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Throw a 'Bitch-N-Swap' Party!

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Lara Shriftman of let the money you spent on unwanted or barely used clothing go to waste when you can throw a party and swap them for something else instead? "Bitch-N-Swap" parties are a hot trend these days, allowing people of all ages to come together in a fun and creative way, while saving money at the same time! Whether the clothes don't fit you anymore or you just have no desire to wear them any longer, you now have the perfect excuse to clean out that closet and come home with some fun, new additions to your wardrobe! Here are some tips.

women at a party
The Guest List
Invite guests of all ages, so there will be something for everyone. If you want to appeal to a specific demographic, such as toddlers, customize your party by inviting only guests who fit that description. For example, I am constantly having to buy new clothing for my 2-year-old son, Lucas, because he is experiencing a major growth spurt right now. So I decided to throw a swap party this summer for other mothers with toddlers. Also, make sure you invite a lot of people. The more guests, the more items donated -- and, ultimately, the more fun things you'll have to choose from!

The Invitation
Since not everyone will be familiar with what this type of party entails, include a description in the invite. It is essential that each of your guests brings at least one item to donate, whether it be clothing, a toy, or gear. Get your guests excited about the party by making your invite creative; print it on fun stationery that features various articles of clothing. You can find a variety of options at Paper-Source and local Hallmark stores.

The Location
The best place is obviously your house. You will need a large, open space to hold all of the clothing racks, so just move your furniture around accordingly.

The Set-Up
Transform a corner of the room into miniature dressing rooms, so your guests can try on the clothes. I hung white sheets to section off areas of the room and put up plenty of floor-length mirrors. (I found inexpensive ones at Ikea and Target.) That prevented people from going home with articles of clothing they were later unhappy with. Don't forget to have a comfy area for your guests to lounge and socialize in. Create tight groups by snuggling couches and chairs close together.

Label each of the racks with prices ranging from $5 to $20. Keep in mind that each of the items donated has likely been worn or used in the past, so people are not going to want to pay high prices. For a special touch, have each guest tell a story about one of the items they brought, and why they are getting rid of it.

CHIC TIP: Engage your animals by having your guests donate animal toys and products as well. At my swap party, my miniature Shih Tzu, Lulu Flynn, found the cutest pink sweater to keep her all nice and warm during the wintertime!

The Menu
Since people will be up and walking around for most of the party, provide little treats for them to nibble on. Make sure that all of your food is bite-size, so your guests don't have to carry big plates around.

Some good choices: mini grilled-cheese sandwiches; pigs-in-a-blanket; mini sliders; mini water bottles; Veggie and Apple Straws from Sensible Portions; Harry & David Party Mix; mini CRUMBS cupcakes; Harry & David mini cheesecake petit fours; Serendipity frozen hot chocolate;Hampton Popcorn Company popcorn.

CHIC TIP: When the party's over, donate all of the remaining items to a local charity or the Salvation Army.

next: Ernie + Bert, For REALS?
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