What Uncool Non-Trend Do You Secretly Want To Be Fashionable?

With the recent advent of stylized rule breaking by way of unexpected foot layers, we got to thinking: if athletic socks (?) worn in tandem with heels (?!) can trip up two fashion no-nos at once and make them cool, what other cast-aside styles are waiting to be recouped? Let’s not forget that kitten heels used to be nauseating yet lately we’re lusting after them, and where clogs were once reserved as overseas souvenirs they’ve now found their way into the very definition of what it means to be a man repeller.

In that sense and framework, could it be that everything and anything is on the verge of return? Are we one power-shoulder-filled Balmain show away from clomping about in two-piece lady suits and sneakers like the professionals dashing through our city’s centers? No one’s co-signing chunky white gym shoes as a kicker to a too-long tweed skirt yet, but it’s hard to quell that tiny voice that creeps into your brain cave when you walk past a businesswoman in transit and admit that she does look kind of comfortable.

Let’s further our quick case study. Now that Birkenstocks have been brought back into the fray by way of leather straps and fur trim — big ups, Céline — we can’t help but ruminate on the other borderline blood curdling trends we wish, hope, even pray would be reborn as stylish.

Which poses the biggest question yet: what on-the-down-low trends are you dying to make happen? This is a safe space so let it out. Swear to blog we won’t judge you even if you do want to make Crocs happen.

— Contributing Writer Carlye Wisel 

  • jassyonyae

    I love Crocs. These suckers are comfortable.

  • Smithsr72

    I love love love my dansko clogs.

  • I will never wear the traditional Crocs, and have railed against them for years — although they do look adorable on my one-year-old. But…I have to admit that I’ve been tempted by the ballet flat style Crocs, which look like they’d be perfect for running around on the weekend. I’ve never tried them because I feel like it would make me a huge hypocrite, but I secretly want to.

  • Brooke

    Those shoes with the individual toes. I’ve never bought a pair, but they’re so ballsy that they could be cool.

  • Anilu Magloire

    Dude, say what you will, Crocs rule. They are as comfy as they are ugly. I have no problem repelling with my Crocs. Ha!

  • Madame Elenoire

    There’s an amazing documentary that was aired in the UK called Fabulous Fashionistas about women over a certain age who wear what they like… one of them wears Crocs (shudder) and looks rad in them. If you can, via YouTube, watch it… they inspired me so much – I’m only 31 and was already starting to ‘rule out’ stuff cause of my age then I watched this and thought WHAT?! That’s mental… who said when someone is meant to wear what- F*ck ’em? Check out the trailer – and the whole documentary is on YouTube too (also their tales of love are incredible) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nahrW6KMtp0

  • Sarah M.

    The stash of semi-obnoxious and poorly designed t-shirts my parents used to bring back from all of the “World Peace” conferences we attended in my youth. Cheesy t-shirts that say “One Race the Human Race,” “Will Work for Peace,” “World Peace is not only Possible But Inevitable” and “One Planet One People Please.” I love them.They are so cheesy and in your face that I think they deserve a debut in the real fashion world.

  • Mojo

    clear plastic/PVC shoes, slip-on Dr. Scholl’s circa 1972, and the ladies’ lingerie slippers with the puff of fur on them.

  • Kiersten

    Neon colored off shoulder sweat shirts from the 80s. I love them and I wear them.

  • Gym shoes with skirts, absolutely. All kinds of skirts.

    Also: Docs (I do wear them, since I am old enough to be unconventonal :-))

    • Charlotte Fassler

      I wear my docs all the time too!

      • So … what category do they belong to? Are they “so 90s”, “alternative wear (when you don’t want to go mainstream)” or just normal shoes anyone can wear if they wish to? I am confused because I have encountered so many different examples and opinions so far (even “worn by people too old for them for sentimental reasons”).
        I wear them because I have always adored chunky shoes and because it is possible to walk in them for hours and my feet never complain (“new dimension of shopping”). And you?

        • Charlotte Fassler

          I would say the could swing a couple of ways. They definitely evoke a 90’s vibe especially when I pair them with a denim jacket or tights and dress. However, I purchased them as winter boots because of the rubber soul, warmth and traction they provide in less than favorable weather. I have black leather ones so they are subdued enough that I don’t think they stick out as some sort of 90’s chunky statement unless I choose to accentuate them in that way. Otherwise, so many other brands have made a variation on that shape boot that I don’t think they seem particularly over the top.
          Plus they are fucking comfy.

          • Am I pathetic if the reason I can’t wear them is because they’re too gosh darn heavy?

          • They are heavy, I agree. But my feet are … robust? 🙂 (Big Foot Mama) And I am tall and curvy and all, meaning they never feel heavy to me though they actually are and they don’t look too chunky on me so I can wear them.

          • THX. Mine are black, too (and I also have wine red ones, and I prefer to wear them when it’s cold, too).
            In Germany, they are/were often worn by some special groups, like neonazis (with steel caps, the shoes not neonazis), and sometimes I wondered whether I had unwittingly appropriated a symbol defining them and using it in all innocence (and my Gypsy looks), but nowadays, they just dress like everyone else (the neonazis) … Another category would be gothics, but then I seldom go black and I guess gothic beauties don’t wear short hair :-).
            It’s not that it matters, if I want to wear something, I simply do it, it’s that I find the topic interesting (cultural mix and all). Like the fact that if you say “superga” in Slovenia, most people will think you are talking gym shoes of any kind – the brand name has come to mean all products of it’s kind, just like birkenstocks. 🙂

  • JParii12


    • Amelia Diamond

      I’m not even going to lie here: I have worn my Uggs to the mall when I’m home visiting my dad because no can judge me there. Those fuckers are SO DAMN COMFY.

      • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

        Hehehe..well then i guess this is the perfect time to admit that I have a MOTHERLOAD of Uggs, Koolaburras and Warmbats, anything roomy and lined in shearling I buy it and wear the hell out of them, at home, walking the dogs and in public on days that I don’t give sh*t and want to be all snuggled in and comfy. I do think that some of them can be made to look not that bad- honest, depending on what you’re wearing(luxe boho). I’ve actually gotten compliments on the fringey Koolaburras and the ones with the inside zip that you can zip down and make the fur asymmetrical. I don’t think they’re *quite* as awful as people claim:-) ..but that could just be my feet talking….

        • JParii12

          I think we can all relate to Gloria from that Disneyland episode of Modern Family where she cools down after Jay gets her those soft Minnie Mouse shoes. Lol. High heels are just not comfy allll the time!

  • Fashionistaover40

    I just ordered a pair of Purple, Birkenstocks…now Crocs…NOT happening!

  • Charlotte Fassler

    I could get down with some sort of fashion take on the tracksuit—i feel like we are veering there.
    i miss the days of looking repulsive in a full juicy look and uggs (just kidding???)

    • Every time I see someone wear one ironically on a sitcom, I’m like fuck this, we were ON to something. Though I agree – we’re like one adidas three-striped tracksuit on a model off-duty away from those buggers being huuuge.

  • Susannah

    Knee socks a la Cher in “Clueless”.

    • AshleyOlivia

      Wait, aren’t those in again? I swear I’ve seen them on runways… or on actresses in CW dramas.

    • Anita van Boxtel

      Good one! I like those a lot!

  • moldub

    crocs + athletic socks, what’s better than crocs and socks? so comfs!

  • Dee

    Scrubs. No I am not a doctor nor do I work in a field that requires me to wear scrubs but I have friends who have to wear scrubs and I’ve stolen scrubs before (from friends, not hospitals). They are so comfy and dammnit I want to wear them around without people thinking I work in the medical field.

  • Laura

    snickers with lights, PLEASE

    btw, NEW POST on my blog http://www.parrotscanfly.com
    kisses from Spain

  • Chelsea W L Weyler

    this blog drives me CRAZY. isn’t it supposed to be all about embracing the ugly as its own form of cool and wearing whatever you want even if other people find it repellant? Leanna and the rest of the staff seem obsessed with only pushing the boundaries as far as the fashion elite deem acceptable. athletic socks and heels are tame. fashion’s pattern is to reclaim the once-scorned. duh! how sad. these articles constantly disappoint.

    • Chelsea W L Weyler

      whoops, Leandra, sorry.

      • Leandra Medine

        Hey Chelsea–thanks for commenting. Sorry you’re so frustrated by Man Repeller but I’m not quite what irked you about this post? The point of the blog actually isn’t to embrace ugly as it’s own form of cool though–it’s essentially about wearing what you want. Owning trends you think can be yours and discarding the ones you deem silly. In this particular cog., we’re advocating for precisely the kind of clothes and accessories that are NOT fashion cool to get the fashion cool treatment as propelled by the wearer. That said, it would be incredibly useful to hear what you’d prefer to see in terms of content. As a fashion blog, we obviously cover and report on trends but if there is something in particular you’re hungry to see on here, let us know!

        • CW

          hi Leandra, thank you for being so civil. I just reread this post and I’m not exactly sure what I was going on about a month ago. I’m sorry. carry on!

  • pegb

    Low heels (kitten, chunky, etc.). Audrey Hepburn and other iconic women wore them and were considered incredibly glamorous. Nowadays, you can be a glamazon without being sky high and in pain with a podiatrist on speed dial.

    • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

      YES to the low heels!!!

  • zoë

    clogs + scrunchies

  • nosygirl
  • Sarah

    Japan’s already up on the Crocs couture, don’t worry.

  • Anita van Boxtel

    Leggings with a big sweater or knitted pullover (like they wore in the early 90’s), raining boots (I love Hunters!), hawaii-shirts (or that print on jackets, shorts, pants, umbrella’s…), cowboyhats and -boots and matching checked shirts, suspenders, ultrawide flared 60’s pants with flower pads, sweaters with childish prints (Disney, superhero’s, fairy’s), very preppy blouses with big collars or bows…. Lots of things to long for!

  • Didi Ramirez

    TURTLENECKS! Every single 20+ human being has scoffed at my admiration for turtlenecks. Call me old-fashioned, but there is something subtly chic about a black turtleneck’s ability to warm one’s neck AND look polished simultaneously.

    I hope it becomes “big” one day! Come on… its like so hip!

    • Chloe

      Audrey Hepburn was wearing them, Jane Smith (in Mr and Mrs Smith) was looking fabulous in them, I don’t know what other excuse you need to embrace the eternal cool of turtlenecks. I own a hundred of them; they’re the most versatile, reliable, sophisticated things and you can work wonders with them.

      • Didi Ramirez

        AMEN! Its definitely an underestimated article of clothing. I continue to wear them despite the 100 degree Texan weather. I love em!

  • Cristina Estupiñán

    go-go boots because they’re sho hawt

  • crushing it

    muffin tops

  • c

    I hope isabel marant nowles make it!!