Leandra and Amelia Trade Styles for a Day

In honor of the launch of the new (but same old), we’ll be debuting makeovers all week. First up was Monday’s makeover-that-wasn’t-a-makeover with Stacy London, then Tuesday’s hair makeovers, Wednesday’s bedroom makeover and Thursday’s tips to make over your life. Today, the style makeover you’ve been waiting for. If you’re into before-and-afters, you’re going to like this. And if you’re not, please see me after class. We need to talk. Happy makeover week!

We met because of a dress. Leandra and I were interns together, and one day she wore a tented, sherbet-colored, super-short, floofy frock. I liked everything about it — the shape, the color, the way she styled it — so I wrote her a message on Facebook and said, “I like your dress! Who makes it?” This was before the era of tap-for-credits — the dark ages, as we called it — when an IRL label inquiry could lead to IRL friendship. This was also one of the last times we’d ever see eye to eye on an outfit.

We have very different styles. Leandra is a trend-forecasting, print-clashing wonder woman who embraces odd shapes and disproves the theory that ten wrongs don’t make a right. I stick to “classic” things and a pretty preppy uniform that revolves around the button-down. It’s not uncommon for us to gravitate toward similar items, but the way we’d wear them differs greatly.

Our individual personal styles have evolved and solidified, while our close chair proximity has led us to more frequent instances of dressing like one another. With Man Repeller getting a makeover and all, we thought it would be fun to really blow out what that means. I styled her and she styled me.

Me first! Here’s Leandra dressed like a horseback-riding, tennis racquet-swinging, sailboat-adjacent hot mom from West Palm Beach meets Nantucket meets my brain.

During a forever-ago fashion week, when Leandra and I were still in a long-distance relationship AKA we did not work together every single day, we ran into one another at a show. Leandra greeted me with, “Twins! We’re wearing the exact same thing!” We both had similar ideas — a blazer and shorts as the bare bones, my sartorial sentence ending in a tee shirt and hers carrying on for a whole other paragraph. “We are not wearing the same exact thing,” I had to clarify for her. “You look insane.” I thought it would be fun to replicate that sentiment again.

Leandra’s next! She styled me in an outfit that she has worn before and will likely wear again.

Before I looked in the mirror, I told her that I felt like a print-mixing member of Insane Clown Posse in this getup. But this is what’s amazing about her style: not only does she “get away” with it, it translates well onto other people even when you think it won’t. Then the rest of the office told me I looked awesome, which was annoying because it meant Leandra did a good job, but also nice, because it was my butt in the pants. Would I wear this again? In full, absolutely not; in pieces, definitely. Will I Instagram myself in this outfit? Absolutely.

Moral of the story? …Uh, there isn’t one, but always tell someone when you like her or his dress because you never know — it could end in friendship or better, a makeover!

Photos by Edith Young. 

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

More from Archive