Take It from a Fashion Editor: The Best Kind of Shopping Is Hungover Shopping

Why you should be out buying things when you'd rather be in bed regretting your life choices.

Material property, Packaging and labeling,
(Image credit: Getty, design by Travis McHenry)

Some Recent Hangover Buys

I kind of wish I were hungover right now.

Not the kind of Lucky Jim hungover where you feel as if a small animal has made a tomb out of your cottony mouth, but the kind when you spring up weirdly cheerful at an absurdly early hour, hopeful that the real comedown will never kick in. (It will.) That would make it less arduous to write this, for one, but mildly hungover is also the best state in which to shop, I've found. (After you've checked if your friends are alive, showered, eaten some combination of fat and protein if stomach-able, then shuffled out, of course.)

While drunk shopping can yield such treasures as the velvet Shrimps coat (60 percent off!) this writer ended up with after an all-day New Orleans bender with the dangerously hospitable eyewear brand Krewe, it more likely than not ends in regret. In the best case scenario, you might end up with a gorgeous Shrimps coat with a pink faux-fur collar, even if the shop had to call you because they couldn't read your handwriting on the shipping slip. In the second-best case scenario, you receive a surprise Amazon Prime-d beef taco costume two days later. And in the worst/most probable scenario, you buy something you can neither afford, nor truly want, from a place that only accepts exchanges or store credit. And you've lost the receipt.

Trench Coats to Help You Embrace Fall in Style

You can't trust drunk you—not when there's money and figuring out return labels in the balance. But hungover shopping removes many of the same obstacles as its wetter iteration while introducing enough sobriety for sound(er) decision-making. You're too tired/achey/shaky to be hindered by waffling, which is a form of self-sabotage one employs to avoid spending, even if it is worth it. But at the same time, you’ve got that background pain (and several espressos and/or restorative bloody Marys in you) to stimulate cognitive function. Thinking but not too much, turning your full attention to browsing to distract yourself from the tingling in your arms—those are the ideal conditions for picking out good clothes.


I’ve gotten lots of my most favorite things this way. A pair of pastel woodgrain bell-bottoms picked up from a vintage store with false teeth and intimidating dildos in the window. A sapphire vegan suede jacket with epaulets found in Austin after a night, then a morning on the tiles. An even more ostentatiously ruffly $10 minidress worn to great acclaim to last year's Pirelli Calendar party in Paris. But the best hungover purchase of all—make that best purchase ever—has to be a stupid red T-shirt printed with the words “pop tart” above an unknown youth’s full, sympathetic face.

Hungover shopping removes many of the same obstacles as its wetter iteration.

That one came into my life immediately after I pronounced that I was “gonna get the weirdest thing in here” and plunged my hand into a rack of tie-dyed castoffs from middle school sports teams and long-ago spirit weeks. It serendipitously has the name of the street I live on printed on the back too, but what I like about it most is that, whenever I wear it, it reminds me—of being young and dumb, of bad margaritas with good friends, and of one long, well-wasted, perfect Sunday in a life.

Some Recent Hangover Buys

Clothing, Sleeve, Outerwear, Fashion, Pink, Neck, Dress, Sweater, Font, Blouse,

(Image credit: Courtesy, design by Travis McHenry)

1. Shrimps, $522


2. Camp Collection, $44


3. Adornmode, $88


4. Dorateymur, $435


Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at Marie Claire. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.