Shoes Maketh the Outfit

Because when life hands you lemons, you’ve just got to carve them into different pairs of shoes.


Well, this is sad. We’re exactly where I predicted Monday might find us. I do hope you ordered shoes like we suggested you do last Wednesday so to a. assuage the misery of having slipped through summer’s longest weekend, b. take great pleasure in reading the below.

Remember that time I was all, “shoe maketh the repeller“? Well, today, shoe maketh the outfit. When considering how to dress for the situational events life may throw at you, it’s easy to assume that varying blouses, bottoms, accessories and so forth will determine that which makes you look appropriate. Doesn’t that seem like a lot of work for such marginal nuances though? What is really the difference between a first date and a second date after all?

I’ve long harbored this theory that a woman should be able to make one pair of jeans and a white blouse work (see also: twerk) for any occasion short of, let’s say, a royal wedding. After all, if she can figure out brunch with the opium drinking great aunt Greta, dinner with new in-laws, old in-laws, imminent in-laws or adults you kind of just wish were your in laws, and, let’s say, a job interview in the above noted jeans and shirt, we’ve got to assume the arbiter is something of a style expert, right? Right. So what is it that makes the variants vary at all?

Ah, yes, the shoes. Duh.

In considering how to wear a red plaid button down shirt paired with adequately festive shorts, my instinct was to pair sneakers with the look. That way, I could a. walk, b. jump–see:

KEabpN on Make A Gif, Animated GifsAnd c. level the sartorial playing field. This would then allow me to position this look as one applicable for a coffee run or a supermarket trip or a lunch meeting or a friendly hang out or a racy gallivant down 42nd street.

In pairing the outfit with a second set of shoes, I thought–what if I were meeting my highly regal grandmother for an afternoon coup and had grown very well aware of her aversion toward sneakers and denim cut-offs and all the other things I really, really like. What would I do? What the fuck would I do? Ah, yes, try my hand at a pair of yellow satin, crystal embellished Oscar de la Renta mules that would almost completely detract from her potential dismay in my use of a plaid shirt on a summer day.


And in this instance, though I am entirely Terry Richardson at top and a bit more Marie Antoinette once the migration down south begins, you’ve got to agree when held up against look #1, I’m cloaked for a fundamentally different occasion, no?

In look #3 (which features Charlotte Olympia heels so high, clad in a pompom so large) I’m not quite sure I accomplish the same level of deviation but consider this: you brunch like it’s a sport, don’t you? You love your girlfriends, your girlfriends love you–yes? You found a pair of 6 inch wedges on sale last season that clocked in at an astonishing 85% off retail value and you had to have them so hard you threw all premeditated rules about shopping out the window and swipe’n’squared it like it’s hot, yes? One year later, you’re like, well, that was silly. These look great in my closet, interesting on my feet but are wholly inappropriate under the most of the circumstances I find myself subsisting.

I get it, I’ve been there. And there’s only one remedy. ysTp0u on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

And that remedy is girl time. Let your friend dates function as the euphoric abyss that allows you to wear all your blinded-by-the-sample-sale squanders ad-nauseaum and with pride. Make up a dance, turn it into a gif, et voila. Just don’t sprain your ankle.

Ultimately, you see, in order to achieve several different looks without having to try your hand at multiple different looks, all you really need to do is dig deep into your trove of footwear, holster a little bit of imagination and let them shoes maketh ye outfit.

Club Monaco plaid shirt, Maiyet shorts. Sneakers by Golden Goose, mules by Oscar de la Renta, wedges by Charlotte Olympia.

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  • tallywacker

    those yellow heels are foul

    • Leandra Medine

      mission repelled!

      • Natasha Jarmick

        The yellow heels are actually my favorite! #manrepeller


        • Brita

          Mine too!!!

  • Elisa Taviti

    Amazing Charlotte Olympia wedges!

    Elisa – My Fantabulous World

  • Natali

    All three shoes are looking fabulous!

  • Hiphunters

    most definitely!!! we love that second pair!

  • Vestiaire Collective

    Love all 3 shoes with this outfit. So impressed by how spot on you are in each look!

    Vestiaire Collective

  • I love the mules. They are awesome

  • yes, yes, yes, and agree.

  • Guest

    How’s your head? You looked like you hit it pretty hard when you attempted to do a “handstand” under water.

  • I really want those wedges , no REALLY want them, so cute and girly..arghh love Charlotte Olympia –

  • Chava

    How’s your head? You looked like you hit it pretty hard when you attempted to do a “flip” under water.

    • Leandra Medine

      Hahaha–it is fantastic. Thanks for asking.

  • Naomi R Tallin

    Your legs look ridiculously good in those Charlotte Olympia wedges!

  • Gloria
  • Oh Leandra your silly dance pictures just make me laugh like a complete idiot inf front of my laptop! But true, shoes do make the outfit! I was actually thinking that mules would normally make my eyes bleed, but those, with your subliiiiiiime legs actually look nice!
    You rock, to say the least.

  • Dean Corno

    All three look great but I think the sneakers are my favourite.

  • Jackie @ Kleiden drew

    Fun and so spot on about shoes. Which is why we can’t have enough. (Or that’s what we tell our professional organizers/therapists/family.) But onto a bigger question: are mules about to turn up again? I held onto my Beyonce-inspired mules with the lace vamp long enough before cleaning out my closet (i.e., justifying another shoe purchase). Mules are long overdue for their 3rd resurrection. Halleluyer! Stock up on those anti-slide inserts tho.

  • Love the Charlotte Olympias so much!

  • Friends come & go but shoes are forever 🙂

  • what would knee-high boots do?

    • Leandra Medine

      ALSO speak to a gallivant down 42nd street.

  • You crack me up with “blindsided” by a sample sale & tippy tapping Olympia gif. Love reading your work. I’d be more prone to look #1 with sneakers in this heat.

  • Jcarta
  • Somebody from Somewhere

    Great post! Love those wedges!

  • 拜访,谢谢分享,欢迎回访!

  • Katerina

    The wedges!!! To die for!!!

  • Spaghetticouture

    You say it perfectly!

  • Alejandra

    Or you can try the 2008 hipster(also repelling) approach: barefoot– EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. (They couldn’t find their mocassins)

    • Abby Connor

      Thats also the Brown Student approach

  • Berty Morales

    I love the yellow mules and the wedges!

  • SOCIAL_la

    I am a heel-addict because first I am short and second they lift my spirits! The Charlotte Olympia wedges are just amazing! Love your short films, too funnY!

  • Elena Vasilieva

    so much love the way you write, girl. always makes me smile!!



    • Rachel Bruce

      Agreed, and while look #3 was my least fav of the actual shoe, the anticipation while reading was spectacular! It made me feel like I should in fact adore them with their description seemingly calling out to me personally!

  • I’m so torn when multiple shoes look good with an outfit and I have to decide which one is best!

  • i’m always a sucker for perv on top, dauphine on bottom.


  • thrifted and modern

    The yellow pair is our favorite and the third pair is to die for as well. Be sure to check out our store we think we have some things you might like!

  • Reece Andavolgyi

    well shit, I love the charlotte olympias so much I’d wear them to the grocery store.. and help anyone who needed something on the top shelf..

    reece x

  • zoe_whip

    Dude, the gifs were making me dizzy as I was trying to read the blog. I kept thinking, “Make Leandra stop moving!” But I kept reading.

    So much fun, girl!

  • Oliver Lips
  • Belén Cavas Hernández

    Shoes definitely make a difference. Great look.

    Do you like my golden studded ballerinas?


  • gigi

    a manrepeller post wouldn’t be complete without the phrase ad nauseum. ironic.

    • Leandra Medine

      Ironic–is it that painful? I get really hung up on words. Pretend I own them, use them…ad nauseaum and then find myself…….nauseous.

      • gigi

        ah! you responded! i’ve been reading your blog since the very beginning (four years now? less? more? it took me all the way through high school) no, my comment came off snarky, but the words people use add to their charm, i just had to point it out. even so, i still check your blog ad nauseum. see, it’s catching on…

  • Lisa Thomson

    Very inspiring! I must evolve my shoe inventory. I love your writing style, it’s even better than the fabulous photos.

  • Georgia

    So in love with the sneakers! These Charlotte Olympia wedges are just awesome!

  • CarolinaG

    Nice! I loved it!!

    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • Anna

    1) word on the sample sale / girl time purchases. 2) as I pack for a wedding in New York (returning to the city after living in LA for 9 months/feeling very rusty with regards to dressing up after living in ripped jeans and t shirts for this entire time) this post makes me feel better since I actually had to buy a bigger suitcase to accomodate my shoes. I have one dress, but three potential looks… dress is jade green issa with low back, high neck. wedding is black tie so I have big crystal chandelier earrings and black strappy sandals but… what I reall want to wear is my neon dannijo necklace, big crystal studs, and chartreuse sling backs… the third option is silver chain earrings that reach past my shoulders and big silver fendi bow heels… Any thoughts??

    • Leandra Medine

      I’m inclined to go with #2–if only because you said that’s what you really want to wear. Why even fabricate additional options if you KNOW what’ll make you feel good, girl.

  • And that is why they say a girl can never have too many pairs of shoes.

  • THose CO shoes will ALWAYS be my favorite!! LOVE LOVE them! More outfits with them!

  • anna

    scandinavians think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.

    It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work “nasa” can mean both “to marry” and “to lift” and “to desire” among many other verbs..

    In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.

    It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work “nasa” can mean both “to marry” and “to lift” and “to desire” among many other verbs..

  • LabellaLuxe Boutique

    Awesome yellow heels!