Man Repeller Crystal Ball: Barrettes

  • Chacharel FW 12
  • Alexa Chung
  • By Sol Sanchez via Common & Sense
  • Calvin Klein SS 2000
  • by Rory Payne for UK Miss Vogue
  • Elle Fanning
  • Rodarte FW 12
  • Peter Som FW14, via Vogue
  • by Tommy Ton
  • via Elle
  • Barrette by Ana Khouri
  • Barrette by Ana Khouri
Leandra Medine | June 25, 2014

Not a trend, not not a trend

The greatest contribution barrettes have made to my personal narrative is two fold. On the one hand, they have single-clippedly created the illusion that I look ten years my junior. Not that I technically need it at my tender 25, but then again, one time last summer a barista at Le Pain Quotidien asked me if I was treating my daughter, who was actually my mother, to coffee. I know I’ve told you this at least twice already but it never gets old.

Incidentally, I, however, do.

In lieu of this, just last week, I got carded. The week before that, my mother looked at me forlornly, presumably remembering the days I could not yet string together a sentence that I might use against her in the unofficial family court of personal affairs. And do you know why? Because I was wearing a barrette.

On the other hand of those initial folds, the hair piece has taught me to distinguish berets — the “French painter hats,” as my dad would say, that we wear on our heads from barrettes — the clips we use to gather hair to the side or the front or the middle of our faces. How, you might ask, have they taught this discernment? Well, until yesterday at 4:03PM, I had no idea how to spell the latter. Google proves its worth again.

You learn something new everyday, you know? Today, let your morsel of new knowledge hinge on a trend-on-the-fringe care of a) Miu Miu, b) Carven, c) Rodarte, d) Cacharel, e) Peter Som f) Alexa Chung and g) barrettes. Of course!

Lately, I have taken to making an exaggerated side part in my hair and clipping about two fingers worth on the parted side into a barrette that rests just a few inches above my ear. I like how it looks against a blunt bob (Margot Tenenbaum, anyone?) and the corresponding androgynous clothes that I wear, like denim cut offs and a mens blouse, provide the arrival at a nice intersection, where boy meets girl, lamb meets lion or Kris Jenner gets an ass whooping from Oprah.

When I consider additional champions of the style: Charlotte Wiggins, Emma Watson, Dakota Fanning, I am inexplicably reassured about my recent choices and the Man Repeller crystal ball shines green. Not for cargo shorts, no, but to be able to say “hirsute in her suit? Trendy!”

Will you try it? Do you do it? Would someone please, for the love of all that is fine, make some bobby pins in gold? Here are some others until then.

  • ee_by_cc

    Currently being on the wrong end of growing out cut-too-short bangs, I’d be happy to embrace the barrette movement.

  • Mariah

    I might give it a go. I probably have some huge ones lying around from the 90s still. Somewhere…

  • Maggiecal life

    Nice pictures! To be honest I haven’t worn these since I was a kid but now when I look at these girls, they look amazing and super cute with these. I should probably try to open my face a bit with some tiny clean ones as a start 🙂


    I’m so on board with this ish. Barrettes = one more day of potentially not washing your hair.

  • GapToothedGirl

    With a personal deep hate for hair in front of my face…I love barrette!!!
    XOX, Gap.

  • Amy

    So…what’s your mum’s beauty/skincare routine..? Sounds like we need to know! Perhaps diet/lifestyle too but I don’t want to be totally creepy

  • Hermy

    undoubtably it will make me look like I’m five years old, but so does wearing a tutu, an A-line skirt, and a lot of other things, I’d still wear it.

  • Elisa

    Ohh yes!! I will try it. Those red ones convinced me at ones. I still think they look best on swishy straight hair, and am concerned that they will look even more child-like on my messy, wavy hair. By the way Margo Tenenbaum should definitely have been included in yesterday’s hair icon post. What a girl.

    Elisa – Wandering Minds

  • monkeyshines
  • ebristow

    Jcrew’s mixed metallic bobby pins have been a saving grace for adding a little glamour to otherwise dull days for me! Not only gold, ROSE gold as well.

  • lavieenliz

    I love barrettes!!

    • B.A.D l Blog About Design

      Barrettes are definitely cool. This post makes them super cool–thanks Leandra!

      Check out the B.A.D blog…

  • Kelly Williams

    I am growing out my bangs, so the barrette trend could not be more timely. Also, I picked up some gold hairpins by Goody at my grocery store.

  • PhoebeCDonmoyer

    On the one hand, they have single-clippedly created the illusion that I look ten years my junior.

  • Nicole

    I have a thing for dressing like I’m 5 and have been using barrettes and clips for a while. Fun for pulling hair in any direction! Especially as my hair is thick and I like it bluntly cut it gives a bit of shape.

  • giselaandzoe

    I’ll either feel so old or like I’m trying too hard at my age of 36! Gold bobby pins or a “more” grown up barrette may be the answer to trying the trend….

  • Peaches

    had no idea there were downton abbey merchandise at macy’s. the fourth bobby pin set photo at the bottom of this article is perfect for a modest wedding look.

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  • Joanna

    I did this thing for prom where I made a deep side part then teased the bejeezus out of the top of my hair, pulled one side back and pinned it with about 8 barrettes all in a line on the side/back of my head and pinned the rest in a bun-ish mush. can ya picture it? p.s. whoever thought of nail polish on bobby pins: genius. doit.

  • Rosie

    Barrettes are my best friends. Seriously! I have this pesky chunk of hair that *always* falls in my face (that I actually just recently chopped into bangs) that I always throw into a barrette. Now that the bangs are back, I use a barrette when I don’t feel like dealing with styling them! BARRETTES FOREVER! Xo