1. Make an evite or Facebook event
Be sure that you explain what a clothes swap is in the info section of the evite. Many people are apprehensive about swaps because they have no clue what to expect.
Watch this quick video to learn more about clothes swaps:
2. Find a Venue
Depending on the kind of atmosphere you want to create, you need to pick your location wisely. I have been to a clothes swap in a small boutique with strangers (as an attendee) and I’ve hosted many in living rooms of homes with friends. Both were entirely different experiences. The boutique was interesting because I was getting to shop in strangers’ closets. It was nice to meet the other ladies and sample treats from local vendors. The swaps I had in homes felt comfortable and fun. I saw old friends and made new ones. I have concluded that there is no right or wrong location for a swap. You simply need to find a space that is big enough to store and display the clothing, a mirror for guests, and perhaps a private area (like a restroom) where they can try on clothing.
Another thing to consider is the size of the venue. In my experience, it’s best to over-invite. Cancellations are expected of any event. On average, I have about 15 guests at my swaps. This is a good number for such an event. 15 people will provide variety among the clothes, yet it is a small enough number for the event to still have an intimate feel. Make sure the venue can hold the number of invited guests and their belongings.
3. Collect donations
There are a number of ways to get clothes to your swap. First, look in your own closet. Purge it of any items you no longer wear. Wash the items and put them aside for the swap. Then you can send a reminder to your guests to start putting aside some items about a week before the event. Guests often ask me what to bring. I throw the question back to them.
Most guests opt to come to the event with their donations in hand.
4. Sort through the items (guests can do this themselves)
5. Mix and Mingle
You and your guests should set aside the first 15 minutes of the swap to sort through the clothing. My guests and I enjoyed some light snacks while we waited for the swapping period to pass. The snacking continued as the swap went on.
6. Setup and Organize the items into their designated areas
If everyone sorts and organizes what they brought, the process is much faster.
Shopping is the easiest and the best part. There are a couple options when deciding how gets are going to shop:
Option #1: One-for-One trade- This means that the more you bring, the more you get to trade.
Option #2: First Dibs Goes to the Highest Giver– The person with the most donations gets to pick their items first
Option #3: Free-for-All– Everyone can shop to the hearts’ content, regardless of how much they brought.
All of my swaps have been free-for-alls. I have never had anyone complain or fight over clothes. The free-for-all has the potential of appearing a little chaotic, but as long as your guests put back the items they don’t want, this option is a lot of fun.
Don’t forget to shop for yourself too. It can be easy to forget that you are a shopper as well when you’re floating around doing host-duties. By all means, help recommend clothes for your guests
8.Choose a charity or resale store to donate the remaining clothes
10. Fill out a donation receipt
If the donation is big enough, it just may help you out on your taxes.
Planning a clothes swap might take some work, but you and your friends will get more out of it than you put in. Give it a try!
Everyone who knows me knows that I re-invent my style in some way. Recently, I’ve been digging the tv series Mad Men’s 50s-inspired style. I love the bold prints and patterns, the full skirts, the clean feminine lines of the clothing, and the classic pieces. From head to toe, this mod style is womanly and playful at the same time.
Check out Mod Cloth’s full list of Work-Approriate Outfits (click link)
Pinterest also provided some great Mod style-inspired boards (click below to view the boards)
As I transition into graduate school, I will be revamping my style once again. My upcoming clothes swap will be my last one in Houston. This time I know exactly what I’m looking for in the swap. Thankfully, I’ve already thrifted a lot of full skirts, colored pants, bright tights and interesting flats into my wardrobe. Now I just need to introduce some printed tops and flirty dresses. Some new jewelry wouldn’t hurt.
For my birthday, I got a few Target gift cards. Blessed are those who give Target gift cards! I went buck wild on these excellent sales both in-store and online. Check out these deals I scored. Disclaimer: These discounts are not the same everywhere.
I ordered these Junior colored Pants online in Red and Purple. They are low-rise ankle pants and they fit comfortably. I’m short (5’2 tall) and I typically have trouble finding pants that aren’t too long. I rolled these pants up once and they were the perfect length.
I have had my eyes on this chic pair of mint green Oxford shoes. My neighborhood Target only had them in size 5, for only $9.98!!! This was the first time in a long time I was dissatisfied with my size 8 feet.
Eventually I wore down and bought them online for $19.99.
I am mostly a flats-and-loafers girl. I spied these awesome wedges after my sister told me they were in the clearance section. They dress up any pair of blue jeans. They give me height without wearing down my feet. What’s not to love ?
I love the helpful Target staff in my neighborhood. One of the ladies in charge of the fitting room gave me a heads up that these Merona blazers were on sale.
When I went back to the store a few days later, they were all gone! I’m glad I snagged them up!
My school bag (an oversized denim tote bag) was in serious need of a replacement. I’m constantly stuffing things papers and notebooks into my purse. It was so heavy that the strap was stretched out. I was constantly living in the fear that my strap would break and the contents of my purse would spill out unto the floor.
I would have never purchased this purse for $35, so at $17 it was a steal! It is the perfect school bag for teacher. It has a lot of space and it is a sturdy bag. I’ve been getting compliments for this bag. It has a textured finish on the sides which makes it stand out from the average tan bag.
This may sound crazy, but as I have been preparing to move away from Houston I had already started mourning my thrifting lifestyle. I would miss the unique prints and trendy finds that set me back less than a Happy Meal. From what I had seen from my trip to New York in the summer, clothes in the Big Apple did not run cheap. Fortunately for me and my closet, Syracuse is not quite the Big Apple…more like the Little Orange (get it, because Syracuse’s colors are orange…nevermind). But really, the small town is more budget-friendly and affordable.
So imagine my delight when my new friend Kelly showed me this cute little thrift store called 3FIFTEEN on campus. Click the link for their Non-profit Facebook page.
The store had a boho vibe to it and there was a cute cafe on the inside. Kelly tells me the cookies are to die for. When I saw the face-sized cookie she bought, I made a mental note to go back and try one myself.
I’ve always had a thing for wooden pallet furniture!
The skirt and the polka dot blouse caught my eye. I was only browsing though, so I left the items in the store for the next lucky shopper.
I absolutely love this sign! Philanthropic fashion is one of my passions.
There are so many reasons why I love this woman, but here are my top 10:
1. She is beautiful
2. She is kind and giving
3. She’s a great big sister
4. She ages in reverse (look 17 even though she just turned 27)
5. She’s ambidextrous
6. She’s a great writer (check out her blog deekodeetales.com)
7. She not-so-secretly wants to be Korean
8. She hates going shopping but has great style
9. She is a ever-growing woman of God
10. She knows how to laugh at herself
Isn’t she lovely!
And here’s my Sunday Best outfit:
We didn’t plan the lemon grass color. It just happened. Both my pants and Dee’s are from Target. They were on sale for $8! I had to snag them.
Happy Birthday to my baby (big sis) Dee!
Today I took advantage of my day off and stayed in, watched the Inauguration coverage, and went thrifting. I went to Family Thrift Outlet where everything was 75cents today. I bought about 12 items, all of which came to about $9.50! Yes, just under the budget! *fist pumps*
Here are some of my items:
I needed a few work pants, so I went searching. I found four pairs from brands GAP, The Limited, Issac Mizrahi and another random brand I hadn’t heard of. I was glad to find solid brands at such a low price. The only problem now is that I will have to hem most of the pants due to the fact that I’m short and I wear mostly flats.
Found a mini-skirt to go with my bright tights!
My sister has a super comfy movie sweater that I’ve been jealous of. This XL sweater does the trick.
Not pictured are a silk floral skirt, a blue and white trim blazer (for my mom), and a tan blazer (for my sister).
Total price: 12 items for $0.75 = $9 (plus $0.50ish in tax)
A day and money well-spent, wouldn’t you say?
I made a deal with myself and my closet that for every 2 new items I bought, I needed to donate one thing. It looks like I’m going to have to toss out 4 old things. Yikes. I’m going to comb through my closet. I’m sure there’s a pair of daisy dukes crying out for a new home.
This grey baby doll dress was from my last clothes swap. I paired it with a lace removable peter pan collar. I’m actually wearing two pairs of tights for a double layered look. I got the burnt orange tights from Target and wore some sheer polka dot tights on top. I’ve been loving this layered tights look. It makes colored tights look a little more sophisticated. I wore my Mary Janes to complete the look.
I did the layering tights trick again. This time with my Apple-Red pair plus sheer hearts pair. The result is a wine color. I wore a long-sleeve tee that I got from Naturallycurly.com a few years ago with a grey skirt and wine snake-print loafers.
Here’s Event #2 that I hosted: Last Clothes Swap of 2012
Around these parts, I am the Clothes Swap guru. Ok, so what I gave myself the title…I love hosting clothes swaps. At this point, I rarely find anything for myself. I love helping people find new items and try new styles they never thought they could pull off. I feel like Stacie Clinton on “What Not to Wear.”
This last clothes swap of the year was about starting afresh. There were so many ill-sized articles of clothing in my closet that I had to get rid of. I realized that I couldn’t continue shopping and bringing new items into my closet without doing a clean sweep first. For a while, I thought I had a hoarding problem. I have way too many clothes in my closet; clothes I had no use for anymore. After I saw an episode of “TrueLife: I’m a HOARDER,” I realized that I gradually want to move towards a more minimalist lifestyle. It’s a slow process, but little by little, I can see more carpet in my closet. Don’t ask lol.
I’m also “reinventing” myself like I do every Spring, so some of my old digs have gotta go.
Friends came by. We shopped, swapped, ate, and tried on clothes. As always, a blast :).
The left over clothes went to a local thrift store that I frequent. It’s funny going thrifting and seeing things that I donated. It feels good to know I finally let them go. Now to attack the trash bags of clothes in the garage. Another day perhaps.
Thanks to all who came!
I’ve been really into vintage-looking styles lately. A few people have asked me why I dress like I’m from another decade. Honestly, I like reinventing myself. At this point in my style, I am into mini dresses paired with tights and peter pan collars.
I recently went thrifting. Everything was an additional 50% off. Nothing I bought was over $5, due to the sale!
Here are a few of my finds: