Hot Mess Express: Fashion Tips For The Late Night Set

There are many ways to avoid looking busted as hell on the internet while still going all out the night before. Let’s discuss our options.
Publish date:
November 29, 2013
Partying, fun, fall fashion

Every time I set out to write an article, I Google it to see what else has been written on the subject. While researching this very scholarly topic, I fell into the saddest of internet k-holes full of tweens asking embarrassingly self-unaware questions on Yahoo Answers and I got super emotional. Remember feeling naïve? Remember passing notes? Remember the person 6th grade you thought now you would be by now?

On a less tender note, do y’all like to get messed up?

I do. Well, I used to more than I do now. Now I go hard in the paint Monday-Friday working an 8-5 as well as multiple side projects and by the time that last 5 rolls around, I usually just wanna put on clothes made out of the same stuff blankets are made of and space out in front of my TV for 48 subsequent hours.

But sometimes I just want to drink myself silly, dance dirty to some blues, make the kind of one-night-only BFFs you make in ladies' rooms at the bar past midnight, run barefoot in the streets downtown, and sloppily mack up on my dude in public before heading back to a friends house to chill and talk shit and watch Simpsons reruns until we all pass out or find a ride home.

Sometimes that’s just what I want, and sometimes I do just that.

I’ve never really partied in a day and age where you didn’t have to worry about photos showing up on the internet of you straddling the hood of some rando’s Honda next to a 24 pack of PBR while holding up both middle fingers. This is the only reality I’ve known.

There’s an art to simultaneously losing your mind and keeping your shit together. Like, learning your limits is a good idea. We should all be safe. I never drive after drinking. I don’t even ride my bike after drinking. And I reeeeally hate to have my photo taken after drinking.

Unfortunately, I usually only hate it when it’s too late. Like, when I’m seeing the photo on Instagram the next morning. At the time the pic was shot, I’m all gaping mouth, hands up, yell-whining “Take mah pick-chaaaaaa!!” as I stumble hipbone first into the barstool.

"Hot Mess" is a lifestyle choice though, and I’ve gotten better at it in the past few years. There are ways to avoid looking busted as hell on the internet while still going all out the night before.

Let’s discuss our options. Also, we can learn from my mistakes.

Don’t accessorize too much.

If you’re going to a real party, forget the “arm party” or whatever. I can’t even wear rings when I go out anymore because drunk me takes them off to wash my hands and I’ve left dozens of adorable little rings beside bar bathroom sinks all across this great country.

Dangly earrings make me really nervous when I’m out dancing. I’m still traumatized from the time I saw a girl’s hoop earring get ripped out during gymnastics when I was 8. Plus, I dance hard.

Also, if it’s a really good night, I’m sure to find a couple accessories throughout it. Probably a quarter of my wardrobe is things I’ve found left behind in cabs or booths or stuff my drunk friends put on me.

If I’d already been wearing a headband, I wouldn’t have been able to tie this chic rainbow number around my head before getting down with this little dude.

Carry a big purse.

There are so many things you need -- wallet, phone, keys, small notebook, face wipes, perfume/Febreze, at least a few shades of lipstick, purse alcohol, eyeliner. Clutches won’t cut it.

Figuring out your “purse alcohol” is a process. In college, I was often approached at parties with, “Hey, I heard you’re the girl with whiskey in her backpack.” But I’ve matured and grown up a little. Now I prefer a jumbo bottle of cabernet sauvignon in my cross-body.

That’s a dick move at the bar though. Don’t go to a bar and drink the alcohol in your purse. Drink the alcohol in your purse at the movie theater or the park, okay? Bartenders are the realest, show some respect.

Plus your big purse can double as a pillow when you need a quick catnap to recharge mid-party. Or you can let some dude sleep on your purse when you’re both drunk and passing out on the ground at a blues festival in the MS Delta. That’s how I met my bf two years ago! Isn’t that a super romantic story?

Wear Shoes You Can Run In

I’m really good at running in heels because my mom forced me into modeling as a tween and they used to make us SPRINT up and down the runway in towering heels when they weren’t telling me (at age 11) to go on a diet. It was awesome.

I’m 5’8”ish so I don’t wear heels all that often, and when I go out I usually end up wanting to trek twenty blocks because I’m too cheap to call a cab so flats or boots are a good call. I’m always scuffing up everything on curbs and brick walls, so I’ve taken to saving my nice shoes for calmer nights. I’m kidding, I don’t have nice things.

Care Less

If someone spills a drink on you, just let it go. I mean, it blows but it happens. If you’re hanging at a grubby after hours bar, don’t wear your favorite vintage Gunne Sax prairie dress unless you’re ready to be cool about some guy in biker boots stomping on the hem.

I used to have a green dress I LOVED, and I wore it all the time. Then one night at a party, I spilled champagne all over it. It wasn’t even a huge deal. It’s champagne. It’s basically like club soda, right? It removes stains! Anyway, I got super upset and cried and ruined everyone’s night. It was the lamest. There’s proof. You ready?

Learn from my mistakes!! Don’t freak. C’est la vie, right? Develop a spirit of apathy toward your wardrobe and well-being.

Bring Snacks!

Okay this isn’t a fashion tip, but you can do your wallet and your skin a favor by throwing some pretzels in your purse. Also, having food in your purse is a really good way to make friends.

Other than all of that, just wear whatever you want. Dance like no one’s watching. Try to go out with friends who won’t put embarrassing photos of you on the internet (unlike my “friends”). Don’t get arrested because jail is lame and expensive.

Oh, and don’t wear white.

Do y’all have clothes you avoid when going out? What are your late night tips?