Grunge is making a comeback, with the love of ’90s fashion on an all-time high. This gritty style is dominating the streets and runways, with everything from plaid shirts and ripped jeans. The question is. How can you rock this trend from 20 years ago in 2021? We have compiled a list of effortlessly cool grunge outfits to help you rock this rebellious style.
What is the Grunge Aesthetic and how does it work?
Grunge fashion was popularized in the 1980s, and it exploded in popularity in the 1990s. This look was part of a larger subculture that was supported and influenced by grunge music. As such, musicians, such as Kurt Cobain, were pioneers of the aesthetic, which featured a careless and rough-around-the-edges appearance. The style was initially anti-fashion but quickly gained popularity and found its way onto runways. Grunge’s trademarks such as heavy layering, Dr Martens, heavy flannel shirts and Dr Martens, ripped jeans, oversized silhouettes, beanies and slouchy sweaters became a rage.
Grunge Aesthetic Outfits
1. Grunge Pink Aesthetic
You can not be grunge while still wearing pink, who said it? This look is often referred to as soft grunge. It’s delicate, but it packs a punch. Black and pink are a great combination and make a great grunge outfit. You will need a base. Choose either loose pants or a mini skirt. Layers can be as simple as a sweater, flannel, or dropped t-shirt. It doesn’t mean that every garment should be a soft shade. You can also mix and match different colors to add depth and dimension. For a casual and relaxed look, pair your boots with chunky combat boots or sneakers on the platform.
2. Grunge Purple Aesthetic
Purple has depth, versatility, and a subtle edge. For those looking to imitate a grunge style, this is a great shade to add to the mix. For a grunge look, pair it with oversized pants, plaids, or ripped jeans. To finish the look, add an oversized shirt and chunky shoes. Try different shades like violet and plum to complement darker colors such as black, gray, and charcoal. Rejecting perfection and polish is key to creating grunge looks. Instead, create something that feels comfortable and makes you feel cool.
3. Dark Grunge Aesthetic
Grunge used to be about the counterculture in the 1990s. However, the concept can now be taken into consideration in many ways. The dark aesthetic is a popular choice. It features many dark shades and moody colors but still follows the same style principle. It can be mistaken for goth but it is influenced by South Korean streetwear and has been interpreted through a grunge lens. For a modern look, avoid wearing black or charcoal, but you can choose from ripped jeans, combat boots, baggy tshirts, and fishnets. To make it multi-dimensional, add a few shades of gray, yellow or red to spice it up.
4. Grunge Dark Blue Aesthetic
This trend was popularized by Tumblr in 2014. It is still very much alive and well. This trend allows you to add color to monochrome outfits without being too colorful, whether you prefer double denim, a touch more navy, or large shirts. To create a multi-layered look, mix and match different shades of blue (e.g., lighter or darker). Wear your denim jackets large with straight-leg jeans, or a mini skirt and boots. Layer a turtleneck and a large tshirt on the colder days. Layering is key to achieving the grunge look.
5. Grunge White Aesthetic
A grunge outfit doesn’t have to be dark and moody. A white ensemble can still convey the same relaxed and casual style. It can be paired with dark colors to create a multi-dimensional look and add some individuality to the overall look. You can experiment with different silhouettes and layers by pairing long sweatshirts or cardigans with shorter skirts or wide-leg pants. You can swap the long pants for shorts if you have the weather. Jewelry is not a common feature in grunge, but it all depends on what subculture you are from. You can add as many accessories or as few as you like – it’s up to you.
6. Grunge Yellow Aesthetic
Although some people associate grunge as primarily dark, moody colors, it is possible to easily incorporate the style using brighter shades such as yellow. If you are new to the style, Nirvana has a smiley logo with a bright yellow outline. You can combine an oversized band shirt with a long-sleeve striped shirt underneath. This can be worn with either a skirt or pants. For an additional twist, experiment with different patterns and add hints of color to your socks, flannel or other accessories.
7. Black Grunge Aesthetic
Although it is now a staple in every grunge fan’s wardrobe, the original trend wasn’t. It’s now a standard, and the classic black outfit is a foolproof way to dress every day. Start with the basics. For a relaxed look, wear wide-leg jeans that reach the ankle or lower. You can roll up the sleeves if necessary. Or, for a more laid-back vibe, slip on combat boots and tuck the rest. You can wear a crop top, crop top or black turtleneck depending on the weather. If you need extra warmth, add a large jacket/coat. Because of their hard rock and comfort, a pair of thick combat boots is an essential part of the grunge wardrobe.
8. Grunge Halloween Aesthetic
There is no better time than Halloween to show off your scariest style as Spinelli from Recess, or Kurt Cobain. Jack’o’Lanterns and Jack Skellington fans rejoice! You can change your favorite band tee for something a little more sinister. You can incorporate the spooky season into any of your outfits by wearing a skull skirt, or using a lot more orange and black. You can still keep the grunge aesthetic alive with loose-fitting, oversized tees and cardigans.
9. Grunge Green Aesthetic
Do you love Kurt Cobain? Or just the classic cardigan? A grunge outfit is incomplete without a little green. It’s one of the essential colors in this style’s palette. For a more traditional look, you can add oversized olive sweatshirts or knits to your favourite Dr. Martens or combat boots. This color is great with gray, white, blue and grey. You can add them to the ensemble for a rich, complex look.
10. Red Grunge Aesthetic
The grunge aesthetic has seen many changes since its inception. However, one color has remained consistent with it: red. It is a versatile color that can be used in many settings. However, the most common colors are white, gray, and black. You can add a bit of punk to your outfit by using tartan and plaid in the form of a flannel or pants, or a skirt in the bold color. For balance, add a black top – an oversized tee-shirt with roll neck and a t-shirt. You can also try something that skims your body, but keeps the silhouette looser from the waist down.
11. Grunge Goth Aesthetic
Like most aesthetics, there are often more than one to create a subculture. Gothic grunge is a combination of underground groups from the post-punk era and the anti-capitalist movements of the ’90s. This aesthetic encompasses bits of all styles, including ripped fishnets and chain belts, lace and leather. You can mix and match plaids from punk, combat and leather boots of goth culture, as well as an oversized band shirt to add a touch of grunge.
12. Grunge Skater Aesthetic
Grunge began in Seattle in the late 1980s, when skateboarding was at its peak. The clothes were often bought at thrift shops and are often tatters and tears. This style is an outright rejection of fashion. It’s all about the aesthetic these days, but there are some core principles you should remember. You want something that is comfortable and easy to maneuver in when you’re choosing a skateboard outfit. You should also consider the shoes you choose. Flat soles are best so that you can balance on the board while you move. These outfits will make you feel like you belong in the crowd, even if you have never ridden a skateboard.
13. Grunge Punk Aesthetic
Although the grunge scene is younger than punk culture, both have roots that began with anti-capitalist beliefs and rejected societal norms regarding music and fashion. The two styles work well together. Grunge is more fashion-oriented than punk, so you can create great silhouettes with elements from both styles. For a more authentic look, start with an old printed shirt. Next, add a black mini dress or tartan skirt to your outfit. Tie a plaid shirt around the waist. To complete the look, add chunky platform shoes and mix and match different textures.
14. Grunge Neon Aesthetic
Billie Eilish is perhaps the first to think of when the term “neon grunge” is mentioned. The singer helped make the aesthetic more vibrant while still maintaining the same core philosophy. You can start with bright green pants. These pants can be either wide-leg or cropped at your ankle. This color goes well with black but you have the option to add any color combination. This shade is great for wearing plaid, tartan, and any other texture, due to its multi-dimensional reflection to light. A large black t-shirt or sweatshirt is a great choice. It creates a loose silhouette and accentuates the body. This look is best if you don’t add too much jewelry.
15. Grey Grunge Aesthetic
Gray has played an important role in the rise of grunge, even though black wasn’t one of its original core colors. This combination of black and white creates a deep, multi-purpose shade that can be used with any kind of outfit. A monochrome pantsuit with a bra underneath is a great way to keep true to your roots. The modern version of unfashion is wearing lingerie as outerwear. For a looser look, you could also try simple slacks with a black t shirt or an oversized sweater. These earth tones are great for today’s context and help communicate the cultural rejection of the 1990s.