Like A Bandit

Hello new (to me) Alaia Heels and Mulberry Bag

When Francesca first moved in with me in 2006 (following a scorched-earth breakup that ended with me blasting Britney and drinking my weight in Coronas while piling all of my ex-boyfriend’s possessions onto my front porch and then calling his mom to come pick them up), I got to experience what having a sister felt like – from the late-night dance parties to the truly epic fights. It was also the first time I got to experience the profound joy of plundering your sister’s closet before a big night out.

My best friends in college and I borrowed each others’ clothing, of course, but we were also 19-year-old college students, so the stuff we were borrowing from each other was more in the UGG category than the Fendi one. Francesca’s meticulously curated closet had vintage finds from her travels in Italy; designer shoes found at consignment shops; the fruits of Daffy’s in its heyday (RIP Daffy’s). I had my own weird and kind of great assortment of finds: an olive-green Trovata wrap dress I’d acquired from my days as a cat-carrying Romanian princess; a pair of gold strappy Manolo Blahniks that made my feet ache just to look at them; way too many pairs of sunglasses.

After awhile, we realized that we were each borrowing the same pieces from each other over and over and over again: for her, it was the olive-green Trovata dress, and for me it was a leopard-print Blumarine slipdress given to her by her Tuscan cousin. And so eventually we decided to just swap. And now swapping is just what we do.

Everybody has those things in their closet: those things you never, ever wear (maybe you put them on and think about wearing them every so often, but then always end up picking something else), but that are too expensive or special or precious for you to want to donate, or to feel good about selling for the infuriatingly low price the local consignment store offers you. Here’s what I’ve discovered: it’s way more fun to subvert the process and just set up your own consignment situation with your friends, sort of like a fancy trading post. Because really: it can be hard to send treasured possessions out into the ether, even when you’re in the middle of a full-on Marie Kondo mania (as I am). It’s far nicer to send them off into the hands of someone who you love, and who you know will love your things as you did.

Which is all to say that oh my god, did I ever make out like a bandit on this trip. The Alaia shoes alone were worth the six-hour drive.