We’ve all had these thoughts:
Why did I buy that?
This doesn’t fit well.
I’m over this dress.
I’ve outgrown this style.
I need new clothes but also, moneys.
Or simply, I have nothing to wear, yet my closet is so full.
Nikki and I have wanted to plan a Style Swap party for MONTHS! The thought of sipping cocktails or Pinot Noir while mulling over gorgeous fashion that is absolutely FREE to boot is my idea of heaven. We’re on day 20 of #NoBuyJune and it’s been a perfect indication of the holes in our wardrobes, and in our wallets!
While decluttering can be a bit of a bore it needn’t be – a style swap party is a fun way to have an exciting girl’s night, purge old or unwanted items and add fabulous pieces to your wardrobe. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ so while you may be tired of your tan ankle boots, someone may think they’re delish!
Here’s how you host your own style swap part:
Invite guests. Since we’re all on a “save the planet, less waste, considerate consumption” buzz, a great way is to create an event on Facebook and skip the paper invites. You could also create a kicky li’l ie-vite (I need new slang!) on Canva to set the tone of the event. Think chic and exciting but not Pinterest board luxury – the idea is not to spend a cent.
Keep it small but with a mix of body shapes so that everyone goes home with a few items. Up to 8 guests are ideal. While having a room full of people means more fashion for you, it can be overwhelming. It also means that more people will be interested in each item. If you’d like to pull a crowd – perhaps break up into smaller groups. Send invites at least two weeks in advance to give people enough time to Kon Mari their homes.
Set some ground rules
The host should steer the vibe of the event and keep things strealined. Decide on the number of pieces each guest needs to bring. If someone brings a boot-load of wears while someone else brings three items, it can be unfair. Ten items is a good number to go with – in that way you can bring dresses, jeans, knits as well as shoes and accessories. Stipulate that all items must be fairly new or even new, and used items must be in a clean, good condition – no broken heels, ripped seams or faulty zippers, or faded items with stains either. Beforehand you can also invite guests to share what items they’re looking for – whether baby items, maternity wear, winter jerseys etc. to give invitees an idea of what to bring.
Decide on a swapping strategy
Show and tell’: each participant has about 5 minutes to describe their items e.g. I bought this jersey at H&M about a season ago, it’s cosy and I’ve worn it with pleated skirts, jeans even dungarees to work and nights out. People who want a particular item can put their hand up, or say ‘I love it’, or make it fun and give each invitee a little auction bidding wand. If two people are interested, play rock paper scissors – winner gets the loot.
Fashion store: I’m shy so wouldn’t want to stand in front of a group of people so a faux fashion store is another great idea. If you have the space and enough hangers, or racks, hang items by size (if you have time) and allow everyone to browse. Keep everything neat and tidy. Rumbling through piles of clothing isn’t fun for anyone and may take longer. We all have enough laundry piles we’re wading through. Invitees can either go one by one – pick their preferred items and showcase the items they have ‘up for trading’. Or, beforehand you can hand everyone stickers marked with their names. If ‘Joy’ likes an item she can place a sticker on the hanger. If Aaleah likes it too, she can place her sticker below Joy’s and be second in line. Here, you may have to rely on the honesty of everyone. This should be fun so keep it polite – fighting over Crocs ain’t cute.
Fashion show: You could also host a mini fashion show to give invitees an idea of the fit and keep things fun! Again, a simple, “I want that” will suffice for preferred pieces.
Set up a try-on space.
We’ve all been there – either seeing an amazing item on a rack but the fitting room tells a different story. Or, vice versa – it’s looks horrid on the rack but looks beautiful when filled out with your gorgeous curves. So free up the bathroom or a curtained off area. If items don’t fit or you have a change of heart, second or third in line gets it.
Go beyond clothing
Depending on the needs of the group, books you’ve read, luggage, décor, casserole dishes, fragrances, even toys can make an appearance.
Let the fun begin
First and foremost, a style swap event should be fun and informal so that you can make it a regular occasion. If you’re worried that a group of strangers may have nothing to say to each other, think of fun games or topics to discuss. Ask each invitee to bring a plate of light refreshments and a bottle (or two!) of wine. You don’t have to bring gourmet platters – cheese plates, sausage rolls, cocktail meatballs will do the trick. Depending how close you all are, a movie night or mini spa could be a fun night! I suck at putting on nail polish so whoever gets me, I’m sorry.
There are bound to be items left over and since everything is good quality, make sure to donate them to a local charity.
A style swap party at the end of each season (summer, autumn, winter and spring), when people are already neatening up their closets, is a fabulous way to breathe new life into your wardrobe without spending a cent and at the same time catching up with friends or making new ones!
Let us know if you’re in for Nikki and I to host a Style Swop and also give us some tips if you’ve already hosted one. We can’t wait to hear from you. If we get enough interest it’s on like popcorns!