Summer Swap-A-Holic

Photo: fashinvest

Photo: fashinvest

With summer hitting the halfway mark, all those weekend roadtrips, cute new swimsuits and rooftop margaritas have probably made a pretty big dent in your wallet. And even though I've abstained from all three of those things this year, a summertime cross-city move has still managed to drain my shopping budget for the next few months.

So what's a budget-conscious chick to do when she's got a serious shopping itch? One super easy/fun way to save money while still snagging new-to-you loot is to host a swap. And because all things are made better with food, drinks and some girly entertainment, it's even more fun to turn your swap into a "girls' night in" party, complete with cocktails and a movie.

On Friday, I'll be hosting a swap party of my own, with a little help from online consignment marketplace SnobSwapStella & Dot and Fox Digital HD. I've invited some of my favorite fashionistas, and asked them to bring along 4-8 clothing and accessory items to swap. Then, post-swap, we'll stream Fox Digital's The Other Woman, which stars Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton and, from the trailer, seems to be tailor made for a girls' night in. (Sample tagline: "It's Bras Before Bros.")

I'll be posting pics from my summer swap party after Friday (or, you can follow along with #OtherWomanSwap on Twitter and Instagram!) on the blog, and if you're thinking of throwing your own bash, here are a few tips:

  • Keep the invite list tight! Things can get a bit hectic if there's just too much stuff. Are you super popular? No worries, you can hold multiple swaps with different groups of friends.
  • Let your guests know to ONLY bring items in great condition. This is not the time for people to be unloading their ratty middle school T-shirts. (Unless it's the perfect ratty middle school T-shirt.)
  • It's all about the presentation--create a separate space to organize and display your guests' items so they look their best.
  • Keep things fair. Ask guests to only take as many items as they bring, and I'd also recommend having a number system in place (i.e., the guest that picks #1 out of a hat gets to choose first, and so on) to avoid any swap-related resentment.
  • Have a "fitting room" ready. Don't have a room to spare? Just cordon off a corner with clothesline and a sheet for an instant mini changing area. And don't forget the floor length mirror!