The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Potluck Fashion Party, with Rachael Ray

By Vicki McClure Davidson

I always looked forward to church potluck dinners when I was a little kid. Not to suggest that my mom was a bad cook, but I was giddy with the anticipation of trying out the different, delicious foods made by all the female members of our church.


Rachael Ray uses potluck dinner concept with a 'fashion potluck party' that frugally expands your wardrobe


Rachael Ray uses potluck dinner concept with a 'fashion potluck party' that frugally expands your wardrobe

One older woman always brought homemade country fried chicken (the best I've ever had), and someone always made one of my favorite desserts that, for some reason, my mom just never made: vanilla pudding with banana slices and Vanilla Wafers (or maybe it was banana pudding, not vanilla... I can't really recall, but it was SURE GOOD. That dessert was all the rage in the 1960s). Ah, those tasty memories of potluck dinners!

Rachael Ray, TV's perky cooking show/talk show host, must have similar potluck dinner memories. She's spotlighted the potluck concept on her show with "Rachael's Potluck Thursday." With fashion, she took it a step further.

On a show that aired in December 2006, Rachael brought together five women, some of whom were strangers to each other, for a "potluck fashion party."

Using celebrity stylist Sam Saboura to preside over the clothing exchange, these women swapped clothes with each other from their wardrobes. As he told them, "One woman's trash is another woman's treasure." Sam had them organize the clothes they brought to the potluck into three piles: basics, novelties/fun items, and accessories. After they chose their new clothes, he gave them helpful advise on using colors and working with their body shapes.

To watch the short video clip of Rachael Ray's Potluck Fashion Party, click here.

After watching this video segment, if you're inspired, go for it! Anyone could host a fashion potluck at home with friends and family members as guests. Have everyone bring a friend to spice things up with different clothing. And it doesn't have to be for just exchanging women's clothing—men's, teens', and children's can be exchanged as well. This could help with the clothing budget crunch so many of us are going through during these turbulent financial times. Clean out your closet of clothes you no longer want, exchange them and ultimately get fabulous FREE clothes. A win-win.

It's practical, thrifty, socially stimulating, and a lot of fun. Play some jazzy music during the fashion potluck, have some inexpensive snacks (not pre-made, of course) on hand and a moderately priced bottle of wine to pass around and make it a real party!

Video bonus... British stylist and former fashion editor of Interview Magazine Annabel Tollman was a guest last year on Rachael's talk show to discuss "One Hit Fashion Wonder Makeovers."

Tollman shows, in the video below, how women can easily modify clothing that is languishing, unworn, in closets or drawers to give them new life:




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Source: Rachael Ray Show, aired December 13, 2006, (