What to do when you Wake Up Late (and Hungover)

We’ve all been there; that horrible moment when you reach over and blearily squint at the bedside clock or your phone and realize with a jolt of horror that you should have been in the office half an hour ago. Whether it’s due to genuinely over sleeping or the result of too much alcohol the night before (let’s be honest, it’s usually the fault of too much alcohol the night before) crawling into the office not only makes you look bad in front of your superiors and colleagues but it just kind of makes you look…well…bad too. And by bad I mean unkempt.


We’ve ALL had Mornings Like This

So how can you minimize the damage and convince your boss that this was a mere one off and the fault of a faulty alarm clock and not actually anything to do with the fact that you were pounding cheap tequila shots at 2am the night (morning…) before? The answer is in the way you handle the situation and, crucially, not rolling into the office looking like you spent the night sleeping in the gutter. Even if you did. This is where your man’s instinct for survival needs to kick in. Your sartorial Bear Grylls if you will. So what do you do – and how do you do it….fast?

1)      Okay, well first get your hungover ass out of bed. Lying there moaning isn’t going to help the situation – unless of course you’re thinking about pulling a sickie in which case you can stop reading this post right here. Depending on how brave you’re feeling you might want to put a call in to your manager or whoever else is responsible for keeping tabs on tardy employees. Personally I usually wimp out and text the guy that sits next to me and ask him to cover for me, but this isn’t about me, this is about me telling you how to do it properly. So, calling in has two benefits; it will make you look slightly more responsible/less of a liability and it will buy you some time. You can also get your excuse/blatant lie in over the phone first – it’s always easier to lie on the phone rather than face to face.

Blast Away the Cobwebs

Blast Away the Cobwebs

2)      Get in the shower. This is vital. You need to wash that stench of stale beer and shame off you. Don’t think you can save valuable minutes by not showering; it’s not nice for the people that sit near you. If you can face it, blast yourself with cold water but if you can’t, minimize the risk of this turning into a shower of epic proportions by getting wet, turning off the water, lathering up and then turning the shower back on. If you keep the water running you’ll be more tempted to linger.

3)      Clean your teeth. And then gargle with mouth wash. Hold the mouth wash longer than you normally would, yes it will start to burn, but you deserve it!

Go On - Gargle!

Go On – Gargle!

4)      If you need to for your job and you don’t think you can get away with it, you’ll have to shave. This isn’t really something that you can hurry – rocking up to the office with bits of bloodied toilet paper stuck all over your jawline is an even worse look than being hungover. Use a razor with a new blade as this will glide over your skin more easily and minimize the risk of you taking chunks out of yourself.

5)      If you didn’t wash or wet your hair while you were in the shower, no problem. Simply grab a can of dry shampoo and blast through the roots of your hair. Wait a moment, ruffle your hair and bingo – that greasy, flat, bed head mop is a thing of the past. If you haven’t heard of dry shampoo, ask a girl. It’s a miracle, seriously. You can pick some brands up for next to nothing and if you make a regular habit out of going out late, waking up feeling like hell and looking like something the cat dragged in then it’s a cosmetic lifesaver. You have my word on that…

6)      Now is the time to moisturize; don’t skip this as it will help brighten that dull and pallid booze hound complexion.

the morning after


7)      You’re almost done, you just need to get dressed. If your workplace allows you to wear urban wear or street wear then pick out something you know you look good in. This isn’t the time to start messing around with new experiments in men’s fashion. If urbanwear or streetwear are a no-no in your working environment then wear one of your suits that you feel confident in. If you only have the one you were wearing the night before and it’s a crumpled mess hang it up in the bathroom whilst you take a shower – if you’re showering with hot water (and let’s face it, you were probably never going to do the cold shower thing, were you?) and the steam will help the creases drop out. A squirt of cologne will help mask any lingering eau d’booze too.

8)      Finally eat something. It might be tempting to save a few minutes by going without but trust me you will feel far worse if you don’t. A couple of pieces of toast will suffice or if you have a deli or café on the way to work, run in and grab a sandwich. A strong coffee or a sports energy drink might be a good idea too!

bacon buttie


By paying just a little more care and attention to your appearance, just because you’ve woken up late doesn’t mean that your colleagues have to know that you were out clubbing on a Tuesday until 4am. Unless they were there with you and then at least you’ll have some solidarity…

Got anymore tips on how to cover up a hangover or a late start to the day without anyone finding out the real reason? Why not leave them in the comments box? And whether you can get away with smart urban wear or stylish street wear at your place of work or you have to save it for the weekends, why not check out our men’s t-shirts at Ethereal Clothing.

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