Clothes Swap Party: A Fun Way for Moms to Update Their Wardrobe

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In January 2020 (aka pre-pandemic) my neighbor invited me to my first clothes swap! The invitation motivated me to clean out my closet and dresser.

My dream goal: become a minimalist.

My realistic goal: to quickly and easily find something to wear without shuffling through too-small jeans, maternity shirts, and pre-kid dresses.

I was five months postpartum and was so ready to have some new pieces in my wardrobe but not ready to spend money on clothes I knew I wouldn’t wear for long (as I was slowly loosing the baby weight). By the end of the week, I had a nice haul to bring to the swap party, and my shirts were folded Marie Kondo style in my drawers (I highly recommend trying this).

The cute clothes swap evite!

Friday night, I arrived with my two garbage bags of clothes to donate or swap along with a simple, Southern appetizer of cream cheese, red pepper jelly, crackers, and a bottle of wine. As I looked around, I realized that I looked like a novice clothes swapper as most of the other guests had brought their clothes in luggage. Some women looked like they were packed to travel abroad and others just had a reusable shopping bag with just a few items. I poured myself a glass of wine. This seemed like it would be a fun night and just what I needed!

Having a decent wardrobe can be challenging for moms for several reasons, especially if your kids are still young. Your body has been stretched through pregnancy and then deflated. Tops and dresses need to be nursing-friendly, easily cleaned, and can withstand the dryer in case you forget to hang dry; and you WILL forget! Shopping with young kids is always an adventure, especially when you are unsure of your current size and need to head to the dressing room. Online shopping is the easiest; however, returns can be a pain if things don’t fit.

Here Enters the Clothes Swap Party!

Your closet is cleaned out, you can get together with friends, have some wine and snacks, and donate to a good cause while leaving with new (to you) clothes, accessories, and shoes. I can’t think of a better win-win! This is especially exciting when you have a stylish group of friends to invite!

Here are three tips on how you can host your own awesome clothes swap party:

1. Consider your Guests

Your guests will be swapping and trying on new outfits, so you want to make sure everyone will have some clothes that fit them. Decide your size range and invite accordingly so no one feels left out.

2. Decide the Swap Rules

Some clothes swaps have each guest display their clothes like a boutique so guests can browse through racks of clothes and try on what they like. The clothes swap I attended had everyone sit in a circle and each person would stand up and show each piece. The first to raise their hand and claim an article of clothing got it to try on at the break (there were three or four “try-on” breaks). The shoes and accessories were displayed on a table nearby and were free to whoever wanted them. Anything unclaimed would go in a pile in the middle of the room to be donated.

Clothes Swap Party: A Fun Way for Moms to Update Their Wardrobe Charleston Moms
Swap Time!

3. Donate

Choose a charity to donate the leftover clothes. The clothes from the swap party I went to were donated to Florence Crittenton which “provides housing, medical care, and education, and other services to pregnant, parenting, and at-risk young women.” My Sister’s House would be another great charity. Make sure your guests know that any clothes that are not rehomed will be donated and to make sure clothes brought to the swap are in good quality.

Clothes swap parties are a great way to hang out with friends, update your wardrobe, and donate to a great cause! Have you been to one recently? What are you waiting for? Get your girlfriends together for a fun night!

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Elizabeth Wagner is a 5th generation Charlestonian and a 3rd generation James Islander.  She and her husband maintained a long distance relationship throughout her nursing school and his Marine Corps deployments. They married in 2010. After working as a neurosurgical nurse for ten years, she became a stay-at-home mom of their now four kids. From her natural passion to help others and through caring for her own children, Elizabeth became interested in herbal remedies, the benefits of plant medicine, and natural ways to treat her kids illnesses. In 2016, after the birth of her third child, she started Island Bloom Herbals. She makes homemade elderberry syrup, cough syrup, and herbal teas. She and her husband are beekeepers and have three hives in their backyard.  Elizabeth and her husband also love to dive. Her husband proposed to her underwater off the coast of Charleston and they have dove in the Georgia Aquarium with whale sharks!

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