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Why It's the Economical and Fashionable Thing to Do

While closet raiding is often event-specific or the product of your own laziness when it comes to laundry, it can be convenient when you're bored with your everyday wardrobe and running low on cash. While sales are great, why not save some moola and go shopping in another person's closet?

Melissa Brown, who works in pharmaceutical advertising, says she used to hate getting up for work because of the pressure she felt when deciding what to wear. She soon realized that walking into the next room could be the answer to her problems. "I live with three other girls, and raiding their closets has been something that is now a daily ritual," she says. "I love being trendy with a 'new' outfit every day that I get to take credit for."

Sussman, too, says "every girl loves a new outfit, but it's tough to keep up with, particularly given the current state of the economy. Getting clothes for free from our friends is the perfect way to infuse excitement into your wardrobe without spending money."

Raiding Etiquette

While closet raiding may seem like an uncomplicated art form, Kosofsky Glassberg suggests following these simple rules:

  • Be sure your styles make sense together—you don't want to look like your friend; you want to look like you with some new pieces.
  • Swapping should work both ways. Lend as much as you borrow.
  • Take no more than two or three pieces at a time, or you increase the odds of having something the owner wants when she may need it.
  • Treat items with extra consideration. (Don't wear a suede jacket out in the rain even if you're just running to the car!)
  • Return everything quickly, and ask how the person you borrowed the clothing items from would like them cleaned. You don't want to ruin someone's favorite jeans because you threw them in the dryer like you do with your own.

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