How to hold a clothes-swapping party

What’s the best way to get rid of all your old clothes that you don’t want anymore, and gain a closet full of new pieces without spending a single cent? Hold a clothes swapping party.


Swapping clothes with your mates is a cheap, fun solution to a limited wardrobe budget, and allows you to try out new things without blowing all your hard-earned cash. Here is my step-by step guide for making it happen.


The first thing that you will need to do is give your wardrobe a thorough cleaning out. This will give you a clear idea of what you already have in your clothing arsenal. You might want to check out my article on cleaning out your wardrobe


Once you have sorted out your own wardrobe, look at the pile of clothes that you are planning on getting rid of. These clothes are what you have to offer your mates at your party.


To hold the party, you will need to invite a few friends over. You will probably want to invite at least five people. To cut down the cost factor, ask everybody to bring a plate of food. Also, as people to bring along at least eight garments that they want to clear out of their wardrobe.


Once you have all mingled and had something to eat and drink, it is time to start swapping. One person, usually the host, holds up an item of clothing that they want to get rid of. If you want, you can explain where you bought the item, and why you don’t want it anymore. Then, anybody who is interested in the garment should indicate their interest at this point. It is a good idea to provide a private with a mirror so that people can try garments on. If only one person is interested in the garment, then you can choose to swap something from your pile with something from their pile, or, if you don’t fancy anything they’ve bought, you can put it aside or just allow them to take it. If several people are interested in the same garment, it is up to the owner of the garment to decide which one gets to keep it. Your decision might be influenced by what the other people have brought with them to swap. If you can’t decide, put the garment aside until later. If nobody wants a garment, then put it to one side.


After a few rounds, you will get the hang of swapping. Clothes swapping parties have the potential to get quite ugly, so here are a few guidelines that I suggest you stick to:

– make it clear to your guests that any clothing items that are bought to the party must be in wearable condition. They must not bring any stained or worn-out items with them.


– When swapping garments, you should make sure that the garments being swapped are of comparable value. Unless the owner is happy to do so, it’s not really a good idea to let one person swap a $10 t-shirt from Supre for an expensive evening gown. You can make up the difference by allowing the person to swap several items for a single, high quality item.


– Encourage each person to bring a range of garments with them, so that there is plenty to choose from.


– It might be a good idea to invite people who are all a similar size to your party. This means that everybody will have plenty to choose from, and nobody will feel left out of the fun. If you don’t like this idea, try to make sure that everybody brings plenty of accessories, like scarves, hats or jewelry, which will fit anybody.


– I would avoid inviting anybody who is likely to get nasty or bitchy. Clothes swapping can get a little competitive if several people are vying for the same item, and it is so much easier if you have a group of people that are willing to compromise and share. You don’t want your party to turn into a bitch-fest.


– When several people are interested in the same garment, there are several things that you can do to settle the score. You could let them work it out between themselves, which can work out well. Alternatively, you could always try the age-old decision-making device-Rock-Paper-Scissors.


– Any clothes that are not wanted by anybody could be sold on ebay or donated to a charity.

Clothes swapping is a cheap way to expand your wardrobe without shelling out loads of cash. You can have a chance to try out new styles that you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself and you can clean out the chaff from your wardrobe, all in one fell swoop.


I would love to know if anybody has ever tried clothes swapping. Did it work well? Did you wind up with any particularly special garments? Was it a complete disaster? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s