I swapped styles with my roommate and this is what happened


Photography by Dana McKinney

You can learn a lot about someone from their style.

You can learn even more about someone if you borrow their style for a bit. This is exactly what my roommate and I found after undergoing a weeklong style swap. The plan was simple: Each day we’d select a new outfit from the other’s closet, then at the end, we’d touch base on how it all went down.

I think my roommate, Hannah, and I have very similar styles, so swapping closets for a week seemed natural. Fortunately, we’ve been stealing stuff from each other for a while now, so we were old pros ready to undergo such a challenge.

It’s not just clothing that I’m referring to, but also lifestyle. We share a similar outlook on the world, which manifests itself in the way we live, decorate and dress. Of course, there are our differences, which were interesting to see translated through our wardrobes.

Before starting, we had a chat about how we would define our individual styles. While style is supposed to be a cumulative representation of ‘us,’ we find that we’re different people depending on the day. Consequently, it can be hard to pinpoint our exact ‘style’ when it’s so broad. 

I would say my style is bohemian as much as polished, among other things. It truly depends on how I’m feeling. I saw this variance in Hannah’s closet as well. Hers has its bohemian influences, but she is often experimenting with edgier pieces I’ve shied away from in the past, things like camo, uber distressed denim and oversized jackets. When asked to describe her style, she gave me “grandma meets biker,” and I’m all for it. We also share an affinity for vintage pieces, so that was common ground to jump off of.

Fortunately, there were so many different things to choose from. We both may have a minor clothing obsession, so there was no shortage of items. Still, I had to ask myself: What can I wear that isn’t mine that feels like me? The answer was a lot more than I expected. 

Plus, it’s amazing how much a new closet can spice up getting dressed in the morning. All too often, we crave a sense of freshness, an update to our daily routine. Borrowing new clothing instead of buying it enables that. Plus, it’s better for the environment and your wallet.

Han also said this whole experiment reminded her of how much fun it can be to get dressed in the morning. 

As the school year goes on, dressing up can become more of a challenge; too often the allure of style fades. But we need to remind ourselves that it should be fun. There’s so much to play with.  

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this; it’s safe to say we will be stealing more clothing from each other in the future. The idea of doubling our closets is just another way we can come together as roomies and friends. Plus, in the end, why not?