From PJ Harvey to Johnny Depp, we’re surrounded by aesthetic grunge clothing icons. The philosophy behind grunge culture revolves around bucking high-end fashions that care way too much and cutting loose with your streetwear. Because it’s so broad, it can be hard to pin down exactly what defines grunge clothing. However, we all certainly know it when we see it.
That’s mostly because grunge is a feeling. Unlike other styles and trends, we can’t pin down hard and fast rules about exactly what colors, patterns, or styles constitute grunge. This fashion statement is based on subversion, so if you make a rule, the first thing they’ll do is break it. The more unique your look, the more you can be sure that you’re doing it right. Some things stand the test of time, however, and we’ve compiled some of our favorites to help you make sure your wardrobe is on point. Check out six of the most essential staples of aesthetic grunge clothing.
Talk about a complete 180. Since the early 2000’s, skinny jeans have dominated the runways and the streets alike. But it’s 2020, and we think it’s high time to flip the script. Loose, distressed, and even baggy jeans are a staple of classic aesthetic grunge clothing, and just switching to this style can add a defiant, devil-may-care attitude to your outfit.
Whether see through or solid, floral or flame, the mesh top is an absolute staple of edgy grunge streetwear. Pairing perfectly with any kind of bottom that you can think of in any season, you cannot go wrong here in terms of not only style, but comfort as well. Show a little bit of skin, and put yourself entirely at your ease!
As we’ve seen through the footwear of every emo and scenester hardcore musician throughout the last two decades, the whole checkerboard thing never really died, and with a resurgence in the retro grunge revivalism of today, it’s beginning to look like it never will. Checkerboard and racer aesthetic clothing in grunge culture is about the closest thing you’re going to get to a constant in the world of fashion.
As most prominently demonstrated by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, grunge isn’t all about looking tough or standoffish. Many parts of the grunge aesthetic involve cute or benign patterns and looks to offset all of the angst. Embroidered t-shirts with various patterns are a perfect way to soften up your look without sacrificing your street cred.
The mini skirt is a piece of aesthetic grunge clothing as dear to the heart of the grunge movement as lo-fi recordings. Sparking controversy in the more conservative parts of the world, the mini skirt is an act of subversion on every level, and will always have a place in any grunge outfit.
The grunge movement borrows heavily from the punk movement of the 80’s, and some aspects are bound to be leftover. Punk jewelry, including looks that bear the appearance of DIY accessories like safety pin earrings will always have a home in grunge culture.