Is sharing clothes through joint wardrobes a sustainable lifestyle choice that could substantially alter our consumer habits? Mission spoke to four couples who share clothes to find out.
By Maz Smith.
CHRIS REID AND JACK SHANKS, Edinburgh, Scotland
Chris and Jack have shared their wardrobe for over three years. Living in Edinburgh birthed their eclectic, referential, and experimental wardrobe. From nylon slip dresses to classic denim blues, this ‘90s loving couple share a fascination with vintage kitsch with a hint of the new.
Maz Smith: What have you been wearing during quarantine?
Jack Shanks: Mainly my mum’s Levi’s from when she was my age with a baby tee with something daft on it like a dog wearing a sparky bandana. But GOD I miss dressing up. Chris has an obscenely extensive collection of graphic tees. He’s been churning through those.
MS: How do you go about creating a wardrobe that you both love?
Chris Reid: We collect a mishmash of high-end/low-end and make up these imagined parties or days out to find opportunities for everything.
MS: What’re your favorite finds?
JS: We spend a ridiculous amount of time scrolling through eBay. My favourite find recently has been a glittery top that says “90% angel, 10% devil.” I’m literally ripping the seams every wear, I’m sure it’s made for petite girls.
CR: I found a tee for Bram Stoker’s Dracula from the year the film came out for ridiculously cheap. That ‘90s graphic of Gary Oldman, I couldn’t let something that rare get away from me. It’s falling to pieces now; I should repair it but it looks so good.
MS: What influences your style?
JS: It’s hard not to reflect what you’re studying in what you wear. I don’t think it would be possible for me to spend most days looking at films starring Angelica Huston, Jennifer Coolidge, or Barbra Streisand and then want to get up in the morning and wear something paired back.
CR: I have definite forever muses I turn to, Courtney Love or Kim Kelly from Freaks and Geeks. They infiltrate everything from makeup to attitude… When you’re wearing a jumper or dresses as they did, it elevates your mood.
MONICA ZAFRA AND TEDDY IBORRA, Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona-based creatives Monica and Teddy share a Monica-heavy collection of clothes. As a stylist, Monica’s trained eye pulls out masculine and feminine pieces that are both versatile and practical, from Margiela to Yamamoto. while Teddy’s timeless views allow him to wear his vintage collectibles for years.
Maz Smith: How did you come to share your clothes?
Teddy Iborra: It happened very naturally. I realized I was missing things from my wardrobe and ended up pinching from Monica a lot.
Monica Zafra: I have a lot of men’s trousers, mostly from Haider Ackermann, with a definite unisex cut which we both wear. It’s the same with silk blouses, that’s my taste and I just style them how I feel.
MS: What influences your style choices?
MZ: Well, I’ve been through a few phases. I have dressed in black since I can remember, I feel comfortable, without catching attention. I do love color but I find it very difficult to wear myself. I had crazy color phases in the ’90s, I’m starting to try them out again.
MS: Do you find it an ecologically and financially sustainable method to get creative with your outfits?
MZ: Sure! I can wear my stuff for decades which is very sustainable and ecological, adding a few pieces I really love every few seasons.
TI: Yes! We never throw clothes away! I still wear a merch shirt my dad bought me in the souvenir shop of the twin towers when I was 11 years old!
ELEANOR DUNLOP AND JOE JAS, East London.
Eleanor and Joe celebrated their first year together over pancakes and coffee just before lockdown hit. The East London skating couple describe their style as the ‘Colorful Man-child’ and the ‘Adult Swim Pilot.’
Maz Smith: What are your fashion go-tos?
Eleanor Dunlop: Lazy Oaf, it’s like a treat you keep going back to for little nibbles. They’re the kind of clothes that start conversations. Mad Tweety bird shirts or huge rainbow platforms. Vintage is a necessity. It’s nice to be conscious and contribute less to fast fashion.
Joe Jas: I have my own brand, Fat Llama. I couldn’t find clothes I liked, so I thought, “I’ll just curate it myself and maybe other people will vibe with it too.”
MS: How do you collect/curate your shared wardrobe?
JJ: I leave stuff at Eleanor’s place. Everything has two homes, so when I go to her house combine what’s there.
ED: Since I’ve started skating more, I’ve had to change the way I dress as a lot of clothes made for women aren’t practical. Where are the pockets? I borrow Joe’s stuff a lot because he’s been skating longer, it just kinda stuck.
MS:How does music influence your clothes?
ED: The mashup of style and era is a bridge to my music. I rap and being called Retropxssy, I do a lot of retro appreciation. Sometimes I want to dress like an MF Doom song sounds, haha.
JJ: Old Pharrell and early Odd Future are big influences, and I guess you can hear the colorful fits in my music.
COREE JAYVON AND JOSHUA MEREDITH, North London, U.K.
Coree and Joshua are a North London ‘comfy, neutral, dad’ styled and sneaker-loving couple, styling their simple staples with some rarer pieces to give a “‘lil flavor.” Their Burberry goods are their most loved treasures, both old and new as they appreciate how clothes mark time.
Maz Smith: When did you begin sharing clothes?
Coree Jayvon: It happened organically, I might have an outfit planned and pinch a pair of J’s shoes that finish my look and vice versa.
MS: Do you have to style differently for your bodies?
CJ: It’s like playing life-size Polly Pocket, we just mix and match. If J wants a more oversized look, he’ll wear one of my tops. I guess that’s how we work around our different body types.
MS: What’s your favorite thing about sharing?
JM: I think it’s having way more options. I find it endearing when he wears my jumpers, it just looks right, sometimes even better. Then I get annoyed, haha.
MS: How do you get creative in caring for your clothes?
JM: There’s something satisfying about giving clothes a new lease on life. My jeans will always become my shorts. A splash of dye on an old tee to refresh the color is a win. I don’t tend to buy clothes regularly. I’ll buy pieces here and there to continually mix into our growing wardrobe.
Although some clothes lend themselves more freely than others, our four couples share their clothes effortlessly, with broader selections encouraging them to try different styles. The act of sharing in itself could prove to be a sustainable lifestyle choice for couples to adopt.
Thank you to all the couples.
Casting by Tide Casting
Portraits by Zoárd Heuzé