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Unwanted clothesBartosz Spyt

We've all made a few "what was I thinking?" purchases. A pink Chanel look-alike jacket that actually makes me look like a quarterback and designer jeans that would be great if I was two inches shorter are examples of such buys. Instead of letting them hang in my closet, taking up space and reminding me of my wasted money, I decided to have a clothing-swap party.

Clothing swaps are a great way to freshen up your seasonal wardrobe by trading your gently loved or unworn items with friends. You can also swap shoes, accessories and beauty products. At one of my parties, there were eight women and thousands of dollars worth of clothing up for trade. Everyone came out with some great pieces.

When you're putting together your invite list, don't limit it to friends of similar proportions. At my last swap, a 5-foot-9 friend exchanged most of her items with a friend who's 5-foot-1. We also invited a crafty type who gave our old shoes a makeover with inexpensive accessories we brought from home. The results turned our last season's heels into something that would make even Carrie Bradshaw proud.