5 Steps to a Fashionable Swap Party
Have your own Fashions Night Out by getting rid of unwanted duds and finding new—and free!—clothes.
When money is so tight you can’t even afford regularly priced kale (and yes, I speak from personal experience), the last thing on your shopping list is an immersion blender or a new sweater. While the occasional Goodwill or eBay purchase can get you some things on the cheap, you still have to shell out dough. Enter: the swap party, where you can score free stuff sans dumpster diving (gross) or stealing (illegal). Hosting a swap party is easy, cheap, and fun to do—it's like having your own free Fashion Week!
1. Find stuff to offer up. The classic swap party is for clothing. If that's the way you want to go, gather gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories you don’t want and put them in a bag. “But I love all my clothes, Anna!” No, you don’t. Stop lying to yourself, okay? You haven’t worn that high-waist black and white polka-dot pencil skirt in two years, so throw it in a bag. (But seriously, I’m looking for one. Let me know.) I challenge you to expand your swap-party horizons past your closet! DVDs, kitchen items, lamps, and old boyfriends work too.
2. Add friends. Involve others who have similar bags containing similar items by sending an invite to friends announcing your party. Possible cheap avenues include, but are not limited to: evites, emails, Facebook invites, smoke signals, and yelling.
3. Pick a swap site. Meet at a large location (say, your living room). Each swap participant should section off a part of the room to set up their goods, so that each of you can walk to the others' "store.” Set up a full-length mirror as well (if your party includes clothes), so that you and your friends can ogle at each other ("That looks so much better on you!”) Set up clothing lines or tables to display items; if you’re cramped for space, neat piles work too. Other organizational options include sorting by room, style, color, or type of thing.
4. Craft a swap strategy. Order, people. Without a solid swap strategy, you and your guests will end up brawling over blender attachments as pairs of jeans fly across the room. One possible strategy is to use tokens—one token for each item a guest brings. Another option is to take turns: draw straws to determine the order, and then let one person go at a time, limiting the number of items you can pick up per turn. The rest of you can nosh and sip while you wait. Speaking of which...
5. Provide cheap (and yummy!) snacks. What’s a party without food and bubbly, right? Serve small bites that friends can pop in their mouths while examining martini shakers. Why not serve White Bean Bruschetta, Cashew Coconut Date Cookies, Green Tea Cakes, or have your guests bring their favorite bites? And might I suggest some Champagne to go with that? I’m a sucker for bubbles. I’m an even bigger sucker for four-dollar bottles of bubbles. Plus, after a glass or two, everything will look great on you.
After an afternoon spent with friends, food, and fabulous finds, you will walk away with a slammin’ new cocktail dress or serving bowl, good memories, and a happy stomach. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is as true today as it was whenever that phrase was created (I’m picturing petticoats), so plan, swap, and enjoy your new finds!
6 Vegan Thanksgiving Dinners for Any Food-Obsessed New Yorker
The Big Apple and its surrounding communities is redefining Thanksgiving with a cruelty-free twist.
Read More »
15 Vegan Hacks for Your Favorite Fast-Food Joints
Drive through one of these eateries for the most vegan National Fast Food Day ever.
Read More »
Olympic Medalist Bicycles Into Massive Vegan Concert, FTW
Dotsie Bausch is one of many high-profile vegans speaking at this weekends vegan music and food event.
Read More »
8 Ways to Veganize Everything in Your Fridge Without Anyone Noticing
National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day is one more reason to ditch the animal products.
Read More »
Is Your Meat-Eating Loved One Driving You Up the Wall? Here's How to Deal.
Melanie Joys latest book teaches us everything we need to know about communicating with the omnivores (and vegans) in our lives.
Read More »
- 10 Foolproof Ways to Make Your Vegan Holiday Celebration Fabulous and Unforgettable
- 5 Life Lessons I Learned in the Prison Garden
- 9 Vegan Ways to Hack Classic Holiday Pies
- 11 Vegan Nacho Recipes That Will Make You Forget About Taco Tuesday
- 9 Ways to Ensure Your Vegan Fall Wardrobe Makes You Look Hella Cute
- 6 Vegan Songs to Add to Your Fall Music Playlist
- 8 Vegan Treats for Your Companion Animals (and Maybe You)
- Vegan Parenting is Taking Over the Internet
- 6 New Vegan Pastas That Will Change the Way You Eat Dinner
- And the Winners of the 2017 Veggie Awards are …
- How Moby is Changing the World One Vegan Concert at a Time
- 10 Scary Halloween Costumes Only Vegans Will Understand
- 6 Vegan-Friendly Cat Cafés Where You Can Celebrate National Cat Day
- 5 Vegan Ways to Drink Your Chocolate
- The VegNews Guide to Perfect Halloween Pumpkins
- 7 Vegan Ways to Eat Your Beer on National American Beer Day
- 4 Innovative Vegan Companies We Found at Boston Veg Food Fest
- 12 Diners Where its Always National Greasy Food Day for Vegans
- 13 Things You Didn't Know About Nuts That Every Self-Respecting Vegan Should
- How a Vegan YouTube Megastar Finds Success By Catering to Meat-Eaters