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Drunk Girl Compliments are the Best Compliments

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In Praise of Drunk Girls in Bar Bathrooms

“Your hair,” proclaimed the drunk girl in the bar bathroom, “is PERFECT.”

“Thanks!” I replied.

“No,” she went on, “like, the color, the style... it’s just PERFECT.”

“Thanks!” I said again, because what else do you say to a stranger? I finished washing my hands and floated back to my seat, but not before sneaking another look at my hair in the bathroom mirror. A far cry from perfect, but she did have a point — I’d washed it (for once) and curled it (with this guy) and it actually looked pretty good.

Nobody on the planet will make you feel as dope as a fellow woman, three glasses of wine deep, with whom you are sharing a sink trough. Her compliments are effusive yet genuine; her glowing assessments of your shirt or shoes or face are enough to buoy you for an entire night out. Sometimes she offers slurred words of advice — “You would look AMAZING with short hair!” — but it’s rarely judgmental. Sometimes she wants to know your name, or wants you to know hers, and other times she’s content to let you pass through her betoileted lair without need for such pedestrian exchanges. Whatever she says, it is always in all caps.

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The mysterious, jubilant kindness of drunk girls is well-documented. It can feel like these women only exist within the confines of semi-public bathrooms, materializing when you need a boost, showering you with earnest words, and disappearing from whence they came like cheerful drunk Moaning Myrtles. They have no context and no agenda. They expect nothing in return, like the human equivalent of tagging your friend in the comments of a funny Instagram; reciprocity, the default response to so many other flavors of compliments, is beside the point.

Instead, the drunk girl acts as a confirmation that despite all evidence to the contrary, you’re doing okay. You’re cute, you’re friendly, you’re worthy of attention, and not just in the eyes of the people who are obligated to love you already. If a total stranger (wasted as she may be) can observe it, it must be true; she forces you to see yourself as you’d like to be seen in your most secret heart.

And so you can never repay the drunk girl. All you can do is go about your night with a little extra spring in your step, knowing that no matter what the world throws at you — bad dates or breakups, acne or IBS — in some bathroom, somewhere, lurks someone who thinks you are the most beautiful person she’s ever seen in her life, or at least in the past four minutes. And maybe one night you’ll find yourself at the other end of the sink, gin and tonic in hand, yelling delightedly to someone you don’t know about how lovely her shoes are, how sharply winged her eyeliner, how truly rad her crop top. Be the drunk girl in the bar bathroom you wish to see in the world. Alanna Okun, senior editor

Shopping
Oscars Red Carpet Beauty Products That Cost Less Than a Movie Ticket
Scarlett Johansson

Celebrities spend hours with their fancy hairstylists and makeup artists to get ready for the red carpet. (Except for Charlize Theron, who threw on her gym ponytail elastic. JK.) But, thanks to accessible brands working with these professionals, a lot of affordable products end up on the faces and hair of people who could otherwise afford La Mer products from head to toe.

This season, plenty of drugstore brands featured their products on Oscars attendees. Here are some of the standouts, most of which will cost you much less than a night out at the movies.

See the full list >>
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Menswear
Men’s Clothing Brands Beyond J.Crew and Bonobos
A man in a denim jacket.

The rise of online menswear giant Bonobos as a serious competitor to J.Crew was predicated on a piece of waistband technology that allows for a perfect fit. Thanks to its “manly” marketing, offering solutions to frustrated and pained shoppers, Bonobos now claims to be the “largest clothing company ever built on the web in the US.”

J.Crew and Bonobos’s selection for no-frills garments are pretty much unparalleled, but variety is important. You know these brands; now, let’s find you some more options. Here are a few ideas if you’re looking to branch out.

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Just One Thing
A Retro-Inspired Kitten Heel for All Seasons

Miss L. Fire Loretta Kitten Heels, $165

I’m a rebel. I drink iced coffee in the winter and I wear peep-toe shoes when it’s cold out. I know it’s freezing, and I know snow is still possible in the forecast. But! Spring is just around the corner, and you’re going to want to throw on a warm-weather shoe the second the sun comes out — so why not just get a pair you like and wear them year-round?

Last fall, when everyone started bookmarking boot sales, I spent my money on these 1940s-inspired suede open-toe kitten heels from a British company called Miss L. Fire. I’d seen the brand’s tall, teetering pin-up heels around Instagram, popular with the vintage blogosphere, but the price tag seemed steep for the product. But when the shoes finally arrived, I could see what, exactly, $165 was getting me: a very sturdy stacked 3.5” heel, suede that was soft on my feet but tough on the street, and a flattering (but substantial) leather ankle tie.

Since then, I’ve worn them with pants, dresses, skirts, high-waisted shorts, leggings, and literally every other kind of lower body covering available; they go with all of them.

Unfortunately the rusty red shade I picked up have sold out, but the mint and light pink versions are available for pre-order, and the shimmering gold and silver options are discounted. —Annemarie Dooling, director of programming

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