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It's there. Staring, as if it had eyes. Nagging, a constant reminder of your bad judgment.

Sadly, that miniskirt is never going to fit you again. Not today, not five hopeful pounds from now. (Three words: Give it Up!)

Time to let go and embrace some closet therapy. Just in time for fall, why don't you throw a swap party? Unload clothing and accessories that you don't wear anymore (or never did) and get some new ones.

Here's how:

The Event
Get together a bunch of girlfriends and have everyone bring in gently worn items and accessories they don't wear anymore. It's obvious (I think) but I'll still state this: The items should be clean and in good condition with no major damage. Remember, these are your friends and you want to keep them.

Announce the event and make the most of your style-swapping extravaganza. Send out invitations (e-mail is fine) ahead of time and set the mood at the party by creating a theme. For instance, a black-and-white clothing swap in which every item brought to the party is black or white. A few other ideas are vintage, retro, glam or athletic. Have music playing while everyone 'shops,' then add to the festive atmosphere by supplying some simple snacks and drinks! Don't forget a full-length mirror, which is an essential part of your party and have a bathroom available to change in for any friends that may be shy.

The Clothes and Accessories

This part is simple. Anything you haven't worn in the last two years or anything that you simply can't fit into, you can bring to a clothing swap. It may just be time for someone else to have fun with your old miniskirt.

The Rules
Display each item so everyone has a chance to see what's available. Everyone can take turns picking out the item they desire and try them on. You may want to have guests pick a number out of basket as soon as they arrive, in the event there are some really good items that more than one person wants.

The best part is that you'll have your girlfriends there to approve your pick and give you their opinion your choice is a good one for you.

The Leftovers
Don't take things just to take them. Nobody should have to bring home something they don't want ... the idea here is to empty out your closet and clear yourself of things you no longer need. Just pack up whatever remains and donate any left over clothing to a charity such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a woman's shelter.

Tip: A nice touch, to end of the night on, might be to hand out homemade or personalized shopping bags (that reflect the theme) for everyone to take their new items home in.



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