City Pulse

By Susan Romero

Now that you’ve shopped your closet, you’re ready for phase two: swapping some clothes with friends. Swap parties are not new, but they can be fun and give you a dose of “resale therapy.” At least you can take some comfort in knowing where your clothes will end up.

There are many variations on swap parties, from simple to complicated. We believe swapping takes planning but should also be fun, so here are some tips to help you plan a well-organized, simple event.

1. Decide on a location. Swap parties should generally be small, with no more than ten guests. If your apartment is a shoebox ask a friend to host it for you.

2. Develop your guest list, keeping in mind that the size range and tastes should be similar to yours.

3. Ask friends to bring 5-10 items to swap. Everything should be clean and not too wrinkled. Swap parties can focus on particular items such as coats, handbags or shoes, or have a seasonal theme.

4. On the day of the party make sure to have a few full-length mirrors. Also have a place where some can try on clothes in private if they want to.

5. Food and drinks are a must but nothing too messy that can ruin the clothes.

6. When guests arrive each person can make a pile of their clothes and the hostess can mark the pile with that person’s name.

7. The actual swapping can be informal and there is no rule that anyone has to take anything home.

8. If more than one person is interested in an item, they can put their names in a hat and draw for who gets it.

9. Anything that is not chosen should be donated to charity.

If a party is too ambitious for you, there are several websites devoted to swapping. Some have membership fees in order to participate. Check out these websites to start:, and

Happy swapping!

Originally published February 2009



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