1. Break up with your partner and decide that the version of yourself from that relationship is dead. Purge your closet of items belonging to that unfashionable stranger. The new you would never wear overalls.
2. Take everything you want to sell to the dry cleaners. You’ve already suffered so much rejection, you need this to go as well as possible.
3. Sit in your car outside the local Cool-Girl Thrift Shop and listen to some Angel Olsen to get into the right headspace.
4. Open your car door and then close it when you see someone who looks like they’ve modelled for American Apparel walk into the store. Glance at your reflection in the rearview mirror and wonder when your pores got so big.
5. Wait until the AmApp girl leaves, then make your move.
6. Casually (not desperately) walk in and give the Karlie Kloss look-alikes behind the counter a noncommittal wave.
7. Act like you just noticed the garbage bag of clothes in your hand. Say something chill, like, “Oh, are you guys buying today? No worries if not.”
8. Miss their response because of the blood pumping loudly in your ears and lay your clothes on their altar with your head bowed. It’s very important that you don’t make eye contact—you must establish yourself as the submissive.
9. Say something nonchalant, like, “I’m just going to look around the store,” as the Karlies begin to pick through your fashion mistakes with the enthusiasm of a Kardashian at the end of a salad.
10. As you mill about the store, gently run your fingertips across forty-seven different garments while saying to no one in particular, “You guys have great stuff.” The Karlies will not hear you or respond.
11. Happen upon a burgundy beret.
12. Come to the conclusion that this beret will undo all your past sartorial mistakes.
13. Try on the beret.
14. Realize that you don’t know how to wear a beret.
15. Decide to YouTube it when you get home.
16. You’re buying this goddam beret.
17. Peruse the jewelry section and wonder whose great aunt died on the Titanic and left them a turquoise ring worth a hundred and seventy dollars. When you feel a chill run down your spine, you’ll know that the Karlies have finished appraising your trash.
18. Return to the counter. Act like you forgot why you even came in. They cannot know how badly you need this.
19. Momentarily black out while they tell you that unfortunately all forty pounds of your clothing aren’t what they’re “looking for this season,” but if you ever have anything that’s more “sustainable” or “on trend” to definitely let them know.
20. Look down and realize that you’re still holding the beret.
21. Stick it to them by buying the beret. This will make sense at the time.
22. Don’t forget to say, “Thanks so much!” as you drag your trash bag of clothes like a freshly murdered body out of the store.
23. Leave with more clothes and less money than you came in with.
24. Stuff the trash bag of clothes in your trunk and drive around with it for no fewer than eight months, affecting both your gas mileage and your general mental health.
25. Never get around to wearing the beret.