How to Throw a Successful Swap

How to Throw a Successful Swap

This post originally appeared on Broke & Chic.

Still have that pretty dress that doesn’t fit you right? Did you finally lose those five pounds and now all your pants are a tad too big? Then you should consider throwing a clothing swap party!

Just because you no longer want it, doesn’t mean your besties don’t. Clothing swap parties are also a great way to get a new wardrobe without spending a dime. Below are 8 tips on how to throw a successful one:

1. Curate your guest list

Only invite friends who have a style you actually admire. If most of your friends are preppy, and like to wear colorful clothing, your friend who wears all black and leather isn’t going to have that much fun.

Also, one size doesn’t fit all — make sure you invite people who are similar in size and height. To insure no one’s feelings get hurt, require everyone to bring accessories too. Bags and jewelry look good on everyone!

2. Don’t invite too many people

Don’t invite all 50 of your friends. Definitely keep the number under 10.

3. Set it up right

Make it look as much like a store as you can. Have mirrors out and the clothes neatly folded or hung up on a clothing rack. You can get one for $9 at Ikea here.

4. Have rules

It can’t be a free for all, it’ll just turn into a mad house. When your friends arrive, have them neatly put their items away on the rack or folded on a table. When everyone is ready to start swapping, have them pull a number from a hat. The number they get dictates the order in which they get to pick clothes. Obviously, the host should go first.

Below are some more rules that need to be strictly enforced.

- Have everyone bring a specific amount of items.
Just pick a number, say 12. That way everyone leaves with the same amount of stuff they showed up with.

- One at a time
When it’s time to start the swap, the host should go and pick out one item they like and sit back down. The second in line then gets to do the same thing, picking just one item. Once everyone has an item, you repeat the cycle again until everything is gone. If there’s still stuff left, donate it to charity or have the owner take it back with them.

- Quality items only
Make sure everyone is bringing things that are clean, still trendy and not falling apart.

5. Try things on

Once everyone has the items they “think” they want, have everyone try things on!

6. Have a theme

You might assume everyone is going to bring Spring clothes, but you’re going to have that one friend who brings only Winter appropriate clothing. To prevent this mishap just say Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer when you send out the invite.

7. Have treats

Cupcakes and cake pops would be the perfect addition to a clothing swap party! If your guests are of age, get a bottle of cheap champagne, pour it into wine glasses and put some rock candy in each one. It’ll dissolve and make the drinks a fun color.

If your guests aren’t of age, try one of these delicious and healthy mocktails!

8. Have fun!

Everyone is hanging out, getting a new wardrobe, eating yummy treats….just relax and have fun. That’s what a clothing swap party is all about!

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