Alice, My Mom Won't Quit Borrowing My Clothes

Alice, My Mom Won't Quit Borrowing My Clothes

Ask Alice
Aug 27, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

I’m twenty and I still live at home. I pay rent and help with the bills while I’m taking online classes and trying to save up for my own place. I usually get along great with my parents, but a growing source of tension between me and my mother is my clothes. She seems to think my closet is an extension of her own and borrows my clothes several times a week. I have to leave the house before she does so I don’t realize what she’s done until she gets home. Whenever I say something about it, she acts like I’m an overreacting toddler.

Sometimes when I do laundry she’ll take the clothes from the dryer and take my nice dresses into her room and when I confront her, she says “Oh I just wanted to borrow it later this week, you never wear it anyway.” GGGRRR. Clearly I do or it wouldn’t have been in the wash and you’re supposed to ASK before you borrow something. I know its silly but I am really uncomfortable with her wearing my clothes. I don’t know why but it makes my skin crawl.

I spend what little free time I have hunting through consignment stores and clearance racks so I can afford nice clothes and I DON’T WANT TO SHARE! I paid for them, they’re mine. Sometimes she borrows things so often she forgets they’re mine. We had an argument the other day about a blue top. I bought the blue one she bought the identical pink one; she says she bought them both. I had to pull out my receipt before she believed me. Am I overreacting or should I put up with this because I still live with her?


Communal Wardrobe

Dear Wardrobe,

I don't think you're overreacting. You pay rent and bills so you're pulling your own weight around the house. But really, no matter the money situation, it just isn't cool for anyone to help herself to your things without your permission. I'm sure your mom wouldn't like it if you did the same to her.

It sounds like you've already talked to your mother about this with little success, so here's what I think you should do: take her shopping. I suspect that your mom is getting to a point where she feels a little out of touch with what's trendy and she's relying on you and your stylish self to help her look stay current (she's just not doing it the right way). If you approach her and suggest that you two go shopping together to pick out some new things to update her wardrobe, I suspect the "borrowing" will stop. Plus, a fun outing could be just what you need to take some of the recent stress off of your relationship.

Good luck!



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