The Emotional Stages of Dressing Up For a Night Out When It's Freezing Cold

Because how many times has fashion won out from common sense?

The Emotional Stages of Dressing Up For a Night Out When It's Cold Out

It's hard to switch gears from walking out in bare shoulders during summer nights to remembering to button up those three layers during Fall Saturday nights out. And while you may just know that a coat and hat is necessary that evening, you might feel a little miffed about it. Here you were, planning out this gorgeous outfit to the tee, and it'll stay bundled up and hidden from the world in an old frumpy coat?! And so bad decisions are made and we choose headcolds over sacrificing fashion. Below are the seven emotional stages of trying to dress up for a night out when it's cold outside. Because how many times do we actually choose the rational thing to do when it comes to our sartorial game?

1. The “Denial” Stage

The Emotional Stages of Dressing Up For a Night Out When It's Cold Out

You’re getting yourself dolled up and as you’re putting on the finishing touches of your outfit, you’re steadfastly ignoring the fact that the popsicles have retired and the outside patios have been boarded up a while ago. We’re well into pumpkin spice season, and that means it’s time to start wearing duvet covers as makeshift coats and wearing three pairs of tights to keep the mean wind at bay. But if you step outside looking like the Michellin Man, no one will see your fly outfit…which is why you’re looking at your leather jacket like it just might be an option.

Don’t you do it. I mean, we both know you’re going to but maybe reconsider. God, you’re not even looking in the direction of the down comforter coat.


2. The “Gauging The Weather Through The Window” Stage

Right, so do you go with the marshmallow coat that will make you loose feathers all over the taxi (which is tempting) or the sleek leather jacket or immaculately tailored blazer. Decisions, decisions.

To try to weigh your options, you walk up to your closed window and peer outside, trying to gauge the temperature form the inside of your warm, cozy apartment.

Well, the trees don’t seem to be bowing over from the mean wind - there seems to be some resistance there - and it's not like there's any snow on the ground. That can only be called frost, tops. So the blazer it is!


3. The “Trying To Insulate” Stage

The Emotional Stages of Dressing Up For a Night Out When It's Cold Out

You’re an adult, which means you won’t completely run outside in nothing but a tee like you’ve lost your mind. No, you're responsible. So instead you’ll try and insulate. You’ll pop a pair of tights underneath your jeans and an extra long sleeved shirt underneath your blouse to give yourself at least a fighting chance out there.

Although…what if you end up going dancing? This whole setup would be too much; you'll  melt on the dance floor. What then? The whole night would be ruined!

Ah forget it, you think as you peel off your fleece tights. You’ll be fine without.


4. The “I Regret Everything” Stage

Oh, no. Oh man. Well, it seems that it's a lot colder than it looked from the comfort of your apartment window. The wind has teeth tonight, and since it does the train that usually comes every five minutes is no where to be seen (of course.) So you’re left standing there, steadfastly ignoring the fact that your lips are turning blue. Sort of wishing you went with a sensible jacket. 

Whatever. #Noregrets, right?


5. The “I Look Crazy” Stage

The Emotional Stages of Dressing Up For a Night Out When It's Cold Out

As you’re in minute 10 of waiting for this blasted train, you happen to notice that you’re the only one suffering for your fashion. Everyone else is cozy underneath hats and scarves, and their coats are bundled up to their ears as they’re happily chatting and losing feathers.

And they all seem to be giving you “you’re, um, crazy” looks whenever they glance in your direction.

You might as well be standing there wearing nothing but boob tassels, that's how offended their glances are. You have committed one of the most major faux pas of late fall: Not realizing it’s late fall.


6. The “I’m Cabbing It” Stage

Alright, we’re in survival mode now. Life is trying to teach you a lesson and is making sure the train never comes, and if you stand out here much longer you’ll turn into a real life popsicle, so you say goodbye to your budget and go hail a cab. At least in there you’ll have heat and the protection of four walls. 

7. The “Arrive At The Bar With Pneumonia” Stage

The Emotional Stages of Dressing Up For a Night Out When It's Cold Out

You’ve done it now. You got to the bar, but at what cost? You nearly sneezed on the bouncer as you handed over your ID and now, as you’re ordering a gin and tonic, you want nothing but a cup of hot chicken soup. This might be the disillusion setting in from fever, but you’re tinkering with the idea of taking that duvet cover coat off of the girl’s bar stool and wrapping it around yourself.

Maybe you’ll give it 10 more minutes and then you’ll do it. You've endured your fair share of bewildered stares; what's one more? Arg, that’s the last time you give up comfort for style.

Slash, probably not.

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: