The Man Repeller

December 12, 2011

Have you ever read The Man Repeller? It’s a super witty and totally enjoyable blog written and starring the fashionably daring Leandra Medine. In her words, a Man Repeller is defined as “outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full-length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry, and clogs.” Hilariously true!

Her philosophy is that good fashion is about pleasing women, not men. Do you agree? How many of you dress to impress the other moms at school or your female co-workers, happiest when you’re on-trend and rockin’ it straight out of the pages of Vogue…despite the odd glances you may get from men?

I definitely dress differently depending on the setting or the crowd around me; certain outfits perfectly stylish for church or parent meetings probably won’t make it on my packing list for Alt Summit! There’s something so lovely and freeing about being around other creatives — the majority of them inspiring women! — that it makes me want to take bold, fun risks with my wardrobe. But there’s also nothing quite like an appreciative smile from Ben Blair when I walk into a room wearing yoga pants and zero make-up, either!

How about you? For whom do you dress?

Photo by Naomi Shon as seen on The Man Repeller.

P.S. — Speaking of dressing boldly at conferences, here’s me in an orange dress + feathers + beehive.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 heidi garner December 12, 2011 at 6:52 am

I have had this conversation before. I totally dress for other women. Men don’t notice what you are wearing generally (unless maybe it shows more of what you are not wearing- not saying men are pigs, but my husband might notice a woman wearing hardly anything and point it out in disgust). Women, notice. However, my husband might be the exception. He notices people’s clothes. He commented on my friend’s cute dansko mary janes, and when our Male friend left our house last Sunday he said, “doesn’t Dirk look like a model?”- (he was decked out in Banana Republic and a nice cardigan). BTW my husband is straight…he just has 5 sisters that he grew up with- some of their feminine influence may show.


2 Jessie Hansen December 12, 2011 at 7:00 am

“Such garments include…. overalls…” You know, I used to think this but 2x in my life I have worn overalls to meet a guy friend because I specifically wanted them to be repelled and both times they ended up trying to jump me. Just so you know. Maybe I should go tell that to Leandra.


3 Amanda December 12, 2011 at 7:13 am

When I am going into work, I dress for my meetings or tasks—if i am drafting copy at my desk it might be jeans, heels and a funky blouse, for a client it would be slacks and a cardigan. This morning I was dressed for a meeting and opted for sleek boots (it’s cold) my three year old saw me slipping on the boots and said, “Oooh, are you wearing those because you’re going to a farm?”

All in the eye of the beholder I suppose ;)


4 Jess. November 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

So funny. I wore a suit to work the other day, and my 6-year-old told me I looked like one of those ladies in the shows that are “inappropriate for children.” Yikes! (My husband was having a West Wing marathon on Netflix, but it sure does sound bad.) :)


5 Jodi December 12, 2011 at 7:24 am

I know I dress to impress other women sometimes, even when I’m really not thinking about it. But, when we are in a mixed crowd especially, don’t you think this can be unhealthy? Women are so concerned about the way they look. I would hate to cause someone to feel bad about themselves because I look so stylish (not that I am!) or because I place such importance on how I or others look, and I know there are times that I have been the one to feel bad about myself. Not that we are trying to do that, nor should we all start dressing poorly. So what is the solution? I don’t know. I try to dress so that I feel good about myself, and I try not to do it with the specific intention of impressing or getting compliments. Sometimes that is hard!


6 Amber, theAmberShow December 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hmm. I don’t know if this is just me, but when I see a wonderfully stylish woman who is “outdressing” me, especially if it’s a gal dressing CLEARLY for a woman’s taste, I feel inspired, not bad about myself.


7 The BabbyMama December 12, 2011 at 7:25 am

I dress for comfort (not schlumpy-dumping but modest clothing I can move and function in) so I guess I dress for me. When I get “dressed up” it’s usually because I feel good in what I’m wearing – I try to dress to feel good. The BabbyDaddy doesn’t notice clothes like ever so I pretty much stopped dressing for him! And all my mom friends around here are more sporty – New England cold weather Lands End kind of stuff – which isn’t my style so no need to fit in. I live in an anything goes kind of town!


8 Zoe - SlowMama December 12, 2011 at 7:58 am

Like you, it all depends. Generally, my husband likes me looking natural and in the most basic clothes…like jeans and a t-shirt. He doesn’t have the same appreciation for fashion as my girlfriends, though sometimes he can appreciate it. I love to be bold and creative, but I mostly dress for the environment I’m going to be in…church, work-related, creative event, night out, etc. I wear what will help me be myself and be comfortable in each situation.


9 Patricia December 12, 2011 at 8:13 am

Haha, so hilariously true! have fun christmastree shopping. BTW, i nominated your for the Versatile Blog award.


10 Marina {} December 12, 2011 at 8:41 am

My husband has developed an appreciation for Louboutins. I am one lucky girl!


11 Barchbo December 12, 2011 at 9:16 am

Love The Man Repeller – she cracks me up! And of course, I love the clothes. Many of my guy friends have told me that I would have gotten married before 38 if I’d dressed less “fashion-y” and more “like a normal person.” Of course, I was flattered to hear that – it meant I was doing it right! I care about being on-trend FAR more than I should – but much less than I used to before I had a baby.


12 Barchbo December 12, 2011 at 9:18 am

PS: Those Miu Miu Booties she references in her most recent post – LOVE! They’re fabulous!


13 RebeccaNYC December 12, 2011 at 9:57 am

well, I wear costumes at work everyday, so I wear what I can get in and out of really fast so I can do something between rehearsals and shows. And since what I do during the breaks is usually a yoga class, the acupuncturist, or Physical Therapy, what I wear is not always the most fashionable look. but I DID date a guy once who thought my clogs were the sexiest things around. My husband sometimes wishes I would dress up more, and he mourns the end of my high heel days.


14 Sandra December 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

I love my repelling overalls. They’re my favorites in the summer with a tank and love them in the winter with a thermal. Yes they are a fashion don’t but for some odd reason my hubby loves them. He likes it when I’m all dolled up and lady like but he like me best casual and relaxed. Those shoes on the other hand look like my crazy aunt’s house slippers…major don’t in my eyes.


15 Amber, theAmberShow December 12, 2011 at 10:43 am

Oh, I love mostly-women conferences as a chance to look a little fun! I’m still smitten by your green, floor-length Dashiki from Blogger 2010! (2009? I’m not sure. June was very, very new.)


16 Becky Williams December 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I am rarely stylish, very rarely, and I often think my family members see me as an excellent candidate for that What Not To Wear show. Though, when I do “try” to look nice, it is usually other women for whom I dress, well, my husband is also included but he’s the type that would never insult, really. He comes from a family made for diplomatic service. I do so admire what other women wear but I fear I don’t have the body to look good in them thus the downward spiral to frumpy style-dom. Sad, I know. To all you women out there keep dressing with great fashion, it’s fun for me to see!


17 Laura T. December 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm

As a stay at home mom, I truly do feel better about myself when I actually get dressed – skirts and tights, colorful sweaters. I try not to wear my dog walking clothes all day.

But my husband’s favorite outfit of mine is when I wear my dark jeans and then my black turtleneck sweater. He says it’s my “Sprockets” outfit (a la SNL)! That or my full length gray sweater, complete with pills all over. Sometimes we just need to be warm!


18 estelle December 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Too funny. I’ve blogged about this in the past and had many hilarious conversations with girlfriends about things we love to wear for each other but we know our husbands are not impresses with…prairie skirts, long dresses of most sorts, anything even remotely hippie. All stuff I love but my husband is always so bummed out by. Can’t wait for ALT. I’m already packing in my head.


19 Bridgette December 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

You have to like a woman that can rock a pair of red shoes!


20 Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes December 13, 2011 at 5:07 am

My office has an unspoken dresscode so I cannot dress as fashionable as I’d like, although with the Mad Men hype still going strong I come very close. Please let the pencil skirt stay in fashion some time longer, please please please


21 gina vide January 15, 2012 at 3:52 am

She’s hilarious. Thank you for great tip. Yes, yes: I am my most, mesmerizingly stunning to my husband, as you said, in yoga pants & mis-matched tee or old jeans and shirt. I’ve decided it’s the attitude they’re reacting to? Dressed “design-y” or in floor-length-black-tie-gown, chances are he’s not my main focus vs: dressed down, feeling cozy & homey – I’m all ears for him… C’est pas?


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