Thursday, September 10, 2009

Need Some New Clothes? Consider Hosting a Clothing Swap....

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting a great bunch of women and then riffling though their clothes!! I have been into the idea of hosting a clothing swap for quite sometime, but was thrilled to receive an invite from a friend of mine, whose friend had gone ahead and planned one. It has been a long time since I participated in a clothing swap and it was so much fun! In addition to clothes, there was food and drink, but since Kim and I were the only ones with nursing little ones we were only able to stay long enough to swap some clothes. In the end I brought a bag of clothes and accessories and came home with the bag full of new clothes!! And I got to meet about 12 other ladies, from all over Canada, Australia, the UK, Belgium, and The Ukraine. I love that the evening was environmentally responsible to boot. What a way to reduce, reuse, and recycle! And since only one of my friends was there I could still go ahead and host my own swap sometime soon. My goal would be to attend a swap for each new clothing season.

Hosting a Clothing Swap
Here are a few off the cuff tips on how to host a clothing swap that I gleaned from attending one. I think the less rules the better is the number one rule...

* Invite lots of lovely ladies via an email invite such as Evite. Invite everyone to invite their friends. The more, the merrier, and the best selection.
* Invite people to bring wine or other bevies and nibblies.
* Ask everyone to bring clothes that still have some wear left to them. No garage sale or thrift store bound items (nothing against these places since I LOVE them but sometimes the clothes are not in the best shape...).
* Encourage attendees to also bring shoes, accessories, whatever is clothing related. I brought a bunch of plastic hangers to share. And some women even brought paperback books.
* Do not make it mandatory for people attending to bring items. There will be lots of things to chose from anyway and usually someone who has not brought something will wait until the people who have have made their selections.
* As each person arrives lay out their clothes on the floor in rows so that things are folded but easily seen. As more and more people arrive you can hold up the items for all to view while organizing them.
* The only rule at the swap I attended was that if two women were "fighting" over the same piece of clothing that the person who brought the most clothes to offer to the swap could have the item.
* My rule was that I wanted to try on each item I was interested in so that someone else could have it if it didn't fit me.
* At the end of the evening whatever is left over can be bagged up for the local thrift store. You can ask attendees to help with this.
* Consider variations on this theme, such as a male/female event or even a kiddo event.

And if you and a close friend are both bringing items to the same swap and you are around the same size, consider looking at each others items BEFORE the swap. In the end, I think I ended up with four items from the friend I arrived with. One of them is this sexy little number above! I scored the perfect black cardigan to go over it and I can't wait to wear it on our 6th wedding anniversary this month!

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