should i buy this june 2019 man repeller tory burch
Leandra Asks Harling: What Would You Wear With This?
06.05.19

What Would You Wear With This?, heir to the throne of  Should I Buy This?, is a monthly conversation between Leandra and Harling about the contents of their online shopping carts and the potential outfits that lie within. Come for the clothes, stay for the feelings.


On May 21, 2019 at 5:50 PM, Leandra wrote:

Hello Hurling Roos. I like these shoes, but rarely wear heels. I’m willing to be convinced if you’re willing to fight, so here it goes: what would you wear with these?

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On May 21, 2019 at 8:14 PM, Harling wrote:

Hello Leandra Medine née Cohen. I also rarely wear heels so you’ve come to the so-wrong-it’s-right place. Twist my arm and I’d tell you to wear those with a top that reminds me of something your spawn would wear and these hot pants that remind me of something 2017-you would wear. Both are on sale, which reminds me: please consider adding this bracelet, too.

But unleash my elbow!!!! and I’ll ask you to reconsider your choice of footwear entirely. Because why not wear that entire outfit I just described minus the walking impediments, plus a humble navy flip flop instead? Thank me later when you walk 10,000 steps in the course of a single day because the first Van Leeuwen’s you went to was out of cookie dough ice cream and there’s no stopping a speeding train. U know?

Apropos of nothing, I’ve had this top bookmarked on The RealReal for eons. It’s $44 with the 20% off discount they are never not running and I think it would make an A+ addition to my summer going-out top assortment, but it looks kind of long in the torso and I’m worried I would sacrifice its true potential for lack of ideas about how to actually wear it. HELP. Please.

On May 22, 2019 at 9:09 AM, Leandra wrote:

Technically, I am Leandra Cohen née Medine (née means born in French) but I can make a philosophical case for your reversing who I was with who I am because, you know, there’s no such thing as was vs. am when it comes to identity! Aren’t we all a work in progress, pushing not toward who we can become, but who is already so deeply and unconsciously rooted inside of us? I’m glad we did this.

I’m supes def here for those Missoni shorts, and appreciate that you’re selling them to me to wear with those shoes. 10/10 would do. But I’d prefer sleeves on top if I’m going to let every other limb hang loose. I don’t know why, it’s a proportion thing. The bracelet is all you, I’m NFI in bangles, but maybe that will change. Things change! People change…or, to get back to my initial point…do they? My money is on a top like this to wear with those shorts. It ain’t cheap, but it is on sale. Suhhhhspeaking of which, Net, Matches, Need Supply, Moda, etc etc — they all launched between 40% and 60% off. It is tempting, but not tempting enough to actually get me to a pull a trig–

Spoke too soon. I want this shirt. But here’s the thing about the vicious cycle of buying one new thing. It makes you want a whole bunch of new things. It’s like drinking a cup of coffee and surmising you can’t actually enjoy it unless it is accompanied by a pastry, then you’re like, whoa sugar rush, so you eat a couple of eggs to stabilize your blood sugar, and then you’re soooo thirsty, so you have a bottle of water (sparkling, flavored, obviously), and then you’re like, well now I’m all bubbly from the inside out, surely I need a smoothie and on and on and on. So now I’m looking at this shirt and thinking, you know what that shirt needs? Men’s swim trunks! (I think I’ll get these ones. And wedge mules. I’ve had this in my RealReal cart since Feb.

This is a lovely segue into your Missoni top. You know, I’ve been wearing GOTs with sweatpants a ton lately. This top in partic looks ravishing with a pair of faded greys OR these, and oooooh, look at this one I just found, too. Per your flip flops comment, I already have those Harling H. née Ross. They take a minute to break in because toe floss is painful at first, but as an aside, these are a pretty competent comp. A COMPetent.

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I didn’t answer your question, tho, so: how would I wear that top? Tricky! It IS long. I think you have to pair it over like, a bias-cut silk skirt à la Réalisation Par, or! jumbo silk sleep shorts (pants, to be clear) à la Skin. You can also tuck it into tapered pants or abandon it altogether and !go! !naked! See: this.

Now tell me, how are your late 20s treating you this month?

On May 22, 2019 at 5:10 PM, Harling wrote:

OOPS that was a typo but I fully buy the alternate interpretation that you were born to be a Cohen and my fingers knew that intuitively. Glad we agree on that even though we don’t agree when it comes to bangles. (Is it bad that I just had to google what “NFI” stands for? Thanks for teaching me a new acronym.)

I’m super confused when it comes to accessories right now, though. I feel like a lizard because suddenly small bags and rainbow bracelets and sunglasses that don’t genuinely protect my retinas from the sun don’t make sense to me anymore and to close the loop on this reptilian metaphor I guess I’m shedding the skin of a past stylistic identity, hmm? I want to wear this Laura Lombardi necklace and nothing else.

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I see your Thierry Colson top that isn’t cheap but is on sale and raise you this Cecilie Bahnsen stunner, which even with a 36% discount is still steeply priced. If I were to purchase one thing from all the sales on the internet right now, I think it would be this. I’ve loved it since I saw it on the runway in Copenhagen last summer. Is spending that much on a blouse positively bananas? If yes, please pretend I never asked, but if no, please tell me what you would wear with it. I’m thinking white track shorts like these, but the shoe portion of this potential outfit is stumping me. Maybe something chunky to offset the top’s resemblance to a cream puff? Taking suggestions.

I’m so glad you reminded me how good Need Supply’s sales are. The embroidered shirt you linked to would also look so cool tucked into this skirt, in my humble opinion. And at this point I’ve fully give-a-mouse-a-cookie’d myself too because that combo begs for these shoes and these sunglasses to go with it.

I love the idea of wearing the Missoni top with sleep pants, however I can’t get on board with Réalisation Par bias-cut skirt since at this point it’s been seen round the world like the Instagram equivalent of the Battle of Concord. But wait, I’m still thinking about those terry cloth wedges you linked to. Is terry cloth the THING right now? I want to wear this terry cloth swimsuit from Solid + Striped tucked into jeans — or sweats per your recommendation. These terry shorts are so fun, too.

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Funny you should ask because my late twenties are equally as confusing as my feelings about accessories. I recently had a disagreement with my parents because I wanted to do something they vehemently did not want me to do, and I’m arguably too old for their opinions to control my decisions, but… I still really care what they think! Maybe it’s because I’m a people-pleaser, or maybe because as children we’re so conditioned to believe our parents know what’s best for us that even when they quite possibly don’t, it still feels wrong to doubt them? I’m not sure. But it’s right on-theme with this weird-ass period of life.

I hope it gets easier — or clearer. That’s a better word. But if it doesn’t, at least Dries van Noten exists.

On May 22, 2019 at 8:17 PM, Leandra wrote:

A FEW THINGS: 1) Running through our cyber wishlists with the knowledge that this shit will become public is so different with you from how it was with Amelia, namely because your style does not spill into a quadrant of style that is uniquely different from my own, see: she and preppiness. And of course, this conversation is NOT THE SAME THING, Amelia is a mother weirdo who is also my best friend, and the easiest target-cum-deposit box for my terrible and often snide sense of humor but…do you kind of feel like we’re sending each other reinforcing links that perpetuate an echo chamber? Mostly I’m concerned because after that last email, my shopping carts are more bloated than they have been since the golden age of consumption (2013). And per that Cecilie Bahsen top: I have it. I wore it with those exact Nike track shorts, does that make you feel slighted in some way? Less inclined to go 4 it if you can manage to use your will to make a way? I hope not! That’s one.

2) Terry cloth is definitely the thing! We tried to make a tote for Repeller’s summer launch but it wasn’t coming out how I wanted it to — something about the casual/relaxed nature of a flimsy tote rendered in an even more casual/relaxed/let’s say utilitarian fabric like terry just felt too…same on same? Literal? Show me an evening clutch in terry. A tote in satin. Give me a contrast or give me death! And in the mean time check the check out of this new brand, Terry., based in Australia. I met the founder a couple weeks ago on set for a shoot about women who carry the BRCA genetic mutation. The branding is so good. I got these and this.

In trying to find that site to link you to it, I also came across this one and, well, hellooooo.

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And 3), to your point about your late 20s and parents: what did you want to do? Was it get a tattoo? Did you do it in the end? Sorry, that’s invasive, you don’t have to answer, my initial response to your stress reaction is that it’s a gift that you respect them so much — it means they must have done something right! For you to consciously acknowledge conditioning that suggests they know best means their track record is clean enough for that to be true to a degree. But it might be worth asking yourself why you want to do whatever it is you want to do, what you’re willing to risk to do it, how it makes you feel when your parents disagree with a decision you’re coming up against and whether there is risk to measure — as in: true stakes. What’re you willing to give up to do this thing?

OH WAIT ONE MORE THING: I hear you on the accessories thing and so love that reptile metaphor (do lizards shed skin tho, or is that a snake thing exclusively?). I’ve been there for a while (wearing wayfarers and subtle jewelry, that is) but have been wondering if it’s all just a rebellion against what has become the norm — larger than life fun fashion, punctuated by tiny bags and rainbow bracelets, or if what I’ve experienced and what you’re experiencing is nothing more or less than what was our interest in the aforementioned fanfare: style changing and us as victims of evolving trends.

So

Predictable.

Dare I say! Cliché!

But at least, as you said, there’s always Drieeeeeeees.

Q, would you ever wear these out? They are practically Balenciaga.

On May 23, 2019 at 9:02 PM, Harling wrote:

Do you find that you enjoy shopping online more at night? I think I made an unconscious decision to answer this email at the end of the day, even though I could have done it earlier, because my preferred vehicle for unwinding is to scroll through the interwebs alongside a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal (with actual milk sorry for partying!)

You make a good point. This conversation is not the same — it’s almost definitely more of an echo chamber, with far fewer references to sail boats and bunions. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Or just different. But either way, it goes without saying that you should deposit your terrible and often snide sense of humor here, too. I promise I’ll relish it like the granola cluster I’m saving between my back right molars for later.

I can’t believe you have that exact top and wore it with those exact shorts except I guess I totally can? And while I’m not shameless enough to replicate it regardless I’m also newly compelled to ponder more creatively. What do you think about pairing it with tapered white linen pants and green suede mules? I have the mules already and I love them so much but they’re most definitely not suited to walking 10,000 steps.

I’ve never felt so comfortable than the summer of 2014 when white Birkenstocks were all the rage and I wore my pair almost every day. Is it weird that I kind of want to buy them again? Or maybe something from their new collab with Dolce Far Niente? Call me a cockateel but I’m fairly certain they would look excellent with one of those terry bucket hats. Plus a striped T-shirt and gingham swim bottoms.

I wish the parental issue was a tattoo! Or a belly button piercing. That would be way more fun. No, it’s that I want to move in with Austin and my parents are adamant that I wait until I’m engaged. You’re not wrong — their track record is clean when it comes to loving me and having the best intentions, but in this case those best intentions feel less straightforward, intermixed with a cocktail of broader social expectations that they willingly accept instead of challenge. They’re old-fashioned, and any attempts we’ve made to debate the issue consistently bump up against that. I was willing to risk their mild disappointment to do what I wanted, but the emotional stakes have ultimately loomed larger than that. TBD how it evolves but for now I’ve conjured so many pros and cons for so many scenarios in my head that the only true salve is a good distraction. Liquid satin typically does the trick. Calling in backup just in case by way of this crochet top too, tho.

To answer your concluding question, no I would not wear those slippers even if they are basically Balenciaga for $19.99 because microfiber is the devil incarnate and I respect my metatarsals too dang much to subject them to the heat trap that would inevitably ensue. I would, however, wear your sneaker thongs. Ideally with a whisper-thin white tank top and khaki shorts.

I just swallowed the granola cluster, in case you were wondering. Also yes lizards do shed their skin!!!!!

On May 28, 2019 at 11:27 AM, Leandra wrote:

Wait, go back to Austin and parents for a second!!! I so appreciate the point you’re making about their reluctance to let you move in together not because objectively speaking, they fear for the future of your relationship, or your mental health, or any number of healthy parental concerns but because of the broader social implications. Sometimes I wonder if my mom cares so much for my brothers to marry Jewish women because she feels in her bones that they will be happiest with women who maintain similar religious backgrounds or because she’s afraid of what her friends will think. My older brother, in particular, has dated some exceptional women who were not Jewish (but were curious enough to explore conversion anecdotally), and some pretty shitty ones who were. The piece that’s tough about this kind of awareness as a kid, I think, is that suddenly you’re coming up against a truth you don’t want to believe — that even the motivations of your parents are flawed.

On to what is flawless: our unibrain! I spent the sum of memorial day weekend in the bottom of an LMF high waist bikini with a featherweight Kule turtleneck tucked in. Sometimes I wonder if my style is style or a testament to how much I enjoy shock value. I think I loved the combo, but I also loved my mother-in-law’s quizzical gaze as I descended from a flight of stairs, children in tow, wearing winter and summer in but one fell look.

I’m also in the throes of a caffeine kick, and have four tabs open on my browser, can I invite you to see what I’m contemplating for social proprietorship this a.m.?

White Carhartt overalls to wear over a range of tank tops.

A vintage Chanel jacket (with an added 20% off) because I have become addicted to finding fancy jackets under $500.

These, because I saw someone wearing them yesterday in black and thought: it’s about damn time.

Prabal Gurung men’s “basketball” shorts

And this sweater, mostly because a newsletter took me to it.

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On May 30, 2019 at 8:38 AM, Harling wrote:

The funny thing is that whenever I talk to (or debate with) my mom about it, she keeps saying, “you’ll understand when you have a daughter” with so much confidence that I routinely think to myself, will I?? even though at the same time I’m convinced I’ll think differently. But I’m also absolutely certain there will be some argument about some topic — if not this one, then another — I’ll have with my future children wherein it will occur to me that her prophecy has come true. Maybe that’s why even as I disagree with my parents I also feel deeply compelled to defend them. (Hamster wheel, meet brain. Brain, meet hamster wheel).

I also feel guilty that I’ve turned this email thread into a private therapy session for yours truly, especially since I pay a professional bimonthly for that privilege! So, onto what we’re really here to discuss: wearing turtlenecks in the summer (amongst other things). If you’ll recall, in a recent editorial meeting you proposed the story idea of showcasing how to wear an actual turtleneck in the summer, which is why I’m so glad you’re already using yourself as a guinea pig. I’ve been thinking about it since then and concluded I can’t look at another turt until September but I respect the choice and love that outfit combo. It’s got me thinking about swimsuits, like this embroidered one which I’ve been eyeing for some time and this one, which looks both cool and comfortable. Would pair either with this striped caftan and a Repeller baseball cap.

I think you just influenced me into wanting white Carhartt overalls. I hope you’re okay with being twins. What tops would you wear them over? I’m envisioning something like this. Plus shoes like these. Or these.

I’m taking that Toteme sweater as permission to drop an equally seasonally premature shopping quandary in this digital square: Will I feel like Alexa Chung if I buy this Altuzarra dress and wear it to the Man Repeller holiday party this winter?

Now back to summer:

These jeans are finally on sale and the question is not should I buy them but rather WHICH COLOR should I opt for when I inevitably do— yellow or pink?

Also, on sale — this dress from Love Shack Fancy, which would look so cool with a canvas jacket and ballet flats.

On May 30, 2019 at 12:51 PM, Leandra wrote:

OH MY GOD GET THAT ALTUZARRA DRESS IF YOU DON’T I WILL BUT ALSO: Is it a bad thing to feel like Alexa Chung at our holiday party? I like (love) almost everything she wears. Almost. I had a Pinterest board dedicated to the outfits she wore on It’s On With Alexa Chung that pre-dates Man Repeller.

Re: Carpenter pants: I say yellow, this way you can use them to further your stick of butter agenda, even turn it into a stick of margarine.

And it would be not just an honor but my privilege, Harling Ethel Louisa McDonald Ross, to twin you. I’d likely wear kitten heel sandals with them à la these. Or possibly these. And hey look what I just found – fun!!! and probably a plain old denim button down (I maintain that this one, by Polo, is the best one).

But none of this matters or means anything because since our last exchange, I have not been able to stop thinking about this outfit I made in my head.

The latter shorts seem like a worthwhile way to spend $50. I want to wear exactly notihng else, and with that, I gtg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Around to therapy (verb) whenever you’re up for it.

Feature photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi featuring Tory Burch shoes.

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