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Holding a Clothes Swapping Party

By: Sarah O'Hara BA (hons) - Updated: 25 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Clothes Swapping Naked Lady Party

Do you feel that your wardrobe is a bit stale? Have you got loads of clothes you want to get rid of? Instead of spending loads of money on new clothes and chucking all your old ones out, why not hold a clothes swapping party?

Clothes swapping parties are just that - you give away the clothes that you don’t want, and you come away with some new clothes (which are clothes that someone else doesn’t want). The phenomenon originated in America, where clothes swapping parties are also sometimes called ‘naked lady parties (don’t worry there’s no nudity involved!), but they are growing in popularity in the UK as well. Clothes swapping is also sometimes called ‘swishing’.

Why Swap Instead of Shop?

You can’t really lose by having or attending a clothes swapping party - you could get rid of some old clothes that are cluttering up your house and get a new outfit for free. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are ‘shopping’ in an ethical way.Cutting down on cheap throwaway fashion is a concern for many who do not want to contribute to the 900,000 tonnes of shoes and clothes that are thrown away in the UK every year.

As well as having a feel good factor financially and environmentally, clothes swapping parties are a fun event in themselves. You get to try out new outfits and see someone else make something new of your old clothes too.

Organising a Clothes Swapping Party

You can have a clothes swapping party at your house, invite your friends, put on some snacks and drinks and make a night of it if you like. Alternatively many people organise clothes swapping parties in pubs, bars and other venues these days. You can charge a small entry fee to cover the room hire.

Invite your female friends, family and workmates, or advertise on flyers and social networking sites if you’re holding a bigger clothes swapping party at a hired venue. Follow these guidelines and your clothes swapping party will run smoothly:

  • Make sure there’s somewhere for people to try on new outfits and that there are a few mirrors around. A spare room or bathroom at your house will be fine.
  • Make sure every guest brings at least one item to swap. Don’t limit things to just clothes - bags, bangles and shoes go down well as well to get the full outfit effect!
  • Don’t spoil the fun by having arguments over items. Go round and let everyone pick one thing at a time and decide if they’d like it. You could all just dive in if you like, but keep a coin handy to toss in case two people want the same thing.
  • Be brutal when deciding what to donate to the clothes swapping party. If you haven’t worn something for over six months, do you really need to keep it? By the same token, be restrained about what you take away or you’re defeating the point. Only take things away with you that you know you’ll wear.

Got all that? Now all that’s left to do is swap until you drop!

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