MANY women have been through a cornucopia of trends and fashion experiments that essentially defined an era, an age crisis and, in some cases, mental instability.

Outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex.

The result is wardrobes full of items of regret, ill-choice and spontaneity - bought on a complete whim when under the influence of some fleeting fashion trend.

Our old photo albums are testament to this.

Previous partners of mine have suffered through my old vintage dress phase, my classic Adidas shell-toe phase, the time I wore glasses with clear lenses (still do), the other time I always wore flat-caps, boyfriend jeans, harem pants, clogs, when I had zig-zag cornrows...

Don't be sorry for wearing man repelling fashionsThe list of disastrous trend attempts rolls on and will continue for the foreseeable future.

Blogger and author Leanne Medine would say I’m a ‘Man Repeller’.

According to her successful blog and now book, man repelling is “outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex”.

In short, women dress for themselves and for other women – not for their other halves, potentials or dads. After all fashion words such as ‘peplum’ and ‘bodycon’ mean little to even the most fashion conscious of dudes.

Problem is, men and women can reach an impasse when it comes to deciding what’s fashionable and or attractive. Not that we care, mind.

At the start of the autumn/winter season I perused the high street to find the most offensive seasonable trends that we man repellers just have to have...

90s revival

This winter I’m buying and planning to wear dungarees.

Those who doth protest, please hold your peace as it’s definitely happening.

90s revival90s revivalDungarees, along with distressed denim, backpacks, oversized jackets, white collared shirts under everything, have been creeping up on me all summer, reminding me of my 90s childhood. These days, I feel like I’m in an episode of Blossom, Saved By The Bell, Clarissa Explains It All or my personal favourite, Clueless.

Who wouldn’t want to channel an era that had Nirvana and the Spice Girls, when Michael Jackson was still a bit black and MC Hammer started a harem-pant revolution like no other? It was the greatest time.

Also, it seems anyone who’s anyone is wearing a 90s throwback, from self-proclaimed ‘It Girl’ Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof to TV’s Jameela Jamil. It seems like we’re all partying like it’s 1999 in crop tops and mum-bum high waisted Levis and it’s certifiably cool.


Why it’s a man repeller?

Everyone remembers a freshly bleached blonde Eminem in deep blue denim overalls and a menacing ski –mask and a chainsaw, well, that’s not the look most are going for but for many that’s what also comes to mind when people think dungarees.

Overall, everyone in the 90s wearing a surplus amount of denim looked like they worked in the construction industry.

Sold in: Miss Selfridge, River Island, H&M

Man repeller rating: 3/5

Busy Brows

Supermodel Cara Delevigne has a lot to blame for the recent eyebrow trend. Hers are bigger and bolder than most and are beautifully dark in contrast with her blond hair.

Cara's browsCara's browsBig brows have an ineffable ability to change your entire face – for what we like to think is the better.

Eyebrows can make or break a woman’s visage and we now appreciate the importance of a big brow and have given up our over-plucking ways. It’s likely a trend that’s here to stay.

Why it’s a man repeller?

Forget Cara Delevigne and think of painter, Frieda Kahlo, she had possibly one of the most recognisable eyebrows in history. Long, thick, burrowed and joined in the middle. There’s a risk that us big brow enthusiasts can get this trend oh so wrong.

The main problem is with those who aren’t able to grown them naturally and have been forced to draw them on – to disastrous and may I say scary results. Dare I remind you of the ‘scousebrow’? Or more recently, the young girl off Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire.

Bailey from Educating YorkshireBailey from Educating Yorkshire

Sold in: Get yourself to Blink in Selfridges or Shavata in Harvey Nichols for advice. 

Man repeller rating: 3/5

Tartan Cropped Trousers

Zara tartan trousersZara tartan trousersThe Scots have their kilts, catholic school girls have their pinafores and fashion, since the glory days of designer Vivienne Westwood, has had cropped tartan trousers. They’re back this season and it’s all about ankle exposure.

There’s something quite satisfying having a ¾ length trouser hover neatly above your ankles. For the first time in my life, being freakishly tall for average sized pants is working in my favour.

Why it’s a man repeller?

 Ankle swingers are what cropped trousers are most commonly known as. Predominantly sported by pubescent teenagers on a growth spurt.

Sold in: Vivienne Westwood, Topshop, Warehouse.

Man repeller rating: 2/5

Oversized Coats

Every so often we’re led to believe bigger is better: bigger bags, bigger hair, bigger breasts.

L'Oreal tries oversizedL'Oreal tries oversizedThis season’s catwalks, including Alexander Wang, debuted the beautiful monstrosity that is big coats with oversized sleeves. This trend is an obvious extension of the 80s shoulder pad and gives a similar feeling of power and presence.  Think Cruella Deville without the whole killing puppies thing.

The winter coat is an important staple in everyone’s wardrobe and deserves a considerable amount of attention. While we could hide through winter in a parker jacket, a big extravagant coat with sleeves wide enough to squeeze our thick knit Chrismas jumpers in is appealing.

Why it’s a man repeller?

“Oversized shoulders? Why would any woman want to look like they have big shoulders?” said my growingly confused Dad. That’s a good question.

Everyone remembers Princess Diana’s wedding dress. Oversized shoulders were an enigma we tried to leave in the 1980s.

Also they make you look chunky. American Football player chunky.

Sold in: H&M, Zara, Topshop

Man repeller rating: 1/5


Beyonce does 'ratchet'Beyonce does 'ratchet'Not to be confused with the 90s revival, ‘ratchet’ clothing is a trend conjured up this era. ‘Ratchet’ is now a widely coined-term for stereotypically ‘ghetto’, garish behaviour – that includes a bad attitude and questionable outfits. Think clashing prints, long nails, hoop earrings, gangsta grillz, knuckle-dusters and anything else that would have you followed around by security in Harvey Nichols.

We like it because well, umm, Rihanna and Rita Ora started parading the style off on Instagram and an entire populous of teen girls followed suit. It has meant swapping feminine shoes for Jordans and covering badly ombred hair under colourful beanie hats that resemble condoms.

L'Oreal does 'ratchet'L'Oreal does 'ratchet'It’s carefree and unruly, that marks part of today’s youth culture and getting it right means you are essentially on trend.

Why it’s a man repeller?

After a certain age, wearing a beanie cap that says gangsta on it just doesn’t cut it, nor does leggings with ‘YOLO’ written down the side. There needs to be a definable age cut-off point, people.

Sold in: Rih for River Island, Forever 21, H&M.

Man repeller rating: 5/5

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Nothing’s been the same since Vidal Sassoon’s daring haircuts took over the heads of the world. Now, hair is just as much an accessory as, well, a hat.

Cassie's buzz cutCassie's buzz cutThese days it seems women are even less fearful of giving their hair the good old chop. We’ve seen half-shaved heads this year, the fail safe pixie crop and, most surprisingly, women going for the Sinead O’Conner. Hair today gone tomorrow, indeed.

Cutting off your hair can be life changing; it’s propelled careers and created style movements. See Miley Cyrus.

Why it’s a man repeller?

Our editor was recently propelled to start a ‘stop the crop’ hashtag on Twitter after Alicia Keys emerged looking like this:

No Alicia. Just no.No Alicia. Just no.

I was also little personally aggrieved when Beyoncé opted for a short back and sides recently. Let’s face it, whipping your hair back and forth is only good when you’ve got a bit of length.

Sold in: Your local barber shop. Ask for fast Frank.

Man repeller rating: 4/5


Turtlenecks are the grown up equivalent to wearing those slogan t-shirt that state ‘GEEK’. They make us look smart, well read and French. They also keep our necks warm.

Mr And Mrs TurtleneckMr And Mrs Turtleneck

Why it’s a man repeller?

Sadly, turtlenecks have the sex-appeal of a spinster librarian who eats cucumber sandwiches and is infatuated with cats and Woman’s Own magazine.

Sold in: Reiss, Dorothy Perkins

Man Repeller rating:  2/5

Ugly shoes

Ugly shoesUgly shoesThe ugly shoe trend was recently started by the creeper shoe revival that looked like it had walked out of the film The Nightmare before Christmas. They’re perfect if you’ve always felt a little more Wednesday Adams than Taylor Swift.

Creepers have been on their way out this season yet Doc Martens, Brogues and Timberland boots are all here to stay.

Brogues are a personal fave, they remind me of dressing up in my dad’s dress shoes as a kid and Bugsy Malone.

Uglier shoesUglier shoesThe uglier the better, I say.

Why it’s a man repeller?

Well, they are undoubtedly ugly. Of course that’s subjective, yet brogues do have a sort of orthopaedic nurse quality about them.

Man repeller rating: 4/5

Sold in: Office, Topshop, Schuh.


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