All Women's Talk

7 Tips for Organising a Clothes Swap Party ...

By Alison

Have you thought of organising a clothes swap party? These parties are becoming a very popular way of getting rid of your unwanted clothing and bagging some new ones into the bargain. They're the perfect way to change your wardrobe if you don't have much spare cash for new clothes. Try these tips for organising a clothes swap party …

1 Space

The first step in organising a clothes swap party is to choose a suitable space. You need to hold the swap in a venue that has enough space to display the items. There also needs to be space for hanging rails or tables to display the clothes, a full-length mirror, and somewhere to try on clothes. If you don't have enough room at home, look for a community space or café that has a room you can use.

2 What to Bring

Attendees should be asked to bring clean items in good condition with no stains, rips or missing buttons. They should not bring very cheap items, or anything that's fit only for recycling. It may be best to set a maximum number of items that each person can bring. This ensures that people will bring decent items (if they bring poorer quality items, they will get less points).

3 Time to Browse

Allow time for attendees to look through the clothing before the selection starts. This eliminates a mad dash to grab the best items before anyone else does, and stops people from hoarding items 'just in case.' They can also try things on and rule out anything that doesn't fit or doesn't look right on them.

4 Classify Items

Decide how you are going to organise the items and how they are exchanged. You can opt for a simple policy of bring one item, take one item. Or you can classify each piece into categories. One swap I attended gave one point to accessories, two points to tops, shirts and blouses, and three points to coats or evening outfits.

5 Display

You don't want a melee that looks like a jumble sale, so organise the items for easy viewing. Hanging rails are the best method of display; ask around to see if you can borrow some. Local stores may have unwanted hangers that they will happily pass on (don't tell them it's for a swap though!).

6 Selection

Decide how the selections will be made. What do you do if two people want the same item? Everyone else could decide who looks best in it, as long as nobody would be offended! It may be fairer to allow each person to choose a piece in turn. Try to ensure that people get more or less the same number of items or equivalent 'value.'

7 Leftover Items

Finally, it's unlikely that every single piece will find a new owner, so what will happen to the items that are left over? You could ask people to take their unwanted items home with them, but the best answer is to donate them to charity. When you send out the invitations, add a note about where the leftover items will go at the end of the sale.

Clothes swaps are a lot of fun so organise one for your friends. It's a real thrill to grab fab new clothes for free! It's good for the environment as well, as less energy and resources will be used up making new clothes. Do you love wearing second-hand clothes, or would you never wear anything that someone else had worn?

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