Mindfully Spent is about managing finances, time, and more in pursuit of meaning. It chronicles my journey to use money and moments for things I truly love.

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What happens at a Naked Lady Party (and why you'll want to host one!)

What happens at a Naked Lady Party (and why you'll want to host one!)

Last weekend, I joined a dozen or so women at a “Naked Lady Party.” No, we did not stand around showing off our busts and backsides. What we did do was get rid of all the stuff we never wear, restock our closets, support a local charity, and enjoy good company while snacking on some particularly delicious things. 

A clothing exchange or “frock swap” can be a great way to clear closet clutter and update your wardrobe without spending a dime. Those who aren't interested in closet contents could exchange fishing lures, books, bike parts, art pieces, home decor, or just about anything. Here’s how our swap worked.

The group of us are not new to participating in a clothing exchange. Like events in the past, a friend offered to host the event, chose a date and time, and set up a Facebook event. The host often provides some light snacks, tea, or wine, and guests add to the goodies by bringing some bites or beverages to share as well. Food and drink is totally optional, but its fun to snack and chat while waiting for everyone to arrive. Our hostess spoiled us with homemade cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit during our most recent Sunday brunch-time exchange. Others brought mimosa fixings, creamy homemade soup, hummus, meats and cheeses, and more. Our bellies got full up on the goodness of it all.

Guests came carrying bags and boxes. They brought clothes, accessories, and small household items that were ready to move on to a new home. A quick note about contributions: Sometimes people feel self-conscious about coming empty handed or with just a few items; there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Some people are participating because they want to empty overflowing closets; they bring plentiful contributions and hope to leave with very little. Others attend hoping to add something to scant wardrobes. Both kinds of attendees can help make a successful party.  

Once everyone (or most everyone in our late-running group) arrived, we all took turns displaying the things we came to give away piece by piece. Those in attendance laid claim to the items that caught their fancy as they were displayed.

This particular frock swap was pretty mellow, but they definitely aren't all that way! Here are a few ways to easily resolve differences when multiple people want the same item:

  • Option 1 – The person who has already stockpiled 25 things defers to the participant that has very little set aside to take home; or
  • Option 2 – All interested attendees try on the item and the group votes to award the item to who wears it best (this is not always the person who is shaped like a the department store catalog model as clothes, like people, come in all different shapes and sizes).

Items that don’t find a home are tossed in a central pile.  (Yes, some folks totally go back through this pile at the end after enjoying a glass of tea or wine and noshing on a little snacky goodness.) At the end of the event, the unclaimed items remaining in the pile are rounded up for charity.  

Clothes fit everyone differently. I’ve seen an item from a teeny tiny person fit a not-so-tiny person incredibly well (and vice versa). In addition, accessories like scarves, bags, and earrings have no set size. We had attendees of all different shapes, but I think everyone who wanted to add items to their closet went home with something new. If you are worried about having enough options for everyone, you could include multiple people from all ends of the size spectrum when planning your guest list. You can also encourage friends to invite others whose clothes they may be interested in inheriting.

 How to host a clothing exchange. A free, easy way to freshen up your wardrobe.

Your Turn.
We had a great time chatting, restocking our closets, eliminating clutter, and making a huge donation (two big bins!!!) to a local charity. As mentioned, these parties don't have to be limited to just people interested in women's clothing. Parents could use this type of exchange for passing on kids clothes, outdoor enthusiasts could use this type of exchange to pass on hiking gear they are no longer using, book lovers could pass on well loved volumes... the options are pretty endless. If you decide to host an exchange of any kind, we would love to hear about your experience.

Looking for more ways to save on fashion? We've got you covered.

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