Zooey Deschanel has nothing on Leandra Medine, creator of the sensationally popular blog, Man Repeller and author of the new book Man Repeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.
Though “adorkable” isn’t even quite the right word for her; a better label would maybe be “awkwardtastic.” I was lucky enough to see her speak at the 92Y in Manhattan earlier this week, so I got a front row seat (well, 10th row) to all her brilliance.
For a bit of context, Medine, the daughter of immigrants who raised her in New York City, started the blog without any grand plan. The concept of the blog, which was clearly stated in the very post on the site back in 2010, was to define what it means to be a man repeller.
A man repeller is explained as “outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex,” and includes wearing garments such as harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls, shoulder pads and jumpsuits. It is a beautiful part of fashion and feminism.
Medine admits she didn’t have any grand plan when she started the site. “I was highly ignorant when I started it,” she said at the 92Y. She told Stuff.Co.Nz, “After having studied journalism [at NYC’s New School] for three years, starting a blog was a very refreshing way to continue fine tuning [that] skill without constantly feeling slightly defeated.”
Her enlightening and hilarious writing style, as well as her unique and appealing (well, to women at least) sense of fashion, led her to now have a viewership of over 3.5 million viewers per month. She has collaborated with a number of major brands and even starred in an ad campaign for Uniqlo.
It is really the idea that rules fashion, but no one ever blatantly stated the obvious: women dress for other women. Do you think men really know when we are wearing something from this season versus last? Will they ever get why we love skinny jeans so much? So how did Medine come to be such a blogging, fashion genius? Well, the book will tell you in detail, but in her talk on Monday with Jezebel Editor-in-Chief, Jessica Coen, she gave us a few highlights.
1. She is an extrovert, all the way.
She scored an 87 on the Myers-Briggs test.
2. She wore a uniform in high school.
She found this hard since she attended school in New York and was surrounded by so much amazing fashion.
3. Her grandmother was a huge influence on her style.
She talked about how many of us romanticize the 40s and 50s when our grandparents were thriving. How could we not? It’s either us romanticizing it or the internet has just ruined glamor for us today. “They saw Frank Sinatra in Monaco. We’ve got Michael Buble singing Frank Sinatra songs,” said Medine.
4. Man repelling is a real power move.
“It’s a choice you’re making and puts the relationship status in your control,” she said. Man repelling is about dressing for yourself and being comfortable, and she finds that man attractors tend to be uncomfortable, literally because of the outfit and because it isn’t what you want.
5. Picking out her wedding dress was not that big a deal.
Surprisingly, picking out her wedding dress (she got married last year) was not that a big deal to her. She felt that a wedding dress is expected to represent this pivotal moment, but it never really could. Stick to the overalls.