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Just about every winter, a specific epidemic sweeps more than social media: Thousands of dismayed boyfriends take to Twitter to report that, when once again, cuffing season signifies losing all their hoodies, flannels and something else that is remotely comfy to their girlfriends. From these modern day heists all the way back to boys providing their letterman jackets to their “best girl” prior to going out for egg creams and sockhops (or what ever), it is often been a universal truth that a girl in possession of a boyfriend will finish up with all of his comfiest garments.

I, on the other hand, have just about exclusively skilled the opposite as far as couples garments swaps go. My boyfriend, Danny, has been swiping my garments quite significantly from the starting of our connection. Essentially, it was precisely at the starting, when he asked if he could attempt on my vibrant red floral sneakers and we figured out we had been the very same shoe size. Ever given that, I’ve been the victim of dozens of thefts, from footwear to hats to jackets to my super-soft T-shirt with a Pusheen cat on it that my most effective buddy Shelby gave me for Christmas 1 year. Danny’s hunger for garments knows no bounds, and to add insult to injury, he often gets compliments on my stuff—from my vintage aviator boots to quite significantly all of my sweaters. I get perhaps 1 compliment each six months on some thing that, when usurped by Danny, abruptly becomes the most exceptional style piece of all time.

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Even though I watched him pillage my wardrobe 1 day a handful of months ago, I wondered what it’d be like if we had only every other’s garments to opt for from for a handful of days. Would it make any distinction to our day-to-day if Danny had to go to his workplace in my flashy lady threads, or if I had been restricted to garments not developed to do my curves any favors?

Then, I wondered if any other couples would be down for the very same couples garments swap experiment—to be locked into every others’ outfits for a tiny though. Danny and I have quite significantly accomplished parity in terms of how significantly of every others’ garments we’ve stolen, but what about a further couple? Have been other partners as comfy in every others’ stuff as we had been?

I was also interested in what the boys’ practical experience would be, applying the sort of progressiveness to their dress that mainstream men’s style has been resisting for generations. From pants to suits to button-ups, female style has often tended to absorb and expand on male trends, though items seldom go the other way. If I had been a betting lady, I’d place a crisp fiver on this becoming due to the general patriarchal worry and loathing of the feminine (super healthier!), but I digress. (On that note, I believe it is crucial to acknowledge that I, as properly as the other subjects in this piece, are cis, white folks in heterosexual relationships, and that though it is in an try to examine the way gender is constructed in clothes, it sadly does involve discussing gender in a sort of binary way. If you and your companion want to take component in a comparable couples garments swap experiment, let me know—I’d appreciate to expand the piece additional.)

Becca & Danny

When I began this challenge on Monday, I actually didn’t anticipate any difficulty. I’d currently mentally chosen a handful of pieces I was often attempting to swipe anyway—a light blue dress shirt and a blue sweater, in specific. I was much less enthusiastic about getting to opt for pants. I had a lot of trepidation about what level of grace skinny-boy pants had been going to have on my curves. But I managed to grab a handful of pairs of joggers that match surprisingly properly and known as it a day, deciding upon to sidestep the approach of attempting my luck in Danny’s jeans.

clothing swap14 Couples Clothes Swap: Challenging the Girlfriends Stealing Boyfriends Clothes Paradigm

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Danny seemed to have only 1 objective when going via my garments, and I confirmed this in our post-garments swap experiment interview: He was all about the comfort. The 1st outfit he assembled was essentially pajamas. Suitable off the bat, he asked about a pair of sweatpants I hadn’t noticed in a year and a half. He had, like, immediate comfort recall. Danny didn’t have to believe when I asked him what the worst component of the swap was for him: “Your jeans had no pockets! I had to put on a jacket all the time simply because I’m not just gonna hold my telephone in my hand like an idiot.” When I pointed out the jeans did have back pockets, he scoffed and told me maintaining items in your back pockets was poor for your back. So it goes.

Danny’s other favourite issue about my wardrobe (clearly a second distant to its pajama-like good quality) was the assortment of colour he had. “They weren’t brown or blue like almost everything else I personal.” He mentioned it was entertaining to attempt designs and pieces he wouldn’t locate in a common men’s section—stuff like my peach bomber jacket or my lengthy plaid shawl. He believed my closet had some flair to it, and wearing it created him really feel like he looked “how celebrities or basketball players dress—edgy, but not pushing it as well far.” He was in a position to locate some freedom of expression in my extra versatile wardrobe though nevertheless remaining in a space that was comfy for him.

clothing swap15 Couples Clothes Swap: Challenging the Girlfriends Stealing Boyfriends Clothes Paradigm

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We each anticipated to get extra reactions than we did though couples-garments-swapping. I do not believe I got any, but I guess given that I function from house a lot, it’d have been really hard to have gotten feedback from any one I see consistently. Not to mention, Danny and I reside in Los Angeles—which he aptly noted is 1 of the easiest areas to experiment with style.

Danny certainly anticipated at least his (largely female) coworkers to comment on his wardrobe shift, but all they actually mentioned was: “Looks like Danny’s acquiring some style!” This did not surprise me at all, simply because as I noted above, Danny has been poaching compliments off my garments for years. Apparently 1 of his coworkers attempted to get my bomber jacket off of him. Good attempt.

clothing swap13 Couples Clothes Swap: Challenging the Girlfriends Stealing Boyfriends Clothes Paradigm

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Danny and I have really distinct styles—I’ve often place a lot of believed into my appear, and I’ve often appreciated Danny’s style sense—so the garments swap felt much less like us dressing in differently gendered clothes, and extra like us dressing in costumes of every other. It was such a novelty to see Danny in what was primarily a Becca costume (and I’d be lying if I mentioned it wasn’t quite cute, as well).Danny agreed—up to a point. “The joggers went as well far,” he mentioned. Apparently, seeing me in his pants crossed the uncanny valley.

The greatest challenge for him, he mentioned, wasn’t in any of the actual garments he had to put on, but just the constraining nature of the physical exercise. “It was stressful that I couldn’t put on any of my clothes—it’s weird to be restricted like that.”

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In a diverse way, I sort of agreed. What I didn’t count on, and what I didn’t actually know how to articulate till I was interviewing Danny, was how diverse it is to be constrained totally to a diverse wardrobe and style, rather than just dabbling in it to accent your personal. This would likely be accurate to a specific extent with anyone’s wardrobe, but it felt particularly notable with masculine garments like Danny’s.

I realized there was a distinction involving wearing a men’s dress shirt more than a crop major and leggings and wearing a complete man’s outfit. I wasn’t masculinizing my wardrobe—I was dressing masculine. I couldn’t assistance noticing how square I looked in the mirror. I will say it created me really feel stronger—I normally really feel safer the much less of my actual physique you can see or even infer, so these boxy garments honestly created me really feel quite damn safe. And I cannot state sufficient: All that pocket area changed my life.

Lauren & Daniel

I got cappuccinos 1 afternoon with Lauren and Daniel, who had instantly agreed to do my couples garments swap challenge when asked a week earlier. Even though we ordered, Daniel mentioned the swap hadn’t been that daunting of a challenge simply because the pair is currently “used to commandeering every other’s stuff in common.” Lauren created a slight correction: He was employed to commandeering her garments. “He’ll take more than my clothes, but he’s sensitive about sharing his personal.”

clothing swap3 Couples Clothes Swap: Challenging the Girlfriends Stealing Boyfriends Clothes Paradigm

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For the duration of the course of our conversation (which Lauren jokingly known as couples’ therapy), they came to the conclusion that Daniel has had low-essential anxiousness about something taking place to his clothes—a stressor he suspects originated in his young adulthood, when he employed to blow all his funds on band shirts. “My 1st believed when any one asks to borrow my garments is, ‘Oh no, what if some thing takes place?’”

They had skilled this precise phenomenon two Halloweens ago, when Lauren borrowed some of her boyfriend’s garments to dress up as her coworker Brock. “Those pants had been vintage,” he mentioned, like perhaps he was nevertheless a tiny nervous about it a year and a half later. Lauren says she avoided borrowing 1 of Daniel’s oldest shirts for this swap simply because she didn’t want to be anxious about him becoming anxious.  “The orange 1?” Daniel asked, “You need to have taken that 1, it is on its final legs anyway, and it’d appear cute on you.”

clothing swap2 Couples Clothes Swap: Challenging the Girlfriends Stealing Boyfriends Clothes Paradigm

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Daniel mirrored what Danny had mentioned about L.A. not actually becoming a spot folks had been most likely to even notice this sort of couples garments swaps. “Sure, we looked eccentric, but in this region? Appear about,” he mentioned, gesturing about the coffee shop. “There are at least 5 folks in right here who could be performing the very same challenge as us appropriate now.”  He has a point.

Daniel also shared Danny’s aggravation with lady pockets. He didn’t have just about any other qualms about performing the swap. “It felt a tiny silly, but largely it was just the pocket scenario. Some of the pockets on her pants are fake!” he declared with incredulity.

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In common, the couple felt blessed to function from house and not have to bare the scrutiny of any coworkers, with 1 glaring exception. The 1st day of their garments swap, Daniel, a musician, had to attend a monetary meeting in a vibrant patterned blouse and tight pants. “I felt like I was attempting to appear like a rockstar.” Daniel mentioned wearing Lauren’s tighter garments created him really feel flashier, like he was peacocking a bit. “Like I was flaunting.” Lauren nodded contemplatively. “He was hunting hot, and I was hunting boxy.” Lauren’s favourite component about the challenge was acquiring to dress Daniel each day. “It was pure entertaining.”

Wearing women’s garments created Daniel really feel, if not self-conscious, then at least conscious that he was wearing stuff that “didn’t actually belong on me.” He mentioned he also got a compliment each day. Lauren mentioned she didn’t get any. I felt her discomfort. Lauren mentioned that wearing huge, shapeless men’s clothes created her really feel much less appealing and that she worked really hard to pair them with makeup and accessories to make the general appear much better. Daniel mentioned Lauren didn’t appear poor in his garments, just comfy. “I like it when you are wearing larger garments,” he mentioned. “Is it the very same cause you like when I’m not wearing makeup?” she asked. “Yeah,” he mentioned, reaching toward her. “It’s less complicated to touch you.”