How to Throw a Clothes Swap Party | Thriftanista in the City

4.19.2013

How to Throw a Clothes Swap Party

Last Saturday, I held a clothing swap at my house. I applied and won a Woolite Washed In-Home Boutique. I received Woolite samples and a $10 gift card. 

I don't normally sign up to do such big projects for such a small gift but this was right up my alley. I've been wanting to host an in-home boutique and clothing swap for a while and Crowdtap provided the perfect opportunity to have a party! 

clothes swap party planning

How to Plan a Swap Party

I thought it would be useful to put together a few tricks and tips for a budget friendly clothing swap party. I don't remember my exacts costs but I'm sure I came in at around $100 for food and supplies. I walked away with tons of leftovers food plus "new to me" clothes!

clothes swap party planning

Step 1: Invitations

Send invitations at least 3 weeks in advance. This gives everyone  some time to clean their closet. Ask each guest to bring a minimum number to swap. My minimum was 3 with an expected guest list of 10.

I invited friends of every shape, size and style to my party. No one has your exact body shape so just because you invite all one size doesn't mean the garment will fit the same on everyone. It's also more fun to have all sizes and you can figure out how to make it work in your closet. 


guide to swap parties

Step 2: Arrange the Boutique

I made bootleg signage with poster board from the $1 store. I say bootleg because I've viewed some really amazeballs clothing swap parties on Pinterest and yeah.....bootleg. I'm real "organic" like that.

I borrowed a clothing rack to hang dresses and blouses on. I put sweaters and tees in the cubby holes of a piece a furniture that a neighbor was going to throw out. Jeans and pants were placed on the floor on top of fabric. I used the windowsill for purses.

Carrie the Mannequin wore a bunch of accessories. The unused cd tower became a full length mannequin. Shoes were placed again the baseboard. I put small giveaways, random coupons, and Woolite samples in thrift store plates.

My giveaways were a mix of $1 store dress tape and nipple covers, Target $1 sewing kits, and travel sized Goo Gone and lint rollers. All Thriftanista essentials!

I was going to create gift bags but I thought that would be too costly and I didn't know exactly how many people were coming. I didn't want to run out or have extras. Pooling it all together guests can pick for themselves.

I did purchase bags in case anyone needed extras or if your guests bring their garments in a busting at the seams garbage bag. I won't mention any names...


swap party rules

Step 3: Set the Rules

Clothing must be appropriate for the season. Bring gently used garments that you could possibly wear.

At the party, guests browse the boutique but no choosing until everyone had arrived. My guests noshed on food and sipped "swaptinis" while I stocked the store.

Guest were allowed to pick from the rack according to their arrival. First to arrive. First to rack.

Do not take more than you brought to swap until everyone has had a turn.


how to throw a swap party

Step 4: Swap

Once everyone has had a chance to shop, guests can look through what's left. Anything left over can be donated to Salvation Army or other charities. 

I still haven't fully taken the boutique out of the living room. Almost a week later and the rack is still up! I keep finding stuff I want to put in my closet.

What tips do you have for a great clothing swap party?

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