After attending quite a few clothing swaps over the years, I thought it was time to put my experience to good use and host one of my own. After a bit of planning and hounding friends and family for clothing donations, the swap came together and I’m happy to say, it went well! In addition to some pointers I’ve learned from the events I’ve attended, I also have tips to share from my experience in planning a swap.
But wait Katie, what’s a clothing swap? Aah, a clothing swap noobie. I have so much to share with you! Clothing swaps are events where ladies come together after cleaning out their closets to exchange their gently used clothing, accessories, and shoes. Much like the one I just hosted, many of the swaps I’ve been to charge a small fee, which gets donated to a local non-profit organization. Swaps are great ways to connect with other ladies, update your wardrobe and just have some fun!
Without further ado, here are my top tips for a successful clothing swap!
Think about it–when you go thrifting, don’t you like it when the items are sized? Chances are, you do. Separating tops and bottoms by size and labeling them (small, medium, large, extra large) makes it easy for your shoppers to find what they’re looking for!
Don’t put clothes on the floor and style your “store”
Remember, you’re not hosting a yard sale, so don’t put your clothes on the floor! Grab some tables, shelves, and clothing racks and create your own little store! (I swear, I didn’t mean for that to rhyme). At the swap I recently hosted, we had fold out tables to hold tops and bottoms, a tension rod in between two walls to display dresses, and a tall shelving unit to hold purses and jewelry, and lined up shoes on the ground. Besides it looking super cute, our shoppers appreciated the store-like atmosphere!
I can tell you one thing that has been consistent through every single clothing swap that I’ve been to: they’ve all offered refreshments for the shoppers. Putting out some flavored water, juice, cupcakes, and other little bites for your guests is a nice touch because no one wants to shop hangry. Am I right?
Provide mirrors and/or a changing area
As I was preparing for my swap, I made sure to add a full-length mirror to my supply list. Understandably, your shoppers will want to see how something looks on them before they decide if they want to take it home. If your space allows, consider providing a changing area for your guests–it can be a bathroom, spare room, or an enclosed area with a curtain. This will complete your store-like experience!
Donate funds and leftover items
As previously mentioned, many swaps I’ve attended charge a minimal fee–usually $10–to swappers, which then gets donated to a non-profit organization. If you’re thinking of hosting a swap, consider partnering with a non-profit that you support. To further your philanthropy, also donate your leftover items to a thrift store.
Swapping for a cause? It’s a win-win!
I hope these tips were helpful. If you’ve hosted a clothing swap, make sure to leave your tips in the comments! Good luck and have fun!