Monday, September 18, 2017

Swap Party- A fun girls' night in!

This past Friday was one of my favorite girls' night out get togethers. It was Swap Party night!

For those who don't know what Swap Night is, don't worry. I didn't either until I went to my first one last November. Essentially, it is a night out with your girlfriends where you get to "shop" each other's clothes and accessories. Our group changes hostess responsibilities because it is quite the undertaking. You invite whoever you want. (Although I think if it gets too large it would be too overwhelming for all involved. You'll see why as I continue to explain.) Then, if you plan to attend you drop your swap items off at the hostess' home. Our group's rule is that you have to have at least 10 items to swap. It can be more. But all items should be in good condition. It isn't just the closet clean out that you may take to the donation spot in your town.

It's the items in your closet that you've loved but don't want to wear as much anymore. That item you got your family pictures in so you feel like it has had it's time. The fun accessory that you loved for a season but you've moved on from--whatever.

The hostess collects and arranges the items. At this past swap she had tops and dresses and such set up on clothes racks sorted by size; jeans, shorts and bottoms arranged by size laid out in another room, and accessories in one final room. Are you all seeing the genius of this night?? There were literally racks of clothes to choose from!!!

We all show up and eat, drink and "browse" that first hour.  Now- the first time I went, I was naive.  I browsed but didn't really try a ton on. I thought I knew what I liked or what would look good. This is my third or fourth swap and let me tell you what I've learned:

**Try on all the things.  Sometimes what looks ok on a hanger, looks GREAT on! Sometimes what says XS on the tag actually fits you like a dream. It is the weirdest thing how you can have all different shapes and sizes in a group and EVERYONE leaves with something! Seriously! It is like "Sister of the Traveling Pants" kind of magic.

**Take photos. Those items that you are crushing on? Take photos. When the actual picking begins, it can be hard to remember all the things you really loved and you don't want to forget. Remember you just tried on a million things so having a little photo roll to scroll back through becomes helpful.

**Be strategic.  That one thing you love but no one else really cared to look at? Don't pick that first. Because chances are no one else will pick that. Pick that one item you love that three other people like. Be sure you get it! ;)

So after we browse and try on, we draw numbers.  Here is why I say keep your swap party small-ish. At this last party we had eleven gals that could come.  You draw numbers 1-11 (duh) and then choose items based on your number. So number one has first pick and so on.  Then we work our way back down. So number 11 picks last, and then immediately picks again as we count down 11, 10, 9 etc. So being first or last is kind of a perk because you pick twice in a row.  You can see how this can take some time. So having 25 gal pals might sound like a blast with lots of things to choose from, but it would be a LOT of waiting around and, not to mention, a lot of inventory for the hostess to go through and organize.

We do several rounds of choosing. As we start to weed our way through our top picks we retry on things we might have missed as we wait. We pull things out and suggest them to a friend. Basically we keep going until people are kind of over what is left. Then we have a short free for all where we all grab anything we think we might want to have. I mean, free clothes so why not?

After the free for all, that's it! You have a full bag of items new to you that you get to go home with. I've gotten scarves, sandals, jeans, tops, dresses- sometimes with tags still on! (You all know that buyer remorse of getting something home and then going to wear it and not really loving it...but also never returning it. Swap it!!)

I think most girls would love a swap night with friends. It really is so, so fun and one of the events I most look forward to. Everyone that comes feels the same too. It is like a holiday we get so excited!

What are your favorite girls' night events?