How to Host a Clothing Swap Party

how to host a clothing swap; hostess kelly lee of kelly golightly; top fashion blogger kelly lee; lifestyle expert; entertaining expert; skinnygirl cocktails recipe

A great way to spruce up your wardrobe without spending a dime is to host a clothing swap party. So, I gathered some of my best friends together for an afternoon of Skinnygirl Cocktails and clothes swapping. And what didn’t find a new home, we donated to Dress for Success.

Check out the party pics below along with 10 Tips For Hosting a Clothing Swap Party of your own and two recipes for delicious cocktails to serve at your fabulous clothing swap party!

hostess kelly golightlyskinnyfoodhow to host a clothing swap; hostess kelly lee of kelly golightly; top fashion blogger kelly lee; lifestyle expert; entertaining expert; skinnygirl cocktails recipes

1. The Guest List.

Eight to twelve ladies is an ideal number of guests, as it will ensure variety but prevent chaos. Be sure to include at least two guests who are about the same size/body type so that everyone has at least one person to swap with.

{My fab party guests from l-r 1st row: Roxy, Laurie, Sydne; 2nd row: Andrea, Anne, me, Annette, Jamie, Devon, Kristen, Caroline, Jenny pictured below}

skinnygirl whitepeachmargaritacocktailshow to throw a clothing swap party

2. Invitations & Giving.

A simple email is efficient and modern. Include the basics such as when and where, along with instructions on what to bring (“any clothing and accessories you’re ready to part with”). You may also request that guests bring hanging items such as dresses and tops on hangers.That way there is minimal set-up involved upon their arrival and you can enjoy each other’s company versus spending the party hanging items. Do keep spare hangers on hand for those who are unable to bring their items on hangers (tip: slim velvet hangers take up less space). You can also include if you’d like guests to bring only spring/summer or fall/winter attire and the number of items you’d like for them to bring (i.e. 5-10 pieces), or keep it more casual and open-ended. I encouraged guests to bring as little or as much as they desired and noted that all items that didn’t find a home that day would be donated to Dress for Success. Sharing is chic!

clothing swap party decorshoptheracks

3. Décor & Set Up.

Take inspiration from your favorite boutique, as the clothing and accessories will act as the majority of your party décor. Garment racks and hangers allow for easy hanging of items as your guests arrive, which can be purchased online or at your local home goods store. Or, get creative and drape items on hooks and over doorways. You could even suspend a laundry line and use clothespins to hang items. Use what you have and what works best for you! Wine racks make fabulous displays for scarves and vintage picnic baskets suddenly become a display case for folded t-shirts. Move a shoe rack from your closet into your “boutique” for a shoe display. Clear off table tops and credenzas to use for additional space for jewelry, bags, and items such as sweaters. Have shopping bags on hand (large gift bags work well) and pass one to each guest so they have a place to put their shopping finds. I also spruced up a plain white wall with circular wall decals I found online.

how to throw a clothing swap partyhow to throw a clothing swap partydressingroom

4. Signage.

Simple handmade signs (or printed from your computer) can be placed on doors to indicate “Dressing Rooms” (bathroom doors and bedroom doors make for ideal changing rooms), as well as on your front door to indicate the name of your “shop” (in my case, “House of Kelly Golightly.” Handwritten messages in lipstick on mirrors, such as “Hello Gorgeous” and “Sharing Is Chic” adds a playful, girly (and free) touch to the décor.

gorgeous To add a glamourous touch, I moved a mirror from the bedroom into the living room and placed it on top of our coffee table to display food and drinks. how to host a clothing swap; hostess kelly lee of kelly golightly; top fashion blogger kelly lee; lifestyle expert; entertaining expert; skinnygirl cocktails recipesnosh

5. Food and Drinks.

Fun, delicious and easy food and cocktails are the key to a great party. Opt for light, easy-to-eat and non-messy fare that is simple to prepare, such as fresh fruit and veggies, herb dip, cheese and crackers, croissants, chips and popcorn (to ensure little stress for you, the hostess). To add a glamorous touch, I moved a mirror from the bedroom into the living room and placed it on top of our coffee table to display party food. For cocktails, a sprightly punch is convivial and also makes for easy serving, as guests can help themselves (to ensure for happy guests). Simple handwritten recipe cards let your guests know what their beverage options are (and ensure that they can recreate them at home, if they wish). Add a festive touch to drinks by placing a striped straw in each glass. Small details make all the difference.

whitecherryvodka{What I'm Wearing: Shop Norka top, Zara Skirt, H&M blazer, Vintage Ferragamo heels; Rossmore LA jewelry}clothing swap partypartyfoodideasclothing swap party

6. Dress Code.

If you’ll be snapping photos at your party (and who isn’t these days to share on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest?), advising your guests to wear similar colors makes for cohesive and extra-pretty pictures. I took my inspiration from the pretty drinks I’d be serving (Skinnygirl White Peach Margarita and Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka), so requested that guests wear a palette of red, white, pink and peach. It was fun seeing friends in a sea of pretty hues – and even more fun to discover we matched the Skinnygirl Cocktails bottles and drinks!

lauriebstyleclothing swap party

7. Hashtag That.

It’s really fun to add a dedicated hashtag to your parties, that way everyone can scroll through and see each other’s party pics in one spot. We chose #drinklikealady (see pics here).

clothing swap partyclothing swap party

8. Swap It Like It’s Hot.

For the first hour of the party, encourage guests to browse and try on items while they enjoy their drinks and nibbles. After everyone’s had a chance to browse, have guests draw numbers from a hat to see who gets to shop first (I used paint chip samples to write numbers on; the numbers should correspond to the number of guests). Whomever draws #1 gets to shop first. After she’s chosen her first item, let the guest who selected #2 shop, and so on and so on. After a few rounds where everyone’s gotten their top picks, you can opt to let everyone shop at the same time.

swappingclothing swap partykellyshopsanne sage the city sagehow to host a clothing swap; hostess kelly lee of kelly golightly; top fashion blogger kelly lee; lifestyle expert; entertaining expert; skinnygirl cocktails recipes

9. Toast to your fabulous finds!

And, if you’d like, try on clothes for a finale runway walk and photo shoot. Werk!

finalekristen turner of glitter n glueskinnygirlkellyleekellylee

10. That’s a Wrap.

After the party, gather all of the leftover items to be donated to charity (we’re donating to Dress for Success, an amazing organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life).

Here are two delicious cocktail recipes to serve at your clothing swap party:

clothing swap party

Pink Cherry Lemonade

2 Parts Raspberry Lemonade
2 Parts Club Soda
1 Part Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka
1 Part Lime Juice
1 Part Lemon Juice

Serve cold over ice with a lime wedge

clothing swap party

Merry Cherry Peach Punch

1 Part Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka
2 Parts Skinnygirl White Peach Margarita
3 Parts Grapefruit Soda
1 Part Lime Juice

Serve cold over ice & garnish with a cherry


Art direction + styling by Kelly Lee for Kelly Golightly

Photography by FredBaby13

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Skinnygirl® Cocktails

© 2013 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL; Avg. Analysis:  All Products:  Protein 0g, Fat 0g; Vodka with Natural Flavors (per 1.5 oz.):  Calories 75.6, Carbs 0g; Cocktails (per 1.5 oz.):  Calories 35.2, Carbs 2g; Sangria (per 5 oz.):  Calories 132, Carbs 22.5g; Wine (per 5 oz.):  Calories 100, Carbs 4.8g A LADY ALWAYS DRINKS RESPONSIBLY™

All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Kelly Golightly & fun posts like these possible!

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173 thoughts on “How to Host a Clothing Swap Party

  1. Barbara Segal

    My LA girl friends and I have done this for years. Clothing swap party are so much fun! We’re all shop-a-holics, so we score some incredible clothes from one another! We laugh and carry on, and scream out a friends name when sometimes see our original swaps being swapped again. Fun and savvy post Kelly, love it!

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