November 6, 2012

The Art of Man Repelling

From time to time, actually its more like a lot of the time these days, I allow myself to be indulge in certain delicacies. Pizza. Nutella. Five seasons of Burn Notice. A movie in a cinema. Reading my favorite blogs.

...Some blogs are just too good not to share.

Meet the Man Repeller.

Leandra, the author and brains behind the blog, spends most of her time sarcastically updating us on useless, high-end sartorial facts (useless only to those who don't care about fashion in that way). Though I do not claim to know her, I've gathered that she has some kind of fashion design background and career, lives in New York, and enjoys going to/making fun of Paris Fashion Week each year (the original inspiration for the blog).

Now, please listen up. In no way do I place any value into high-end fashion. In fact, I spend most of my time perusing the sale racks in the local thrift store. The only item in my posession that was at one time considered high-end is a vintage Bottega Veneta Italian leather purse that I recently bought for about $8 (which may have originally cost a few thousand dollars back in the day, and now could be worth a few hundred… if it weren’t for the rips and tears and gum stuck to it). But still, I have no reason to spend more than $10 on a tshirt, $15 on a sweater, or $20 on a pair of pants. Winter coats may throw me more towards the fifty dollar range, although knowing how to shop off-season plus having mad couponing skills has taken said winter coat down to a more appropriate two dollars.

I can’t find a single reason to buy good-quality clothing these days. After all, styles change yearly. No, wait, I take that back. These days, styles change daily. As much as I loved the year 2003, I do not wish my clothes to always display such love.

I may, however, be changing my mind on shoes (part of growing up?). Investing in a good-quality shoe may be well worth it, seeing as feet mostly stay the same size throughout life (I know, I know, except during pregnancy or during chronic kidney failure). A retired shoe can be preserved for say, ten years even, and then enter the spotlight once again. This rings true for good ol’ white canvas shoes (not to be confused with our beloved Converse, which will always be in style). No, I’m talking about the rubber-smelling, throw-in-the-washer-with-bleach type of canvas shoe that all of us children of the 80s proudly wore. Yes, folks, these practical, cheap, white canvas shoes are now back in style (they have been for a year or so).

And yes, you can even wear them with socks. Or tights.

On a sad note, when worn appropriately, Doc Martens are slowly trickling back. You now have my permission to crawl to the back of your closet, look under all those Easter-pink baggy Gap sweatshirts and flared-leg jeans, and dig out your beloved Docs. I won’t be doing any digging, of course, because back in the day I invested in faux Doc Martens from Walmart (which happily lasted about two years).

But I digress.

So, if I don’t care about the latest Paris Fashion Week, and if YOU don’t care about it either, why do I recommend Man Repeller?

One of my favorite mottos is It’s so ugly, I love it! I need it! You may have actually been lucky enough to be with me in a situation where I have deemed it necessary to say that. This has applied to clothes, shoes, household d├ęcor, basically anything that can be ugly. Mostly, I use this phrase when I read fashion magazines that display the ridiculous hair, makeup, and fashion from the runways. One of my most popular blog entries, entitled My Kool Runway Look, was vaguely based on this theory!

It’s so ugly, I love it! I need it! is of the same mind as Man Repeller. Here is the definition straight from her blog:
man·re·pell·er1 [mahn-ree-peller]
outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.
–verb (used without object),-pell·ing, -pell·ed.
to commit the act of repelling men:

Girl 1: What are you wearing tonight?

Girl 2: My sweet lime green drop crotch utility pants, of course.
Girl 1: Oh, so we’re man repelling tonight?

*DISCLAIMER: the above conversation took place in this room 5 minutes ago.


Although I have never personally met Leandra, she seems to be quite feminine, confident, and witty. She is not arrogant, proud, or a man-hater. She simply understands that fashion can be manipulating… it can be a tool used for good or bad (i.e. drawing attention to oneself, repelling said attention, or remaining neutral).

Dressing a particular way has power; it defines who you think you are. It will draw certain people to you if they also identify with what you are wearing. It can help land a job (pantsuits). It will give you credentials (a doctor‘s white lab coat). It can make others trust you (police uniform). It can make others scared of you (typical goth). It can align you with certain sub-groups (sports jerseys, band tshirts, etc). It can even reveal how you feel about yourself (i.e. wearing baggy clothes to cover up weight gain or weight loss).

The author of Man Repeller is young. Attractive. Is actually married to a man. And still wears her retainer at night (making the dental hygienist in me very proud).

[I wonder if she tests her repeller powers on her husband?]

She has a series of entries entitled Man Getter to Repeller where she begins by modelling a trendy, man-attracter outfit, and piece by piece demonstrates how to turn it into a man-repeller outfit, all the while still maintaining some sense of pop culture’s ridiculous trends. Remember the picture of her from before? Attractive. Trendy. But still fashionable.

Witness her final transformation into a man repeller:

Attractive? Trendy? Still fashionable? Man repelling?
Yes and yes.
It's so ugly, I love it! I need it!
She's been known to bravely trot around the streets of New York in these outfits (which may or may not have included a bathing suit) while recording onlooker's reactions.
She also has another series of entries entitled Lessons in Layering. She goes from here:
To here:

The short of it? She cracks me up.

Andrew even likes to peer over my shoulder when I’m reading.
Apparently, he doesn’t think I notice.

Anyway, I would like to cordially invite you to be a faithful follower of the Man Repeller. Hopefully, she will make you laugh (and maybe inspire you to do a bit of repelling yourself).
I'll leave you with my attempt at a bit of mild man-repelling. Actually, I just wanted to show you a picture of that Bottega Veneta purse I told you about, and I happened to already be wearing some man-repellant clothes (LA Gear sweatpants, whoop-whoop).

.with hope.
.with love.
PS- 10 days until BD Part 2!
[all credit goes to Man Repeller for the use of her photos and for the term 'man repelling/er'!]

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