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To Share or Not to Share: The Pros and Cons of Closet Sharing in Your Dorm

DormEssentials January 20, 2018
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In this all too common MyDorm blog we hear the story of a freshmen whose faced with an inevitable dorm question: to share or not to share her closet clothes. Take it away, freshmen.

I grew up with four sisters and a mom who had the same shoe size… I didn’t realize there was an option not to share a closet until I came to college. On the floor I lived on in my dorm, there were roughly 40 of us girls – which meant an unfathomable number of shoes, dresses, and tops. Keeping organized and with space was key. Though most of the girls in our dorm were open to sharing the contents of their closet, not everyone was. It was the first time I had experienced the idea of an “open closet” – a term I formally thought was just “closet.” There are some pros and cons to an open closet and sharing its contents with your friends, neighbors, and co-habitants.

As a pro, it’s a great way to make friends, or to strengthen friendships you already have. Nothing bonds you faster than getting ready for a night out together, and hearing a chorus of “I have something you can borrow!” when the inevitable “I have nothing to wear” comes out. Having the right shoes to match someone’s outfit or having an extra something green for a stoplight party can also endear you to someone forever. A con – beware the messy girl. Whether it’s due to a wild night before, a love for the messiest food out there, or an unfortunate propensity for spilling their Starbucks, know that there’s a chance someone might not be as careful with your clothes as you might be. Know that it’s a gamble – and know when to say no to the frappuccino spiller.

Another, obvious pro – when you invite people into your closet, they invite you into theirs. When you’re missing the perfect shoes for pref or you’re just sick of everything in your closet, someone else’s closet could be your savior. The con that you don’t think about until it’s happening? When you’re desperately looking for that black dress that looks absolutely perfect with your black peep-toes for this date you’re about to go on… and it’s missing. Because it’s currently out on a date somewhere else, with someone else who thought about it a little bit earlier than you did.

My very favorite pro – a bunch of girls sharing your clothes means a bunch of girls putting their own take on them. Sometimes we get stuck in the rut of styling things in a particular way, and it helps to see them on someone else. I was always miserable at putting patterns together; my roommate could somehow make any clashing, crazy patterns just work. So anytime she wore something of mine, I would see how she would put together an outfit and see how she would make it work. And the one con that I hated the most? When you find someone wearing your favorite top – or any top of yours really – and it looks way better on them. My closet shrunk a little bit by the end of the year to the resigned “You keep it – it looks better on you.”

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