Man Repellent Experiment

by Emilie Branch

This summer I discovered my new favorite blog, The site pokes fun at trends, which Leandra Medine (the blog’s creator) deems as “man repelling”. For example, you won’t get laid if you’re wearing drop crotch harem pants, or shoes that look like grizzly bear paws. Karl Lagerfeld isn’t looking out for your sex life. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you look at it) for me, I cannot afford Chanel…and I have sex somewhat regularly.

Leandra’s hypothesis on manrepeller is that over-the-top sartorial choices (read: red lips, harem pants, shoulder pads, boyfriend fitted clothes) make you unattractive to the opposite sex. Don’t hate me, but I am not a man repeller. I repel eventually, just not initially. This is because I wear revealing clothes, and don’t realize how little I’m wearing until I leave the house. This isn’t necessarily a good way to get attention, though sometimes it works out. Example: I was sitting at bar, my back turned to traffic, wearing this outfit…



…when this guy walked in.


He ordered a drink and kind of pushed into me, so I turned around. He was smiling at me, so I smiled back and he came over. He said that he saw me from the street and walked in hoping to talk to me. He had to knock into me to get me to turn around. Herein lies the power of the one-shoulder. Beyonce didn’t cover both arms in her “Single Ladies” video for a reason.

Anyway, since I have a tendency to attract, I decided to repel. On day one I went out in high-waist, drop crotch, turquoise harem pants. I wore a rash inducing wool turtleneck tank top, circus bag (purchased from a gay man hours before), and fashioned a small black dress around my head—just like Prada.


Though there were a lot of guys in the bar, they were too busy watching football to notice me (and my glowing eyes).

This guy was kind of staring at me, and I figured since we were wearing similar hat things, I might as well say hello. We started talking, and I inquired (thanks thesaurus) if he wanted to ask me out. His reply? “I’d need another beer in me.”

I changed back into my normal Megan Fox clothes because I was itchy. The people I was with said “heads turned” when I walked out of the bathroom; but I think everyone was wondering where the fun pirate went.

 Day 2

Leandra calls Chloe Sevigny (besides Annie Hall) the ultimate man repeller; she wears some kooky things. About 3 years ago I bought a poofy, floral jumper (very, very repelling) off the one and only Chloe. On day 2 I wore the said onesie, red-lipstick (major man rep. faux pas) a bindi and a silly suede fedora (“ass-hat”). I looked like a manic toddler with full reign over her parent’s closet…if her parent’s were Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. 

I got some male attention, but it wasn’t the most favorable. Here is my friend Sean pretending to hit on me; we staged this one for effect.

The guys next to me must have wondered why someone was hitting on me, so they turned to me and asked; “ What is that thing on your head?” I told them I was “Man repellin’”. They told me I was doing a good job and scooted away.

Andrew the bartender also had a comment. It went something like this: “ I was distracted by the glare between your eyes. It’s like God looked at you and said ‘not this one.’” Then he poked my bindi.

Just to be clear, men are definitely capable of woman repelling. In fact it is very easy for one to human repel, especially if they are wearing my Chloe Sevigny drop-crotch onesie jumpsuit.

Day 3

Day 3 marks my last and final attempt at repelling in a look I like to call “Ikat Mormon”. The clashing prints are seizure inducing, though the skirt does resemble last spring’s Givenchy. Never one to be upstaged by mini Will Smith, I’m channeled the “Karate Kid” with a bright green scarf around my head. I also resembled an Olsen en route to Bali—complete with neon pink lipstick, green eyeshadow, and bejeweled fanny pack.

Because I went to a hipster party, my efforts to look like a colorblind bag lady went relatively unnoticed, and even complimented. This girl liked what I was wearing. She has a rip where her shirt is supposed to cover her breast, which means I liked her. Despite this, I was secretly hoping we would get into a fistfight since we were both wearing the jeweled equivalent of brass knuckles or “man repelling weaponry”.

This guy on the right was looking at me, and then our mutual friend came over to introduce him. I thought this was a direct hit, but I was wrong. Guy on right complemented my fanny pack “nice touch” and then I told him what I was up to. He asked if it was working, and I asked if he was hitting on me. He looked uncomfortable and taken aback, and then said “No.” So, I guess that answered his quested. Man repelling affirmative.

Then I got put to shame by the sartorial choices of a man from the future who offered to bring me anything I desired.

All in all, my man repellent experiment proved Leandra right. These clothes made it hard to be sexy to guys, but girls appreciated my fashion sense. It would be nice if I had proven to be man attracting when trying to repel, but they really weren’t having it—in my defense, you really can’t predict when you get hit on. Though you are more likely to be hit on in cut-offs than boyfriend jeans, whatever that’s worth. I wasn’t too comfortable in bag lady garb, which most likely contributed to my inability to attract. Also, I didn’t go to hipster places with STD’s on the wall—that would’ve been a better control. Anyway, like all good experiments, I have an equation (sort of) to sum things up:

Clothes: Comfort: Confidence: Coitus.

Do you, Ladies.



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