When you turn 21, there’s an explosion of emotions. Suddenly, there are a lot of “firsts”: first time buying bottles at a liquor store, first happy hour, first drink with your parents, first time losing $50 at the casino, first time in downtown bars—uh-oh. Stop right there. You’ve been going to trashy college parties for the past two years, where the attire ranges from oversized Salvation Army sweatshirts to bodycon dresses with slits showing skin that shouldn’t be revealed in public. All of a sudden your closet doesn’t seem appropriate for “going out” anymore. Whether you’re a new 21-year-old bar-goer or a seasoned veteran, these thoughts have definitely crossed your mind while prepping for a night out.
1. Not again
There you are. Standing in your unmentionables staring blankly into the abyss of your closet. Another Saturday night has come around, and not having a clue what to wear has hit you like a ton of bricks…again.
2. Am I too dressed up?
You want to be presentable and let people know that you actually gave a shit about what you look like, but at the same time you don’t want to seem like you’re trying too hard.
3. Am I going to get hit on?
If a man decides to flirt with you, does that mean you dressed too risqué or is it a genuine compliment? Either way, you’re probably not going to turn down a free drink.
4. Did I shave my legs?
The answer determines whether it’s a dress or pants kind of night.
5. Am I going to be too hot in this?
I swear bar owners crank the heat up so we buy more drinks to stay hydrated. But we’ll freeze our ass off walking to the bus if not dressed appropriately. Ugh. Too many possibilities.
6. How will this look in pictures?
Those pre-game Snapchats with your girls stay there all night so you can piece together the night in the morning. And don’t forget the pics posted all over Instagram. You know you practice your photo poses in the mirror before deciding if that’s the outfit people will be double-tapping.
7. Have I worn this out before?
And will people even remember it? We all have our favorite going-out outfit. The real question is how long we have to wait before getting away with wearing it again.
8. What is everyone else wearing?
*Frantically texts the group chat. Flood of mirror selfies pop up.* Damn it, they look cute. Cue the frustration tears (don’t ruin the makeup, though).
9. Do I really want to go out tonight?
Staring at the piles of clothes now strewn across your bedroom, you question the worth of the entire night. Suddenly Netflix, chocolate and laying in baggy sweats sounds like a much better plan.
The struggle is absolutely real. But no doubt, we always end up throwing something together, having a blast with our friends and not caring about what we have on anyways. Don’t worry though, one of these weekends we’ll get it all right.
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Updated July 18, 2016: We added awesome tees to get you to the bar in style.