories, bags, belts, jewelry, shoes. The swap parties I regularly attend also includes children’s clothing and books, although we don’t have children actually attending on the night.
Clothes Swapping Party Etiquette
9. Wait for everyone to arrive before the actual swapping begins. Invite people for 7pm, then let everyone sort out their clothing into the designated labelled areas, chat and socialise for the first 30-45 minutes before the swapping begins.
10. Determine a system as to how the swapping will work and remind everyone of it before the swapping starts. Different parties that I have attended have had different rules. At Lisa’s parties, as we are all friends, the clothes swap party rules are more relaxed as opposed to larger clothing swap parties run by councils with a bunch of strangers.
At Lisa’s party everyone starts looking at what they might want at the same time. People can try on a couple of things at a time before returning unwanted items to the labelled clothing areas and taking some more items to try on. Ultimately everyone is welcome to claim as many items as they want regardless of how many they brought along with them.
Clothes can only be taken from the designated labelled areas, not other people’s personal piles. Participants may only claim items for themselves or their children, not for friends who are not attending, unless that item is left over at the end of the night.
Clothing Exchange Party Tip
11. Make sure you have at least one full length mirror, and preferably more.
12. Ask everyone to bring a plate of food or a bottle of champagne to the clothing swap party to make a party of the night.
Clothing Swap Fundraiser
You can turn your clothes swap party into a clothing swap fundraiser by asking each participant to pay to participate. A clothes swap party fundraiser can either work by charging an entry into the party or charging participants per swap they make. If you are planning on doing this state it on the invite.
At the end of the event you can choose to donate all leftover clothing to the charity of your choice, either a charity like Lifeline, The Salvation Army or a local women’s and children’s shelter.
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