Leandra Medine’s first book, Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls, is a whirlwind of beautiful clothing and love stories so enjoyable it’s difficult to put down. At first glance, it’s easy to be envious of Leandra—she’s got a wildly successful blog, a glamorous career in fashion, and a wardrobe so fabulous you’d probably commit a crime just to rent a sliver of it. But once you start reading, Leandra becomes a new best friend full of hilarious anecdotes who just happens to be obsessed with beautiful and oddly shaped clothing.
Medine combines her clothing obsession with her journey to find love, and we’re lucky to have been invited on the raw and honest ride.
On being dumped: “For peace of mind, I resolved that the evolution of my sartorial choices was the only reason we broke up. I can be frank now, though—franker than Frank Sinatra—and say what I haven’t said: clothes will only repel so far. Cool chicks are cool chicks, turban or not…”
On puberty: “Both of my best friends had been blessed by the vehicle that confirms puberty and induces the kind of assured womanhood that no Bat Mitzvah could accomplish. I was like the real-life version of Judy Blume’s Margaret, only I never cared for my boobs to grow all that much.”
On pop culture history: “Though I’d only been passably versed in Canadian Tuxedo-ism, I wondered how it had adopted its nickname when the real heroes of this trend, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, were neither Canadian nor wearing tuxedos. It was 2003 when the now-defunct union had first been spotted emblemizing the portrait of American romance.”
On finding her grandmother’s vintage clutch: ”Though when I was younger my parents tried to teach me that the real good things in life came free, such as happiness and love, I learned quite quickly that the good things in life came wrapped in orange boxes.”
On having to read an essay to her New School classmates about missing class because she got her period: “Ultimately, though, it was also humiliating. Not humiliating in the way having your period in seventh grade math class or in a guy’s bed is, but in the way that leaves you in a room full of pseudo-intellectuals who read only the New Yorker and eat kale-laced soup. They are the most divine breed of holier-than-thou, indigenous to New York City, and think everything you do and stand for is trivial at best.”
On marriage: “What would it even mean to be a wife? Would I cook? I didn’t want to. Would I have to forfeit my girls’ nights, which occurred five times a week? Wasn’t interested in that either. Would I have to think about the b-word—‘baby’?”
Even if you’re not a big style-a-holic, you may find yourself rushing to the store for some harem pants after this read.
What are your favorite fashion-forward reads?