This Hat Is the Nail in the Coffin of the Man Bun

There's No Coming Back from the "Manbunie"

By Cait Munro ·

The man bun, a hallmark of hipster hotness for much of the 2010s, has officially become uncool. How do we know this? Well, for one thing, someone invented a beanie with a special hole for said bun. It's called the Manbunie, and I'm honestly not sure why it's marketed as being specifically for man buns when plenty of women wear buns and ponytails too (I mean, hello, that's why we started calling it the man bun to begin with) and also enjoy having warm heads. But here we are. 

It's 2018, about three years after what I'd estimate was Peak Man Bun, and for some reason, I think it's this invention that finally cements its status as a cliché relic of a hipster culture that's been bastardized and corporatized beyond recognition. The man bun is now the avocado toast of hairstyles. It's the Pabst Blue Ribbon of fashion statements. It's available for purchase at Urban Outfitters. It's an integral part of the (unfair, but nevertheless persistent) stereotype that all urban-dwelling millennials are fixed gear bicycle-riding, Whole Foods-shopping, startup-owning gentrifier snowflakes. 

Like so many things associated with hipsterdom, it's difficult to tell exactly how serious of a thing the Manbunie is, and that's precisely what spells death for the hairstyle it purports to accommodate. The website is steeped in plenty of the requisite irony and sarcasm—including but not limited to the fact that the hat comes in a range of four different colors, each named for one of the once-cool, now less-cool neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Portland, Hackney and Berghain—but it's also an item that is legitimately for sale. The oh-so-self-aware inventors even seem to have predicted this very article, because among the many fake quotations on the website is this one: "Man buns are so... like... out." But the fact is that one doesn't, I think, typically want their hairstyle to be the butt of a very involved joke that involves selling hats on the internet. 

The man bun was cool initially not only because it subtly flouted gender conventions and referenced the styles of the forever-cool 1960s, but also because it gave off a deliberately unkempt, devil-may-care vibe, like the wearer was too busy doing ultra-edgy, interesting stuff like rock climbing and writing their screenplay and getting wasted on random Wednesday afternoons to bother with something as pedestrian as cutting their hair. But a few years on, I think we can all recognize the fact that your average man bun-haver probably puts far more effort (not to mention expensive product) into his hair than non-man bun owners. And, as the Manbunie so crudely points out, they may even have to fashion themselves a special hat. Effort: it's hardly ever cool.

Some people may point to the numerous celebrities and athletes who are still dutifully rocking the style as evidence that it's still on-trend, but those people will be wrong. The truth is, if you're David Beckham, you could cut your hair into a rattail and still look good. Plus, everybody already knows how much effort celebrities put into their appearance, so it's not as though finding out that they actually spend 20 minutes achieving the perfect just-messy-enough topknot is going to ruin some kind of elaborate facade. Everybody else, on the other hand, should probably just move onto the next soon-to-be-pretentious hairstyle. Have we given the mullet any consideration?

Cait Munro

Cait Munro is a freelance writer, editor, and digital content creator who obsesses about art, fashion, entertainment, and culture both pop and otherwise. Her work has appeared on Vice, New York Magazine, Artnet News, xoJane, BULLETT, and elsewhere.

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