Just because we're rounding out the end of October doesn't mean there hasn't been a fluke warm day every now and again. This sometimes leads us to not dressing warm enough when it's cold outside, because sometimes our eyeball-method of gauging the temperature through the window isn't foolproof. But while the weather pendulums between crisp, I'm-so-glad-to-live-in-a-world-where-there-are-Octobers days and warm, maybe-we-should-eat-outside afternoons, getting dressed in the morning can be tricky. With that trickiness comes a certain guarantee for a misstep.
While not wearing a winter jacket one morning might not be embarrassing per se, deciding to wear a summer dress while the rest of the city is pulling on fur-lined boots sort of is. Don't worry: It happens to the best of us. With that fashion faux pas comes a unique set of awkward stages that forces us further and further down the shame spiral. The shame doesn't necessarily come from wearing the wrong thing. For me, it's more about feeling like I'm failing at adult-ing properly because I don't have my mom reminding me to grab a coat. Below are the seven awkward stages of mistakenly wearing a summer dress while it's cold outside. Cringe through the familiar feelings, and remember to button up.
1. The Mistaken Identity In The Morning
When you peeked through the shades this morning, you could have sworn it was still summer weather... at the end of October... when all the leaves are dead and on the ground... and you're planning to buy a pumpkin spice latte on your way to work. Plausible, right?
Maybe you were just really sleepy. Who knows? All you know for certain is that you thought it was warm enough to wear the sleeveless, twirly number in shades that are reminiscent of sandy beaches and are so not cozy. Buckle up: You're about to have an interesting day.
2. The Moment When Your Arms Take The First Hit
You step outside and it's freezing. Well, not really, but it is for a person who doesn't have sleeves. Even though you can quickly run upstairs and remedy the situation, you don't. You already made it as far as the elevator. Instead, you decide to make one of the worst mistakes of your life and just bear a day of slowly catching pneumonia. Cool.
Your arms are the first things to take a hit, breaking out in cold goosebumps as the wind begins to pick on you. You decide to pretend it's just a brisk morning, and that the city will thaw out come afternoon.
3. Strategizing On How To Warm Up
Alright, so you made a mistake. It's most definitely fall and you most definitely should have sleeves on at this point. But that ship has sailed and you now have to make like MacGyver and figure out other ways to keep warm sans layers. Taking a cab to work begins to seem like a plausible idea, but then you think of how much the fare would be and you would rather buy grocery store wine with that cash. Or better yet, cold medicine.
So you do the next best thing: Buy scalding hot coffee to wrap your hands around. It's not sleeves, but it'll help.
4. Annoyance Over How Dramatic The Wind Is
It definitely doesn't help that the wind is putting on a show today. If it was just brisk, that'd be one thing, but it looks like a storm of Michael Bane proportions is about to blow in. The wind decided to get teeth and is whipping your hair into a frenzy, pulling on the hem of your dress like a playground bully. This only forces you to pull and fidget with your tissue paper-like frock, dragging more attention towards it.
5. Being Silently Judged By Fellow Commuters
There's nothing worse than enduring the shame of fellow commuters. You'd think you were brandished with a red letter A considering the way they set their faces into hard, disapproving lines. You walk onto the train with your cotton candy colors and your goose-bumped legs and you can just feel the internal scoffs.
Wait... Are you just getting paranoid? Is that what cold does to the brain?
6. Noticing Everyone Looks Like An Extra From An L.L. Bean Catalog
How could you have misjudged this so badly? Everyone else is rocking their fall knits and wool infinity scarves. They all look like the casting call for L.L. Bean let out early for lunch and they all happened to be going in the same direction on the train. Jackets, cargoes, fleece, puffy materials — all so cozy and bundled. Your shame continues to grow.
7. Vowing To Have Learned Your Lesson
This is it. You've learned a valuable adult lesson today. It's called: "Fight your crippling laziness and check the weather on your damn phone." Seriously, it takes like two seconds and you'll never have to be in this situation again. No more guesstimating the temps from the cozy spot in the middle of your bed.
You think about all of this as you pop into Target before work, looking for a puffer jacket and fleece tights to buy.
As you're stocking up on your Antarctic parkas, however, you know you probably haven't seen the last of your summer dresses. We always go back to touching the stove, after all. Even after we know it's hot.