2019 was a wild year, full of black holes, record-breaking flips, and many viral tweets, but as we near the curtain call for both 2019 and the whole goddamn decade, all we are left with are our stories. I’m constantly proud of the things the team makes here—whether it be a perfectly crafted vanilla-buttercream-icing-on-top headline, photos so good they make me want to print them out and physically mail them to everyone in my non-existent address book, or an essay that keeps me up three nights in a row—so I was thrilled when tasked with pulling together our most loved stories of 2019. Behold, the result of a year of styling, photographing, asking, listening, and writing: May you enjoy being reminded of them—or reading them for the first time—just as much as we loved making them for you.
Best of Style
The Ones That Caused a Stir in the Man Repeller Office
Fall Style Win: Collarless Coats and Big-Ass Totes
“No Horizontal Stripes” and Other Plus-Size Cliches Worth Breaking
The One Where—More Than Ever—We Came for the Clothes and Stayed for the Feelings
I Took 30 Days of Mirror Selfies and Processed a Lot of Feelings
The Ones That Made Getting Ready for Something (Anything) Feel Fun
I Recreated 5 Gucci Runway Looks With My Own Wardrobe
5 Babydoll Dresses That Are Aggressively Cute
3 Couples Style Each Other Using the Same Fall Closet
3 Easy-Peasy Spring Makeup Looks
Fake Freckles Are Trending, Much to My Delight
For the rare bird who has not seen Cruel Intentions, I invite you to review this Wikipedia rendering of the character I’m emulating from the movie (the original!). The TL;DR is that she ruins people’s lives for fun and more often than not uses sacricities such as sex and religion to do it. Not to beat you over the head with the obvious but that’s why I’m wearing an at-first-glance modest dress that actually exposes all my shit.
—Leandra Medine Cohen, I Asked Instagram Commenters to Dress Me for a Week and of Course It Got Weird
The Ones That Made Us Question Ourselves, Our Homes, the Entire Universe
Theory: All Good Outfits Go Bad at 3 p.m.
Wardrobe Makeover: Maybe the Secret to Closet Organization Is Actually Optimization
Is Black the New Millennial Pink? I’m Only Kind of Kidding
The One Where We Accidentally Took the Perfect MR Family Photo
How to Get Big, Fun Hair, No Matter What You’re Working With
Best of People
The Ones That Set the Team Slack Channel—and Entire Office—Ablaze
There Are Two Kinds of People in This World: “Sorry” People and “Thank You” People
Unpopular Opinion: Eggs Fucking Suck
Man Repeller’s Mail Guy Is So Cool We Can’t Even Think of a Headline
Once You Look Into a “True Mirror,” You’ll Never Be the Same
If my hands were ever finally set free from the rest of my body, as I know is their only wish, they would take the city by storm. They’d be on the board at Alvin Ailey. They’d discover new artists and quietly support them, not wanting to become a topic of discussion in the art scene themselves. They’d go to different tea shops for different types of loose leaf teas. They’d own and play a Djembe in a drumming circle in a park. They’d have a secret beach. They’d look good in hats.
—Nora Taylor, Look at My Beautiful Fucking Hands
The One That Almost Made Us Want to Go Back to School—Just for the Fashion
12 (Very Cool) NYC Teens Explain Their Back-to-School Outfits
The Ones We’ve All Read Way More Than Once
How Friendship Changes With Age, According to 3 Older Women
“Don’t Take Dating So Seriously”: Relationship Advice From 3 Older Women
Ask MR: I’m Scared I’ll Never Make New Adult Friends
Peak Maturity Is Accepting That You’re a Cliché
Our culture pathologizes success. We pay people to photoshop our kids’ heads onto the bodies of athletes to get them into better colleges; we life-hack our way through meticulously-calligraphed bullet journals. I’m sure this has always been true, to some degree — no epics were written about “that 467th foot soldier who stepped on a scorpion and died on the way to Troy” — but social media has compounded our obsession for perfection. Insta filters contour our cheekbones and plump our lips; 30-under-30 lists pump narratives of geniuses we are always two steps behind. There’s the endless gray ocean of all of us, and then there’s the cream that rises to the top. That cream has 12 million Instagram followers, and you can’t get the red wine stain out of your white jeans.
—Meghan Nesmith, The Radical Act of Embracing Your Own Mediocrit
The One That Never Stopped Getting Traffic
How You Should Define Success, According to Your Sign
The Ones That We Hope Opened Some Eyeballs a Little Wider
My Bad Acid Trip Taught Me Everything and Nothing
The Best Sex Ed I Ever Got Was From Queer YouTubers
Men Share Their Abortion Stories: “That Kid Would Be 33 Now”
Best of Culture
The One We All Wish We’d Read Over a Slice of Quince Tart
How Bon Appétit Became a YouTube Sensation—and Why Claire Saffitz Is the Perfect Star
The Ones That Proved There Is No One Way to Celebrate a Celebrity Worth Celebrating
I Dressed Like Pete Davidson for a Week, and I’ll Never Be the Same
Aidy Bryant Is You, But Famous
From Homelessness to Hollywood: Trans Star Ava Grey on Her Journey
Timothée Chalamet is a sight for sore eyes, and also any kind of eyes. Remarkably photogenic, Chalamet’s appeal begins with the perfect symmetry of his heart-shaped face: he doesn’t have to engage or contort a single facial muscle in order to look good in a picture. He boasts the stature of a Toblerone bar (which I’ve heard he buys from local Nolita bodegas when he’s in town), a jawline rendered by it’s rumored—Bernini’s own chisel, carbon copies of Brooke Shields’ eyebrows and the great mess of his Timothée Chalamet Hair™. A Google search reveals that he is 5′ 10″, but like a whisk you buy on Amazon, it is difficult to fully envision his scale relative to you. (Do actors generously round up their heights like college athletes do? Who measured Timothée Chalamet for his IMDB page stats?) More than just a pretty face, he’s articulate and conversational enough to be a talk show host. He’s Gen Z’s answer to Michael Cera. —Edith Young, I Know You Love Timothée Chalamet, But I Love Him More
The Ones That Almost Everyone Shared With at Least One Friend
The Modern Trap of Turning Hobbies Into Hustles
If You Haven’t Heard of “Hopepunk,” Allow Me to Gently Introduce You
Would You “Renegotiate” Your Relationship Every Year?
The Ones That Proved Animals Will Always Provide the Best Fodder for Content
Special Social Media Report: Last Week’s Startling Disappearance of @Round.Boys
Couples Therapy for Pets: A Real Thing I Actually Recommend
Feature Photo by Sabrina Santiago.
Cover Photo by Edith Young.