As the Holiday party season approaches we start to think about what we might wear to Holiday parties. To me the best part of the holidays is all the opportunities to get together with friends and family. 

I remember back to University when we'd get together with a group of girlfriends and exchange our holiday outfits. It was a great way to save money and share some great outfits.  So I invited some girlfriends over for brunch and invited them to swap some Holiday Dresses.  It seemed like a fun idea to get a new "to you" outfit without having to go to any stores AND sharing a glass with some girlfriends too. Sounded win win to me.

Each woman was asked to bring a loved, but still in good condition, holiday outfit and swap it.  A dress, a swanky top, swish skirt or snazzy shoes. For each item they brought they could swap for another one.  All remaining items would be donated to charity. 

I had wanted to host a swap for sometime. This seemed a small-scale way to give it a try.  In general it was lots of fun and most everyone went home with new items.  But I learnt a few things.   To me an important part of a swap is for everyone to leave with "new" clothes.  But as we know not all clothes fit all people. I had invited a range of women with a range of body sizes and types.   But I had limited the types of clothes by giving it the Holiday theme.  I think for everyone to find something that works for them you need more volume of swappable items.  Next time I'll give more notice, so people have time to organize their items and I won't put a theme on it.  So hopefully more women will bring more items and increase the likelihood that everyone will go home with something "new" and fabulous. 

Personally I brought only 1 item to swap. A lovely black dress that I have had for years but only worn a few times. My girlfriend Nicole gleefully took it home.  I didn't end up keeping anything myself.  I was in love with a purple blouse that someone brought, but it just wouldn't fit over the girls.  Someone else took that lovely item home.

A little something old and a little something new.

To accessorize the "new-to-you" swap outfits I also invited  a Stella & Dot  stylist over as well for a jewelry show.  It seemed like a win/win situation to me, swap some clothes, buy some new jewelry, have some brunch and some adult conversation. Plus there was Bailey's.

Our stylist Shannon was lovely and allowed our group to chat, browse the jewelry, try on some pieces on and generally enjoy ourselves.  She was helpful and there was very little "sell".  It was a lovely way to shop.   By the end 

The necklace I didn't buy.

of the party almost all of us had purchased some piece of jewelry and Shannon was sharing toddler adventure stories with the rest of us.

The jewelry is expected to arrive in the next week. And I'm pretty excited.  Several of the pieces that I ordered were from the catalogue and I can't wait to see what they look like.   I'll post pictures as soon as I can.

Overall it was great to have some girlfriends over to my house for brunch and some kid-free time.  And it was also a nice excuse to bring out my nice dishes and to clean my house.  Not that you could tell a few short hours later once the 3-year-old had returned to the house after a guy date with Dad.

Update - I should also add as a host of a Stella & Dot party I received some free jewelry, based on how much my friends ordered, plus some jewelry at 50% off.   I'll provide details when I receive everything and post pictures.

An Aside -  I have to say how much fun it was to see my long time real life friends mix and mingle with some former work friends and my social media girlfriends.   My favourite part of social media is turning those twitter friends into real life friends.