Office Repelling

Because maybe your 9 to 5 job impedes on your ability to repel on the regular.


A styling question that comes up really often for the whole team of two and a half people that work at Man Repeller: how should one dress “fashionably for the office.” Of course, it might seem like we’re the wrong people to ask–I encourage the use and wearing of ass-less chaps as often as I do of, say, washing one’s hands and what’s more? The receiving end of that request complies overzealously–but there was a time, not long ago, that every one of us maintained a straight up office job (or internship).

In the case of myself, I was working at the helm of a high fashion label just months before the designer’s exit from the house when a company wide memorandum directed at me and only me was sent to remind executives to enforce the new “no denim cut-offs” regulation. “They are not appropriate and this is a professional environment,” it read. It was also a fashion house, though, damnit! Doesn’t that skew the traditional outfitting rules? For days I agonized over what I would wear, finally submitting I obviously had to quit.

Kidding, guys. I’m totally kidding. I just began vetting in favor of long shorts in different fabrications and mini skirts with nicer quality t-shirts and lame shit like that–which is essentially what inspired the outfit above. Now, when I had the idea to write this story (I would hope it comes in the wake of either many a new job or internship as summer tends to provide ample space for that), Charlotte seemed skeptical. She retold tales from her time at a talent agency, noting that while shorts were wholly acceptable in the space, shoes with unusual heels (my dad calls them “the work of a terrible contractor”) were certainly subject for ridicule. The response to them, she explained, would always fall somewhere along the lines of a derisive, “oh, Charlotte. Only you.”

That really made feel like, hold up, humanity. Is this a Sandbergian woman’s issue circumventing clothes and what we wear to work? I think it’s time we experiment.

I’m compelled to challege every one of you 9-to-5’ers to follow the outfitting guidelines of this post for no reason other than to tell me/us what happens in pithy essay form. Frankly, I see no reason why a boss figure could possibly eschew the prospect of a highly respectable, white crisp blouse with wicker slash tweed slash I’m not quite sure what they’re made of Chloe shorts scored on super sale. Super sale, I tell ya. A quarter of the price. The shoes are Balenciaga and the purse moonlighting as a briefcase for thematic purposes is Laura Vela.


The end.

Just kidding.

The best part of this whole outfit is that when the day is over, it will make for the perfect parlay from business casual to a tequila-fostered Macarena dance-off as evidenced below.

cgLt23 on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

See that? What did I tell you. You’re hitting so many birds with but one meager stone. So, what do you think? Office apropos or not so much? Are you willing to give it a try? Just, please, don’t get fired. I don’t think I can afford to assume the blame for that.

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  • Julie Meowmeows

    For my office, I’d button one more button and then rock it. I mean, if it were a skirt rather than shorts, it would be undeniably appropriate, right?

    • Leandra Medine

      Aren’t they essentially “walking shorts” as they are? Doesn’t that by association make them wholly appropriate (the association in question = the probability that a high school history teacher would wear them on off hours)

      • Kae

        Can you please tell me where you got those Illevesta Red Specs from.. Are they still around?

        • Leandra Medine

          They are from Net-a-Porter but I am sure you can find them elsewhere (e.g. barneys)

    • Liz

      Very skirty, indeed!

    • watchthis sale

      I would rock that outfit at work . I agree, definitely a skirt

  • Inappropriately clothed

    I swear, forget the clothes. If I were to rock that dance move in the boardroom, I’d be cannon-balled out. Highly inappropriate work outfit in tow.

  • Rebecca Pollard

    This post is amazing! I work in a “dress casual” workplace, but they’ve just implemented fun shorts Wednesday for July and August… I’ll be sharing your post with my co-workers! 😉

  • i’m no stranger to the unfashionable dress codes of the corporate fashion world. the designer i worked for had a stringent no jeans rule because she thought jeans were “tacky and common”. it would have been the end of her if anyone ever came in wearing shorts. i think it would have humanized us too much knowing that we had legs.


    ps. that gif is the fashionable version of this.

    • Look Sharp Sconnie

      spongebob chic. it’s a thing

  • Maike

    There is no space for the sandwich in your bag! hallo?
    tztztztztz…. 😉

  • Natali

    Fabulous bag and shoes!

  • I have tinkered with the idea, but every time I find a suitable pair I am reminded of the time my friend worked in an office with some chick who wore shorts. Everyone in the office developed a deep hatred for her and her shorts. They didn’t even know her name, they just called her “the stupid short girl”, so ya, I am a bit traumatized. I should grow a pair

  • I wish i could wear shorts here…my boss gives me such a hard time when I wear certain things. He loves teasing me about my satorial choices like today I’m wearing a Hawaiian print skirt and Cargo shirt with a big Micheal Kors belt he told me I looked like I was headed on a Colorful safari when I wore this before -_- I’m not sure what he’s say if i wore shorts. I still love this outfit and those booties are killer.

  • This is the sad story of my daily professional existence. However, working in the family law firm definitely lends itself to breaking the rules a bit. Shorts have definitely been rocked as of recent, as well as a romper here and there (with a cardigan on top for icy air conditioning and client appearances). I distinctly remember turning down a position at a reputable firm based solely on the fact that women were required to wear ‘hose’ (hose?!?!) in the summer. Lame-o.

  • Jackie

    My boss made sure to specifically write in our work code “no shorts allowed” so I can’t try although I think they look fabulous and practical.

  • monkeyshines

    Hahhahahahhaha. You are so much fun.
    Besos guapa.

  • Really love the gif. When I was working at a PR agency, the only clothes, which were not allowed, were flip-flops. But only because of the sound they make, while walking, made my boss sick.

  • maud.schellekens
  • Domonique

    As usual I giggled loudly (at work) whilst viewing that last shot of you busting some major short appropriate moves.


  • Love your dancing! LOL. I wish you could get away with shorts at places. It would be sweet.

  • Anna Black

    Haha love the gif! I think it’s important to translate fashion in to the workplace!

  • Not really. But it depends. If i’m working in a governmental institution, i would probably get fired hahaha.

  • Rebeka Osborne

    Oh man, where I work the dress code is super casual. That being said, I’ve never seen any woman wearing shorts to work here (maybe that’s because the legal department is a little more conservative than say, software development). I think I could get away with that outfit though. Denim cutoffs, on the other hand, probably not.

  • grace kane

    That animated dance is Fecking Awesome…you are rockin it Babe. You wear what EVER YOU WANT, woman. Courage is a virtue not often enough shared. DO IT – I say.

  • I’ve actually just started working in a city and I walk at least two miles a day as part of my commute. My biggest problem lately has been finding shoes that last that aren’t sneakers. How do you deal with this? My Franco Sarto flats have barely lasted a month.

    • kiki714

      Cole Haans! and…at least wedge sneakers are having a moment?

    • Jessica

      I know it looks lame, but I switch into a pair of running shoes for my walk to and from work. I just can’t justify wearing out fine Italian leather craftsmanship for the commute to and from work when realistically no one sees me. Also, I have bunions. And when you get past 30, you realize you’re feet can’t put up with everything you used to put it through without feeling it at the end of the day.

      • elisa

        I didn’t realize how legit this was until Seattle literally ate my Manolos. Chewed up the soles (I think it’s the combo of damp and poorly paved neighborhoods). There’s no shame in protecting your shoes!

  • Karen Hwang

    Reading your posts always make me laugh at work. thanks for the morning inspiration!


  • Hilarious macarena dance!

  • kiki714

    I know I could totally get away with shorts in my office…I work at a design agency…but I’ve only been brave enough to actually show up in them once! How you’ve put it together TOTALLY works. They only “rule” for dressing we really have is not to wear any competing company’s clothes if we’re going to meet with our apparel clients. And the lack of rules ALMOST makes it harder to figure out what to wear! Sometimes I envy the finance kids and their uniforms…

    • Taylor

      Same! But then I see them on the subway in the mornings already sweating through their suits am I immediately take it back and stop complaining that my denim vest is “too heavy” 🙂

  • Hayfa

    These shoes are just so bad-ass. LOVE THEM!

  • rhodawong
  • Chanta Chhay

    I work in a museum setting with a ‘casual business’ environment and have always donned shorts in the summer – as long as they’re loose and longer like your Chloe number and paired with awesome footwear!

  • Jennifer

    I don’t think this is repelling at all – super cute!

    xo Jennifer

  • kjotoya

    I’m currently interning at a luxury lifestyle magazine in Washington, DC where the women are oftentimes trendy or work-casual. I am always in heels and in either a dress or skirt. My first day my supervisor was in jeans and a t-shirt so I knew I could practically wear whatever I wanted–which I think is always fashionably adventurous while still remaining classy. I have worn denim cut-offs to the office with a silk long-sleeved blouse and heels before. Hopefully I will be able to wear what I want at my future jobs, but it has never been an issue so far!

  • alejandra

    can you always to dancemove gifs on your posts? they are great.

  • Aubrey Green

    I worked for a talent agency as well, so we were allowed to wear basically whatever we wanted, with the exception of pajamas and slutty club attire – I therefore chose to wear these cotton/linen shorts, that, yes may have been a little short, however my ass wasn’t hanging out, so that makes it perfectly acceptable, right? The rest of my attire consisted of a nice blouse to accommodate for the shorts and heels – so, this new girl decided the next day that she was jealous of my short wearing awesome legs and wore denim cutoffs, to which, her ass was basically hanging out – so, she got in trouble and said, “well, Aubrey worse shorts yesterday, why didn’t she get in trouble?” Therefore shorts were banned – thanks jealous girl, thanks! I also might add that this particular girl, stole a good paying extra gig from me as well – guess she couldn’t stand the thought of my awesome legs being in something that she wasn’t?

  • Sarina Fleur

    Quick question, how is the Man Repeller team two and a HALF people? Oh and sassy culottes can look like a skirt for evening conga time!

  • Look Sharp Sconnie

    I’ve got a strict 2-inch-above the knee policy crampin’ my style
    among other things

  • shelley

    I always love to see what bloggers think of as “office appropriate” gets a good laugh out of me every time. but this time you are spot on. I’d just button up the top a bit more and be good to go 🙂 you are the best.

  • Somebody from Somewhere

    Haha you are so cool, Leandra!

  • Love this outfit. I don’t see why, for creative jobs, people can’t just wear whatever the frick lets them unleash those innovative thoughts. Love that you wore denim cutoffs at your (Valentino?) internship. Dressing with contradiction is the best kind. GO, Grrrl.

    • Parker

      i was going to guess Jil Sander

  • Cass

    A direct quote from my employee handbook, section i-8: Dress Code:

    “Yes, we do have a dress code at ___. Fortunately, it’s not all that structured. First of all, clothing is not optional. You must remain dressed at all times.”

    done and done.

  • Delilah

    First time on your site and almost peed myself watching you bust a move. Damn you’re funny.

  • Oliver Lips
  • Today to the office I wore a Stella McCartney neon jacquard skirt, a white t shirt with a striped Sandro jacket with white tassels on top. Completed with black loafers and a neon coral PS1. All in all, an outfit I was damn pleased with and I very much was ridiculed for it!!

  • The Emerald Scarab

    Great shoes!! Fashionable and wearable for a day at work – the best combination!

    xox The Emerald Scarab

  • I worked at a place recently where the dress code required “straight, plain shorts of an appropriate length.” Well that one little rule SUCKED for me, because all I own are denim cutoffs with holes and frayed edges. I had to buy a bunch of Ralph Lauren shorts in pastel colors. I felt like such a soccer mom wearing them. I’ve learned to kind of love them though. You work with what you have. I roll the bottoms up as my small rebellion toward the dress code.

  • Shanghaifanny

    I thank God that I’ve been blessed to have worked places where I can dress however I want and not “have to go to the principal’s office” and be scolded for my crazy-ass choices. I may not make a lot of money at my job but the perk of dressing as the mood strikes is priceless.

  • Liz

    You are looking fantastic, but I would have much better luck with the green midi skirt ensemble in the Macarena video. Still, no belly button, cleavage or shorts allowed at the salt mines. Yes, we have the hosiery rule, too, but one of the two female managers completely ignores it, so I figure I can go either way.

  • Kristy

    I like the blouse [related: how do you find a slouchy blouse that doesn’t hug the big-boobed but otherwise size 0 (mainly attributed to lack of height rather than enviable slenderness) yet still indicates one has a waist so one doesn’t look like Miss Trunchbull]

    Am not sure about the shorts. School Nurse Appropriate indeed but not fond of the built-in fanny pack look. Dude, I think I know those types of shorts. They can make Gisele Bundchen look pregnant.

  • As a teacher, this probably wouldn’t fly, unless that was a skirt instead of shorts. As a college teacher, I also have to remind myself that my coworkers dress like hippies and reek of patchouli and weed…so I guess maybe shorts wouldn’t be the worst thing. 😉

  • Anna Lila

    perfect shoes

  • Dale Janee

    Cute outfit! Love the blog!

    ~Dale Janee

  • Lust Covet Desire

    Cute cut off shorts with a chic work blouse….maybe. Yeah why not.

  • natalie

    “lame shit like that” LMAO!

    love your look


  • Lesley

    So glad you covered the topic of “Office Repelling!” I have these navy, full, high-waisted YSL shorts I’ve toyed with wearing to the office – tomorrow is the lucky day! Our office dress code is pretty lax – I work down a long, dark, forgotten corridor with a bunch of quirky fellow economists for a gov agency in DC, so no one really cares what we wear.

  • omg these GIFs are great…and i just love the GRAFFITI in the background!

  • lefukaka

    i meannnn…how is anyone concentrating on your outfit when the FLIPPING macarena is playing and you’re doing something close to a dance.

  • tali

    your best gif yet!

  • Hanna

    The shoes are charming 😉

  • Allison

    I adore the necklace; who’s the designer?

  • nothing fancy for me. just a nice skort or slick pair of culottes will do.

  • Laura Iriarte

    Omg! That surprised me and cracked me up! Great post! 🙂

  • Royal Wang

    Hey,can you tell me how to make a moving image?it is so creativity!!!

  • Sofia K.

    SHOES,I’m in love! Leandra, could you please write its style? I want them!
    I’d say if your boss (male or female(desirably different hair colour from yours)) is sharing your love for fashion and sneaks out to the toilet to browse through Vogue or go on ,then yes,it’s a perfect office look!

  • Dora the xplora

    Leandra I love these shorts and shoes. You look fantastic. This is an important topic. And there is room for a sandwicn in that adorable bag. I work at an agency and want to see Charlotte in one of the outfits she wore to work.

  • Cara

    You are so out there I love it. Also, great back drop I love the graffiti!

  • Sofia K.

    What is the style of these shoes? I’m in love.
    If your boss sneaks to the toilet to read Vogue and shares your ultimate love for overalls then yes,it a perfect office look!

  • Melissa

    In my office, that is totally appropriate but I also live in South Florida so the weather makes it a much different circumstance compared to those in colder regions. I will definitely try a similar outfit soon.

    Melissa @ | Designer Clothing Sales!

  • Sarah A

    Now I’d like to see purses/totes that double as lunch bags.

  • Ang.

    Leandra, I saved all of your gifs on my computer and then used them in my powerpoint invite for my 21st birthday. It worked out well because everyone understands exactly what the theme is for the night.