How to (Successfully) Share Clothes with Your Roommate, A Rulebook

Going to college means unprecedented freedom, classes on topics you’re actually interested in, and (if you’re lucky) a roommate who shares your killer style sense and your shoe size. However, it’s easy to let the excitement of multiplying your outfit options blind you from potential conflicts that can stem from overzealous thread swapping.
To help keep the peace, we’ve pulled together a few big dos and don’ts for sharing clothes with your new roomie.
Don’t: Take without asking! This is the number one rule for peaceful closet coexistence. Even if you completely trust your roomie, taking two seconds to text for permission now can save you from silly arguments in the future.
Do: Be honest about your size. You may both wear size 29 jeans, but your C-cups will definitely stretch out her A-cup knit tops.
Do: Try to have an equal amount of give and take. If you’re constantly borrowing her shoes and bangles, it’s only fair that she should have free rein over your killer bag collection.
Don’t: Lend out clothes you have a serious attachment to. Accidents happen, and it’s not fair to get mad at your roommate for spilling coffee on your favorite maxi.
Do: Offer up suggestions from your own closet if you see her struggling to pull an outfit together. After all, what’s the fun of sharing clothes if you don’t take advantage of double the styling options?
Don’t: Lie if you happen to rip a dress or stain a tee. Own up to what happened (like we said, no one is immune to accidents) and try to remedy it as quickly as possible. If it needs to be dry-cleaned or taken to a tailor, it should be your responsibility to cover the costs.
Do: Agree on a wash-and-return arrangement. Some people are very particular about how their clothing gets cleaned or are allergic to certain detergents, while others are more worried about getting their stuff back stain-free. Be sure to talk to your roommate and see what she prefers.
Don’t: Be an outfit hoarder. Unless you decide to literally combine your closets, borrow clothes only on the day you plan to wear them, and return them right after you’re done. This is a courteous gesture, and prevents things from getting lost.
Do: Remember her wardrobe isn’t actually your wardrobe. If you both want to wear the same pair of heels to a party one Friday, the owner gets first dibs. No exceptions.

More from College

R29 Original Series