Fashion trends can be exhausting to keep up with and it is hurting your bank account. Just when you've acquired half of the hottest items from one season, it's on to the next. One great way to stay fashionable without spending a dime is by hosting or attending a fashion swap. It's easy. Enlist a few girlfriends to go through their closets and dig out the items they no longer wear, and then host a party to display the items. Friends can eat and catch-up while they exchange clothes, shoes and accessories.
Here are some tips for planning a fashion swap:
Invite your friends one month before the actual event so they have plenty of time to go through their closets and they can block their schedules. Give a brief description on the invite in case someone has never heard of a fashion swap before. The best way to do this is through Facebook. Create a group on Facebook and post details and updates of the event. Make sure you remind them a week before the party so they won't forget.
Invite All Sizes
While Barbie and her friends may have the same waistline, real girls don't. If some of your friends are too fat or too skinny, they will probably get bored in the party. Make sure to invite ladies of different sizes so everyone will be able to find something that fits. Ask them to wear swimsuits so it's easier to put on and remove clothes.
Ensure Enough Space
Areas in the house that are great for swaps include the basement, garage and living room. But the best place for swaps is the garden. Provide an area to display the clothes and an area for lounging and snacking since it's messy to mix both. It's also a good idea to set up a couple of changing areas with curtains and mirrors.
Organizing the Clothes
Organize clothes by type. Separate tops, bottoms, accessories, shoes. If you have plenty of items or if you're in a mood for some meticulous organizing, you can break it down some more. So instead of just having tops in one section, you can have tanks, sweaters, office wear, etc. Ask guests to pre-sort their items and place them in the correct spot when they arrive. Provide boxes and bins for smaller items, like belts, purses and accessories.
To make sure that friends don't bring worn out or extremely old items, ask them to only bring things that are gently used. Many women have dresses they wore only once or twice or something they bought for a specific occasion and don't plan to wear again. Perhaps a friend bought a shirt to find that the color does not flatter her, or she bought those jeans just a size too small. These types of clothing are perfect.
Make it Fun
Create a festive atmosphere with upbeat music, fun games and good food. If competition ensues between friends on one particular item of clothing, keep it light by having each woman model it for the group to vote or simply toss a coin.
Donate the Remains
Gather up all the leftovers for a local charity. For sure none of you will be wearing those clothes anyway and it will just take up closet space if you bring them home. Make sure you have a few empty boxes before the party, so you just have to toss the clothes into the boxes and let your friends drop them off.
Plan for the Next Swap
If the first swap was successful, you and your friends will most likely want to do another swap in a few months. Make it easy on yourself by keeping a box or bag right in your closet. Toss items you don't like to use anymore so you won't have to do a total closet overhaul every time you have a swap party.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!