Most stylish New Yorker: Leandra Medine

This fashionista doesn't care if she dresses to impress the boys---learn her man-repelling style secrets.

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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine wears a Dennis Basso (dennisbasso.com) fur scarf that she dug up from her mother's "extensive treasure chest" of clothes, a Topshop sweater, a T by Alexander Wang tank, Seven for All Mankind tuxedo jeans, Polo Ralph Lauren socks and Miu Miu shoes. "The most man-repelling facets of this look are definitely the sock-sandal combination and fur scarf," she says. "Leopard print is the official pattern of the man-repelling tribe. When it's paired with argyle socks, the look becomes incomprehensible to the average male specimen. If I had gone for a plain stiletto and skipped the scarf---which may or may not double as a fur neck brace---then who knows? Tonight could have been date night."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    The gold necklaces by Fallon (fallonjewelry.com) were purchased at Shop the Far Out (shopthefarout.com), and the metal neckpiece is by TomTom Jewelry (tomtomjewelry.com). "Jewelry that resembles violent weaponry falls pretty deep into the man-repeller category," Medin says. "Both pieces speak to my blog's aesthetic quite well, as the gold number looks like gilded shark teeth and the metal one has this sort of warrior-weapon, I'm-going-to-kick-your-ass flair to it."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "I bought the Herms wrap bracelet for myself while I was studying abroad in Paris," Medine says. "The other Herms crocodile-skin leather cuff was given to me by a very special friend for my birthday a couple of months ago. In stacking spirit, I always wear them together."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "The diamond eye bracelet is from Turkey," Medine explains. "My father's family is Turkish, and all the women in my family have that same bracelet. The two crystal tennis bracelets are from Madewell. The gold Rolex is something of an heirloom. My dad bought it for my mother when she gave birth to me, and when I graduated high school, my mother gave it to me."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "The ring is Low Luv x Erin Wasson (erinwasson.com)," Medine says. "I bought it on a whim one Saturday at [the Soho location of] Scoop NYC (locations throughout the city; visit scoopnyc.com). I've learned in time that it doubles as a box cutter, so I rarely take it off."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine admits she took the Polo Ralph Lauren socks from her brother's closet the morning of this photo shoot; she pairs them with Miu Miu shoes. "Socks and sandals are a coveted trend right now, seen on the runways and in magazines and blogs," she says. "Yes, sure, I can just wear proper winter shoes, but why miss an opportunity to bask in the glory of mixed prints?"

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine pairs a Veda jacket with a T by Alexander Wang tank, Peter Soronen silk skirt and Herms Collier de Chien belt. "The great thing about this look is that each piece individually has the potential to man repel," she explains. "But when it's all put together, it turns me into walking spermicide."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "I refer to this type of outfit as my try at dressing down formal wear," she says. "I'm really into taking fancy pieces, like silk runway skirts, and turning them into dinner-friendly get-ups. If I have to stop in at the local synagogue on my way out, voil: It's Jew-friendly, too."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "Initially, I intended to wear it as a bow tie on my neck, so that I could emulate Pee-wee Herman," Medine says of her hair bow. "But when I put it in my hair, I liked what I saw. I haven't taken it off since I purchased it---except, you know, to shower. I did wear it on a date once, and he covered his eyes and shook his head, so I guess that answers whether or not it's a man repeller. I love calling it my lady bowner."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "I like mixing dainty pieces with more rugged costume jewelry," she says. "The diamond flower necklace from my dad was actually a pair of earrings, but being the clumsy ass that I am, I lost one. He turned it into a necklace." Medine also models a delicate diamond star (a bridesmaid gift for walking in her cousin's wedding) with a chunky gold Fallon (fentonusa.com) chain.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine's Herms belt was a gift from her grandmother. "When she was in her heyday, she put my current man-repelling tendencies to shame---I'm talking metallic bows and actual fox faces around her neck," Medine says. "I often wear the belt over long coats and fur vests, sometimes with high-waisted flared-legged jeans or denim cut-offs. It's a modern-day chastity belt, so I try to incorporate it into many of my outfits," she adds.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine describes her Young & NG (youngandng.com) cuff: "I'm not sure this particular piece falls into the man-repelling category. It was complimented several times by men at a wedding a couple weekends ago, though I'd still argue that many straight men are confused by statement pieces. It's got a very cool, Art Deco, YSL-ish vibe."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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     "When Proenza Schouler first leaked their fall accessories last summer, my loins were on fire for these particular shoes," Medine says. "I really couldn't justify spending $995 on a plain black wedge boot, though, so I monitored the shoes on five different websites until they finally went on sale and then click, click, buy now, thank you, Shopbop (shopbop.com), they're mine. At a recent party, they were unanimously dubbed 'best footwear channeling space boots' by the Y-chromosomes floating around."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine sports a Leila Shams dress, a Fremont plaid shirt and a Polo Ralph Lauren plaid vest (both stolen from her brothers). "This is my man-repeller, hipster-propeller look," she says. "Plaid on plaid, come on, that's nutty!"

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine explains her inspiration for this ensemble: "The outfit was really built around the dress, but it just so worked out that I ended up channeling my inner '90s kid---Angela Chase, anyone? My brother says I look like a retired art teacher. I kind of see what he means."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "I have a pretty sick obsession with mullet dresses: [Long] in the back, [short] in the front," Medine explains. "This one has Siamese horses on it, so I'm committed to wearing it as often as I can."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Medine wears a TomTom Jewelry (tomtomjewelry.com) warrior necklace with a glitzy J.Crew one. Says Medine, "To me, they thread together seamlessly and create the same type of effect that silk and leather do. It just feels right."

Photograph: Zenith Richards

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Medine wears a Dennis Basso (dennisbasso.com) fur scarf that she dug up from her mother's "extensive treasure chest" of clothes, a Topshop sweater, a T by Alexander Wang tank, Seven for All Mankind tuxedo jeans, Polo Ralph Lauren socks and Miu Miu shoes. "The most man-repelling facets of this look are definitely the sock-sandal combination and fur scarf," she says. "Leopard print is the official pattern of the man-repelling tribe. When it's paired with argyle socks, the look becomes incomprehensible to the average male specimen. If I had gone for a plain stiletto and skipped the scarf---which may or may not double as a fur neck brace---then who knows? Tonight could have been date night."

Leandra Medine, 22, freelance writer and fashion blogger at the Man Repeller (manrepeller.com), Upper East Side

Her personal style: "Alexa Chung meets Hamish Bowles."

Her inspiration: "Lately I've been taking most of my style cues from animated Disney movies, like The Lion King, Peter Pan and Ariel from The Little Mermaid."

Favorite stores: "Topshop (478 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts; 212-966-9555, topshop.com) because sometimes spending $60 on harem pants just seems more sensible than dishing out $1,450 at Opening Ceremony. J.Crew Men's Shop (locations throughout the city; visit jcrew.com) for flannels, cashmere and argyle socks. Barneys New York (660 Madison Ave at 61st St; 212-826-8900, barneys.com); it carries a lot more of the smaller designers (Karen Walker, Veda, Zimmermann) and straight-from-the-runway pieces (ahem: Proenza Schouler, Jil Sander) that you can't really find at other uptown department stores. And, of course, the end-of-season sales really tug at my heartstrings. I like to surround myself with metallic silhouettes and brightly-dyed fur at Isabel Marant (469 Broome St at Greene St; 212-219-2284, isabelmarant.com). The Reformation (143 Ludlow St between Rivington and Stanton Sts, 646-448-4925) is a boutique that reworks a ton of basic clothes to make really unique pieces. Plus, it's within a block of Pixie Market, and there's a bomb crperie across the street. Kirna Zabte (96 Greene St between Prince and Spring Sts; 212-941-9656, kirnazabete.com). It pushes the envelope in the way only true man repellers could appreciate."

Her signature garments: "For the last few months it's been a selection of my red, metallic green and black velvet hair bows. Otherwise, I'm usually known to sport two watches on one wrist, often if not always set to incorrect times."

Favorite designers: "My friend said it best when she described the aesthetic of Cushnie et Ochs (cushnieetochs.com) as a neutered version of Maison Martin Margiela. Leila Shams (leilashams.com) is like a regular Christopher Kane, catering to a younger, lower-Manhattan--dwelling set. Her prints include red-eyed crocodiles, owls, and Siamese horses. Sometimes even a man repeller just wants to slip into a flirty little swing dress, and Rachel Antonoff's (rachelantonoff.com) feminine collections really facilitate that. Veda (thisisveda.com) offers luxe leather clothing and jackets that fit well at fairly affordable prices—compared to more mainstream leather crafters. Often she reworks vintage pieces and adds fun leather accents, which I'm a sucker for. The handbag designs of Reece Hudson (reecehudson.com) are an interesting combination of elegant and rocker, and the leather is so soft!"

How her style has evolved: "Things have basically come around full circle. I wore chambray blouses with floral-printed tights and little Peter Pan-collared smock dresses as a child, and I still do it now."

What makes her style blog unique: "My blog has a special niche. It is always in some way related to the concept that high fashion repels men. Trends women adore, men abhor. While the personal looks I post may not be particularly different than those of other blogs, at least I've recognized them for what they are: Sartorial birth control."

What is a man repeller? "Man repelling is a term I made up with a friend of mine late last April that's defined by a female's choice to outfit herself in a sartorially offensive way. This, in turn, repels the opposite sex. Garments that fit the repelling criteria include harem pants, shoulder pads, full-length jumpsuits, maxi skirts, boyfriend jeans, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs. The way I see it, the more a woman adores your style, the more likely it is incomprehensible to a man. What would I consider man-getting [the opposite of man-repelling]? I'd say men like things simple: A little black dress, easy stilettos, skinny jeans and plain tanks. Chic, in vogue, they are not."

How do you know if you're a man repeller? "If a woman is a man repeller, it's pretty obvious. She's likely to always opt for a turban on her head over a ponytail, brogues over stilettos and Alexander Wang over companionship. People often tweet me about their outfits. The higher up they button their shirts, more prints they mix and jewelry they pile on, the prouder I am. I'm not sure I started a trend as much as I just recognized and exploited something that's already been going on since, oh I don't know, Yohji Yamamoto showed his first collection? Either way, every season Fashion Week almost assures that it's [a trend that's] here to stay. Sorry, boys."

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