As we currently explore ways of becoming a more conscious consumer, our shopping habits and clothing consumption is being put under a microscope. A simple strategy is to buy less, but sometimes this is easier said than done, and at the end of the day we still like the feeling of wearing something ‘new’.
Enter fashion-rental companies, which over the last few years are one of the fastest growing segments within the industry, with the main purpose of catering for event dressing. Unfortunately as a by product this fuels the notion of not wanting to be seen in the same outfit twice, and as you can imagine doesn’t sit very comfortably with us at The UNDONE, as we instead like to embrace the outfit repeat. However, we also understand there is demand for this kind of consumption, and at least the rental industry allows for those more seasonal fashion pieces to have multiple wears.
But what about the everyday pieces? Before the rental industry, we simply borrowed from our friends and family. It’s a little more organic and can, at times, get a bit awkward. We’ve all had that experience of a friend ‘forgetting’ to give you back a dress when they said they would. However, with all the benefits, like buying less, the clothes you do own being worn more, and not to mention the saving to your bank account, it’s worthwhile establishing a swap and share wardrobe in your immediate circle.
So, who do you share your wardrobe with? You might not realise you’re even doing it. Personally I don’t have any sisters, my mum lives interstate, and my years of flatmates has now passed, but I definitely pinch from my husband’s side of the wardrobe. White shirts, puffer jackets, t-shirts. What’s yours is mine, right? But aside from your spouse, it might be best to follow some simple rules to navigating the etiquette of sharing a wardrobe.
So here are some rules to sharing a wardrobe, and feel free to pass this list on to those you share a wardrobe with to establish some clear boundaries and expectations.
1. Always Ask
Always ask first, and give them have some room to say no. They might have been planning on wearing it, or that item might fall under one of the below rules where it's out of bounds.
2. Set a timeframe and return on time.
This is best for everyone. An open ended deadline is a recipe for disaster and is the quickest way to awkward-town.
3. Returned washed and/or dry-cleaned.
Alway return it in its best condition, which will in turn make it easier to borrow something else in the future. If it's something delicate or a little tricky, it might also be worth asking them first how they would like it cleaned to avoid any cleaning disasters.
4. Respect the clothes.
When wearing someone else's clothes, think of them like the most precious and most expensive thing you own.
5. If the item gets damaged or marked, let them know straight away.
Accidents can happen, but if you've been careful and respectful you can navigate this by letting the loaner know as soon as you do. Offer to clean, repair, replace and even pay them back what that item is worth. You break it, you bought it.
6. Let the owner wear it first
Everyone loves the feeling of wearing something they've saved up for for the first time. So even if its been hanging in their wardrobe for a couple of months with the tags still on, its not yours to borrow... just yet.
7. Don’t steal
Borrowing and not returning is stealing. Don't do this. This is bad.
8. Don’t loan anything sentimental
Some things truly are priceless and if something were to happen to that item and it could jeopardise your friendship, its best not loan that item out.
9. It’s a give and take relationship
This should be a reciprocal relationship. If you're not willing to loan, don't borrow.