8 Ways Borrowing Clothes Will End Your Friendship

Because ‘I was just trying it on’ never really works, does it?


by Lucy Hancock |
Published on

‘Never a lender nor a borrower be,’ said Shakespeare... and your Mum. And anyone who has grieved for a shrunken cashmere cardigan. But even though it fills us with hatred and kills us with guilt, we still all borrow each other’s stuff. Which is why you’ll have no doubt found yourself in one of these scenarios at some point in your life:

1. I thought it was a ‘long-term loan’

The heady few hours of chaos that is pre-drinks are where you have lost all your most treasured possessions. You’ve had a couple of wines, Rudimental is pumping out your Spotify and you’re lending out layers like you work in a homeless shelter. ‘You look great in that one!’ you say, benevolently helping your mate’s little sister into your favourite coat. You smile sweetly as you watch her skip out of the house in her perfect outfit. Unfortunately her perfect outfit is one that you actually own, and unless you fancy a two hour trip up the Victoria line, that's the last time you're going to see it in the flesh.

2. ‘Are you sure these are yours?’

No you’re not actually sure they are yours. Are they yours? They certainly don’t feel like yours. I mean, you’ve just been to a party where dozens of people paid your mate’s feet compliments and you stood by nodding along. They are very nice shoes, though. HANG ON A MINUTE... They are yours. You paid hundreds of pounds for them back when they were suede and the laces didn’t look like grimy Cheesestrings. You try them on again to try and recapture the magic, but all the love is lost. You feel your feet inside the greasy contours. Those are no longer your toe grooves. ‘Have them,’ you say with a solitary tear in your eye. ‘They aren’t mine anymore.’

3. ‘I was just trying it on’

Being left alone with a free afternoon in someone else’s wardrobe is a more joyful feeling than any intercourse imaginable. With gleeful abandon you pull on hot pants pretending you are someone who wears hot pants. What fun! You’re basically having a sartorial danger wank. At any minute you could be caught buttoning yourself into a suede jerkin (it might suit you), but you don't care – it’s part of the thrill. If you’re sharing communal space with a tryer-onner, be sure to supervise them at all times. They can get sticky fingered and Hell hath no fury like seeing your fave cream jacket being trailed along the floor of a club.

4. ‘I think you must have stretched it’

Borrowing across the size spectrum is a fool’s game, but unless you’ve officially ended a friendship this way, you’re probably still giving it a good crack. ‘It’s so lucky we're the same size,’ you say optimistically tucking your muffin tops into your friend's trousers. Inside she is wincing, but she’s too much of a mate to tell you she’s thinner than you. Probably the cruelest kind of friend is the one who returns your cute summer dress having stretched the fabric with her perfectly spherical tits. The ennui of looking down at your sad nipples inside gaping cotton cups is unrivalled.

5. ‘That was definitely there before’

There is barely a single female friendship that hasn’t, at some point, faced this obstacle. It takes you a couple of minutes to even recognise the silk top being returned to you in a crumpled Sainsbury’s carrier is yours. But you’re pretty sure you’d remember throwing an entire bottle of Claret down yourself. For the perpetrator, denial is your only option. The item is obviously irreplaceable – and even if you had the cash you’re not really willing to replace it. ‘No, no,’ you insist. ‘It was definitely like that when I borrowed it.’ The sign of a true friend is the one willing to ignore the hastily-applied Vanish and scum marks you’re both now looking at.

6. ‘You should totally buy it’

If you’re well into the swing of sharing clothes with your considerably wealthier friend, it might have already turned you into an Machiavellian character. A trip round Cos with your bessie is a prime opportunity to acquire more key pieces for your shared wardrobe. The dress you’ve just got her to try on clashes with her hair a bit and it’s straining on the boobs, but you’re holding back on your usual straight-talking gal pal routine. Yes, that's right you terrible arsehole, you’re going to let her buy it anyway. Why? Because it'll be just the thing for your cousin’s wedding.

7. ‘Oh, it’s in the wash’

The skills you have learned avoiding the dreaded handover could have earned you big stripes in the Secret Service. Your mate pops round for a cup of tea and you suddenly become fashion’s answer to Carrie Mathison. As the lender you can almost smell the dress that's just been stuffed to the back of a drawer, but you can’t locate it. The washing machine looks empty, so where exactly is this ‘wash’? After nearly two years, it’s surely the most well-washed frock in all the land.

8. ‘Don’t you think it suits me?’

Are usually the words you uttered before you emotionally blackmail your friend into giving up their clothes. If you’re not a total twat, she’ll have given you the signal by saying she doesn't wear it much. If you give in to this kind of emotional pressure, you regret it as soon as you've done it. In fact you suddenly love it more than anything else in your wardrobe, but a gift is a gift. The resentments that come with donating your stuff are burdens we must all shoulder.

Follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyannhancock

Picture: Ada Hamza

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us