I mentioned a couple weeks ago about hosting an F.S.P. (Fashion Sharing Party) with some of your girlfriends. It’s such a great (and free!) way to pick up some “new” clothes!
The only “problem” with an F.S.P. is if you aren’t the same size as all of the participants. I run into this problem with my height. I am the shortest girl (5 feet) among my friends, so sharing pants and jeans is just out of the question!
So what’s a girl to do if F.S.P.’s may not be (or fit) her “thing?”
GirlfriendCelebrations.com recommends an accessory swap: So all your girlfriends, in all their beautiful sizes, can participate. Here’s how to do it:
Instruct your girlfriends to bring as many handbags, costume jewelry, belts, and scarves as they would like to swap. They should bring only items that are clean, in good condition and not hopelessly outdated. (Vintage is OK, however!) Girlfriends may also bring items that others have donated to the cause.
Setting and Setup
All you will need is a large enough space for everyone to view the offerings and try things on. Since accessories are generally small, you may want to provide a table to display them. You’ll need at least one large mirror for trying on.
If you want to pad out the offerings, you could try scouring sales and discount stores for trendy and cheap scarves, purses, and jewelry. You may find a bargain: We recently spotted some great crocheted scarves for a buck at the dollar store. The accessory section at Target often has great clearance deals on belts and jewelry.
Food and Drink
Non-messy, non-fussy finger food is the order of the day. Wine and cheese, (a little bubbly makes things more celebratory, and goes with anything), simple appetizers, possibly a few sweets. Set up your buffet away from the display table, of course, and save the good stemware for another day. There is likely to be a lot of picking up and setting down of glasses, and the stain from a toppled-over glass doesn’t look good on any accessory.
Swapping and Other Activities
Generally, swap parties are conducted as “organized chaos”– there are no real rules on who takes what. When everyone is ready, just start browsing and trying on. We hope your girlfriends are polite enough not to hoard items or fight over them. However, if two people really, really want the same item, you could have the group “vote” on who should get it.
What to do when the swapping’s done? Well, you could TiVo some episodes of What Not to Wear (always good for a few laughs!) and watch them together. Or, if you are in the position to splurge a little, hire a stylist, image consultant or personal shopper (our favorite is here) to come for an hour or two and discuss accessory dos and don’ts. She may even be able to offer some personal fashion advice to your guests.
Don’t forget to donate any leftover items to a local women’s shelter, Goodwill, the Salvation Army or another charity.
Variations on the Theme
Here are some other ideas to try:
* Give your accessory swap a serious or campy theme–black-and-white, special occasion accessories, wear-to-work only, bad holiday pins, garage-sale finds.
* Extend the swap to shoes, if you’ve got enough girlfriends with similar-size feet.
* Ask each girlfriend if there is a story associated with her accessories (she wore it the night she met Jon BonJovi; it was given to her by her Great-Aunt Harriet, whom she hated; she bought it in a bazaar in Bangkok)–and if there is, get her to spill it!
Since everyone will be leaving with new stuff, you can skip party favors and no one will notice. But if you just can’t resist, here’s an idea:
* Get everyone the latest copy of Vogue, Lucky, or whatever fashion magazine you favor, so they can study the latest trends. Who wouldn’t want this?
Thank you so much, Girlfriend Celebrations!