It's my birthday today! And I'm celebrating this year. Off to dinner soon. But instead of having a party, I had a lovely Afternoon Tea and Clothes Swap with a few good girlfriends on Sunday. Have you hosted a swap before? They are ace! And you might even score a new season's wardrobe from it. Here's the lowdown:
1. You'll need a group of girls with things to give away - clothes, shoes, books, belts, kitchen things - anythingn that you're holding on to because you can't bare to give it to Goodwill, but you know you should.
2. Serve some sparkly or cocktails, and tea of course. And nibbles. Maybe everyone can bring a plate.
3. Make sure there is a mirror or two handy, and a private area in case anyone is shy about changing clothes. Provide spots for people to hang up clothes and put out their items - a clothes line works well.
4. We go by the first-come-first served rules, and we don't worry how many items each person has contributed vs taken.
5. Once everyone has had a bit of a look, get in and find some things and suggest to friends to try on. Sometimes all they need is a bit of encouragement. I like to do a cheesy sales thing on all the leftovers. Someone must surely need these divine metal chopsticks, for something??? Much hilarity ensues.
6. Give your swap a time limit, and once everyone has gone, pack up the leftovers and take them to Goodwill.
And there you have it. You might have scored something amazing (like the black silk dress and yellow wedges I'll be wearing tonight!), and purged your own wardrobe at the same time. It's fun, and gives a great focal point for an afternoon tea.
Oh, and how gorgeous are my geraniums, snipped from the forgotten bush at the side of the house? I got to use my mini bottles from the abcd soiree that Lisa wrapped with ribbon and washi tape, and plopped in individual stems of the most under-rated of flowers. So sweet!
Image: Steph Bond-Hutkin