I am not a party thrower. Growing up, I hated parties, I hated having big birthdays, and I definitely got stressed out over the thought of people coming over to my home.
Even though I’m still that way, somewhat, I have come to realize that in order to build a community and do things I love, I’m going to have to suck it up and throw an event from time to time.
So, to celebrate my love of hand me downs and shopping, I decided to host a clothing swap.
For those of you wondering, a clothing swap is when you get a group of friends with similar, yet tastefully different, styles together to trade out clothes they no longer want. Essentially, you make a pop-up, currency-free Plato’s Closet (but without the disappointing clothing rejection).
Sound like fun? Well if you love clothes like me, here’s how you make it happen.
Pick a location
Like I mentioned above, having company over to my own home stresses me, mainly because I live in a matchbox apartment, so having more than one person over at a time means getting really up-close and personal quickly. Lucky for me, I have a close friend who decided to co-pilot the adventure with me, and we used her home as the central meeting zone.
Set up rules (more like guidelines, let’s be real)
I didn’t want the swap to lack items to swap, so I made a rule that you had to bring a minimum of three items in order to participate. This was not an issue, and people brought way more than three. Which was awesome.
I also bought tickets, so for every item someone brought they received a ticket. They could swap one ticket per item to make things easy (although not a very “equal” system).
I was very hesitant to put the event on Facebook, but really, you need to create a Facebook event to drum up interest. It’s a clear landing page that people can revisit and add to their calendar. Even if it’s just a private event, use Facebook.
Drum up interest
Make graphics, post photos of items you will be swapping, and if you want to be extra like me, entice people with photoshoots, free food, and a mini-concert!
Host the event
Bring your clothes, your tickets, and any decorations you want. I used blankets to lay out clothing on the floor, but if you have a portable clothing rack, use that! The more you can make the environment look like a cute boutique the better. (You want this to be an experience first and foremost).
Take photos of your goodies and your friends that came.
I’m an intensely visual person who happens to be friends with visual people. (Yay!) That means lot’s of photos and Instagram stories. Use this party to have a photoshoot, and give people some new Instagram fodder. Live in the moment, but at the same time, take photos to promote your next swap and to preserve memories.
Enjoy your friends
At the end of it all, this day is about friendships and bonding over style. Goof off, laugh a lot, and just enjoy being super girly–whatever your style.
Donate the rest (or sell it on Posh)
I let my friends take their non-swapped clothes back with them to do whatever they wanted with the items. For some, they would donate the rest to the thrift store, and for the higher quality items my friends planned to take them to Platos or sell on Poshmark.
Handmedowns usually have a “lowly” connotation attached to them, but creating a clothing swap reclaims the word to make our second-hand clothes more fun. I added gorgeous pieces to my closet and I traded out clothes I don’t give love to with my friends who will wear them. It’s a win-win situation.
So tell Rosetint what you think, and if you have any questions about hosting your own clothing swap.