Last week when I was forlorn without my laptop as it got repaired at the Apple Store, I spent my days digging through the abyss that is my closet. This was in anticipation of moving out of my university flat towards my next step (still pending, I have an exciting interview on Friday so keep your fingers crossed for me). During this Marie Kondo session, I came across so many clothes that my style has outgrown. They still fit and are lovely, but they no longer feel like the woman I am today. It makes sense as throughout the year I noticed myself gravitating towards new purchases or borrowing from one of my four flatmates whenever there was as special event on. There’s a special magic to borrowing the clothes of someone whose style you admire.
I happen to live with women with really interesting and eclectic wardrobes (incidentally none of us are remotely minimalist). As I’ve been refining and pushing myself stylistically this year, it was a joy to be able to experimentally wear their clothes. The same piece on two different women can create a totally different effect due to how they accessorize, how they carry themselves and even their personalities. There’s an excitement to borrowing clothes as well. It’s a sort of freedom in dressing unexpectedly, the feeling of being a bit outside of yourself in a liberating way. Borrowing or swapping clothes is a bit like a masquerade, you capture a tiny bit of your friend’s style and weave it with your own identity. On the other side of things, someone wanting to borrow your clothes is one of the most genuine compliments on your style and personality. When I lend out my clothes, I feel a sort of second hand pride, a subconscious ‘damn right my friend looks amazing in my top’.
This red dress was long term lent to me by my flatmate and it’s honestly one the best things I’ve ever put on my body. The dress itself is so flattering and comfortable but when I wear it, I feel like I’m channeling my friend’s cool yet elegant style. I wear a lot more neutrals whereas she loves a bold color, and this deep red works with her blonde hair as well as my brunette. This is why I think clothing swaps are one of the best ways to get out of a style rut. It gives you the flexibility to try new looks without being overwhelmed about revamping your entire wardrobe. It also can give you the boost of confidence and novelty for a special event. Borrowing clothes has all the bonding of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with none of horror of a low rise jean muffin top.
Shout out to my wonderful flat mates who have let me raid their closets these past years. Your stories, your style and your friendship have inspired me beyond words.