Wearing Pencil

Skirts, not writing utensils.


Last month I wrote a story on the surfacing re-trend of pencil skirts in which I drew timely examples from runways, street style and still shots. Do you remember it? Here’s a jog. One reader commented that turning the professedly sexy silhouette into a man repeller may render no easy feat. I thought she might be onto something that could effectively deflate my story but quickly remembered I don’t shave my legs I’m pretty good at fucking shit up and thus took her comment as a challenge. Now, find a pseudo-social experiment conducted for your eyes to answer the question:

Can pencil skirts be man repellers?

This was a really hard moment for me. In a pencil skirt equipped with slit and plain white tank that is so sheer, even my bra cannot detract attention from the inevitable exposed nipples, I wondered how good I am at being me. The fact of the matter was, a inkling of me enjoyed how I looked in this. Quickly, I wrote it off as the power of Altuzarra though and concluded that I’d never feel at ease leaving home in so few layers.

So I started to anticipate more and in doing so learned that keeping a sheer white tank on is likely unnecessary if you’re going to put a crew neck t-shirt over it. Carving a path, I thought. A path. Like the one that goes to New Jersey.

As is always the case, layers don’t work by the rules of my book on clutter unless there is some sort of utility involved. What’s here is an old Charlotte Ronson blouse that has been famously converted into a really useful summer jacket. It knows no climatic boundaries.

And neither does the acid wash denim vest that changed everything. Going forward to be referred to as The Acid Wash Denim Vest That Changed Everything, exclusively. So big, so happy, such an effective strain of birth control. And this coming from a girl who’s married.

At last: finishing touches. It could have been over in the last photo but stilettos with promiscuous ankle straps are only as chic as the obtrusively large boyfriend jeans you pair them with. Enter these wedges. So high, so thick, so large they have room for 32 x’s to infiltrate their heels. But who’s counting. Per accessory adds, see: necklace, bracelet. But not everyone is keen on such high heels. Especially for day time wandering and so:

This works great, if not better–too. And in case you’re wondering about the beige strap hanging out of my vest, it is one of two that enable it to transform into a backpack.

Having documented that, I reverse the initial question and ask this: can pencil skirts be sexy? I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, but the answer should fall somewhere along the lines of: “likely not if we’re involved.” Conclude with a boom.

Club Monaco tank, Olcay Gulsen skirt, Altuzarra heels, Markus Lupfer lips tee, Charlotte Ronson utility blouse, 3.1 Phillip Lim vest, Dannijo necklace, bracelets, Charlotte Olympia heels, Superga sneakers.

Photos by Naomi Shon

Get more Personal Style ?
  • I am totally digging this look! Refreshing!

  • stephanie

    wow. what is that first necklace?

  • elisaeymery

    Seriously this white skirt is tremendous!  Loving it with the simple white top, but each added layer made me ‘ahh’ and ‘ooh’ in front of my computer (they were cries of man-repelling/girl-envying delight).

    Wandering Minds fashion

  • The all looks are great ! But My favorite one is the second cause I love the silhouette of the addition between the pencil skirt and the large top. 


  • Alimoresco

    I love this! The pencil skirt looks great alone or with all of the layers.

  • Fashionablecollections

    I would like that lip shirt please.


  • TeuntjeVDW

    Skirts can be man repellers! Approved! xx.

  • Sorry, still looks sexy to my eyes.  Perhaps not to a man though…  I am in love with the skirt and think it is crying out to be desexified (?), good job.

    ♥ ThankFifi

  • Great Looks!

    Giveaway on my blog http://www.modelovers.com

    Giveaway on my blog http://www.modelovers.com

    Giveaway on my blog http://www.modelovers.com

  • SCOUTfanzine

    Lovely! (Ultimately, I’m obsessed with your blog)

    SCOUT fanzine


  • Almost cried when you took off that first fantastic pair of heels. Good god, those are gorgeous. 

  • i like it with the 
    Charlotte Olympia the best! Very simple I like it. 


    I love the first look. The big slit is sexy but white colour can also be fresh & not too sexy I guess. Cute! 

  • Viveca

    You are awesome. Seriously.


  • you are pretty, girl!

  • Erin Thomas

    This has got to be one of my favorite MR posts ever! Literally anything can be made repellent to men. I’m rejoicing. 


  • Marvoilove

    with the altuzarra tropical heels, most def. not. maybe w/o slit…

  • Congratulations, you succeeded! I like the play by play. 


  • Readydressedgo

    So great. I love the progression. Bravo. At first I didn’t think you would pull the “man repelling” off… haha, i shouldn’t have underestimated you. 


    hugs, Vanessa

  • Guest2143

    I missed this! Less Manstagram (which we get anyway from your, er, instagram) and more of the oldies but goodies!

  • OMIGOD. Those shoes! Nobody layers like you, its true, but I LURVE the simplicity of the pure white as well. But those Altuzarra shoes……I must….have…them…

  • Jo

    Love to see this outfit with this wedges, so cool

    Kiss kiss.*Jo

  • LOL only you can turn a pencil skirt un-sexy! But the first couple photos were, I’m sorry to say, still pretty man friendly 😉

  • Jennifer D.

    Auwtsh, I’m more into the getter look… shame on me!

    The White Studio

  • An acid wash vest that converts into a backpack… be still my heart. 

  • Natali Karppinen

    Wow!! What an outfit!? Fabulous!! Great skirt and shoes!


  • Liz

    Love it! Only you could pull it off! I put you in my blog…just remember you’re my favorite blogger and it’s purely out of love and sheer comedy. Check it out!


  • monkeyshines

    stunning looks! so creative!


  • Lacey Brown

    What a transformation! Love it all the way from the beginning. 

  • marinacasapu

    I saw this skirt on you in a picture on insagram and I fell in love! It’s perfect!

  • fabulous!

  • Joana Wilson

    Love, love, love what you  do!!

  • Wow, MR, well done!!!!  You have come up with so many disparate looks, it would have been unimaginable had you not already done it!  I have to admit that I’m partial to the looks in the middle, but it’s incontrovertible that you are incredibly talented.  Rock on with your rad take on life and fashion.  I love that you’re so bold and unique.

  • Hara

    I love your latest look with superga sneakers!!!!
    Great blog!

  • Meelena L

    love this skirt!


  • Me Gusta o No Me Gusta

    Love the 
    Altuzarra heels!! 
    You are like the queen of layering! ♥


  • Dictionaryoffashion
  • Love the pencil skirt. And the layers work – in a MR sort of way…but cool none the less. Dig the wedges. The sneakers work, but remind me of Boston commuters…

  • Aisha Jimoh


  • The first look is lovely. I feel as though you aren’t repelling much wearing those Altuzarra heels. You started repelling with the Olympia wedges. The last look, a mini man repel. Like 30%. The sneakers are sexy with the ankle tie. 

  • amazing! I love every one of these combination! My favoutite is the 1st outfit – all in white and than these amazing heels as an eyecatcher – just perfect!


  • lu

    LOVE this post – random question tho, I’m going to NYC for A DAY! Any hidden gems I should know about?! I hear Soho in general has great shopping, & century 21? 

  • Never thought a pencil skirt could be turned into a man repeller. Kudos to your creativity and skill!

  • Rayne S

    I really love this look pre and post man repeller, oh the vest that changed everything find your way into my closet please.


  • rhodawong

    pencil skirts are usually viewed as a man attractor but hey, if i had to wear your outfit on a night out.. i’d so do it even if its a man repeller! you look awesome!


  • theruminator

    “Not if we’re involved.” Seriously, you’ve made manrepelling a revolutionary movement. Cue trombone. 

  • Giulia Pergolati

    You are amazing. Seriously! Love the final look 😉


  • mgegkolf

    this i great!!!

  • Those wedges might be my favorite thing in the world ever.



  • Doni Brown

    Everything about this is just fantastic! 


  • Maxine


  • Renee Maron

    I really like how you styled each look. Your the Coolest ever!

  • Ritika Mahendru

    I liked how you teamed the oh-so girly skirt with shoes in the last picture! This really works!!


  • Romina C

    Ahahah omg I had so much fun reading your challenge to go post. You win! x Romi

  • Claire

    I love seeing the process of the addition of layers, it’s just really interesting how you put together your outfit and it grows throughout the post! 
    I love the end product, especially with the sneakers. 

  • Eva Kraaijeveld

    I say pencil skirts definitely can! You rock that skirt!


  • Breakfastacindis

    I just love your style, its so unique so you. You’re simply refreshing and HILARIOUS !

    Cindi : )


  • Josephine Schroeder

    I love watching the progression of this outfit! And that vest, really did change it all. Even better that it turns into a backpack! Love. 

    <3 Josephine

  • The pencil with a slit is not going to give you splinters!?! Love this, the ankle strap shoe…well, it’s sexy…and the sneakers with it…still sexy! This is officially a Man FlyPaper look;-) xx

  • The Provoker

    haha, I just love your transformations! Yes the pencil has been made and worn into a man repeller ensemble!

    xx nathan.niche

  • Woman girl

    You’ve totally got an “I’m getting laid” look about you now. It’s there in the crinkle on the right side of your mouth. I wanna hashtag this “sex”, but I know it’s not Twitter. I’m sad about that.

  • The Stylist

    wow! you nailed it! 

  • Alison Dick

    Let’s talk about when it’s too hot to wear more than one layer on top and bottom, then what’s a girl to do?!

  • acouplesgallery

    Very colorful tutorial!
    Fabulous outfits/skirt!
    Love it!

    Just started:

    Check it out!

  • Bunny Shapiro

    This is all too good!
    Bunny Shapiro


  • Do you keep a pencil skirt in your wardrobe just to show it you can kick it´s sorry, sexy ass? Giving the poor thing such high hopes to finally do what it was made for doing (man propelling) pairing it with the tee and Altuzarras… you´re so mean, Leandra! But ya, point proven indeed. Missed you 😉


  • Cassandra

    Love all the look you create with the white skirt.

  • Theverysimong

    Amazing, all the looks. The first will NOT repel men, it will attract, the last will attract women’s attentions, sartorially obvs! 

  • icedbergs

    I love the sneakers!

    PS – might want to check your whose/who’s…

  • Oh Olcay Gulsen! I find her story so inspiring! A lady Holland can be very proud of 🙂 

  • Law Moda

    a vest that turns into a backpack?!?!?!? need it, want it, gotta have it


  • Jolien Van Daele

    I bow 😀 You actually pulled it off… Tremendously. 



  • the coattail effect

    I liked what you did with the sneaker laces. I’ll try that when I get over my slip-on phase.


  • Genie

    You still look sexy in that skirt, Leandra. I do like the tee and especially the acid wash denim vest that changed everything, very cool, very effective in making your top half more hipsta. Despite having the tee, vest, and tennis shoes, the slitted pencil skirt makes it all unrepellant.



  • Finetta

    Wow! I love your style! We need more man-repellers here in Madrid.
    Simply awesome!

  • Vicky

    Where is the white top with the lips from? and also the amazing  bright heels?

  • Seekingstyleblog

    You are amazing!

    xo Jennifer


  • You did it again 😀

  • I love the skirt! I loveee love love the 1st and 2nd look, love the pairing of the tropical shoes, and I espesially love the wedge by Charlotte Olympia 

  • you look great, each and everytime!


  • tanya_caines

    I now want that white skirt! ha

  • Andrea

    i love all the looks 

  • you are  a layer master!

  • The white skirt is everything! 

    You liked look 1 because it was awesome. But then look 2 was even more awesome, but then we diverge because Im small and stocky layers =/manrepelling in a good way on me. 

  • I’m obsessed. Impressive man repelling transformation. 


  • Aganbhullar2

    Love, love Leandra… as well enjoying the commentary, this blog makes me run back into my wardrobe to pull out all the things I already love and wear, and put them together in really fresh, cheerful ways. I only wish I could wear all those glorious heels Leandra wears! However, I’m a 24-hours-flats kinda girl, which I have had said to me is people-repelling.

  • Elle


  • Una B
  • Totally cute~! Totally Man Repeller! 

  • Oppositelipstick
  • fpepper

    Haha, this is brilliant (although, regarding the first shoes: WANT)! x


  • Eh not really digging the pencil skirt look on you. Of course you manage to transform anything to look amazing, but something about your always hyped up excited style doesn’t match the dull Angelina Jolie type of look.


  • That vest is such a game changer, love is too mellow a word. I’m adoring the pencil skirt once again although this time around less of the man-men aesthetic more of slouchy ironic band t-shirt, pencil skirt and ankle boot look. Roll on fall. 

  • Luv them all!V. Inspiring!

  • Style-Squared by Z&M

    awwwww, my beautiful man repeller!!this is awesome!!i am totally turning into ya dude…i was thinking after the t shirt a utility jacket or an oversized button donw and -BAM!:) prefer the tropical shoes though!!!:) love, love, love it!!!


  • Love how you built up the layers in each photo, and the outfit got better and better. You’ve totally inspired me to go out and buy a pencil skirt and rock it in a MR fashion.


  • omg you’re great. honestly.


  • lion in the morning sun

    i was a little worried when you still looked sexy in the third picture, but the AWDVTCE really did change everything. mission accomplished! but although i’m a devoted fan of your manrepelling, i do suggest taking the outfit in the first picture out on a spin. not quite as rad as the final outfit, but it does show how beautiful you really are 🙂

  • Yifi3
  • Belén cavas

    LOVE ALL UR SHOES!!!!!!!!!! Maybe we can share 😉
    Big kiss.


  • Aishling Browne

    Love your blog! You have an amazing sense of style!

  • Cakescookiesandcardigans

    Post after post, I am more and more convinced that you are my God of all Gods.


  • Marusia

    may I ask about sizing of this skirt? does it fit true to size or smaller?

  • Catherine and Greer

    Do you realise how happy your facial expressions get as you get more layers on? I love it.

  • nataluya85

    the first look is my fav, simple and so chic!!!!


  • Thelittleworldoffashion

    every time, I think you are a fashion genius! 🙂

  • Michelle Florentino

    I’m such a fan! I really really love your blog!
    visit mine http://ichrentino.blogspot.mx/

  • s and m
  • Lotus Blossom Design

    I love it when you layer it and switch it up.  I’d say you weren’t showing any signs of Man Repelling minus that denim vest.  Haaa but you still rocked it!  Ohhhh those Olympia wedges.  But I can’t find them.  Help!!!

  • barbara

    Love your blog! It is so different and sooo funny!

  • Lola Reggy

    Loving the Lips Tee!


  • Oh man, shiny gold sneakers. Come to me. I need more shiny sneakers in my life. And that shirt/vest combo is pretty sweet too. 


  • Christina

    I would love to see a summer version of this that wouldn’t render a person dead in the 167 degree heat. I’m not sure there could be an arm or neck party large enough to detract from the thigh-high slit… unless by the addition of unshaved thigh hair- that might do the trick 🙂

    Christina, bohemianwild.blogspot.com

  • LAW

    I literally am in love with your style!!!! I actual think a lot of man (one’s with brains) actual prefer a girl who has her own style, rather than just wearing a hoochy outfit. The only thing my bloke can’t stand is me taking so long to get ready, I adore this gives me so much inspiration I adore your blog xx

  • isadora

    i wanna marry you, you’re awesome ahahahah

  • LabellaLuxe Boutique

    I love the outfit in your first picture! Your shoes are always sharp!

  • Jenaly Enns
  • Simone

    I’ve missed the propeller to repeller posts, they’re consistently sartorial gold.

  • Trends & Tribulations

    This is simply amazing. I love your blog.

  • I think the sneakers look #gasp sexier than the wedge heels… mission failed manrepeller!

  • Olcay Gulsen sucks.

    Ok…. SO I purchased that skirt online at Olcay Gulsen and not only did they never send the skirt, they also NEVER refunded my money or responded to any of my emails/calls regarding the money they owe me. I love and trust the TMR website but this has been such a MAJOR let down.

  • pluria42

    Yes, pencil skirts can be sexy. Although you set yourself up for victory by choosing a skirt set at round-bouts your knees, which is universally unflattering (despite the slit). Had you chosen to feature a skirt several inches higher your reviews may have been less favorable, in the sense that the skirt would have already been very “come-hither”, and less malleable with respect to layering. And as wonderful as the combo of vest-plus-jacket is, I think I might have seen it before. Am I wrong?

  • This chick looks homeless.

  • AsjiaGarner

    Your layering is genius! I love your smile! 🙂

  • Leandra Medine= Moi Idol

    I love how you tied the shoes! Man Repeller! <3

  • she made this fashionable but repelling like always as far as ive seen.

  • Ayan

    Love it- you inspire me. <3

  • Joe Schmoe

    I like the picture of you in the sheer white top you look great . I like the braless look!