You know that friend whose wardrobe you covet? Well, chances are, there are others who want to raid your closet just as much. So, why not let everyone partake in one big gluttonous affair known as a swap party? Swap parties are best when they're a laid-back, relaxed gathering, but there are a few things you can do to make everything go smoothly.
First, decide how many people you would like to invite. If you're hosting all by your lonesome, you won't want to overwhelm yourself with too many guests. If you and friend want to join forces, you can handle a few more women. Consider how many could fit comfortably in your space, whether it be at your home or another venue. There will be a lot of moving around, so you won't want it to be too crowded. A good suggestion is to invite between 5 to 10 women, and then tell each one to bring a friend. That way, you will hopefully get a nice variety of people and you'll end up with between 10 to 20 swappers.
Send out invitations. Besides the when, where, who, etc, let them know the minimum number of items they should bring and to bring items that are in good to excellent condition with no major repairs needed. Also, specify what types of items. I would suggest a minimum of 5 clothing items and then they are welcome to bring any additional clothing and accessories (bags, belts, shoes, etc) on top of that. If you want them to bring a friend, include that in the invitation, also.
Get organized. Before the women arrive, set up designated spots for each type of item - tops, jeans, skirts, belts, bags, etc. The more people you are expecting, the more organized you'll want to be. Set mirrors up so people can try on and check themselves out. It's also nice to have one or two changing rooms available for trying things on.
Swap! There are different ways to organize the actual swapping, but my preference is to have a free-for-all and let everyone start browsing as they arrive. If the items are well-divided in their categories, there shouldn't be a problem with everyone diving in and looking through the piles. If you have a larger group of people, you may want to start them at different ends of the room to keep the crowding to a minimum.
Feed them. It's a swap party, and parties must have food. Of course, any kind of finger foods are great, but you can go one step further and have a theme - a tea party with mini sandwiches and scones, a Mexican fiesta, a martini bar with tapas, an espresso bar with desserts, a wine and cheese party... the options are endless. If preparing a party's worth of food seems overwhelming, you can also do a potluck and have each person bring finger food or dessert. Be sure to keep the food and drink in a separate area from the swapping to minimize spillage on the clothes.
Donate the leftovers. Take any leftover items to a local charity thrift store.
In the end, everyone will be thrilled to have a few new-to-her pieces to refresh her wardrobe, as well as a little more breathing room in her closet.
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