Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dear Shopping Savage...

Dear Shopping Savage,

I have a friend who's constantly borrowing my clothing. If she returns them at all they come back in dire need of care. How can I politely tell her to launder my things before she returns them or really, how do I get her to stop borrowing from me altogether?


Best Fashion Friend


Dear B.F.F.,

You sound like a nice person. So nice in fact that your friend is either knowingly walking all over you, or blissfully unaware of the damage she's doing to your friendship - and not to mention your wardrobe.

The next time she asks to borrow something (assuming she does in fact ask) you need to seize that moment to remind her of how one-sided this business of borrowing has been. Make sure you relay to her how inconvenient - and costly! - her obsession with your closet is, and that a few boundaries need to be set.

First, she is not allowed to wear anything before you've had the opportunity to do so. Next, make her aware of anything that is completely off limits including jewelry - sentimental or otherwise, shoes, intimates and personal products (e.g. perfumes, lotions, makeup, etc.). If she does borrow something, she has to return it in the same, or better, condition than when she acquired it. This also means holding her accountable for replacing anything that she ruins. Lastly, she must borrow and return things in a timely manner. You can negotiate on how large a window of time she has but it would be wise to keep track of the things she borrows just to make sure everything you loan out is indeed returned.

As said before, you sound like a nice person. A nice person who doesn't deserve to have a friend walk all over you, quite possibly in your shoes no less. If you confront her and set forth ground rules she'll either agree or disagree, but let her answer surprise you. You don't want to go into a situation like this with preconceived notions. If your friendship is as strong as you would like to believe, she shouldn't have a problem respecting your wardrobe wishes and you'll get your clothing back without losing your friend. But on the off chance she decides that the new rules are for the birds, then let her fly. Life's too short for fair-weathered fashion friends.

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