Rules and Ideas for Hosting a Clothing Swap Party


A clothing swap party is a great chance to get new-to-you clothes and accessories for free while emptying your own closet of all the things you’ve grown tired of. It’s also a fun way to get the girls together for socializing and shopping – without having to spend a dime or any time at a shopping mall.

Before the Party

Decide who to invite:

Numbers: Determine a comfortable number of people to invite. This step is crucial to determining the layout of your swap and the amount of refreshments you’ll need.

Sizes: Take special care to make sure everyone coming is within the same size range (or that you have more than one of each approximate size group). You can’t have a disparity between sizes, or you risk having guests be very disappointed that they couldn’t swap with anybody. Consider including accessories to make sure everyone has great options.

The invitation: The easiest way to invite people is with an email. Send about 2-4 weeks in advance to give people the chance to collect their clothes. Remind guests to wear comfortable clothes which are appropriate for trying on clothes. And let everyone know only good quality items can come – no missing buttons, torn fabric or shrunken sweaters.

Food and Drink


Keep it Simple:  Keep your food options neat and simple. Go for cheese and crackers, cucumber sandwiches, and other mess-free options to keep things tidy. Feel free to serve wine, but you might consider making it a rule that the wine stays away from the clothing. Encourage guests to wash their hands before beginning the swap.

The Swap
Establish and maintain organization:


The Layout: Have separate tables or locations for different clothing types, such as a pants table, a shirt table, and a scarf table. While your guests are eating, take some time to organize everything neatly.


Set the rules in advance: Consider a creative method of “claiming” clothes (such as stickers or labelled totes).


Have a system in place: Make sure people don’t leave with more items than they brought by giving everyone one token or ticket for each item they bring and having them redeem one token per item of clothing they wish to bring home.