7 Tips for Throwing a Halloween Costume Exchange Party
1. Plan at least two weeks before Halloween. Mid-October is the latest time for a costume exchange party. Most people’s schedules are too hectic the week or two before Halloween to fit in another event. Also – make sure you give people enough advance warning between invitation and party time. They’ll need time to dig up their costumes and accessories! 2. Invite women from all walks of life. If you’re a mom with kids, it might be tempting to just invite other moms. To make your Halloween costume exchange party a success, consider inviting women you don’t normally connect with socially: colleagues, friendly acquaintances, people outside your age group at church, teenagers, etc. 3. Decide if pets and children’s Halloween costumes are included. If you want people to bring their clean, gently used Halloween costumes for pets or children, make sure you tell them on the invitation. 4. Ask everyone to bring at least one full costume. A variety of Halloween accessories are welcome (feather boas, Carnivale face masks, glitter belts, etc) – but every person should bring at least one full Halloween costume for a woman, man, or child. 5. Make sure your space is big enough for women to try on costumes. My house is far too small for a Halloween costume exchange party! Remember, people will bring accessories such as pirates’ swords, big feather hats, princess wands, bumblebee wings, wide pumpkin costumes, etc. If you don’t know anyone with a suitable home, consider holding the exchange party in a community hall or church basement (unless, of course, your church is vehemently opposed to celebrating Halloween!). 6. Cover the costumes until everyone is ready to start. When people arrive, ask them to put their costumes in three separate piles: Halloween costumes for women, costumes for children, and costumes for pets. Cover each pile with a large blanket, so nobody can pick a costume until everyone is there and ready! 7. Explain how this Halloween costume exchange party works. Everyone stands around the pile of costumes, and when you give the word, everyone lifts the blanket(s). “Each person grabs the clothes and accessories that she is interested in and creates a personal pile,” recommend the experts at Secondhand Savvy in their description of a traditional clothing exchange party. “No one can take from that pile, but they can call ‘dibs’ just in case you decide you don’t want it. If no one has called dibs, it goes back into the pile as ‘incoming’ or ‘seconds’ so that people know to go and check it out.”
“Halloween was confusing,” said Rita Rudner. “All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it.’”
Regards, Kathy H.