to throw a clothing swap
this: It's the afternoon. Cat Power is on the stereo, you've
got the windows open, you're drinking some iced soy decaf latte,
and you're, gasp, cleaning out your closet. You feel calm. You're
getting rid of all those shirts that are too tight and pants
that are too baggy. No worries, you think. Someone else will
enjoy them more. Slowly you bag up all your old belongings.
Later, at the party, you drink champagne, eat cupcakes and swap
clothes with your favorite girlfiriends! You leave with bags
of brilliant, new (to you) items.
is no fantasty. It's a Naked Lady Party(NLP). The concept is
simple: a number of women get together to trade their wears.
Your dad's old sweater that sat in your closet for ten years
collecting dust is taken by someone with plans to transform
it into legwarmers. Your friend's too small Seven Jeans become
your new "wear them everyday" pants. And the snakeskin
DVF wrap dress is the star of the evening!
been holding and attending these parties for over eight years
and they are always, always, always a kick . I get
great stuff, enjoy the company of my buddies, and I don't spend
any money on new clothes. Yeah!
friends and I have developed a highly elaborate system for swapping
clothing, which I have outlined below. However, my Porltand
pal Susan Beal recently revealed to me that there is another
way to do it. It's call the West Coast NLP. "What's this?,"
you say. "Is this like some kind of rap thing?"
the left coast has developed their own version of the NLP where
you throw all the clothes into the center of the room and have
at it! No rules, no bidding, no maximum invites, no organizing;
just clothes, ladies and chaos. I put the West Coast style to
the test the other night, when I hosted a party for sixty. (See
photos shown here). It was a blast--and no one lost an eye!
The choice of style is yours. Either way, you'll have fun
Instuctions for the East Coast Style NLP
(for the West Coast style, just take hints from this
and create your own rules!)
Keep your invites down to ten or less. Any more and it gets
2. Make sure that you choose a space that is large and airy,
so that the everyone can spread out. You also want to make sure
that it is private, since you will be in various states of undress.
3. Be supportive of everyone. Pay lots of special attention
to creating a non-competitive environment. Compliment each other
and refrain from negative comments.
4. Serve snacks. A bunch of hungry women and a piles of clothes
could be a lethal combination. I'm a big fan of serving something
glamorous, like the aformentioned champagne and cupcakes. It
creates a fancy, lady-like vibe, but it's not exactly nutritious!.You
may want to go for something a bit more substantive, like little
cucumber sandwhiches or humus and crudite. And don't forget
the water! Clothes swapping is thirsty business.
5. Be generous. Don't get bitchy if someone else wants the same
item as you. Give it up; there's plenty to go around.
you've got the basics...
Step One: Sort
Dump everyone's clothing in the middle of a large room. Then
sort all the clothing into categories: pants, dresses, shirts,
outerwear, sweaters, shoes, and miscellaneous (games, toys,
Step Two: Auction
After you sort everything, have one of the ladies 'auction'
off each item, holding it up for everyone to see, describing
the size, fabric, brand, and other redeeming qualities. For
instance: "This lovely 1960s Housewife MUMU is acid orange
and red, a size 8, polyester and cotton, and it's made by Hawaiian
Island." Then each member of the party raises her hand
to make a “bid” (which of course is not a cash bid,
but a show of interest). If there is more than one taker, you
go into selection mode. Each girl who wants the item tries it
on for the group — and after thoughtful comments had been
made, if two or more still want the item, a vote is held. The
bidders close their eyes and the team votes on which lady should
get it show of hands.
Step Three: Trading
Once everyone acquires their loot, allow some time for additional
trading or swapping to occur. It's important for everyone to
have the opportunity to rethink their goods. If you like the
tangerine head scarf that I got, you could offer me the 1970s
fake Gucci bag for it. Or maybe you decided that you really
don't need those purple satin pants, after all, but a hair crimper
would be quite beneficial.
Step Four: Thrift it!
Inevitably, you will have leftovers from your party, i.e., the
Clue board game with missing pieces or the dirty shirt in size
extra large with a plumbing logo on it that no one wanted. These
items should be bagged and sent over to the local thrift store.
If you are throwing the party, you should ask one of the participants
to take responsibility for doing this.
it! Four steps to your own fabulous NLP! I can't recommend this
party enough. Please throw your own and let us know how it goes
on the forums!
Want to invite other craftistas to your NLP? Post your party
Excerpted from get
crafty: hip home ec.