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Runway to (Things Just Got) Real Life: What to Wear to Your YM Moment
Monica Heisey provides style tips for life's lesser moments

Anyone can adjust what’s on the runway for use in their everyday wardrobe. Obviously this is ideal for an easy, breezy dog walk and this is a fun way to tap into the metallics trend while staying aware of your own mortality, but what do you wear when things turn–as they so often do–completely to shit? This column is here to help. Welcome to Runway to (Things Just Got) Real Life. You’re welcome in advance.

What to wear to:  your YM Moment

You know the moments: your dress malfunctions. You spill on an older boy. You call the teacher “Mom.” You’ve just hit puberty and then that puberty MAKES ITSELF KNOWN, probably in front of your crush or some girls who are cooler than you. These “I totally embarrassed myself, can you even believe it” features are a staple of preteen mags and, honestly, bonkers. They range from the legitimately horrifying: “My dog brought my bloody tampon out in the middle of a game of spin the bottle” to the adorably inconsequential: “I was playing goalie and got distracted!” (real example.), but regardless of the severity of The Moment itself, we all know what straight up “oh, shit” embarrassment feels like. Skip the blush with these outfits, you won’t need it. This week we’re dressing for the day “my shoe flew right into the river!” (Kids today.) 

White pants
Throw caution and that rule about Labour Day to the wind and pop on some blindingly white pants. Or a white skirt. Or dress. Basically anything that says “better not get your period!” Overalls are great because they’re very difficult to get off quickly in an emergency, and are thus rife with potential YMMs. Use the loosey-goosey pockets to accidentally drop a love letter you never meant to send! Forget to button up the sides and show everyone at assembly your underwear! Who KNOWS what will happen to that Halloween chocolate bar you keep in your butt pocket! Throw one of this season’s chunky emerald knits over top to really nail the “I’m a beautiful wallflower with quirky interests and a fragile self image” look that everyone will be wearing this F/W. Now repeat after me: “There was toilet paper on the back of my jeans and I didn’t know for hours! I had to pick it off… in front of my crush!”

Through the looking glass
Pop some specs on, everyone. Not only will you later be able to redeem yourself by taking them off and letting your hair down to reveal how beautiful you were *the whole time*, but it will look even sadder when you walk into a glass door and steady yourself afterward, glasses askew, in front of your crush!

Tripping hazards
Remember when your jeans were so long that they’d do that thing at the back where they developed a hole in the shape of your heel and get all frayed and you’d be like “cool” and your mom would be like “nope”? Well, shut up Mom, you’re an adult and it’s time to trip over your weirdly long pants in front of the adult equivalent of the cool kids’ table (Your boss? Someone with better hair than you? The cool adults’ table?). Eschew investment pieces and buy your clothes from the fast fashion high street for quicker and more dramatic tearing when your pants rip, butt-first, in front of your crush! 

Mouth accessories
What kind of hardware you packin’ between your gums? Nothing? Come on. There’s a wide array of methods to embarrass yourself after opening your mouth but before speaking, and most of them involve metal. Think of it as jewellery for your teeth. Incidentally, tooth jewellery is a real thing you can buy and is deeply embarrassing, so if you don’t need dental work, consider this route. Just picture that shiny, headgear-y smile looking up at a driving instructor after you “drove right over the curb” in front of your crush!

Ambiguously gendered shoes
The kind of thing a lazy jock would make lesbian jokes about. The kind of thing that says “I don’t fit in with my peers but I’m getting great arch support.” This kind of thing. Try to get them a size too large or small, ideal for tripping over your feet … in front of your cruuuuuush.

Now, good luck out there my Awkward Andys and Alices. Keep your periods in check and your hearts on your sleeves, where they belong. Your mother and I believe in you. Now just watch the “sent” field on your texts and have a nice day for once. Hey, isn’t that your crush?


Monica Heisey is a writer and comedian from Toronto. She has also written for VICE, Huffington Post, and She Does the City. Follow her on Twitter @monicaheisey

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