But Why the Raid?
It's the American way. Just as someone else's dinner will always look more appealing, that black dress on your best friend looks way more appealing than any black dress you own.
Brooke Kosofsky Glassberg, fashion features editor at O, The Oprah Magazine, explains that hint of admiration (or is it jealousy?) you feel when you spot someone else strutting around in a great outfit. "We covet what we don't have, and we admire another woman's sense of style more readily than our own," she says. "That leopard-print skirt that you'd never take off the rack in a store suddenly looks amazing when you see it on your best friend."
Kosofsky Glassberg says women crave variety. "We get bored staring at the contents of our own closets day after day."
Emily Tisch Sussman, a Washington, D.C., resident, suggests "women go into other women's closets because we like the fashion choices and risks our friends take that we are too nervous to take ourselves."
Closet raiding comes in all forms. But whether it's your friend's, sister's or, yes, even your mother's, there's always something in another person's closet that looks more promising than the contents of your own.
Even if you don't have the luxury of another female's closet, your husband's or boyfriend's offers a great alternative. Elizabeth Roach, a production assistant and freelance makeup artist in New York City, says she raids her man's closet. "Up until a year ago, I have always lived with girls. I had second opinions, multiple closets, and a never-ending supply of accessories," she says. "Once I moved in with my boyfriend, I was left with only what I owned. After awhile, I discovered a way to utilize his closet and update my look."
Roach says she wears his V-neck undershirts with long necklaces and tight jeans, then throws on heels and a clutch to go out for the night. She also pairs one of his white button downs with a feminine skirt or belts it with skinny jeans (picture Sharon Stone at the 74th Academy Awards).
"I think integrating a masculine piece into your outfit can look very sexy," she says.