It all started with a halter top from Wet Seal. I had gone shopping with my best friend Suzie and come home with a black halter top with white daisies on it.
It was the late '90s. Halter tops, daisies and slutty clothes were all the rage.
"What did you buy?" my fashion-enthusiast mother asked brightly as I bound through the doors of my house.
"Oh, nothing. Just, like, a shirt." I was 12. I was at the height of my popularity, and I didn't have time to answer such questions. I had my own phone line, OK?
"Let me see your shirt."
I handed over the plastic bag, panic rising in my chest. "Bitch better not ruin this for me," I thought to myself.
"Zara! You're not old enough to wear a HALTER TOP like this! Plus, it's the middle of the WINTER! Darling, that's cute, but, um, NO. Maybe in the SUMMER."
She whisked my beloved halter top out of my scrawny, little fingers and left me standing heartbroken in the doorway.
I could feel tears form in my prepubescent eyeballs. Just a month ago, I had gotten my first period, and my hormones were raging. The need to express my newfound sexuality in the form of a halter top felt primitive.
"I hate my life," I whispered underneath my breath. I slumped off to my room to call Suzie and complain about my oppressive mother.
Late that night, I lay stiff in bed, staring at the cracks in the ceiling.
"One day, when I'm the boss of my own life, I'm going to wear halter tops in the dead of winter. I'm going to wear crop tops when it's fucking snowing outside. I'm going to wear slip dresses like Courtney Love through the coldest days of February," I vowed.
And truth be told, I've been wearing slutty clothes since I started paying my own my bills.
I never let the freezing-cold conditions of NYC stop me from dressing like the glorious slut I am.
I mean, come on, girls. If you're going to let something as trite as cold air stop you from expressing your personal style, how are you going to stay strong through the challenging things life throws at us?
Now, I'm 30, and I still dress slutty as ever in the winter. That's not to say there aren't specific struggles that come along for the ride.
Here are 12 things only the girls who dress slutty in the cold, winter months will understand:
1. Instead of a polite "hi," you're usually greeted with a condescending "Aren't you, like, cold!?"
Yeah, bitch. I can read between the lines. What you're really saying is, "Aren't you dressed a little SLUTTY for a cold day?"
2.You find yourself buying new tights at least three times per week.
Tights are the staple of the slutty girl winter wardrobe. You wear tights with shorts, mini-skirts and baby-doll dresses alike. The trouble is, you never seem to have ENOUGH of them.
3. You know puff coats are a necessary evil.
There is nothing sexy about a walking around looking like you're enveloped in a giant marshmallow. But, girl, when you're wearing nothing but fishnet stockings and a distressed half-tee under there, the only way to survive the wrath of winter is to brave the puffer. This is why we mainly stay indoors.
4. You go through bottles and bottles of moisturizer.
If you're going to be showing off your bare flesh, it has to look dewy, even when you're dried out like a dead plant by the radiator.
Pro-slut-tip: Nothing hydrates winter skin like Palmer's Cocoa Butter.
5. Your office is freezing, and you have two choices: Work with the disgusting puff coat on, or work in your sexy, cut-out dress and freeze.
Cold offices are the devil.
6. You get sick a lot, but you refuse to blame your scanty attire.
I mean, come on, babes. Getting sick from not dressing warm enough is an old wives' tale. You're sick because of all the germs on the train.
7. Long-sleeve crop tops your best friend.
But all the other slutty girl's covet long-sleeve crop tops, too, so you're constantly battling over the last one in the slutty girl boutique.
8. Frat bros in bars think your winter crop top is an open invitation to talk to you.
As they breathe their beer breath in your face, you try not to gag and to muster a semi-polite "I'm HERE WITH MY FRIENDS."
9. The only place that really appreciates your slutty winter attire is the gay bar, which is fine.
This isn't really a "struggle" because gay bars are the only bars worth going to anyway.
10. Since you MUST wear tights every single day (to keep at least one part of your body warm), you run into a very specific problem: Your high-waisted skirt isn't as high-waisted as your tights.
So between your exposed stomach and crop top is the top of your spandex tights, which takes away the scandal of a crop top in the winter.
11. When you dress sexually, you find yourself making eyes with every semi-attractive entity at the bar.
But the problem is, there is a 50 percent chance of a snowstorm, and you don't want to risk getting trapped at some rando's apartment. So you use your vibrator so much, it's constantly running out of damn batteries. And who wants to buy batteries? Can't think of anything more BORING than buying damn batteries.
12. Girls in loose, cashmere turtlenecks look at you smugly when you strut by in your cute, little romper and whisper to their friends, "Poor thing. She must be SO COLD all the time. I personally dress for comfort."
Fuck that, honey! Clothes are too fabulous, too expressive and too fun to dress for something as bleak as COMFORT, right, babes?