Post- Magazine

the sisterhood of the traveling pants

Our sophomore year, we lived in a Grad Center suite right next to the tower’s entryway. Nestled between the entryway and our suite, there was a shelf labeled with a paper sign marked “TRADING POST.” For the first few weeks, the shelf was dotted with old biochem textbooks and broken hangers, discarded with little regard for what would happen to them after. None of us can quite remember when it changed—when, by some mystery girl’s hand, the textbooks became going-out tops, and the hangers were replaced by leather jackets. Magic crept into the trading post, and when it did, it became the first thing any of us looked for when getting home. Over the next year, we frequented the trading post almost religiously; we awaited the days when one of us would come home to a trash bag full of seemingly brand-new clothes, eager to try them on with each other and decide what we would leave behind for other lucky residents and what would make its way into our budding communal wardrobe. The following is a list of some of our favorite finds, in no particular order:  

  1. Red leather jacket. A cool night in Lisbon, a bookstore bar—white baby tee and low-rise jeans. Then, changing hands days later, a passion fruit mimosa and a long walk home.
  2. Celestial mesh top. Spring Weekend—a blue rain poncho paired with orange sunnies. Remi Wolf, Ethel Cain, JID. 
  3. Blue lace corset top. Purchased at the Fashion @ Brown Spring Fair with only days to spare before Spring Weekend. See-through, baby blue, guarded from the weekend’s fateful rain by a massive leather jacket.
  4. Pearl button Reformation top. A birthday party, too many drinks, a stroll along Benefit Street, arm-in-arm.
  5. Tie front black mesh top. Perhaps too sheer to be worn in the daytime—but so cute it hardly mattered. One year later, worn in a group Halloween costume, knee-high boots a size too big—digital photos capturing every moment. 
  6. Lace-up black corset. In a Governor St. basement, the Valentine’s Day concert amidst a sea of pink and eyeliner winged to the sky. Later, transformed by a black blazer and a stack of flashing rings. 


The end of the spring semester came in a rush of magnolia blossoms and final papers and clothes strewn across the carpet as we sorted through our shared treasures. There was a strange, gentle sadness we felt every time we passed the trading post that May, keenly aware of the days whittling down until the spell would be broken. And still, we mediated which top would live where over the summer, knowing it didn’t really matter since everything would come home in the fall. In that sense, it was easy to leave the trading post behind.

Spring Weekend is sneaking up again, and there are new clothes in the bucket. Though we gave up the trading post along with our residency in Grad D, the spirit of the communal closet remains, filled now with the hard-earned fruits of hours spent digging through yard sale bins and swiping through Savers racks. Though the magic of the trading post was too good to last, there’s something special about building up our communal closet, to search for things that will be shared and worn and tried on with a million different outfits. 

There is so much joy to be had in getting ready with your friends, in finding the perfect top to go with your favorite borrowed jeans, in taking the perfect picture for you all to gush over later. 

What better time to try this out than Spring Weekend? Ask your friend to borrow that gorg top she wore out last week, and offer one of your own in exchange.


Tabitha Lynn

Tabitha Lynn is the Lifestyle managing editor for post- Magazine. She is a junior from Maryland studying Computer Science and IAPA.

Klara Davidson Schmich

Klara Davidson-Schmich is the Feature managing editor for post- Magazine. She is a junior from Miami studying Economics and Urban Studies.

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