A recent TV news story touted a a new wardrobe and spa treatment for only $25. That sounds unbelievable, right? Right! It turned out to be the fee for a clothing exchange and d.i.y. hand treatment at a beauty product store.
Organized clothing swaps are an old idea. A friend told me they were called naked lady parties in the 1970s. Leave it to a hippie to give you the clothes off her back.
Naked lady parties are a great way to save money, clean out your closet and expand your wardrobe. Now that’s multitasking! Instead of wasting gas cruising garage sales, you only make one stop. You are guaranteed to find items in your size and the selection is better then the average garage sale and thrift store fare.
Save yourself $25 and host your own clothing swap. Keep your first party small, about six people. Invite multiple guests of the same size or size range. For example, if you are a size 8, you should invite a couple of size 8 friends. This will give everyone a good selection in her size.
You will need space to show everything. A clothing rack is ideal, but your coffee table or kitchen table will do fine. Sorting the garments by size is optional unless you have a big clothing swap.
All items for the swap should be clean and in good to excellent condition. Those unworn clothes hanging in your closet are excellent candidates. You may choose to include shoes, accessories and jewelry or just clothes at your party.
If you like, you can ask everyone to bring an appetizer or dessert. Or you can add your own spa element. Ask everyone to bring her nail supplies and give each other manicures. (See this article for manicure directions and supply list.)
The new postage rates make it a bit expensive to mail invitations. Consider postcard invites because the postage costs about half as much. Of course, in person, phone and e-mail invitations are free. Include a list of items to bring and party details. You can also link to this article if your friends have never heard of a naked lady party.
Clothing swaps are not just for women. Parties can also be for men, teens or children. Children’s clothing swaps are especially successful since their future sizes and needs are so predictable.
Revamp your wardrobe by hosting swaps throughout the year. You can ask guests to bring seasonal attire, even Halloween costumes. A back to school swap is a must for students.
That TV station probably does not consider naked lady parties newsworthy. I think new clothes, appetizers and a manicure beats their $25 offer. Happy saving!