How The Man Repeller Got Me Back As A Reader


It's not for nothing that The Man Repeller was named one of Time magazine's top 25 blogs of 2012. It's a powerhouse niche blog if ever there was one, that, since it's beginning in 2010 has captivated the sartorially-inclined hearts of readers and huge fashion brands alike.

I remember when I first started reading TMR, not long after it began – and found myself quite literally laughing out loud at her outrageous, brash, and spot-on fashion commentary. Somewhere along the way though – amidst the vagina references, prolifically adult verbage and insanely expensive wardrobe – she lost me.

What initially kept me reading TMR daily was Leandra Medine's sharp, snarky, witty personality, and I felt like she had lost some of that unique sparkle as she became ever more stratospherically popular. I was, you know, over it. I had seen too many “arm parties.”

Ironically, what brought me back to The Man Repeller was the lack of all that man repelling. In late 2012 she got married, refreshed her site, and took a new approach to her content. And I found myself loving it. Here's why:

1. The utter refresh of the content.

Where I was once lost in a sea of Dannijo collaborations and handbags that looked like lady parts, I was greeted with essays on dating, street style overkill, Instagram withdrawls, and behind-the-scenes moments with the Marchesa designers. Her posts capitalize on her insider access as well as her powers of observation, in a way that's both witty and self-aware.

2. Less stream-of-consciousness rambling.

It's no easy feat to hook a reader in and keep them actually reading until the last word. Leandra's post structure has a strong beginning, middle and punch-line ending I now unfailingly digest from start to finish. It makes sense, it has a point, and it's edited within an inch of its life. At least, as tightly-edited as a style blog should be.

3. Less vulgar language.

One thing that is unflinchingly apparent in Leandra's writing is how smart the girl is. She can turn a phrase so fast you'll miss three jokes in a row if you're not careful. Of late, her writing showcases her smarts and her personality with a more mature voice, but one that's not devoid of that signature dash of crude or self-deprecating humor.

4. It's still her – just better.

To me, it felt like Man Repeller's original approach to content only explored one aspect of her personality. Now, it's more than just clothes that repel men, it's the lifestyle that accompanies such a woman – with man-repelling taste and a husband who loves her all the more for it.

Tell me, do you like The (new-ish) Man Repeller, or do you prefer her old approach?


[Image credit: The Man Repeller]

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29 Responses

  1. Ashley

    I love man repeller, and had the same experience as you. I got tired of it after a while, but now that she’s spiced it up, I’m reading again.

  2. Andrew

    I am in love with Leandra Medine, but I do have to admit, I had attended one too many arm parties. I was getting a little hung over. But now, her blog satisfies both people who just want to read about shoes, and people who want insightful, meaningful posts. I proudly call myself A Man Repeller.

  3. Emily

    This article has got me considering checking out her site again. I followed her early on but decided to completely stop after multiple jokes that about subjects that I thought were beyond inappropriate and just crude and insensitive. (and I don’t mind inappropriate humor.) I found that even though she was really funny and smart I couldn’t overlook these jokes that I thought were cruel and wrong. It wasn’t something I could support. I may check out her updated site and see what’s changed. I stopped by once and I admit it looked great.

  4. Sheyla

    She’s a great blogger and a great writer. I hope that her new book will be original and new content only and not a print edition of her blog like other bloggers who shall not be named.

  5. Middle Kid

    I have become so over her arm-parties and Dannijo collabs as well. And her outfits just seemed so contrived, like she’d just sat at fashion week collecting the weirdest things she could to then wear them all together later in posts.
    And then, her instagram! All those pictures of her as a kid? bleh.
    I guess I could give her another go, if she has changed for the good. Taking the ‘inside’ approach is a great idea, especially considering she doesn’t repel men anymore or have them time to put together those awesome layered outfits she used to do.
    I have to say I’m quite impressed that she’s managed to take another angle now that the Man-repelling gimmick has finally worn off.

  6. Adiel

    I’ll admit, I broke off my relationship with TMR for the very same reasons so I had not realized that she has evolved. Perhaps it’s time for me to rekindle?

  7. Jowhara

    I agree ! The new approach is much improved, and she had also lost me as a reader. After reading your piece I peeked back at her blog and was enthralled

  8. Lindsay Pattan

    Love the piece and I agree! Great work. Although, “it’s edited within and inch of it’s life” was painful. Hope that was an intentional joke!

  9. Allison

    I still read her blog for the humor. She is funny there’s no doubt about it, but sometimes I was turned off by the vulgarity.

  10. Sabina

    What an interesting article. I used to read her blog daily for her humorous the-rules-don’t-apply-to-me attitude, but over time my interest waned because I felt the whole repeller gag had gotten stale. I do respect that she’s matured in her style and has branched out in her musings on fashion. And there’s no denying the girl can write, something so many personal style bloggers take for granted. I never fully stopped reading the blog, but I have been checking it out more lately.

  11. Célèste of Fashion is Evolution

    I like her personality a lot, but I must be honest that I find myself getting lost sometimes in her overly complicated sentences that contain too many references for anyone to follow along with. There are so many comments on her blog about “what a great WRITER she is,” and I must beg to differ. She has a great point of view, but she is not a great writer.

  12. Meaghan

    I definitely agree with you. I too fell into the man repeller trap from the beginning, returning daily for the witty, sartorial content that never disappointed. Then it was as if everyone was suddenly on board with the whole man repelling game, and most importantly her infamous catch-phrase “arm party”, to keep her original or entertaining. She was everywhere, and overly commercialized. Now she has managed to pick up where her charm was left with posts that have matured while still enticing us who repel.

  13. Elissa

    Totally agree that something changed for the better with TMR. She kept her wit and ability to be a great writer but got rid of the rambling sentences that were over my head (and probably a lot of other people’s heads, too).

  14. Tali

    I am probably the only one here who tried and tried to read her blog and failed over and over again. In my eyes, a joke in writing is like seasoning to food, if you add some, you make the dish better, but if you put too much? I mean she cannot write one sentence without using a metaphor, hyperbole or any other figure of speech. While trying to get to what she wanted to say, I got lost at the middle of every post I tried to read, not being able to finish it.
    As for the jokes.. I wish I was capable of wading through all those rhetorical devices she uses to actually enjoy them. Inappropriate as they were (I’m a huge fan of South Park and Family Guy), I’m sorry I missed them.
    PS I tried to read her blog once again now.. Guess what happened(

  15. Ryan

    I went through her blog — her writing is mostly offensive, sub par and just an over usage of vagina and cuteness. Her posts lack depth and I really don’t get it? WHO RUN THE WORLD? (latest title) doesn’t make sense, grammatically or otherwise

  16. Adela

    I have to say I was never a fan of TMR, but now I’m gonna check. I’m intigued!

  17. Mary

    I was never really a fan of TMR. It just seemed she tried TOO hard to be unique and funny, which basically just comes across as unfunny to me. And while inappropriate jokes can get a laugh out of me, the constant use of them tells me that intelligence doesn’t really know how to be applied. I am not saying she is unintelligent. But the comments here show that readers wanted more and were going elsewhere to find it. Maybe she has evolved and found a new voice. I don’t know. With all the blogs out there, I would rather check out someone else instead of returning to someone who turned me off.

  18. Lilli

    Admittedly, I only recently discovered The Man Repeller but I can’t stand it. It’s everything I think is wrong with style blogs. She writes entirely too much and while I’m assuming she’s trying to come across as unpleasant that’s never been a gimmick that I’ve found appealing. Visually it’s ugly – although I guess I can respect the fact that it’s intentionally, self-conscientiously ugly but again that’s never something I have found appealing.

  19. Mark St James

    I enjoy her witticisms and hilarity as much as the next fashion enthusiast but there are so many amazing bloggers out there that I find I don’t have the time to read her posts much, if at all these days.
    I am proud of her however for being SO epically huge as to have an article written about her from heartifb about simply returning to her blog because of a new writing style and template.
    Now that’s proof of power!

  20. krista

    so, so many words in her sentences. still. and it’s like she just throws a dart at a thesaurus half the time, and uses whatever adjective she hits, not caring that it makes her writing SO AWKWARD. it’s better. but she still can’t edit herself. loves her own verbage too much i guess…