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Leandra Tries to Wear Neon Tastefully, Concludes It’s Kind of Hard

Leandra Medine wonders if you can wear neon tastefully.

It has been creeping into the wearable lexicon of fashion for at least three seasons. I am inclined to blame no-longer-in-charge-of-Céline’s Phoebe Philo because she is like the matriarch of trendsetting, but it is really the chemists who discovered neon (the chemical element responsible for curious fashion decisions made by and large through the ’80s and ’90s) who deserve foremost credit. Could they have predicted that decades — even a century — later, contemporary arbiters of taste would take their discovery, slap it onto clothes and do their part to blind the masses? One cannot know, but not since Birkenstocks caught like a wildfire to spawn a million how-to and think pieces has a trend felt so pervasive.

And pervasive it will be. Believe me when I say there is no version of reality where you will not see neon trend to such a severe extent that you may finally have an excuse to wear sunglasses at night.

So I gave it my own try. And what did I find? That if I seed the trend meditatively enough (e.g., wear bright-ass shoes with a darker dress as photographed, or take the bright-ass shorts, currently styled with more bright-ass stuff, and wear it with like, a white blouse or striped tank top), I can totally be the girl who probably wanted to look like Lisa Turtle as a youth and found a way to do it honestly 15 years later. But frankly, I could also do better. You know what I mean? Liiiike, if I’m plucking clothes from my wardrobe, I am much more excited by the prospect of taking a pair of jean shorts and making them interesting than I am by submitting myself to anything neon. Currently, I’m in such a process of evolution with my style and find that I prefer to err on the side of classic (sorry, I mean cLaSSiquE) than trendy, so maybe there’s the disconnect.

Conclusion: I enjoy the course of trying a trend to determine whether I can master it but further appreciate that sometimes, I can’t.

This one I shall leave to the experts.

Photos by Edith Young and via Zara. 

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is an intern at, but also the founder of Man Repeller.

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