Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MAN REPELLER by Leandra Medine

MAN REPELLER

Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.

By Leandra Medine

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2139-5
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Medine writes the well-publicized blog Man Repeller, and her debut memoir reveals extended, comedic stories about her Manhattan upbringing, adolescent embarrassments, young marriage and, always, details about what she wore.

The author defines herself as “this girl who accidentally stumbled into what turned into a career that allowed me to penetrate an industry I’d always admired.” Her penchant for sartorial choices that have nothing to do with garnering male attention—and her writing on the subject—resonates with thousands of devoted blog readers. She is candid, rebellious, outspoken and able to laugh at herself, and these qualities are on display on every page. “You can rest assured…that each and every sartorial object depicted, dramatized, and described…is as authentic a nod to my memory as it is to the clothing that shapes it,” she writes. Peppered with photos of Medine, some of which qualify in equal measure as unflattering and hilarious, the book is divided into chapters according to each one’s central item of unattractive clothing. These include “The Tent Dress,” “The White Socks,” “The Lesson of the Harem Pants,” “The Canadian Tuxedo,” and, for the closing story of her wedding, “The Big White Dress (And an Organza Jacket).” Throughout, Medine confesses to innumerable outrageous outfits and her present-day verdicts on the clothes; the aforementioned harem pants, for instance, are ruled “violently offensive,” but they did contribute, in a funny way, to her reconciling with the boyfriend she later married. In a strong, consistent narrative voice, Medine displays wit, unabashed openness and a knack for weaving seemingly superficial, materialistic details into essays that are rich with sly wisdom and the colorful personalities of family members and friends.

Humorous, insightful and sometimes-sparkling essays that will appeal to readers interested in the pure fun of fashion.