How to Host a Clothes-Swap Party

Every woman has experienced a day when she looks at her closet and feels like she has nothing to wear. If this sounds like you, a clothes-swapping party is a great opportunity to clean out the back of your closet, try a new look and refresh your wardrobe, all while spending an evening with friends. Planning a clothes swap is simple; you can organize it on a small budget with little lead time.

A woman is pulling clothes out of her dresser.
Invite Friends to Bring ClothingInvite eight to 10 friends who share your fashion tastes and wear similar sizes. While some garments can easily be altered with belts or home tailoring, the party will be easier to manager if all participants feel comfortable trying on clothing that is likely to fit. In the invitation, ask friends to bring at least five to 10 pieces of clothing that they would like to exchange. All garments should be clean and in good condition. Emphasize that guests should be punctual, as you will need to collect all the garments at the beginning of the party. Encourage your guests to wear modest undergarments, leotards or leggings and tank tops.

Women are exchanging gifts.
Prep the SpaceYou will need a large room with a garment rack, a full-length mirror and plenty of hangars. Arrange to provide guests with sufficient room to try on clothes and place their belongings. Clear off tables and dressers so that you can use them to display accessories or shoes. Have a small table on the side of the room where guests can have drinks and snacks without getting crumbs or drips on the clothing. Keep a couple spare shopping bags on hand in case anyone needs an extra bag for taking her “new” clothes home.

Clothes hanging on a rack.
When Guests ArriveHave drinks and snacks ready to keep guests busy as you prepare. Encourage guests to mingle while you empty their bags and hang garments on the garment rack. If you notice any garments that are torn, dirty or generally inappropriate for swapping, discreetly put them to the side to avoid embarrassing any guests when the swapping begins.

Women are holding plates and wine glasses.
Let the Swapping BeginOnce all the clothes are hung, write numbers on small slips of paper and place them in a hat. Draw numbers to decide the order in which guests will pick clothes. Taking turns, each guest can pick one garment to try on. After trying on a piece, a guest can decide to keep it or return it to the rack to swap for something else. If two guests want the same item, toss a coin or play a quick game of rock, paper, scissors to determine who gets the garment. Everyone should go home with about the same number of garments she brought to the party. Once everyone has departed, gather the remaining pieces to donate to a local charity.

A woman is holding a red jacket in front of her.