hosting a swap party

Last month I hosted a swap party at my house for some friends.  We'd gotten together for some impromptu swaps before, but now that summer is in full swing, I wanted to make it more of a party.  I strung up some lights, put up some decorations and grabbed a pretty bouquet of farmer's market blooms to make things more festive.  Some people brought cupcakes and I made cupcakes too, so we had a ton of treats, and I had some bottles of wine and mimosa makings.

It was a pretty successful evening!  There weren't a ton of people there, no more than 10 at the most, but there were lots of clothes and I'm pretty sure everyone walked away with at least a small bag of new things.   I got new jeans, a cardigan, a dress, and more!  I'm not sure if I've featured any of the new swapped items on the blog yet, but I've been wearing them all the time, so I'm pretty happy with my new finds.  I think swapping is such a great way of expanding your closet.  Even though the Delightful Dozen stopped swapping a couple years ago, I'm still a huge fan of the idea of swapping, both permanently, and also just trading clothes with friends to get a new perspective on how to style them.  I know of a few blogger swap groups that started because they were inspired by the Delightful Dozen.  As a blogger, you can become closer to online friends and even start new friendships!  You don't have to have a big group of blog friends to start swapping, maybe just one or two friends you trade back and forth with.  Plus, it's just nice to get packages in the mail with fun surprises.


If you're not a blogger, or just want to have a swap party of your own, it's super easy!

Tips for hosting a swap party
  • Make sure everyone knows to bring cute things.  The first time we had a swap a lot of people brought old ratty t-shirts.  Think about items you still like, but maybe don't fit, or aren't your style anymore.  No one wants your old gym t-shirt with stains on it.  
  • If you have a bunch of people who are different sizes, consider making areas for people to place their clothing according to size.  Our party was small enough and most people were close enough in sizes that this wasn't necessary, but if there were a lot more people who wore different sizes, it would be nice to be able to look through items by size.
  • Have an area to try things on with a mirror.  Since we were at my house I let people try things on in my bedroom and bathroom, but if you're somewhere else, make a little dressing room.  
  • Make it a party!  Have drinks, snacks and music!  We went through phases of just sitting around and, munching, drinking and having fun and then spurts of digging through clothing.
  • Plan ahead and give people time to dig through their closets to find items to swap.  We made a Facebook event a couple weeks beforehand to let people know and kept them updated that way.
  • Have a place set up to hang or rummage through the clothes.  I had a little pole that I hung up, and then once that was overflowing we hung clothes on my back fence.  If you have a ton of people coming, make sure you have a place for all the clothes to go!
  • If you're hosting, offer to take the leftovers to donate to a local thrift store, so people don't have to haul their old stuff home.
Have you ever had a swap party?  Did you get some awesome stuff?  Have any other tips for throwing a successful swap party?