If you follow Harling Ross on Instagram, or read her witty, charming writing on uber-popular fashion and lifestyle website Man Repeller, you likely will agree with us that she’s the kind of inherently cool girl you want to bump into on the streets of New York City and invite to your next dinner party.
As fashion director and brand strategist at Man Repeller, Harling covers all things fashion with a unique and playful perspective that’s authentic and relatable. From “The Startup World Is Coming for Your Underwear Drawer” to “What if Summer Clothes Are The Secret To Great Winter Outfits” and “Theory: All Good Outfits Go Bad at 3 p.m.” – her writing always has a smart humor to it, making it a delicious way to help your brain take a break and escape from the ordinary day to day.
A true maximalist, Harling’s approach to fashion is playful, effortless, rainbow-like. And yet somehow, she always manages to look delightfully put together (follow her if you don’t already for never-ending #styleinspo). We caught up with Harling and spoke about landing her dream job, how she embraces a summer wardrobe year-round, and her favorite ways to escape winter in New York...
Tell us about landing your job at Man Repeller
I submitted to our monthly Writer’s Club franchise and one of my pieces was selected to be published – that’s kind of how I got my foot in the door. Awhile after that, Leandra reached out and asked if I would have coffee with her, and she offered me a position on the team as Social Media Editor ten minutes in! At the time I was working at Estee Lauder Companies, but I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a job at a company that meant so much to me on a deeply personal level, so I quit! And started at Man Repeller three weeks later.
Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion?
No, actually, I was always interested in clothes and style but I had no idea I would want to work in the industry until I began reading Man Repeller when I was in college. It felt so affirming to find a corner of fashion “media” that maintained that intelligence and an interest in fashion weren’t mutually exclusive. It made me think about the industry as so much more than just “shopping” and tangibly illustrated something I probably knew all along but had never identified before: that we use clothes to tell stories about ourselves before we even open our mouths, which makes getting dressed a pretty profound undertaking at its core.
We read that a complete stranger once called you a “summer gal” – we can relate! What is it about summer that makes you thrive?
That comment made me laugh so much. I definitely feel like my best self in the summertime – partly due to the great weather and more relaxed atmosphere summer lends to everything from work to socializing, but also partly because it’s the season I most love to get dressed in. If I can walk outside looking like a human doily, I’m a happy camper.
You once wrote that “Summer Clothes Are the Secret to Great Winter Outfits”. We agree! What’s your summer uniform, and how do you incorporate summer pieces into your wardrobe year-round?
I don’t have a uniform, per se, but I have certain combinations of clothes that I really gravitate toward – like a Hawaiian shirt (my favorites are from Tombolo) and gym shorts and flip flops, or a sundress with penny loafers. The ultimate trick to wearing summer clothes in the colder months is to layer a turtleneck underneath – simple, I know, but it works like a charm.
What are your favorite warm destinations to escape the New York chill?
I love going to the Napa area in California, especially in January or February when it’s particularly bleak to be in New York. If I can’t literally get away, though, I mentally escape via binge-watching Gilmore Girls underneath a warm duvet in my apartment.
Any tips for surviving winter in New York?
Find a good hot chocolate spot within spitting distance of your office and/or home. My favorites are Cha Cha Matcha and Maman.