Friday, April 3, 2015

How to Host A Clothing Swap in 5 Simple Steps

How to Host A Clothing Swap in 5 Simple Steps

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? My mother-in-law is coming to visit us for Easter, and I'm hoping for warm weather, great food, and lots of relaxing.

Last weekend, I was asked by a dear friend (and client) to come help out at the clothing swap/brunch she was hosting. It was so much fun! 

I've hosted a clothing swap usually twice a year in every city I've lived in (Philly, NYC, Houston, Chicago, Northern VA), and this friend attended the one I held around my birthday last October. She picked up on a few keys to hosting a successful clothing swap there--and brought her own party hosting prowess to the table, too!

First, be clear about what you're asking. Invite friends over to a clothing swap. Ask that they bring clean clothing and accessories to the location. All sizes and items should be encouraged, including wild card items that can be used for costumes!

Second, divide up the items by size and category. This weekend, our host had little cards near each area for tops, bottoms, jewelry, etc, and cards showing each size category. This makes it easier for everyone to set their items out when they arrive as well as have a general idea of which areas to "shop."

Third, have something to eat or drink. Our host went above and beyond here with mini egg muffins, a yogurt parfait, scones, veggies & dip, mimosas and more! I've had just wine and snacks before, but it's good to have something for everyone to nibble on. Partly it serves as an ice breaker, and partly people need something to break up the time just trying on clothes.

Fourth, encourage guests to wear a tank top so that they can easily try on tops, but have some areas available (bathroom, closet) for guests who are not comfortable changing in a crowd.

Fifth, provide bags for guests to bring clothing home, and be ready to donate lots of leftover clothing! I think it's smart to let guests know ahead that you'll be donating anything left at the location so that they can decide whether they'd like to give things to family members or donate themselves later. You could always all decide to consign items and donate the proceeds, but that's a lot of work in sorting what things consignment stores will take. Up to you as the host!

That's it! Let me know if you have any questions before you host your own. If you're considering hosting one in the DC area, let me know if you'd like me to come and consult on outfits and choices with your guests. We had so much fun!

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