Yes, it is profoundly disheartening to read something hilarious and astutely observed on a topic I’ve wanted to write about. But I’m putting personal insecurities aside if only because The Man Repeller (a site I discovered just last week via our Follow Friday feature) deserves it. True to its title, Leandra Medine’s musings are devoted entirely to fashion that’s confounding and off-putting to the average hetero male, with Medine snapping (inspired and covetable) looks of her own and mining the season’s runways for examples.
An anecdotal overview of straight dude reactions to recent outfits only proves her findings: Rolled skinny jeans with ladylike pumps get the guy thumbs up, as does pretty much anything with fall 2010’s boarding-school chic look. No big surprises there. Not as popular? A baggy sweatshirt over a bias-cut silk maxi skirt. “Looks like you threw something over your nightgown to run to the mailbox.” Even seemingly benign black jeggings proved baffling: “Are you wearing tights?”
Not that dressing to common denominator dude taste is the point (do Anna Dello Russo or Kate Lanphear?), which is Medine’s point, which brings me to lamé. A big fall 2010 runway story and a major presence for spring, the jury is still out for me as to whether this most reflective of fabrications will leave guys freaked or fascinated. (A Vena Cava dress I’ve been stalking and one of my favorite Rag & Bone spring 2011 runway looks by way of example above.) While gold lamé brings visions of Jerry Hall circa 1976 dancing into my head, will my beloved think I look more like a Werther’s Original? The Man Repeller makes me want to risk it. As the French say: Life is too short to dress sadly.