5 Tips to Host a Clothing Swap Party

Posted On Monday, June 30th, 2014
Filed Under: Deals & Steals, How To, Style Guide

swap party meetup, how to host a clothes swap party
Summer is officially here, so I’m sure you’re storing your coats, jackets and heavier threads to make room in your closet for breezy garments. Besides thrift shopping, one of my favorite ways to update my wardrobe is via clothing swaps. Just like thrifting, it’s an eco-friendly affordable way to introduce new-to-you threads. But unlike thrift shopping, the clothes are free!
Sure you can check out a clothing swap meetup in your area or you can host your own.
Check out five tips to host a swap party.
Include a Variety of Sizes
Not everyone is a size two and everyone isn’t a 16. Invite friends of all shapes and sizes so none of your attendees are void of options. The last thing you want is for anyone to feel left out and walk away without any clothes. Also, you might want to make bringing accessories like jewelry and scarves, mandatory. These are one size fits all.
host party food, how to host a party on a dime
Have Drinks and Light Bites
In addition to clothes and accessories, it’s not a bad idea to have your guests bring a few sips and nibbles. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but maybe some wine, lemonade, chips and dips or fruit. I’d just stay clear of foods that are too messy {you don’t want any mishaps with the clothes!} and have everyone tell you what they’re bringing ahead of time, so there isn’t too much of one thing and not enough of another.
Set Rules for What Can Be Swapped
Guests tend to bring any and everything to clothing swaps. Do not let them. I repeat, don’t let them! Set a few rules, including specifications that no underwear will be swapped and clothes should be in good to great condition. Though this isn’t a must, you might also want to keep all clothes seasonal, so no heavy winter coats in the summer. Or you can even create a theme for the swap party to keep everyone on the same page, like summer favorites, fall outerwear, shoe explosion, etc.
how to host a swap party, ClosetDash Shop
Assign a Fitting Room
Wherever you decide to host your swap {at your home or a rented space}, do your best to have a designated area for shoppers to try on clothes. It can be a spare bedroom in your home, bathroom or curtain off a small area for quick changes. Also, don’t forget to have floor length mirrors around the room, so even if there’s no changing area, at least your guests can hold the clothes up and see how they might look on them.
Donate to a Sponsor
At the end of the swap, you’ll certainly have a few clothes and accessories that didn’t find a new home. Instead of sending everyone back home with what they bough, decide ahead of time where you’ll donate them. During my clothes swap, we pre-selected Housing Works as our donor sponsor. We had about four or five bags of clothes we sent to the thrift store.
These are just a few general guidelines, but your swap can be as casual or structured as you like.
Are you a fan of clothing swaps? Do you organize your own or go to swaps hosted by organizations? Have any tips you want to share with newbies?  
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4 thoughts on “5 Tips to Host a Clothing Swap Party

  1. Thanks for the tips! I´m hosting my first swap party here in Mexico! Hope all runs smoothly! Do you suggest friends bringing a certain amount of clothes, or should they bring anything that is in good condition,/cool?
    Thanks! Love your site and Instagram! Just followed you as @_vayven_

    • Thanks Jessica 🙂

      There’s really no wrong way, but whatever you choose (certain number or no limit), just make sure everyone’s on the same page. If there’s no limit to items they can bring, just let everyone know they should bring the best of the best. But bringing a certain number of items can be great if you have limited space.

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