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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 12, 2010

Fashion swap parties blend fun and frugality

By Jean Patteson
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q. Can you tell me anything about these parties where people swap fashions?

A. The concept is simple: You host a party where your guests bring clothing and accessories they rarely wear to trade with the other guests. It's a great way to combine fashion, frugality and fun.

The so-called Closet Swap Parties are being promoted by Little Black Dress wines a brand that naturally hopes you will serve LBD wines at your party.

In fact, LBD representatives were in Orlando, Fla., recently, along with their celebrity spokeswoman, Jen Schefft of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" fame. They hosted a party at Urban Flats, where they explained the swap-party concept.

"Everyone has cute things in their closet they never wear," said Schefft. "Sharing those things with your friends is a concept everyone can relate to."

To make the swap party more meaningful, she suggests requesting a small admission fee, which is donated to a favorite charity along with any leftover fashion items.

If you think you'd like to host a Closet Swap Party, Schefft offers these tips:

•  Send out invitations, explaining the swap-party concept. Free e-mail invitations are available on the LBD Wines Web site, http://www.littleblackdresswines.com. You simply click on the site's "invitation" link, type in the e-mail addresses of your guests, the party venue, date and charity details, and send.

• Suggest a LBD dress code. Then encourage your black-clad guests to model their colorful or glitzy fashion finds over their LBDs.

• Select a space in your home to set up shop. Clear a table or counter where guests can display and examine the swap items. Be sure to provide mirrors.

• When guests arrive, collect their entry fee and show them where to display their items. To avoid a free-for-all, have guests draw numbers for turns in the swap area.