The Thought Process of Realizing Your Outfit Could Have Been Better


Fuck. I needed to wear a chunkier shoe. Should I go back up and change? It’s too late to go back up and — did you see the way that woman glared at me just now? Of course you did! You are me! You see what I see! As if she doesn’t know that we know that this was a bad decision, a mistake, poor judgement. But it happens. It happens to everyone. That moment when you’re far enough from home to feel completely irresponsible going back, but close enough to genuinely feel the pang of knowing that just ten minutes away is the solution to a problem you will have to deal with all day: I fucked up a perfectly good outfit because of one rushed decision.

Let me backtrack. The time was 9:36 a.m., I had every intention of waking up at 7 — this would provide at least enough time to meditate and listen to 45 minutes of a podcast while I walked dramatically slow on a treadmill — but I was still nose diving into a pillow, which had accidentally spent the majority of its night on the floor next to my bed, at 8:45. By 9:01, when I had completed the ritual teeth-brushing and face cleaning, I was so severely late for an appointment that would take place 71 blocks from my apartment building that I may as well have just not gone.

And of course, because I was rushing, and because I was too stimulated to think in organized buckets (blame it on the lack of meditation, or, you know, just being a person), I am wearing ridiculous shoes instead of great shoes with an outfit that would have ruled the animal kingdom had I not experienced such a lapse in judgement. The worst part is that once you ruin a perfectly good outfit with the wrong accessory or vice versa, you can never love said outfit again.

It’s a dressing rule, you know? Of course you know! You are me!

The other worst part, obviously, is that because I think in outfits, I had assembled at least two strong ideas for today last night while I was trying to fall asleep. Why in the good name of rhinestones didn’t I opt for those black Sonia Rykiel jeans that I just found on The Outnet — the ones I wanted to wear with my green argyle knit from J.Crew? That would have been so easy. No one talks about the dark side of ambition — the terrible shoes you pair with the wonderful jumpsuits and so forth. I could have worn any shoe with those jeans; my own red metallic loafers. A pair of white boots. Any shoe.

Or how about those high-waist ripped jeans! They’d have looked perfect with white patent leather boots and a striped, long-sleeve shirt. Instead, though, here I am in a purple jumpsuit that took way too long to pair with shoes because of the awkward length; not long, not short, inappropriately sized against any single shoe in my closet. Why so adamant about the jumpsuit today? Why today? Who is this guy giving me stink eye? Oh! I’m up to order.

“I’ll have a slice of banana bread, please — there’s no sugar in that, right?”

Making pants must be hard for designers. How are they supposed to know what shoes we own? In my head, this jumpsuit looked great with a gray, oversize single-breast blazer, but in reality I look pretty sloppy. Kind of like a millennial Oliver Twist if he were the subject of an amateur fashion editorial. I think it needed an oversize trench coat. I have an oversize trench coat. And if I had worn that, the really simple shoe solution would have been a pair of white sneakers — easy, but satisfying.

Where did I even find these shoes? So you know, they’re houndstooth ballet flats only they’re not actually flat. They have like a two-inch heel. You know what? Fuck this appointment. I’m going straight to the office.

Did I leave any shoes under my desk? I know I have a pair of furry clogs under there. Those won’t work. Should I just buy a pair of cheap tennis sneakers? No — that is the dumbest idea you have ever had, even dumber than that time you blended a smoothie without covering your Vitamix first. Should I just go home?

Suck it up?

Publicly profess my recognition of an obliterated outfit?

Why do I care so much? It’s 24 hours. They’re just shoes. I’m human.

Yeah, fuck it. I am who I am.






!@#$%&? Did a button just pop off my crotch?

Photo by Christian Vierig via Getty Images.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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