How to Host a "Closet Swap"

January 6, 2010 10:13:43 AM PST
Most women would agree that we have lots of things in our closets that we buy but rarely - if ever use. Many of these clothes and accessories would be considered a fashion "find" by a sister, neighbor or girlfriend. In fact, fashion experts often say if you haven't worn something in 2 years, it's time to get it out of your closet and make room for new things. So Chicagoan Jen Schefft, who appeared on ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," says you should host a "Closet Swap." She says it's a great to be frugal yet fashionable, and have fun with your girlfriends all at the same time."My husband and I actually just bought a new house in December and as I was going through my closet while we were packing, I realized how many items I have that I haven't worn in years ? really cute things like bags, necklaces, tops ? you name it," says Jen. "It's something we can all relate to and that's why I've teamed up with Little Black Dress Wines to share a fun party idea for fashionable women where they can swap their unused clothing and accessories among friends."

Here's how it works:

  • Pick a date and invite a group of your girlfriends to rummage through their closets to find cute items they aren't using. Tell them to "bag it and bring it" to the Closet Swap.
  • Buy some wine and simple hors d'oeuvres to serve. Things like cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, hummus and pita.
  • Create a stylish space inside your home to showcase all the items your guests bring to swap - make sure to have a mirror on hand! The idea is for you to try on the clothes/accessories and have fun while doing it!
  • Since giving back is always in style, ask your guests for an "at the door" donation of $5 for a local charity that is important to you and your girlfriends.
  • When your guests arrive, let the swapping begin! "Swappers" can choose as many items as they bring. If there are items left over, they can also be donated to a women's charity or shelter.
  • To easily keep track of the number of accessories each person donates (and the number they get to take home!), give each guest one poker chip for every item they bring. Before the swapping begins, draw numbers to determine the order in which guests will make their selection. When it's time to get "swapping," guests can select one item during round one and go in order (for example, guest who picked 1 goes first); during the second round, guests should select two items and reverse the order of who picks first; the third round, guests select three items and so on
  • At the end of the party, everyone will leave happy and with something new!
  • For more information, visit where Little Black Dress Wines has created a "Closet Swap" section, which includes email invitations.

    About Jen Schefft

    Jen Schefft was the 'winner' of the final rose on ABC's 'The Bachelor' (starring Andrew Firestone) in 2003 and went on to star in 2005's 'The Bachelorette.'

    Since then, Schefft has guest co-hosted "The View" on two occasions, co-hosted the 2005 Academy Awards live pre-show on E! Entertainment Television, and has appeared on countless news and talk shows including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Live with Regis and Kelly," "Good Morning America" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." She has also been featured in Glamour, People, Redbook, US Weekly, Time as well as numerous other publications. In 2007, Schefft penned the book 'Better Single Than Sorry: A No-Regrets Guide to Loving Yourself and Never Settling' and as a fashionable and frugal woman herself, has previously lent tips (in Us Weekly and on her blog on on how to get the biggest bang-for-your-wedding buck. A graduate of Ohio University, Jen graduated summa cum laude in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

    After walking away single (and turning down two proposals) from 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette,' she now resides in Lake Forest with her husband, Joe Waterman, and their dog Cooper. Schefft currently works in public relations for the boutique PR firm, Henson Consulting.