Discovering Plaid

…In the most unexpected of places. (Insert smirk of irony here.)


Ladies and freaks, I have another secret. It’s in line with the previous secret and thus bares no information that is actually…secret.

The latter part of last week left me over the Atlantic and subsequently inside the Mediterranean sea but not in one abrupt action: there was landing, driving, eating, checking in and unpacking in the interim. Which brings me to a revelation that took place just around the unpacking portion of my over-Atlantic-into-the-Mediterrenean experience.

Shoes, jewelry, bathing suits, dresses, some shorts, even a light bulb (not metaphoric) came out of my suitcase. When came time to stow my intimates in the humble drawer assigned to intimates, I realized that I had forgotten to pack my panties. And then another thing dawned on me: did I just refer to my underwear as panties? One of two things is happening with that. Either I am truly becoming my mother–a Middle Eastern woman whose English is on par with my grammar or I’ve spent too much time studying the psychology of registered sex offenders (see: Special Victims Unit) and have started to adopt their vernacular.

But I digress. Initially, I figured bathing suit bottoms would suffice. Then I remembered how terrible yeast infections feel. I thought about taking one for the team, becoming victim to the infection and crafting an entire expose on the circumstances of yeasting while in Israel. My perman-friend had a better idea though. “Why don’t we go to the mall located just a mere two blocks from this hotel and get you some new underwear.” Light bulbs went off, and I don’t mean the ones I packed.

Womp, womp.

We walked over. There it was: American Eagle.

“Aerie,” my perman-friend said, referring to the collection of female intimates by American Eagle.

Before I could give any attention to his extensive knowledge on budget friendly intimates, I noticed a collection of short-sleeved plaid shirts in the Mens section.

Now, I won’t lie to you, for the sake of capturing a clean photo on a white background in line with this site’s aesthetic, the above photo is actually by a brand called Bape. For the sake of consistency though and the retelling of a true story, let’s pretend this is actually American Eagle.

Before so much as looking to the underwear (which, by the way, there were plenty, grade A, in mass,) I grabbed one of the shirts. My perman-friend said it wasn’t his style and I said, “not you, dumb dumb.”

It’s funny, I’d have never picked out the shirt for any man that I knew, likely dubbing it woman repelling or something equally obnoxious. On an actual woman though–so good.

I tried it on. Perfect. And here, all these years, all this time, I could have been shopping American Eagle mens for a mere $24.99 per shirt. Internal fireworks erupted. I rolled up the shirt’s sleeves, it would look perfect with bell bottoms, a mermaid skirt, that embellished one I wore in Paris, silk shorts, skinny jeans. And what’s more? Due to the nature of their, you know, short sleeves, They were far more agreeable with sweaters, blazers, all over-wear.

The opportunities, they were endless.

I walked over to the register, shirt in hand. Smile on face. The shirt’s colors were the perfect combination of blue and green–precisely the print I look for on the perennial quest for a good plaid shirt.

In Hebrew, the sales clerk asked, “would that be all?”

“Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” I told him.

“Underwear, Leandra” my perman-friend reminded me. “We came for underwear.”

At last though, we left with so much more. And now here I am, like a midwife’s tale, passing on what will indubitably become one future generation’s secret to good fortune. Or at least cost effective dressing.

In matters of the shirt though, please do see also, J. Crew, Old Navy, Shopbop if you prefer a more lady-centric interpretation. If you can’t seem to find anything, try buying a long sleeve shirt (or using an old one,) cutting its sleeves and enjoying extensive exposed elbows.

The end, bye.

Get more Shopping ?
  • Elisa

    Now I hear this advice quite a lot recently, ‘shop in the menswear department’, and I never shy away from stealing my boyfriends’ clothes, so why is it that I can’t make myself consciously go to the men’s department and buy something for myself? Psychological blockage. Any advice? Does anyone else suffer from this?

    Elisa – Wandering Minds

  • Benita


    For my thesis about fashion blogs I need your opinion. I would greatly appreciate if you could fill out my short questionnaire. You can win H&M and Asos vouchers.

    Thank you so much!

  • Mila

    I could not stop laughing imagining your face in front of the register! Priceless!
    What size did you get? Do they run big?

    • Leandra Medine

      I bought a medium! Should have mentioned that. The small was a bit too slim around my ass which is typically the problem with mens shirts because they don’t have fancy curves like we do.

  • Fi

    Hey Leandra, this is right up my alley since I always wear my brother’s clothes, could you please tell me which size you bought the shirt in? Thanks!

  • kcomekarolina

    i totally love this post!

    xoxo from rome

  • D. Elle

    I’ve been wondering if you’ll come to Israel for quite some time. Did you enjoy the trip? Next time you’re in tel aviv come to ash. We have awesome plaid shorts, current/Elliot jeans etc.

  • Corey @ When We Wander

    I can’t tell you how many of my brother’s flannels i’ve “borrowed.” Even better than new from the store bc they are already worn-in!

  • guest

    ok, this is hilario.

  • this made me smile! love ae.

    chelsie |

  • tif

    hey, isn’t that a bape button down? how’s it on uniqlo’s site…

    • Leandra Medine

      oh you are so right–pulled from google images. fixing now.

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni
  • Sam

    Sorry, but everything about this post made me cringe in the worst way. Nothing to do with AE as a brand.

  • Yeah Uniqlo does not = BAPE. Shoutsout to Nigo.

  • Catalina

    On the topic of avoiding yeast infections, I actually got some underwear at Aerie a few weeks back… I was desperate for some cotton underwear (read: this lacey nylon shit is way too fucking yeast friendly!!! Ahhhh!) and it was the only thing I found. Is 100% cotton, decent looking underwear a thing of the past?! Suggestions anyone? And don’t say that the lacey shit with half a square millimeter of cotton down there works, cause IT DOES NOT.

  • Dee

    I found myself running into Gap on 5th and somewhere in the 20’s after my period decided to come a week early, in the middle of the day… as I was leaving a lunch with a client ( = not pretty). I ended up getting so mesmerized by all their undies that I bought a 3 for $25 pack of lacy boy shorts type undies… and can I tell you? I love the heck out of them! They’re cheap, cotton, and look very cute on.. and are comfortable. They also helped me avoid sitting in a puddle for the rest of the way, which was the best thing about them. But yea… Gap undies? Who knew!

  • -____- I just laughed at loud at yout yeastie joke haha, totally would have said go for it without thinking about that. They are no fun…

  • Jennifer

    I love your stories 🙂

    xo Jennifer

  • Samantha H

    Love this, Can’t wait to see it in action…

  • francesca b.

    thanks for the reminder that the best findings mostly hide in un-suspected places, like when you go porcini ‘hunting’. Your post lit the light bulb, like the one you packed without knowing.

  • AlexsFashion

    Wow your stories are awesome…but why does that sound so familiar? Oh cuz it happens to me all the time when I’m in GANT stores…the only thing is-there the price is not so agreeable 🙁 ah well-but men’s shirts ftw! 😀

  • jodylee

    I just had an experience very similar to this one. I love my new heather grey v-neck sweater from AE Mens department. BTW- my story involves a panty thief.

  • I hope you will be posting photos from Israel. I have been there 3 times and absolutely love it! Would love to see the Man Repeller, meandering around the Old City in some giant heels and some fab look (just imagine the stares)!

    xx Sharday

  • i was once gifted christmas underwear from aerie and i wear them year around.

    • Leandra Medine

      Yeah, I am really pleased with them actually

  • I must know why you packed a lightbulb – what kind of place did you expect to be staying?

    Also, alas I will confess that I am ahead on this repelling plaid men’s shirt trend and can confirm that they work equally well layered under graphic tees – see here –


  • I’ve had a plaid obsession since I was in my early teens! I would usually swipe my brothers’ hand-me-down plaids.

    However, my pairing was horrid! I’d wear them with these elastic waist, ankle length full skirts. It was awful. 🙂

  • keira

    such a cute story, love reading your novels… you are the best


    So did you get the aforementioned ‘Panties’? x

  • Brijetblog

    My initial thought was- why don’t you just free ball?! But if you were to let your lady balls fly free then you would never have discovered this shirt, so carry on. Also- I call my friend ‘yeast beast’. That should be the title of your expose, if you should ever come to writing it. Thank me later.

  • fashionisserious

    We can believe it or not, but It’s a timeless shirt.

  • Natashia

    I went from reading this, tears coming down my face, to the next blog post on my roll, yeasted cake by David lebrovitz. Brilliant. So much yeast talk in 10 minutes!

  • Love this Leandra. You’re the best – also I was pretty happy when I realized what perman-friend was 🙂

  • ecats

    You are too funny! And a great writer:-)

  • pilar

    ahahahahha i absolutely love reading your blog. it’s so fun and it seriously makes my day

  • I discovered the wonders of menswear once I started dating my current boyfriend, who’s about my height. My wardrobe doubled! I get weird looks when people ask me where I got my jacket/cardigan/shirt and I always reply with a shrug “my boyfriend’s closet”, but it’s so worthy.

  • Lalaland

    Are you not going to mention that you are on the side of a bus?!

  • Nina

    You have inspired me! I went out to American Eagle today and decided, “you know what? Today seems like a prime day to buy a men’s shirt!” I love it! Thank you Thank you Thank you for giving me this wonderful idea!!!! MR for life!

  • Perry

    I feel as though you shopping at AE does not align with your satirical aesthetic. I’m confused.

    • Perry


      • Leandra Medine

        I’m confused too– I’d hope my “sartorial aesthetic” is not defined by where I shop but the way in which I put my product together. In this case, a short sleeved plaid button down shirt is what I found appealing and so I went with the purveyors of good plaid to complete the look–which will appear at some point next week on here.

  • We love this post! We hope you’re inspiring other girls to hit up the men’s section a little more often!

  • Gloria Kim

    I can’t stop reading your blog posts! They are smart, witty, and entertaining. 🙂

  • ML

    Perfect plaid: my younger brother’s Abercrombie and Fitch plaid long sleeve shirt. I stole it from him, rendering to your philosophy with your brother’s white shirt. Guess it’s the same with American Eagle. One more thing: “perman-friend”? Excuse my lack of awareness, but does it mean “persian man-friend”? …You’re an ode to creative dressing, Leandra 🙂

  • Style Mish Mash

    Haha,love your writing silly billy! Makes me laugh every time:D!

    GO TO and check out my blog!

  • I love, love, love American Eagle! It’s come a long way from when I was a preteen, and their selection (men and women) is perfection price, quality, and look!!

    Also, FYI, their jeggings are the bee’s knees of all jeggings. And for like $40 normal.

  • Yes! I have always been about the men’s and boy’s section. In re: AE, my absolute favorite “boyfriend” style SELVEGE denim jeans were from the men’s section! Perfectly cut, and I got their “short” whatever that is, but it was the perfect inseam for me. Check it out, girrrl.

  • Catherine and Greer my own little jazzed up version of plaid your an inspiration!! stay classy san diego!