Halloween Costumes IRL: I Let My Instagram Followers Dress Me for a Week

leandra medine halloween challenge

My husband is a man of discipline, conviction, and compassion. It’s a winning combination of character traits that routinely reminds me, during especially heated bouts of his simultaneous propensity for napping and mine for running physical circles around myself, that it is worth the give and take. The only time, in fact, that I see his cocktail of stellar attributes fall short is when we are talking about Halloween. The discipline and the conviction — they’re still there, but the compassion? Fallen so hard by the wayside, it might never see the light of dayside. Ba dum ba, chhh!

He hates Halloween. Hates it so much that sometimes I think there’s a weird psychological thing at play we haven’t uncovered from the sandbox of his feelings and on the one hand, it breaks my heart because we met on Halloween, but on the other, I get it. We’re Jewish. Halloween is pagan. We’re not really about resurrecting ghosts, etc., etc., but then again again, we live in the modern world and in this world, it’s all in jest! Dress up because it’s fun! Live your damn life! That’s my philosophy. And as far as costume goes? I will literally grab any excuse to dress up by the Satanic horns and run. (Circles around myself.)

I like to think I am reasonable, though, a meet-halfway partner who won’t sacrifice my proclivities but won’t disrespect those of my napper’s, either. In this spirit, I took to Instagram for round two of this fun series wherein I ask you, the flamingo, to dress me for a week. The kick/prompt? Halloween outfit ideas, but for real life. Ready? Great.

Prompt: “Beethoven ft. Timothée Chalamet’s outfit at the premiere of The King

The logic: Assuming you (the prompter) meant Beethoven the composer and not the dog, the white ruffle collar is a nod to his style of dress, as paired with slick black pants to exude a Timothée-Chalamet-on-the-red-carpet vibe, as informed by how naturally he espouses the aesthetic virtues of a Haider Ackermann spokesperson. The velvet jacket enmeshes both identities, harkening back to the robe-style lapels of the German pianist’s overgarments and the seeming contract Chalamet has in place with the Association of Velvet to wear it on the red carpet.



Prompt: “Seller of Turkish rugs”

The logic: Salespeople tend to wear suits, but they want to seem chill, like your friend, you know, because even though they’re selling you something, you can trust them. So here’s a pinstripe vest paired with ripped jeans, the most literal manifestation of corp-core, or whatever. The jacket is vintage Saint Laurent from a consignment shop in Denmark and resembles a pattern from a couch in my de facto Turkish grandmother’s apartment. I understand a couch is not a rug, but you see the semblance don’t you? Per the shoes: I knew they’d come in handy someday. They’re from the third collection of now-defunct MR by Man Repeller and frankly, they’re inspired by a rug, so there you have it. Turkish rug salesman. I probably wouldn’t wear this to work, but 10/10 would wear it to dinner at that restaurant inside Restoration Hardware in the Meatpacking District.

Prompt: “Sherlock Holmes meets Bridget Jones”

Leandra Medine x Mango trench coat (coming soon), We11 Done cardigan, Commes des Garcons shirt, Tory Burch skirt, Chanel boots Leandra Medine x Mango trench coat (coming soon), We11 Done cardigan, Commes des Garcons shirt, Tory Burch skirt, Chanel boots

The logic: Sherlock Holmes meets Bridget Jones could technically be Alexa Chung if you think about it—both (e.g. the former human portmanteau and Chung) are English. Both wear trench coats. Both would probably tie a velvet ribbon around their necks, both definitely like peter pan collars and you could rest assured a sequined something would make it into the outfit equation of the marriage of personae at some point. To tease apart just the former, imagine Sherlock Holmes in pursuit of justice at a New Years Party with the helpless Jones, newly sober, still trying to find herself.



Prompt: “Meg Ryan at a Renaissance Fair”

The logic: It’s hard to imagine the force of Meg Ryan wearing anything but unremarkably casual clothing. She’s a baggy jeans and t-shirt kind of woman, often spotted in clunky shoes with unbrushed hair. So you couple the spirit of that lackadaisical (though make no mistake, I do not mean lazy) approach with that of a Renaissance Fair goer and what do you get? A silk blouse with an ambitious collar that is relaxed enough to look like a pajama blouse (especially as paired with baggier jeans) on the one hand, and some bedazzled, satin mules, and an ornate handbag on the other. While you probably could not wear this to work, I see no reason you couldn’t wear this to a) the farmer’s market b) Medieval Times in NJ.

Prompt: “Toothpaste”

The logic: In full disclosure, I picked this one because the prompt awakened me to this new truth: I often dress like a tube of Crest. I added an addendum though because this exercise is all about hybrids, about—to bring this way back around to the intro, give and take—so imagine a tube of toothpaste if it was also Sporty Spice. Et voilà: a cashmere polo replete with blue and white stripes plus track pants that are wide-leg enough to hide all kinds of dental tools (don’t forget to floss). Not pictured: my gesticulating GURL POWAH!, but you can envisage.

Photos by Franey Miller.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

More from Archive