How to pull off being a hot mess

Without actually being a mess


Urban dictionary defines a hot mess as: “When one’s thoughts or appearance are in a state of disarray, but they maintain an undeniable attractiveness or beauty.”

Not to be arrogant, but this is an accurate definition of my life. A hot mess is, typically, lovingly forgetful and finds it difficult to care about the little things, while always looking a little bit scruffy.

Though people may patronise us or be confused as to how we can function, we undoubtedly always have the most fun out of anyone. Effortless or rehearsed, there’s an art to pulling it off and here’s how to do it:

Pick out our clothes the night before to increase lie-in time

If you’re a hot mess, you’re probably a lazy shit and know it. Avoid daily disaster by putting out what you’ll wear tomorrow on the desk chair (undoubtedly already covered in clothes and flowing into a floor-drobe) and savour those extra minutes in bed.

You’ve got to own the “bedhead and yesterday’s eyeliner” look with pride, while rocking a fresh dress and matching socks. The key is to look 50 per cent “wtf is your life” and 50 per cent “damn that girl looks cute.” Looking like you have your life together too much will ruin your rep.

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Don’t go too far and actually be a mess

I do my washing, I keep up with my reading and always, always remember the night before. The key to being a hot mess is to not actually be a shameful mess of a person that your mates look at pitifully, but to be hilariously disorganised while somehow keeping your shit together on a daily basis. It’s difficult to keep your life together and I while admire those people who make it look so easy, it’s always better to be a hot mess.

Be impulsive because it leads to having the most fun

Dye your hair purple, spend your loan on a ridiculous fur coat that makes you feel sassy af, spend the weekend at various parties and living out of a clutch bag. We hot messes definitely have the most fun, because we say yes to everything and take things as they come. It’s a terrible modern day cliche, but you’re only this young once.

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so fetch

Laugh it off

Can’t remember where that bruise came from? Fuckboy kicked you out at 5am? Fell over in the mud? It doesn’t matter, it’ll all make funny stories to tell your housemates. Nothing bad ever happens to someone who’s a hot mess, we just take it in our stride and laugh about it later. I’ve learned to accept that life sometimes kicks you in the teeth, but worse things have happened, and if you can’t laugh about it then that’s just sad.

Always be prepared

As a 20 year old social butterfly living in the bustling town of Egham, it’s essential to be prepared to party/eat/flee the country at a moment’s notice, all of which I could do with the contents of the pockets of my trusty charity shop denim jacket. Handbags just weigh you down. Woolf, cereal bars, plastic cutlery, passports – you name it, I’ve got it.

The other week my housemate called me to ask where I was, “You said you were going to a party but you’ve now been gone for two days?!” she said. Yeah, I’d gone straight from a house party in London to visit home for a week armed with only my debit card and earphones, because in my world those are the essential items.

I even took it to New Zealand instead of hand luggage

I even took it to New Zealand instead of hand luggage

Be amazingly disorganised yet somehow productive

If you’ve never written an essay at 4am whilst still drunk and humming whatever Oceana had just been playing on repeat all night, then you’re lying. At this ungodly hour and level of dehydration, my mind is usually at a new level of creativity and philosophy, so it benefits my English degree greatly.

If you’re a hot mess, you’ll always forget that one damn thing you were supposed to do or have. Well, you wouldn’t be a hot mess if this wasn’t a daily occurrence.

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Admit it, writing things on your hand does not always work

I’ve woken up with “do essay” printed in reverse across my cheek too many times now. Every time I think of something to do, I put the event in my calendar and, crucially, set that damn alert. Unless I do this, on 26th July I will not remember to go to that house party/Barmitzvah/holiday and will instead spend the evening with Netflix, wondering what it was I forgot to do that day.

Master the art of being incredibly drunk while still looking classy

This mainly comes with practice. Masking your drunkeness is a core skill for any 20-something, but since a vital part of being a hot mess is possessing the ability to have fun anywhere, this can lead to being amazingly drunk at many black tie events (especially when you miscalculated how sober your mates are). Standing up straight and trying to remember the names of people on my course can be challenging, but if I smile and laugh at the correct times it’s usually fine.

I was fucked at this point

We look candid but I was fucked at this point

Always, somehow, keep it together

Yes, we have fun, but we don’t spiral out of control. Nobody wants to clean up our shit. Meet your deadlines and ace that degree, because god-forbid you should become an actual mess. That’s not sexy.