Hosting a Clothing Swap Party 101

The last time I heard about a clothing swap party was when I read Teen People magazine in middle school. Turns out, this is a practical and fun way to get friends together. We all live in a world of excess these days. The media manages to convince us that we need another fringe top or that pair of strappy heels. We see Instagram models with their hundreds of outfit variations and end up buying another white t-shirt that we definitely already have in our closet. What better way to get rid of those extra tops than to have a clothing swap party with your friends. There are many benefits to hosting a swap party. You get to host a party in your new apartment and get together with your closest friends? It also gives you a chance to get rid of those clothes that you purchased, and never wore. Might as well find them a new home with people you love!

1. Invite list

The key to a successful clothing swap party is bringing your squad and adding a few new people to keep it fresh. Invite the ones who are ready for a good time. And don’t forget to  get a cute Facebook event going, and send a hype text to change those RSVPs to a Yes.

2. Rules of the clothing swap

Every clothing swap party is different. Usually the name of the game is that every person brings new or lightly used clothing items. It can range from a cute top to that cardigan you swore you would wear from JCrew or a pair of shoes you bought on sale that are half size too small. The rules are simple, you swap a clothing item with someone who has something you like. Its an endless circle of clothes swapping and the best part is that some of your clothing may find a new home and you might find your new favorite dress! You can set the rules the way you want, for example, once you swap, you can’t take it back. Your party, your rules!

3. Invite each guest to bring 2 to 5 pieces of clothing

Give a suggestion of how many items to bring to your guests so they know what to expect. It is essential that each guest brings at least couple clothing items because that’s the whole point of the party.

4. Prepare your beverages + appetizers

Let’s be real, there isn’t much to say on this end. I find Delish and Epicurious to have the best appetizer recipes that are sure to please your guests. Always have the essentials: water, some sodas, chips and salsa.  And you know that the ladies love a good cheese platter. Keep your guests happy and they swap more. That’s the key.  No food that leaves your hands sticky, though. You don’t want everything smeared with that spicy sauce on the hot wings.

5. Create Atmosphere

Always keep it simple with decor – the clothes are the main focus. By doing that, you won’t break the bank either. Buy a cute banner or get some candles to set the mood. You want a fun atmosphere without going overboard. I personally love making a handcrafted playlist with my favorite songs or songs that I know my friends would like.

6. Find a Creative Way to Display the Clothing

Find a cute way to display all of the clothing. Visuals are everything. Do you have a cute vintage clothing rack? A nice table to display all of the clothes? Do it. And don’t forget the full length mirror!

7. Libations, Libations, Libations

If the girls like the rose, I say bring the rose. Do your friends like IPAs or craft beers? Do your girls like boxed wine? It won’t break the bank either. And if you aren’t a fan of drinking then skip that step, there is no need to serve alcohol.  Soft drinks, seltzer and ice tea work equally well. Whatever fits your taste.

8. Clean Up

Always get paper goods (i.e.: paper plates, plastic utensils, classic solo cups), and keep the decor to the minimum. Of course, the best idea is to clean up as the party goes on since it eliminates the lengthy clean up time you have after the guests leave.

Have fun and take pictures!

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Author My First Apartment

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Kristen Valera is a working girl in the CT area who enjoys finding new places to eat, and has officially made the big move to her first apartment. She hopes her experiences will help others to find their space.

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