A Party For the Fashionistas

March 19, 2006

I just acquired two bags of clothes — including a brand new peasant blouse with its original price tag — a couple of pairs of shoes and a purse in exchange for some old clothes of mine. How did I swing that, my fellow fashionistas? I attended a “clothing swap” party yesterday.

I was introduced to the concept in San Francisco six years ago, and now, I am obsessed. I no longer drop off my old clothes at Good Will. Instead, I set them aside for my next clothing swap.

Here’s how such a party works: One woman invites every woman she knows and, in return, they invite every female friend they have. The protocol is to bring something to eat or drink and all the clothes, shoes and accessories you no longer want. The goods are divided and all the women delve into piles of shirts, pants, shoes, etc., trying them on and taking what they like. Anything left over, goes to charity — so all clothing donations are tax-deductible.

Sound good? Well, if you do plan such a party, make sure it takes place in a big enough venue with enough time for fittings and eating. (Usually, around three to four hours.) Also, the more women invited, the better, to ensure a variety of sizes and styles.

Embarrassed by the hot pink biker shorts Grandma gave you? Bring it with you! You’ll be surprised at how someone will drop it in her bag. For my first party, I gave away a lot of shamefully bad 80s clothes, and I overhead a couple of women say, “Vintage? So Cool!” Can’t wait for my next clothing swap. As I am unpacking my “new” clothes, I already have things to give away!