I know quite a lot about hangovers. At best, they are inconvenient. At worst, they are excruciating. And the older you get, the more they land on the excruciating end of the spectrum. But just because you are in a world of pain, doesn’t mean you have to look like hell. I give you, “hangover chic.”
First of all, there is nothing chic about hangovers per se. And I do not condone drinking to excess. However if on the off chance you find you’ve over-indulged when celebrating, for example, a birthday, break-up or blow-dry, you can still maintain a little self respect at least sartorially (if not behaviourally).
Before I get on to the topic of “hangover chic”, let’s consider the hangover itself. Why, when we know only too well the hideous consequences of overindulging, do we do it to ourselves over and over again? I would answer by pointing out that a pleasant night out with friends, all responsibly sipping on a glass of wine or two (max), politely discussing current affairs, property prices and politics is all well and good. But those nights where you play it a bit fast and loose with the concept of “responsible drinking” can be the stuff that urban legends are made of. Plus, champagne is delicious.
To do a stocktake of the most memorable such evenings is as revelatory as it is hilarious. There’s the dance-off against the group of guys from Manchester in a ski resort bar in France which culminated in the Dirty Dancing-style lift (which then turned into a helicopter propellor spin on a crowded dance floor). The scooter obstacle course constructed in a hotel bar in Ireland, consisting of sofa cushions thrown at the scooter-rider, all the while being commentated by our MC over a decorative antique gramophone horn. The singalong with ageing members of pop group A-Ha in the reception of a Moscow hotel at four in the morning. None of this would have happened without obscene amounts of alcohol – and correspondingly obscene hangovers.
This brings me to the morning of a hangover. There’s the initial awareness of the incessant thumping in your head, combined with an ever-increasing nausea. Then there’s the gradual awareness of your surroundings (hopefully your own bed). This is followed by my least favourite part of the hangover – piecing together the previous night’s timeline and compiling a list a people you need to apologise to/avoid for the rest of your life.
Sadly, the earth is not going to swallow you up and remove every trace of your crapulence from living memory. So you need to get up, check your wallet (was there a whole “champagne for everyone!” situation?), check your phone for calls made, texts sent and social media posts. Then go out for coffee via an ATM. But while you feel like hell, your outfit can lift your delicate emotional and physical state, even if just a little bit.
The key to hangover chic is comfort. Sweatpants are your saviour, provided you combine them with something fabulous. And what’s more fabulous than a kimono? It’s like wearing pyjama pants and a dressing gown out in public. A button down shirt keeps it a bit more business up top. Add some slides to your feet and you’re comfortably sliding your way to caffeine-fuelled redemption in a way that’s not just socially acceptable, but downright spectacular.
Add a ma-hoosive pair of sunglasses (for obvious reasons) and some chandelier earrings to show that you haven’t given up on life altogether, and you’re on your Second-Sister-approved road to recovery.
Finally, while you’re sipping your flat white over the Sunday papers, developing your apology/avoidance strategy, and vowing to never ever drink ever ever again, just remember the fun times. Know that you’ll laugh about them one day, and don’t go too hard on yourself.