With graduation, wedding, and party season officially underway, even the most extensive summer wardrobe can start to feel a little stale — but organizing a clothing swap with your friends means updating your duds without spending a fortune. Try these tips for a successful swap to save money, time, and resources while giving yourself a whole new look.
1. Choose a theme. Make your get-together a can’t-miss event by adding a few extra touches: set out your favorite vintage china for a grown-up tea party, encourage your guests to bring extra clothes that you’ll donate to charity, or draw names and have each person design an outfit for someone else. See more ideas here.
2. Keep it fair. You’re not doing anyone a favor by throwing all the clothes together and letting everyone fight for their favorites. Have each guest hold up one piece at a time and settle disputes with a trivia game, or get enough hangers and tables to lay everything out separately and give your swappers a certain amount of time to browse before they start trying on.
3. Set some guidelines. We’re not suggesting that you include a list of rules with your invitation, but you should have a contingency plan for any awkward situations that might arise. Think about what to say if two guests want the same item, a giver changes her mind after a piece is chosen, a friend gets cranky that she’s swapping designer duds for generic, or if anyone’s upset about going home empty-handed. Know a good tailor? Keep the name and number nearby to convince your size 2 friend that it’s worth it to take that size 6 party dress — or, better yet, invite the tailor to attend the swap and give quotes on alterations.
For more advice, head over to Planet Green and see our articles on strategies for throwing the perfect clothing swap.
Freelance writer Blythe Copeland turns out tips for a sustainable lifestyle for TreeHugger and PlanetGreen.com, where she writes about DIY crafts, fashion, beauty, books, music, and more. Currently, she lives in Baltimore with her husband and two cats — but since she’s relocated to four different cities in the last three years, she spends a lot of her free time on easy (and inexpensive) decorating and sewing projects.
Have you organized any successful clothing swaps? Give us more tips in the comments below!