11 Jun

A Fun & Guilt Free Way to Part with your Unwanted/Unused Clothing


Posted by: Denise (AMBER) Moser

This weekend I decided to do a Women’s Clothing Exchange. I will be honest that it wasn’t my idea and one that I stole from a friend of mine. She had one last year and again this year at a friend’s art studio. She herself is a psychologist but it was so much fun I thought I would like to throw one for my friends and clients. I partnered with a Realtor friend of mine and did it in my back yard. I have a great back yard and a great house and didn’t see the point in spending money on another venue. I started weeks before preparing the invitations and getting a list together of what would be required. Everyone in my family pitched in to get this ready. My mom helped me source clothing racks, the kids helped with yard work and my boyfriend even resurfaced my concrete patio for cheap and sanded and restained my patio table. I used my birthday present for a house cleaning to get the house professionally cleaned.
We sent out the invitations two to three weeks prior to the event. We sent them out via Facebook, Evite.com and paper. I found a few vendors that could showcase their wares and an esthetician to perform waxing, manicures and pedicures. As it was potluck style I planned 5 dishes as well as beverages and figured the other ladies could look after the rest.
Throughout the week prior I sent reminders about the event and gave them updates. I kept watch on the weather because this was supposed to be a garden party. I made a backup plan just in case the weather took a turn for the worse. Two days before my make up lady cancelled due to an illness in the family. I scrambled to find someone else but no luck. The day before the event the weather was miserable. A crazy storm blew in. I was starting to worry this may become a basement party. Then my Epicure lady jammed because her childcare made other plans. I tried to replace her to but last minute is so hard.
In the morning when I woke up the sun was shining. The kids and I got busy putting tables out I borrowed from a friend’s tenant, a tent for people to change into and the last of the food prep. My daughter was so excited she started putting out her clothes and determined which tables would hold what. We had pants, shorts, skirts, shirts, dresses, shoes, jewelry, even some naughty wear.  My Esthetician cancelled because of food poisoning.  At 10:30 our guests started to arrive and my son and step son made themselves scarce. They only corresponded via text as previously agreed to for food and drinks. The ladies dropped off clothes, tried some on and took what they liked that fit. It was fun. Its like free shopping. Get rid of what you don’t like, take what you do. It costs nothing but a bit of time and a dish of food. We also had a lady actually selling jewelry.  She was the only vendor that turned up.  People came through the house all day long. It was a good day. As I decided it was a dry party I had everything else to offer for drinks but wine. Then my one lovely friend showed up with wine and a few of us had a glass. The day turned out fantastic. We ended up with 4 bags of ladies clothes and 2 bags for little girls that was donated to Women In Need.
If I was to do it again next year I would have a couple full length mirrors so that we can see what we look like in our found items. I would get lessons on how to set up some of the tables as I found some of them had little secret latches ect to make them go higher or lower. I would charge a $20 returnable fee for any vendors I book as long as they turn up. And next year I would include a glass or two of wine. It was a very nice touch.