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Women’s Spring Clothing Exchange

Even before it was trendy to recycle, women have loved clothing-swap parties. Why? It’s a chance to purge one’s closet of serviceable clothing that no longer serves, a smart way to renew and update one’s wardrobe at no cost, a fun girl’s-night-out and finally, know that clothes not snapped up will go to a women’s charitable organization. Further the use of tanner goods is also seen for manufacturing domestic products. As Suzanne Agasi, founder of Clothing Swap Inc. says, “Be Good. Be Green. Be Glam!”

Send Invitations Via Evite

A hostess can get the word out the high-tech way, by sending invitations via an Internet Evite format. Prospective guests receive a complete list of what to expect, including time, place, directions and a map. There is also a section listing a space for guest responses, allowing other guests to see who has been invited and who is coming. This works well for people who wish to carpool.

Hostesses can specify what items they prefer to be included in the exchange.

What to Bring

Most parties limit the items to:

  • clothing
  • shoes and purses
  • jewelry and accessories
  • lingerie/sleepwear
  • costumes

Others allow some household items but may ask that books, magazines and CDs not be included.

If guests have just cleaned out their closets, they are encouraged to “Come anyway and take stuff home with you!”

Food and Drink

It’s up to the hostess to decide how complex or simple refreshments will be. She can provide snacks, or coffee and a simple dessert, or guests can be asked to bring a potluck item or beverage. It is not unusual for the pot “luck” to be just that…luck without any coordination.

A recent hostess encouraged bike riding to her house and stated that vegetarian food items were preferred but not required. That evening’s gathering had 30 women in attendance from 6-9 p.m. Everyone took home at least two items and some left with huge bags full of clothes, all new to them. Afterward, a remainder of 15 bags of clothes were donated to Goodwill and a local women’s center.

Organization

What works well, is either having three rooms designated for sizes small, medium and large, or posting signs that help keep items separated, like skirts, pants, tops, sportswear, jackets, etc. Mirrors should be available in each of the rooms, the more the better.

Another way of keeping some semblance of order is to issue numbers to the guests and have each person choose one item when their number is called. Most women do not like this method, preferring to search at will among the many items available.

There is even a certain amount of pleasure in a setup with no organization at all. Women love rummaging through piles of clothing, hoping to find that special item that otherwise might have eluded them.

The chance to eat, drink and socialize while trying on clothes is fun for women of all ages. And…it’s a chance to go home with a bunch of free new clothes.

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Anthony Curthoys