Girls Who Go Out

You know, like it’s a sport or something


Never is it as apparent that we are a city of women cut from profoundly different cloths than on the coldest or wettest of winter eves. Why? Because on any given Saturday night, you’re subject to find yourself standing heel-to-boot among a transparently visual sea of Human Icy Hots, or Semi-Repellers, or Hypochondriacs.

Confused? Don’t be.

Figure this.

It’s snowing. No, raining. No, snowing and raining but because your best friend is turning 30 and as a result finds herself at a crossroad that begs a puddle of vulnerable doubt in conjunction with her life’s ambitions, you are making the trek out from the depths of your comfort to function as the vessel that elicits her comfort at a birthday party. On the Lower East Side. You’ll tell her she’s doing huge things. That 30 is but a chip of the old block, you might share an anecdote about this girl you know through a friend of your mom’s friend who’s life changed for the better when she hit the 30-mark, etc, etc.

On your way to meet her, you notice a line comprised of a true mixed bag of nuts outside a door near Rivington Street. You briefly thank heaven and the angels that it omits that you’re not going to be waiting on a line. 30-year-olds don’t have birthday parties at places that boast lines. But lo and behold, the cab’s meter stops and there you are, left to loiter while you try to keep warm, rummaging through your purse to find your ID — which, mind you, you haven’t used since you were underage — thinking about how far your bed is, how close your temper is to lost and whether your friend is in there or out here, among the puddle of sequins and coats and bare legs and socks.

And then! You find her. She’s dressed as a human icy hot. Why, goodness, why? You take inventory of the rest of your surroundings and because of the handy guide we’re about to deliver, you start playing this game called Match the Girl to the Label.


First, there are The Human Icy Hots, who have seemingly never used the weather app on their iPhones, or more prehistorically, watched the news. It is 16 degrees out but Honey Banger doesn’t care. She hates socks. And tights. And evidently, doesn’t own a coat save for the paltry leather jacket slung over her arms. She doesn’t look cold which is confounding until you see her fall to the ground and realize she’s either alcohol or temperature inebriated. Her skirt is really tight, she’s wearing a going out top and man, oh man would I like to be a fly on the floor of which she resides tomorrow morning.


Then, there is The Semi-Repeller. She’s equal parts stupid and smart which makes her effectively a whole lot of nothing. Poof. Thin air. While she wears a beanie for cosmetic purposes, she completely omits the importance of a concealed neck given the climate and it’s clear that this is because her lapels are cool. She’s wearing a t-shirt under a pseudo-coat. It’s certainly not as frail as a leather jacket but it’s not quite a down comforter either. On her legs she’s got pants, which is great, but dear goodness! Your ankles! Those pumps! It’s snowing. Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, she is me.


And finally, there is The Hypochondriac. This asshole never gets sick because she is always over-dressed. Where a mere plebe (or Semi Repeller) might wrongly guesstimate how much time she will spend outdoors on a cold winter night thus under-dressing, the overachieving hypochondriac would make such a J.V. mistake. The thing of it is, past the dramatic layers of warmth that make ambling about palatable — two coats, a scarf, tights and socks, is a mohair sweater worn over a t-shirt that makes being indoors slightly unbearable. That shit is practically a full functioning heater. I’m sorry, have you ever tried to socialize in angora? I’m also sorry for that sentence but it is as counterproductive is trying to bathe in urine. Often if you know her, you don’t actually recognize her — she’s a walking ad for the whale-watching association of the Arctic.

And you’re just like, why am I here?

So, are you one of these girls? Do you know any of these girls? Have I forgotten to pin point another genre of girl? Tell me so many things that your fingers start falling off while typing. (But then figure out a way to click “post.”)

Illustrations by Charlotte Fassler

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  • dp

    i am a semi repeller, crop top under coat in a snowstorm, beanie, maybe a fur. i’m annoying at coatcheck but look great

  • In my head I want to believe I am more like the semi-repeller but I am honestly more of the hypochondriac. If I am cold I will be miserable, therefore I sacrifice style for overall happiness. Plus, already having a boyfriend probably contributes to my clothes drawing comparisons to the abominable snowman during wintertime.

  • Kristina

    I am definitely hypochondriac. Once, I decided to go out without my big scarf and got cold for two weeks. And even in summer, I wear summer coats.

  • isa

    i’m clearly the hypochondriac: really enthusiastical about the clothes in my closet but too lazy to face the cold weather. Anyway i’m going to university so I prefer to keep it for a day i’m doing SOMETHING, instead of going to class and hibernating in the library…

  • Ivana

    Im a semi repeller. But with a scarf and some 10 den socks to keep the Illusion of being warm.

  • Val

    I almost fell out my chair. Effin’ hilarious. Definitely the asshole. I can hardly socialize under all the alpaca layers I wear. Sweating because you are hot under all your layers in the cold can get your sick too. Which is terribly ironic but real.

  • Laura Mitchell

    Half semi-repeller, half-hypochondriac. Instead of a blazer I’ll throw on a big fur but my ankles BETTER be showing. Only problem- the wallet sized clutch doesn’t stay on your shoulder so well in big outerwear. I carry it as a clutch with the chain hanging until I can ditch my coat and wear it properly.

    Can’t stop wearing those lacy Jimmy Choo’s from this year. Have to complain- they are FREEZING to wear in icy, windy weather.

  • Quinn Halman

    I’d say I’m in between the semi-repeller and the hypochondriac. I don’t go “all out” like the hypochondriac but I do keep myself warm. When it comes to winter, I’m pretty practical (gag! I just sounded double my age). But really there are so many factors like is it snowing? how dirty is the snow? how much snow? Because not only do I already have issues walking in heels, but I would brake an ankle if I tried to walk in them with the 2ft of snow that is outside my window right now. One of my mom’s rules is that one’s winter coat must cover their “tush” (bum) and I will preach that FOREVER

  • mark a.

    lol great post! i probably know one of each of these gals!

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Going out in my 20’s I was a Human icy hot/ Repeller hybrid. This happens when the repellent part of your look is so powerful that it completely neutralizes the hot part.

  • Dimitra

    I just go everywhere in my sweatpants (which I also use as pajamas).
    What does it make me?
    Don’t answer that.

    • Catherine

      Funny you mention that. I just discovered the ability to disguise black and gray sweatpants as work-pants. And i most certainly wear them from work straight to bed. I think in the past month i’ve worn said sweats at least twice a week. If i had a blog, i would right about this.

      • SARS

        double yikes

    • SARS


  • Dilek

    I am something between a semi-repeller and a hypochondriac. Sometimes I dress thinly, but cover up with a thick coat (scarf, hat, and gloves in tow) and sometimes I dress warmly and put on a thinner coat. ^^

  • ancia

    I am something between icy hot and semi repeller and I hate going out with my hypochondriac friend. She alwayswears so many layers and still she is always freezing.

  • Kandeel

    Semi-repeller fsr. BUT replace heels with leather boots. I avoid wearing my winter jacket as much as possible. However when its cold i put on a bunch of layers and a thin coat.

  • These categories are fantastic, and somehow even funnier when you bring them into San Francisco context. People will dress like the hypochondriac and talk about how freezing it is- guys, it’s 55 and foggy. Calm down.

    I’d say most ladies I see (myself included) are in the semi-repeller stage, minus the heels. I haven’t seen heels at a bar since Chicago.

    🙂 Sarah

  • I say I’m a cross between the semi repeller and the hypochondriac. I hate being cold and I also hate being super hot once I get inside. I also dont want to look stupid because I under dressed for the cold and overdressed for the heat. #hotmess or then again #coldmess

  • Swanky Suri

    The human icy hot – is just what you call the common whore.

    • Evan Warren

      yay! slut shaming!

      but seriously though. Why?

  • Semi-repeller + a scarf of some sort because I’d venture to say I wear a scarf 9/10 days in the colder months, and even many days during the warmer ones…

  • witek3

    Hypochondriac! Though only style-wise because it’s not that I am afraid to get a cold when I freeze – it is that I WILL get a cold as soon as I freeze.
    In my case it is not mohair over a t-shirt – it is mohair worn over a long-sleeved blouse. My winter boots are a size bigger for the warm socks to fit in. I am also mentioning the obvious tights under jeans in the happy months November-March because obviously not everybody is homeothermic.
    Actually, speaking of tights, did you know they make tights with polar fleece lining?
    And while we’re at it, don’t you dare say anything bad about mohair. It is as if you’d have offended me. WE ARE ONE.

  • Brie

    I was the icy hot until I turned 25. Then the semi-repeller and since I turned 30….I dont go anywhere or do anything.

  • Dying. This is perfection.

  • Dafne Ortiz

    Oh noooo Leandra! I live in Mexico and there is no need to wear layers or heavy coats but I am going to NYC next week and probably I will be the Hypochondriac….I will be freezing cold! I even have snow boots already in my suitcase!!!

  • oneofthosegirls

    I am all three, depending on location. In the UK, I am a diehard icy hot. In France, I go semi-repeller. In Germany, there is just no point whatsoever in dressing in anything your grandmother wouldn’t condone- Hypochondriac.

  • ElodieR

    If I pop tights on and a beanie, does that makes my ice hot look appropriate? No? That’s what I thought…

    – Elodie x

  • ALM

    This is hilarious. Considering I found my self in the LES last winter “tight-less” I suppose I have to fess up to being an icy-hot. But seeing as I’ve been on a daily beanie rotation this winter, and have recently enjoyed wearing them out (at night), I’ve definitely evolved into the “semi-repeller” category. I want to say this seems fitting being that I just entered my “late twenties” – BUT do you think age is directly correlated with repelling?! Thoughts?

  • God dammit you aced to name the type of girl I saw coming in and out of my college dorm every Friday and Saturday night. By the way, they were always alcohol inebriated. Fo’sho. Perhaps I should call them The Human Icy Hot-with-detachable-beer-belly-showing-underneath-the-bandage-skirt- type of girl.

  • Dandy,

    “I’m sorry but have you ever tried to socialise in angora!?” YES! and it was so uncomfortable I felt like I was overheating like a human Angora.. horrible!

    • Lavang

      I agree! I wore my new favorite Zara sweater last night, which is not angora, but this faux, soft, curly, and light sherpa, to meet up for drinks. It is perfect for all other occasions except when chatting it up near a FIREPLACE in a bar. It was awful!

  • Josephine Baker

    Haha I’m definitely the semi repeller, we’re in this together!

  • LexoRexo

    There has to be something midway between the hypochondriac?? This past Saturday I also HAD to go to a birthday party (and I HAD to walk there because it was close enough that a cab would have laughed in my face) so I went as a tomboy. No joke. Bean boots (I had already fallen once before that day BUT I think boys dug it? I didnt look stupid like the girls in heels?), skinny jeans, an oversized but thin sweater, down vest and oilcloth jacket… but in my defense, those two things came off the moment I stepped inside. No purse. I also just dressed it up with more eye makeup and a cool ponytail (there was no way a blow dry could survive the mess on Saturday!!!)

    Who am I kidding? Totally the hypochondriac 🙁 I AM OLD!

  • The Glossier

    Definitely a semi-repeller. One of my old coworkers was The Human Icy Hot, she said, “I hate carrying my coat in the club, and I don’t want to pay for coat check,” so, she always went out with a blazer and no coat. Coincidentally, she was always sick.

  • 100% am I the hypochondriac except that everyone says I look homeless chic/straight up bag lady. People will joke about where I got my crazy shapeless homeless parka with a fur hood. And then I say Marc Jacobs. Derelicte baby.

  • A

    I’m “the formal” … Until you see my lovely sneakers.

    • Evan Warren

      like a chick version of garrison keillor?

  • carolina sainz

    this is deffinetly so true, never the less, it’s almost unrelevant to make this categories because each one has good things and bad things. Also, it’s obvious that every girl that is either an icy hot human, a semi-repeller or a hypochondriac, think that they are just ok wearing what they’re wearing… and they are!

  • runway2street

    I am a Semi-repeller too! 🙂

  • these looks are spot on! I usually try and swish some eyeshadow across my lids before I go out if I’m feeling extra frumpy to make it look like I tried. I just did a post on the Urban Decay Naked palettes for less and they’ve been a lifesaver. The champagne colors are practically tattooed on my eyelids.

  • I am a human hyper-party-repeller. *blush*

  • I guess I’m a semi repeller -_-

    Mafalda ❤

  • Maui Mendoza

    Icy hot in college. One classmate actually asked me why my legs aren’t cold (cold rainy day and wearing the standard denim mini skirt). Now I’m kinda in between the semi repeller and the hypochondriac but definitely leaning more on the hypoch. Sweaters do now wrinkle and they hide a lot of sins.

  • I’m a hypochondriac semi repeller I suppose… and I looooove my neon boots! check them out: (no, I’m not paid to say this… they’re just awesome).

  • Corrine

    I’m definitely the third one! Coat, hat, scarf and gloves (I’m so awesome). When I buy a bag the first thing I ask is, would an umbrella fit in here? X

  • Vania Puspitasari

    Totally a semi-repeller thanks to you Leandra!

  • The Hipster Housewife

    Hypochondriac. If I would bundle my kids up, I bundle myself up. I even say things like ‘bundle up’ because I’ve become my mother in my ripe old age of 30. Ugh.

  • Cristina Rico Pedrosa

    I’m definitely between the Human Icy Hot and the Semi-Repeller… It depends on the day. Check December 18th post on my blog And girls at my hometown are all Human Icy hot type!

  • Pretty dead on! Hypochondriac 4 life. I pile on 2 monster sweaters, coat, wool trousers, boots, topped off with earbags (earmuffs that snap onto my ears) & my furry 3.1 Philip Lim neck warmer that I got as a gift last year.

  • Perry

    I feel that the genre of girls come with age. The Human Icy Hot is in her early 20’s because she doesn’t want to pay for coat check. The Semi Repeller is now a young professional and manifesting it through her attire. And the Hypochondriac is in her 30’s who likes to stay in, but occasionally enjoys the night out on the town and is not dumb enough to dress like the Human Icy Hot because she can afford $2 to put her coat away.

  • I am 100%, no doubt about it, you hit me right on the nail the “hypochondriac”. I never get sick ( I am also the holistic medicine witch doctor of my university), I wish I could bring my electric heater in my big tote bag that also contains knitted mittens, 2 scarves and an extra pair of socks. Some call me crazy I call myself warm. Also that statement about the mohair over the t-shirt; onetime I wore a mohair over a long sleeve shirt over a dress and I then consumed 5 cups of water in a row. Loved this.

    • MER

      I’m about to change your life. Burton makes parkas that have a heating pad built in. you charge them, and then turn on the element when you go out.

      • I’m on it right this second. Bless you!

  • Melissa

    The fourth type: The one in your friend group who studied public relations and moved to New York in her early twenties. Thinks that New Yorkers only wear black, thus wears only black and considers the red soles of her louboutins as color blocking. Most likely carries an it-bag for the simple purpose of carrying it, talks like she is from Long Island and despite her hard efforts would not be mistaken as a New Yorker by anyone other than the girl sitting next to her at the bar who is visiting her college friend from like Ohio.

  • Hannah Cavaciuti

    I’m the asshole… often go out with two scarves, first a silk, tied cravat style under the angora. Then a chequered one, longer than myself wrapped round and tied. Takes too long to undo so window shopping is the best option, thus saving a lot in winter. Genius.

  • Sophia Simons

    Semi-repeller, no doubt. I wear ballerina’s in snowstorms (wet feet are not fun by the way), I wear knee high black leather boots in summer, I wear my beloved fur coat which I cannot close (warm and cold at the same time) all year long.
    I love bare ankles, so sexy! And I love socks in shoes, especially striped ones that match my striped sweater/dress.
    I think wearing weather appropriate shoes is the biggest challenge of my life.

  • Maureen Krezel French

    hmmm…well, when your just about, but not quite 50…(that just just sounds wrong), but still have to go out too…well, at least parties for 40 years olds…(or horrors a sweet 16 party for your friends kid) you wish, and attempt to be an human icy hot( which is what the sixteenies were wearing)…seriously if you think you can get away with it at this point, you try really hard….thing is…no matter how much time i have to get ready and how huge the resources are…i have to say, i end up morphing into a semi- repeller…stylish, safeish, warmish…(but NO sweaters at indoor spaces…i am truly alergic to angora)…i dant always even totally repell….husband gives me THAT look…( i smile proudly, then succumb…throw on the lace top…jeans…high, but not teetering heels..). I never wear a warm enough coat—completely pisses off my hypochondriac husband!

  • dailyfashionmuse

    Such the semi repeller. It is butt ass cold out right now and I am in ankle length pants, no socks, flats, and silk shirt. Trying to decide on the appropriate coat, because the warm one just doesn’t work with the outfit

  • Adrianna Grężak

    In the age of cute boots, accessories, and awesome wool coats, why on earth would I dress like an Icy Hot? I’ll frequently wear my Columbia fleece underneath my coat and over my blouse if I don’t want to wear a sweater. After I had been dating my boyfriend for a while, he pointed out that my practical attire stood out – I was the rare girl who didn’t complain about the weather because I was dressed properly.

  • I switch between the three…but never dumb clutches! never!

  • Ai-Ch’ng GB

    Very funny indeed… because I am one of those who stares at the various states of dress (or undress) of males and females in any queue and wonders if I’m getting old, thinking, “Oh SHE must be cold in her little bandeau top with no pants/skirt underneath- oh wait it’s a dress?… and that other one must be vain to the max, with her blue (non-blue-lipsticked) lips, shoulders scrunched up to her ears to cover her uncovered neck, knees knocking together uncontrollably in her mini-mini”.

    Me – I’m a hybrid: three quarters Hypochondriac with the myriad of outer layers worn simultaneously (thanks, Mom, for brainwashing me into the “comfort over looks” club) with a fur/shearling jacket over (possibly) a sweater or sweat shirt, two scarves in winter, a beanie to go with the two scarves, jeans and ankle boots with decent (read – “thick”) socks an gloves; and one quarter Semi-Repeller with the inner layers (T-shirt under said sweater/sweat shirt) and my sometimes cuffed ankles – to deal with the invariably centrally heated building and car interiors, and handbag – but I think the addition of the gloves still usher me into Hypochondriac territory.

    Standing outside in winter’s gonad-freezing temperatures, I am a Total Michelin Man… but once I am inside all that heating, I strip down – but – don’t worry, Mom – never “off”.

  • streats

    I am a proud hypochondriac. I live in Dublin, Ireland and I can tell you, you would freak the fuck out if you saw the bevy of Icy Hots. Not even wearing jackets. I’m like, I would rather haul a bunch of layers around or fling them on the back of a booth seat than risk at all being cold. Unless I know that I’m getting a cab door-to-door and will be dancing all night long, I always layer up.

  • diane

    I think there may be an inverse relationship between age and how much you are willing to freeze your ass off. I’m betting most of the self-proclaimed Hypos are older than the younger Icy Hot crowd. Maybe a new category should be Old Women Who Retire and Move to Florida to Stay Warm?

  • So funny and so true!


  • Reallee Me

    You forgot the girl that just doesn’t care about Fashion because let’s face it she lives in Canada. She decided to do the practical thing over the trend things. She doesn’t look her best, but in line people wish they were her with her giant lunar boots. Oh and that’s not me, but I’m definitely the jealous one looking at her.

  • Jesus Christ, I suddenly realize that I’m such an ENORMOUS semi repeller. T-shirt underneath a fake coat although it’s freezing outside? Yep, sadly, that’s me.

  • Zohar

    What about the girl who uses the weather app and saw the news but still go out semi-naked?? And the girl with the pantyhose who keeps her big impressive coat buttoned the whole evening and looks like shes all naked underneath ??

  • flofrog

    i think it is terribly unhealthy to be the hypo since the more you are covered, the more [oh. this is not going to be pretty, pardon me] but evidently the more you s.w.e.a.t.

    and of course if you take out the two coats it’s because it seems warm in the newly entered room, but it is never going to be warm enough that, over s.w.e.a.t., it will not feel like a draft.

    for my humble part i would tend to look lovingly at the semi, but would probably stupidly dress like the hot spicy, though unintentionally, and though i hate being cold which is why i don’t live on the east coast

    have always liked the idea of pseudo coat

  • Gina

    Hypochondriac. I’m always freezing cold, no matter the season of the year or temperature. I always carry a scarf or additional sweater in my bag. Needless to say, I’m an “oversized handbag girl”.

  • Haha I think I may be the Human Icy Hot. I do really prefer wearing skirts because it’s so much more comfortable than wearing long pants. But now that those silk trousers with the cuffed ankles are so popular..I may be changing in to the semi repeller. 🙂

  • Grandyy

    Aha I reckon I’m an undercover hypochondriac because on the outside I’ll look like the semi- repeller but underneath the visible tee i’m wearing 3 thermal t-shirts and 2 pairs of leggings beneath the jeans and a cardigan underneath the flimsy-ish jacket! Aha my friends used to freak out when I used to undress for P.E. Aha Loved this post & Happy New Year!xo

  • Damn girl, throwing darts! I’m more of a Boo Radley myself but then again, Uniqlo heat-tech has been a game-changer for me.

  • Lou

    I know them all. Starting with myself – the semi-repeller with a “dumb clutch”.

  • Hobolyfe

    This has got to be the best post ever! I am DEFINITELY the Hypochondriac. (Then again this could be because I live in Canada………………..) YOU EVEN GOT THE BIG POCKETS, NO PURSE THING RIGHT, HAHAHA this is gold!!!

    However, I don’t ever wear pants. Fleece-lined leggings are my SAVIORS. 😉

  • GM

    Haha, human icy hot could also be called ‘Bostonians in September.’ Have you ever been in Boston in September, October? All of the schools just start back up, and all the freshmen girls want to go out, go to clubs, each night. In fact, half the time there are no jackets, period. And yes, it is cold at night in the fall – and this progresses all winter…

    I just wonder how they do it. They really don’t look cold, it’s fascinating. Maybe they are focusing on trying to walk in 4-inch heels on strangely-paved sidewalks to notice their body temperature?

    Seriously. I wish I could not feel the cold and wear whatever I wanted year-round.

  • I am the hypochondriac without a doubt! Cashmere under suede shearling jacket under wool Acne blanket scarf under beanie, plus pants and socks and boots, no bag, hands shoved permanantly in deep pockets. Good to go. I am a wimp though that feels the cold far too easily. Have been known to be the Semi-Repeller but now I’m just too lazy.

  • Carolina Manco

    Definitely a hypochondriac and somehow still manage to be cold!