Accidental Social Experiment

Leandra Medine | January 30, 2012
blouse: Isabel Marant, sweater: J Crew, jeans: Seven, booties: Giuseppe Zanotti, necklaces: Jennifer Fisher, purse: Proenza Schouler, sunglasses: Ralph Lauren. Photo by Naomi Shon
Behold: a story with a moral. A nonfiction fable, if you will. When I’d initially put this outfit on, though the hints are there: a discreet Canadian tuxedo, Lennon shades, calf length wedge boots deemed fit for a witch, I didn’t think man repelling as much as I did simple, cool beans. But then one Sunday, I wore it and alas, speculations were put to rest. My brothers two men unbeknownst to me cackled while indirectly suggesting I may have gotten dressed in the dark. This was followed by my dad another y-chromofreak asking if I’d taken up delivering mail in lieu of blogging. I didn’t understand at first but then noted the purse worn messenger style and laughed a fake laugh. It then got me thinking, maybe man repelling is less about the actual clothes and more about the attitude that inadvertently reflects the conquests of the sartorial desires in question. Or maybe I’ve lost my handle on that which is vs. that which is not unappealing to the male eye. As it happens, I may have collected the only one with a penchant for a good dropped crotch. This could conversely make no sense at all. What say you?
  • Madame LaZonga

    Stupid Boys.

  • I think it is more about attitude rather than outfit. If a woman feels confident wearing e.g., spiked shoes with an oversized jacket, then I think men will notice that, and she automatically will become a "manpropeller". By the way, I love the outfit you are wearing!


  • I loved this! and I actually thought this was one of your more "tamed" and boy friendly outfits! Maybe you just happen to come across men who need glasses or need to read a fashion magazine or two… 😉

  • I Love the Jeans and the Green sweater!


  • I think it is a combination of outfit of choice and attitude. Though I think this is a more refined repeller, I can dig the mail man-esque vibe your male fam was feeling. I loved it though!

  • love thiss. Once a man repeller, always a man repeller.

  • I'm a male an think you look awesome (then again I'm a man's man).

  • You look great! Awesome outfit!

  • Hahahahhahaha, this is so funny, that jeans is sooo tight and this is menrepelling, they must have been blind 4 sure.
    Totally love the shades, the bag and the boots!!!! And maybe even the tight@ss jeans, ;)!!

    All love Lola

  • I like you just the way you are, repel and all. I legit just marched my cute lil tush around the corner to pick me up a pair of John Lennon shades. Theyre to die for if ya ask me.


  • IDK…I think it's more about attitude, I think even when repelling if you have confidence you might attract men who have a different view on life. Maybe the kind that respect a women for not having a closert full of slutty dresses and who's showing all there is to see to the world. There is a fine line between repelling and just throwing anything on though. When i first started reading this blog, you posted all these things that i loved and noticed that men didn't like, but then i go on some blogs and they are "repelling" and they litereally just throw on a plaid shirt over some crazy outfit and thats it. At that point it's not appealing to men or women…you come off looking like you literally got dressed in the dark. I always though your repelling was a different level of fashion, taking the things that folks wouldn't normally think to throw on and making it work.

    In the end, no matter what you have on if you have confidence, your clothes are not wearing you, you are wearing them. A man observing you might see all that confidence seep through your pores though, and he might be attracted to that before he is attracted to whats under that miumiu skirt and tights.

  • Veronica

    I thought you were taking the day off from repelling with a toned down look. I love it by the way, its completely adorable, and achievable with any mere mortal's wardrobe. The boots are the bees knees!

  • I just wanted to say you have beautiful legs, seriously I'm jealous ! Okay now that we've put that aside, your outfit, wether man repelling or not, is cool, understated and you look awesome in it. So screx the oppposite sex and do your thaang !

  • LOVE those jeans and booties!

  • ok, I think it's all about attitude, but I gotta say that the sunnies are repeller enough!

  • Appreciate such a thoughtful response!

  • i love how you are mixing up bold solid colours in this look, green is nicely shaping with the washed denim and the texture is the boots is just perfect to make the outfit slightly more dressy

  • p&p

    i say you are JUST COOL!
    keep bloggin! LOV'IT

  • xxM

    I just love this look! So simple but makes you look twice. I'm loving that cute little necklace too!


  • Alientastic, eh?

  • loooove the boots <3 its def all attidude though! <3

  • I think so b/c the way you dress dictates your mood.

  • I have begun to lose some reality on what is man repelling and what not. You look fantastic here and I am unsure how manrepelling I would actually dub your outfit to be.

    What I can tell you for sure is that I rocked my Isabel Marant sneakers this weekend out with some male friends and they essentially laughed in unison at the sight of me (perhaps wearing them with red trousers did not help my cause)

    Proud to be a man repeller! xx

  • I think it's more an attitude. A woman by her attitude (like you in this pic) could be noticed in a crowd.
    Love those boots, and this baaaag <3

    xoxo, Céline

  • THose Giuseppes look damn hot on you!

  • Hi!
    I am new here and I already love your blog. Great pictures.
    I love the outfit, especially boots. It's so simple but so chic.

  • Forget those boys, honey! Your bag is amazing as much as Man Repeller is 🙂

  • i definitely think it's about the attitude. i think most women would look at this and be like, she looks cute and comfortable, but wanted to dress it up, hence the pointy boots. i'm guessing these men in your life tend to assume everything you do is some form of repellent, hence their taken-back-edness, where otherwise, on anyone else, they might have just been all "oh hey, look at that cute girl with that green sweater." or do boys even use the word "cute"?


  • OR they'd be like, "hey, look at that Giants fan" OR "look at that Jets fan." Easy way to please all NY mangos.

  • I want that bag ! new outfit post

  • I say, attitude. As in, "Who's dressing for men anyways?" attitude. Or possibly, "I'm in love with my PS11 and would gladly take on any sort of messengering job that would require me to wear one eight hours a day" attitude.

  • If you like what your wearing should it matter what anyone else thinks? I think not.


  • i love this look!!!

  • I have to say: really interesting post and thoughts.
    What I find so fascinating about you and your blog is that it is not much like some of the girls that go into Urban Outfitters and come out looking like they went crazy in some very bad vintage store to show of their attitude.
    What I think of Man repelling is trying out psychological ways of thinking behind fashion and why the majority of people likes certain styles and dislikes others.
    Your way of dressing is an art itself and should be much appreciated for that because with every layer you put on there is more to it and more to find out which if I was a guy would find quite appealing.
    Maybe Man repelling also has something to do with the people you ask about your style.
    The way they think and look at the world might change the view on how they respond to people with an extrodinary style.
    Resolution of this comment:
    Keep up man repelling and your attitude your own very personal style and the people who like it understand you without asking, the ones that ask are interested and want to know more and the ones that stare don't understand the whole (as I already said) psychological effect of fashion.

  • I think the f-word was more than acceptable in this situation.
    Keep up the penis repelling girl.

  • I love your booties 🙂 I like your style! this photo is amazing for me, I don't know whay, but I like it 🙂

  • soooo cute i wanna hug you – and 'cute' always seems manrepelling,, doesn't it? whatsoever – i love love looooove you're style. maybe i learn just a little repelling from you 🙂 keep on your wonderful work cause i love both so much: style AND text! manrepeller is Always my First Highlight in The Morning and my last in The evening.

    Hugs from good ol' germanyyyy!

  • Eva

    I actually think this look is way less repelling than others. And I personally LOVE it!! Keep it up, girl! xoxo

  • cool look! love it!

    xoxo from rome

  • This is so funny to me, because I think you look like a completely normal person in this post.

  • i like the simplicity! xx

  • hey! cool comment! totally agree! 🙂

  • T.

    Judging from the skinny jeans and high-heeled boots and the comparative simplicity I would have thought this was NOT a man-repelling outfit!
    Great look!

  • I liked this one too!

  • I opted for, "baboons."

  • funny because I found your outfit look pretty normal and cute!

  • I really like this outfit, the colour of your sweater is gorgeous 🙂

  • Such a great oufit! Love love love!

    Step into Estherina's World

  • Loving this outfit, especially those jeans!


  • Anonymous

    I think it's more likely that your family was teasing you. I get this kind of teasing from my male family members all the time.

    The outfit is cut.

  • Love the outfit. I currently own 2 oversized green sweaters.

    The tear in that knee is perfect. PERFECT.

  • Super cool 😉

  • Great outfit. Love the way you wore that purse in messenger style. How convenient.

  • Anonymous

    you may love this new designer: PATRICIACHANG.NET

  • I love the simplicity of this. Very chic and easy, ive been looking for a day look and you just gave a great idea 🙂

  • I love the sweater and bag! The whole getup seems just man repelling enough, but what do I know? I feel the same way, every time I think I know what a guy will say about what I'm wearing I'm wrong. I wore a cape the other day and my boyfriend said "that's cool you look like Sherlock Holmes."

  • I love all your bangles!!

  • you see, i don't even get that reference. i'm pretty sure it's about sports, but i can't be entirely sure. this is my form of man repelling.

  • Your family is too funny:P

  • is having bad luck with men considered a man repeller? i think it should be a relationship status…."are you single?"…"no i'm man repelling at the moment."

  • Anonymous

    Who in the what now? On my best days I'm only a semi-repeller (can't get to full repeller, since I'm a plus size and that's just WAY too many layers), but I have to say that your family must be crazy! This outfit is freaking ADORABLE. I'd wear this on a date in a heartbeat.

  • What Madame LaZonga said. Seriously–don't doubt yourself.

    enough said.
    Best of Mondays,
    Girl in the Poodle Shoes

  • Awww…your outfit doesnt even look like you were dressed in the dark. O.o And lol @ "another y-chromofreak", you're funny. 😀
    I def. have to agree with Michelle of Chellbellz, it's all about confidence! 😀
    And some of the outfits you wear, not all guys will be repelled by it, because there are guys out there that will appreciate a differnet style. 🙂

    And I reaaly love your personal style, I love how you mix & match clothes and have a differnet perspective on fashion and how you dress yourself.
    Annnd, you have a great personality! 😀

    On to the outfit, I looove your bag! ♥ Your sweater, jeans and your necklaces! 😀


  • LOVE this outfit. So simple yet perfecto.


  • I need your bag in my life!


  • yvo

    you pull of knit perfectly!

  • This isn't a very man repelling outfit…love the bag and boots!
    And I think it's more about the attitude.

  • It's a total girlfriend outfit–so cute!

    xo Mary Jo

  • Leandra make a video!!!! =)

  • Love the blog, love the bag!

  • Mina

    Love this outfit! Armparty 😀

  • attitude it is 🙂 You look amazing, btw!

  • Nice outfit! I like the shoes and the bag…

    The Life After

  • Nice look! I love green knit.

  • FUN! Pretty look though. Effortless, with attitude 🙂 XO Rebecca

  • cute look)

  • When you decide to throw away your jumper, plz give it to me instead 🙂 love it.

    whats in my bag? find out below

  • Boys shmoys… The outfit is quirky but it works… Love your confidence!
    Please check out my blog and maybe follow back?

  • You know, you just made me wonder … What if men are secretly thankful we're not pushing their hormone buttons ALL the time but go for something unobtrusively nice instead, from time to time? And sometimes, we even try some repelling, so as not to always excite and thus reduce them to … their animalistic/animalesque nature or whatever it's called nowadays?


    (good-looking as always, you are …)

  • absolutely brilliant kick-ass look! some man are just intimidated by fashion! all the best

    hope you'll check my blog sometime!

  • Haha, you're so funny :p

    Just love your style!


  • Han

    hahahahha i like the look! spesh the green jumper and bag

  • 🙂

  • I'm really glad to see that so many women in this post spoke about attitude and confidence in dressing what you want and not what you think that will propel some male instincts, and this is great but I think that this is a much more deep question.
    It is, in fact, about the women's right to fashion.
    And it isn't just about trends, it's about your creativity, about the perception that you have from yourself and your self-esteem. If your objective in life is attract men, put on your tight dress, show to the world that your chest protuberances fit really well in that boob cups and I'm pretty sure that you'll be a man getter. But what kind of man these women get?
    Women that dress in a superficial way will have superficial men. Men that cannot see beyond flamboyant body shapes probably will have too much testosterone in the brain to think.
    And if wearing my glittering Marc Jacobs mouse ballerinas with very very very skinny jeans, oversized white shirt, oversized jumper, maybe a vest on the top, round sunglasses and a necklace that brings to mind barbed wire I will repel this kind of men, GREAT!
    The one who can see beyond the layers, giving you the right to be who you want to be and how you want to look, will be the chosen one.

  • Anonymous

    God….boys are stupid

  • boy know nothing!

  • Definitely all in the attitude!! And you got it!!

  • For a blue blazer kind of guy, my husband is surprisingly unfazed by my love of the drop crotch, harem pants and boyfriend jeans. He doesn't even pull an eyeroll. God bless him.

  • They don't know what they are talking about. You look awesome!

  • PS11 will be mine one day! ahhh

  • gorgeous bag!


  • You've won

  • Anonymous

    I love the outfit personally.

    Men might think the color combination is too cold. It makes you seem unattainable. Like a beautiful Venetian painting.

  • WHATTT there is nothing repelling about this look, what is the world coming to??!

    Peroxide Blonde

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous, this is your mom. Now I know what to wear today – thanks! xoxo

  • I believe it's more about the attitude than the clothes, and yet I'm sure clothes will have an impact especially in the first impression (well ,depending on if you meet the boys with a distorted facial expression or greet them with a sassy voice). Anyways, I personally love this outfit.

  • this post finally made me understand 'man repeller'. and i'm laughing hard because i repel my husband the same way with my fashion choices all. the. time. before reading about the haps with your familymen, i was thinking this was one of my favorite outfits, and in particular, the witch booties and mail purse.

    lol'ing my way to filling my closet with equally offensive and fabulous items.

  • Anonymous

    Are you wearing a denim shirt or a lumberjack shirt?

    Denim shirt/jacket = Canadian tuxedo
    lumberjack shirt = Keswick dinner jacket

    Martin from Canada

  • Thank you for your recommendation.I want to tell youTrue Religion Outlet is also a good choice.

  • Brama Yadi

    nice photos. cerpen cinta

  • Romina C

    Love that look and THAT bag. Romi