It's the end of summer which often means shopping for back-to-school outfits (and long lines in clothing stores). Or, if you don't have children in school, you may just find yourself wishing you had an excuse to splurge on a little wardrobe refresher for your own closet. Well, updating your apparel doesn't have to mean a drive to the mall, a frustrating search, and a depleted bank account. In fact, what if we told you it's entirely possible to find some new fashion favorites with just a bottle of wine and some good friends - you don't even have to bring your wallet? Two words: Clothing swap.
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Grab a tote bag (or two, or three...) and head to your closet. Pull out everything you haven't worn in the past year, say your goodbyes, and fold it up nice and neat.
Step 2: Call up your friends and tell them to do the same. In fact, tell them to tell their friends to do it, too!
Step 3: Pick a date to host your clothing swap, and spread the word around. Ask everyone bring a snack or a drink to share and encourage people to even swap shoes and accessories!
Step 4: On the night of the event, set up your home to have a sitting area where people can comfortably chat and enjoy the treats that they've all brought. Ask a close friend to help you sort through clothes as they arrive. Make three tags with each person's name on the front and numbers 1, 2, and 3, respectively, on the back. Make sure each tag has a safety pin.
Step 5: As people arrive, have them hand over their bags of swapables, then show them to the sitting area. They can get to know everyone else (if they don't already) and have some refreshments while you and your helper go through what they've brought. Organize tops together, pants together, skirts together, etc. in a separate room. The fact that they can't see the items right away increases hype!
Step 6: When everyone has arrived and all of the clothing is sorted, hand out the numbered tags to each person and explain the rules
- There will be five minutes designated to looking, but not tagging. During this time, everyone will be invited into the other room to go through clothing and see what there is. They are even welcome to try things on.
- Once the five minutes are over, each person should put their #1 tag on their favorite item, #2 on their second favorite, and #3 on their third favorite. If an item is tagged by two people, the person with the lowest number gets it. If both people tag something with a #1, then they will duel it out with a best two-out-of-three trivia game! The winner takes home the item, and the other person gets to choose something else instead. (Make sure you prepare some trivia questions ahead of time.)
Step 7: Go wild and replace the stuff you don't wear with fun new favorites!
Step 8: After everyone has settled on their top 3 and safely nestled them away in one of the totes they brought, the rest is a free-for-all. Encourage people to try new things, offer opinions to people who are unsure, and allow people to bring unclaimed items home to other friends or family members. Whatever is still unclaimed after your guests go home would make a wonderful donation to Goodwill!
Have fun getting swappy and let us know if you need any more advice or if you have any questions! This is such a great way to keep unwanted clothing out of the landfills while at the same time making sure that you use the things you own!
Health & happiness,