Blah-Proof Dressing

For the days you feel like shit and are convinced you’ve got absolutely nothing to wear.


It’s pouring (somewhere). You’re getting your period. You’re beginning to think about stepping into oncoming traffic because you’ve recently reasoned that if a cab hit you–you sort of wouldn’t mind it. But what the hell is that about?

I know what you’re thinking–it’s just one of those days, Leandra. Blah.

I get it, I’ve been there, hell–yesterday almost left me wondering what I should do first: fork my eyeballs out or slowly pull my fingernails off their nail beds. (Naturally, I settled on fingernails first because I needed vision to properly pull but then again, also never got around to acting on the bout of masochism masquerading as a pick-me-up.)

No more, though.

I will not allow the evil devil residing over my left shoulder, clad head to toe in black patent leather Givenchy (don’t let the good clothes fool you), beguilingly tell me to feed the blah to win. I’m not quite sure what exactly amounts for the blah. It’s probably a combination of things that result in the culmination of the three aforementioned scenarios but dressing blah only nurtures the blah so today on TMR, we take a break from nourishing our misery, let clothing do its job and snap us the hell (pun so intended) out of it.

The way I see it, if clothing harbors the power to change our identities, there is absolutely no way it doesn’t also maintain the power to change our moods, too. But how?

I’m so glad you ask. Here are two tactics that often work for me:

Ask yourself this–what is the last thing you put on that made you feel really, really great about yourself? Was that ultimately about the clothes or your state of mind?

Don’t try to answer that – it’s a trick question. The answer is state of mind because of the clothes. Now put that outfit back on. Wear it. Or just traipse through your apartment in it until it’s time to leave and you’ve resolved a sequined mermaid gown is probably not your best bet for a Wednesday morning pow wow with the DMV.

No one else?

Another strategy goes as follows: think of your three favorite articles of clothing. These could be any garments that run a range from dresses, skirts, jackets and naturally spill over into shoes and so forth. Try pairing them all together. In the instance documented above I went with one blue striped, short sleeved, boatneck Sacai dress, topped it off with a metallic Dries van Noten blazer and a pair of Alexander Wang shoes that date as far back as this blog does.ย The purse is a banana-festooned pouch by Lizzie Fortunato and it constantly reminds me why I got into blogging in the first place–because fashion doesn’t have to be serious to be really, really good.

And see, the other nice thing that tends to happen with this approach is that you turn out pairing things together you never would have and find yourself quite pleased with the outcome.

Now, in case you’re wondering, my blah be gone, which makes it your turn to give this a try.

Get more Personal Style ?
  • Maike

    nice…. even if I dont understand the banana clutch…. like I dont understand foodprints… :-/

  • Awesome look as always, Leandra! Love how you masterfully mix prints and I am obsessed with your outerwear! Those shoes are perfection <3 Love your post about blah-days (this actually helps a lot!) <3

  • black.Steph.white

    OMG i simply love this banana clutch. i need it in my life. asap.

  • CarolinaG

    Love your blog!!

    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • Harling

    Interesting inverted clothes v. mood approach. I feel like a lot of the time we dress in an outfit that befits/encourages/duplicates our mood (see: sweatpants when I’m blue, neon when I’m hyper, fantastic shoes when I’m DTP). But dressing to CHANGE your mood is a different vegetable entirely, and I think I’m on board. Fashion is, at its heart, a transformative superhero with brain-altering powers, and that is something I should never underestimate. After all, just because I’ve decided to up my mood by way of a rad jumpsuit doesn’t mean I can’t sit around eating ice cream and re-watching Orange is the New Black. -Harling

  • contentnet

    That clutch is bananas.

  • Lierjo

    Yes, yes, yes! You’ve managed to perfectly sum up my sense of fashion in one blog post. Pairing favorite Items together and just seeing how they turn out. Most often, it works wonderfully. And even if it doesn’t, I’d still wear it because as you said, “fashion doesn’t have to be serious.”

  • Another great post, Leandra! I’m glad that even you get blah days, despite having such a fantastic wardrobe. Think it goes to show that it has less to do with the clothes and more to do with emotion. BUT what’s awesome — and what you stated above — is the ability for the clothes to get us out of the rut after boosting positive emotion. I’m sure the heat doesn’t help the blah feeling either, though. You know what’s weird? As I was reading yesterday’s posts (yesterday, of course), I somehow wound up thinking about how you haven’t worn those grey Alex Wang wedges in a while on here, and I wondered if you’d wear them soon. And Voila – next morning! That’s happened before with the blue Topshop dress in the summer dresses post, and the day before you posted the “In Honor Of” post it was that same thought, but about your Jimmy Choo sandals. Silly coincidence, but maybe it just helps the above argument in that clothes can be magnetizing, giving us The Vibe.

    Your hair is looking really, really good.

  • andrieya

    omg, no way you’re in NYC right now–too hot for blazers!

    • Leandra Medine

      You better believe it, sister!

  • Ivana Dลพidiฤ‡

    wonderful article and it was actually quite helpful…I’ll go and find that special something that will put me in the right frame of mind.

  • You look great, and bananas!!!

    Mafalda โค

  • mariah serrano

    thank you for being cool and talking about real cool things that actually happen. and thank you for not using the term “pop of color”

  • Hannah Xu

    That kind of what-to-wear-moment is happening almost every morning… Weird way, I put out myself in a bipolar mode, turn into Leandra or give me Taylor T. Hil, and the inspiration will naturally pop up. Fashion is really a fun thing that I can become bipolar!!! Lovvvvv the dresss!

  • Nico

    Love the jacket and the jewels, especially the ring on the little finger! Great look!

  • Kahava

    Ugh you literally gave me goosebumps when you spoke about slowly pulling your fingernails off their nail beds. *starts to cringe all over again*

  • Erica Wright

    THANK YOU for this post Leandra, I am having a serious mega-blah day and everything you said totally sums up how my day has gone (forking eyeballs out-et-all). It’s 3.30pm in London and being unable to get out of sweatpants whilst eating a jar of Nutella at this time of day has most likely contributed to my tragic feelings of blah. Off to sort my life out! Thanks for the style tips!!


  • I need to do this next time I am feeling blah. The blahs get me down so much it is hard to get dressed in anything so nice and yes, this happens around my period.

  • Funny you mention that fashion doesn’t have to be serious to be really, really good, I always preach this, and btw, you’re why I got into blogging in the first place, just thought you should know. Great post as usual

  • Will Code For Clothes

    Wow this is some original manrepeller shit going on. Like the advice from the beginning: put all of your favorite pieces together (no matter what they are), because you’ll like it. LAYERS!

  • smassidy

    WHAT IS THAT BRACELET (this is Kayne West’s-stuck-in-caps-lock-twitter level important)

    • Leandra Medine

      WHICH ONE (I’m matching your enthusiasm)

      • smassidy

        ah, your psychic abilities already answered via your instagram – the unreal cc skye one. buying two, wearing it with knuckle rings and bib necklaces, and pretending i’m mr. t. you’re making dreams come true, leandra.

  • deb

    the shoes are pure joy

  • monkeyshines
  • Oliver Lips

    Great dress! I really like the styling ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Avery

    “Fashion doesn’t have to be serious to be really really good”. That should be Man Repeller’s tag line/mission statement. I’m crocheting it on a pillow as we speak.

  • India
  • tigs

    Those shoes are bananas!

  • Cat

    Ok, now I’m crying. I lost my favourite Alexander Wang blazer 2 months ago. It had magical powers to transform outfits as well as my mood ๐Ÿ™ Where did you buy this amazing Dries Leandra? (also, what season is it from?) I am starting operation forget-about-the-Wang-with-an-even-better-blazer ASAP.

    Also, it warms my heart to see you wear those shoes again <3. Proof that a solid pair is always worth the investment. I remember those days when you'd eat tuna sandwiches spread on the floor looking like Rumi in them. Look how far you've come!

    • Cat

      Hey, you should do one of those again for old times sake. They were hilarious posts!!!

    • Leandra Medine

      Ha! Re: the blazer, I actually bought it from another bloggers webshop. Last I saw, I know it WAS still at Barney’s and ticketed at 70% off…

      • Cat

        Thank you Leandra, you are lovely and the un-blah-liness personified <3

  • I love this outfit on you. Good one!

  • And sometimes an obnoxiously uncharacteristic pair of feminine underwear is all it takes.

  • Love this post, I try to only keep things I love wearing and feel good in. It makes getting dressed so much easier when you love everything you own.

  • Maggie

    Words of wisdom.


  • Orsi

    I’ve just found your blog. I love your dress and your way of writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • maud.schellekens

    Loving this look!

    XOXO Maud


  • TheLovelyTashaP

    The banana clutch makes me smile! I love!

  • MACA Clothe

    Glad your blah is gone! Love the banana clutch, too fun.

    xoxo MACA

  • Romina C

    Love the combination of the dress blazer and shoes! The banana clutch is fun. Romi

  • Made in Chicistan

    but where is that cuff from?!

  • I love everything in this outfit, especially your shoes and that banana clutch ! That would put me in a better mood anytime ๐Ÿ™‚

    Fashion and Cookies
    Fashion and Cookies on Facebook

  • mika

    This is weird but what do you do to take care of your nails? They look really good.

    • Leandra Medine

      If you’d believe it–I haven’t gotten a manicure in over a year. I think as a result of that, I have no cuticle problems anymore. Honestly, I just cut them every other week and that’s it. (I’ll even admit that sometimes I bite them in lieu of cutting)

  • Jennifer
  • Cรฉline

    Going bananas over this clutch !! Your hair looks really nice, great look ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  • Edith Scheie

    Everyone needs an accessory like that clutch. I used to have a summer straw tote with a monkey in a coconut tree. It was a great conversation starter, and I loved it, until the handle broke. ๐Ÿ™ This post is so on-point. Often what one is wearing affects one’s mood. Not always, but often.

  • ..and methodically knocking off people’s hats?

  • chatNoir

    HEY: I remember those SHOES !! Gee, it’s almost like seeing an old familiar friend again ๐Ÿ˜€ ….

  • Gabi

    Nice Clutch! I make my own too! Check them out here

    If you want to see how I make them, please check my tumblr:

  • the civilian
  • Great post but I’ve been wondering about one thing on and off for a while. This Lizzie Fortunato clutch just screams PRADA. Not only people who live and breath fashion know it but also others, this Prada banana print has been in our faces for a while. And now what? All of the sudden this woman changes the pattern a bit, takes the Prada bananas and makes the clutch. And this has been happening all over. From fast fashion brands knocking off the known designers to so so so many more.

    I love your posts, Leandra and was wondering what’s your take on this topic.

    Thank you,


  • amber charlton

    Love your style! The banana clutch is just amazing!

  • Michelle M

    I love this blog! I have an old loft shift dress that is my go to, loose enough to read boho (and hide the rolls) and always looks good dressed up or down, with heels/without… you get the idea. It is my go to when i’m feeling just meh.

  • Bnii

    and that is why we louuuu you…. hugs!

  • zesiku



  • Yuka

    omg i’m dying for the shoes….

  • aside from your intended puns, immaculate layering, and superb writing or whatever those a.wangs were one of the first things i loved about this blog.


  • maud.schellekens

    Gorgeous top!

    XOXO Maud


  • jen

    wow, love everything about this outfit. The dress, the blazer, THE SHOES!!!

    killing me with fashion I cant afford :p

    great blog, always love a read to put me in a non-blah mood

    hope u can swing by my blog too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Moi

    Dat hair is looking great girl. You look so good when it’s grown out a bit.

  • I want to steal that bag and those shoes from you!!!

  • Costanza Zanardini

    love this dress and bag!

  • Lala

    those have always been my favorite shoes of yours…love that you are getting back to your roots!

  • Benedito Silva

    HI, I wold like to know where i buy this anana-festooned pouch.
    My email is