If you’ve followed me long enough, you know how I feel about mixing splurge items with budget friendly pieces. Vintage shops, clearance sales and thrift markets are great but theirs nothing quite like FREE! This is why I started throwing seasonal closet swap parties a few years ago. This Fall it was taken to another level when I teamed up with The Faux Fancy, one of the best hostesses I know.
LOCATION – Chose a space with ample room for your items, food, booze and of course lighting for selfies. I had to call up one of Dallas’ top still life photographers Manny Rodriguez to rent out his studio space. It’s raw, well lit and even has a vintage Neiman Marcus clothing rack!
THINGS YOU’LL NEED
One changing area per 5 guests
Full length Mirrors
Raw space to lay out shoes, accessories and jewelry
Food Serving Spaces
Signature drinks aka LOTS of booze
Bags or boxes for left over items
I like to invite friends with senses of style that differ. It’s always interesting to see the girl who usually wears sportswear don a sequins dress! Also consider sizing. This includes shoes and clothing. It’s best to have groups of at least two who wear the same sizes.
We went with Facebook Invites. Any virtual invitation system will work. Delivered paper is classic and pretty. However it’s best for party goers to see who else is coming. That way they’ll have confidence in size availability. It’s also a great tool for sending quick updates. Like parking changes (true story).
Make sure you and your guests bring only new to gently used items. Also establish a clothing count. I ask for no LESS than 10 items. This will keep things fair. I’ve once had someone show up with 2 jewelry pieces and leave with 7 prime clothing items… NOT cool.
Since everyone will touch clothes, shoes etc… serve non messy finger foods. Check out my co host Aquia at The Faux Fancy. I STILL can’t get over her easy yet oh so pretty fruit skewers idea.
DRINKS… LOTS OF DRINKS
With every closet swap I’ve thrown, there were at least 2 women who only knew me. This can be a little nerve racking for some guests. Exposing what’s lingered in their closet corners can be a vulnerable moment. Mix in trying stranger’s clothes and you’ve got a much needed stocked bar situation. We held our swap on a Sunday afternoon so this mimosa bar was the perfect antidote.
Having 2 hosts doubled our guest list so Aquia came up with a fun and organized way of picking and trying on our items.
HOW TO SHOP A SWAP
I shop swaps the same way I’d shop a packed thrift or resale store. First I have a mental list of must haves. Then I approach the rack heading to pieces in colors and patterns that stand out. Only after I’ve set my hands and eyes on those do I begin to look through every other item.
Also, make sure you go back 2 or even 3 times. As ladies who have gone before you will put back those from their “No” piles.
“Does this make my butt look fat”? There will be plenty of girls around who can answer this but why not take it one step further? With plenty of extra hands around, have a friend snap a photo of pieces you’re not quite sure of. If it doesn’t work you’ll know immediately and can return it to the rack. If you’re loving it, keep it AND have cute footage to post later. Two Birds…
At the end have guests go through and take any of their items they want to keep or sell. Then gather leftover pieces for charity. I usually drive them down to local thrift shops that benefit women. Genesis gives proceeds to Dallas women’s shelters. Its such a great feeling knowing our things will go to great and much needed homes.
Be sure to check out my partner in crime Aquia at The Faux Fancy. She goes into more detail on food ideas, table decor and other things that made our space oh so pretty!