The Emotional Stages of a Breakup As Told By Your Outfit

Read: When the sweats are out, back away

Breakups: We’ve all been there. Even the most self-assured and confident people can be deeply affected by a breakup, and whether you are the dumper or the dumpee, parting ways is never easy.

The first time I had my heart truly broken, my outfits were all over the place. Some were barely presentable to walk down to the lobby of my building to meet the delivery guy, and some were so out there that strangers on the subway would blatantly stare at me and wonder if I had just run away from the circus. I remembered feeling sad, angry, and definitely a little lost. 

We present the five stages of the post-breakup wardrobe, from downing a pint of Ben & Jerry's and sobbing into your pillow to the moment you've decided you're ready to rebound and give love another chance.

Stage 1: Heartbreak

There is nothing more jarring than the first few days of a breakup, especially one that you didn't see coming. Feel free to put plans on hold for a few days and cozy up in pieces that scream comfort. Basically, you should feel like you're being constantly hugged.

H&M, Cropped Brooklyn Sweatshirt, $18, available at H&M; Topshop, Joggers, $20, available at Topshop; Topshop, Fuzzy Sliders, $44, available at Topshop; Madewell, Ankle Socks, $9.50, available at Madewell.

Stage 2: Second-Guessing

Whether you suddenly start to miss your ex or wonder how you ever fell for them in the first place, the best thing for this period of uncertainty is to put on no-fail classics. A plain white tee, your favorite pair of jeans, and some stylish sneakers will give you the confidence to go about your day.

Boohoo, Oversized Tee, $14, available at Boohoo; H&M, Skinny Jeans, $20, available at H&M; Adidas, Stan Smith Sneaker, $85, available at Urban Outfitters.

Stage 3: Anger

It's okay to be mad at your ex-whatever, so when you're feeling all of the toughest parts of a breakup boiling inside you, channel it instead into a badass outfit. Head-to-toe black is really the only option here, so call upon your inner goth for this one.

Zara, Leather Jacket, $70, available at Zara; Topshop, Slouch Trousers, $74, available at Topshop; H&M, Ankle Boot, $40, available at H&M; Gear From Last Night, Coffee Tote, $15, available at NYLONShop.

Stage 4: Man- or Woman-Repelling

The stage that is less so about man- or woman-repelling and more so about getting to the point where you can finally start regaining your own style identity. Those shoes that they didn't like? Wear 'em. That jacket they thought was weird? Own it. Wear what you love, and don't worry about what anyone else thinks. 

High Heels Suicide, Denim Jacket, $125, available at NYLONShop; Zara, Cropped Mom Jeans, $70, available at Zara; YRU, Glitter Boot, $75, available at Nasty Gal.

Stage 5: Back in the Game

When you're finally ready to put yourself out there again, it's time to go hot or go home. Like, hot tamale hot. Even better if you run into the loser who dumped you, because then they get to go home and cry about what they're missing out on.

Boohoo, Red Bodycon Dress, $30, available at Boohoo; Topshop, Black Heels, $92, available at Topshop; River Island, Gold Necklace, $32 available at River Island.