Who doesn’t feel some major nostalgia every time they see a scrunchie or a bright colored windbreaker? There are some things that will always be part of the ultimate 90s uniform, and one of the most well-known styles is grunge.
Watching Kurt Cobain strum his guitar made us all wish we could be him, the ultimate cool guy who didn’t care what he looked like, and that is the epitome of the grunge fashion movement.
While grunge fashion first came about in the late 80s, it became so popular in the 90s that it will forever be part of that decade. With our collective nostalgia comes a reemergence of the look.
Grunge Outfits For Women
1. Edgy Grunge Outfits
While there are many varieties of grunge fashion these days, there is nothing like that original 90s look, and during the decade it was an edgy uniform. Black, laced up boots or Dr. Martens were the ultimate closet staple for the 90s teenager who was always misunderstood. These can be paired with any other edgy item, such as fishnet stockings for a more feminine look, or black cargo pants for a more casual style.
For an edgy grunge look you’ll want to stick with darker colors, mostly black and white, but of course, a little color like dark red or blue is always a good way to add some dimension to an otherwise boring color palette. Accessories to make a grunge outfit edgy can be black leather belts, and heavy chains. But, if you prefer a more simple outfit, ripped jeans can be paired with a softer accessory like a winter hat.
2. Vintage Grunge Outfits
A vintage grunge look is like the diet version of edgy; just as fashionable but a little bit lighter. Think, The Breakfast Club, which came out in 1985, and gave us an introduction to a version of grunge fashion. If you pick up a shirt that looks like it could be the pattern on your grandmother’s couch, then you’ve got a good start.
These lighter colors paired with grunge patterns like plaid, leather, or fishnet stockings make for an easy version of the outfit that anyone can wear (even someone who doesn’t normally wear grunge outfits.) For a nerdy version of the look, go with plaid pants and a simple sweater matched with Converse sneakers.
For a more feminine style, try grunge pieces paired with a super girly skirt; black leather and light colors provide for a fashionable contrast.
3. Gothic Grunge Outfits
One of the easiest sub-genres of grunge fashion to style is gothic. Grunge fashion features lots of dark colors, and heavier clothing items, which is exactly what you’ll find in a gothic outfit. To style your outfit, you’ll want to look for pieces with rips, heavy fabric, and lots of texture; the more damaged looking, the better.
Don’t assume your gothic outfit has to be all black, try some colors like red, or bright purple to give your look some flare, and draw attention. A gothic grunge outfit can be made feminine with a skirt and fishnet tights or more casual with a big, cotton sweater.
To take the outfit from a normal gothic outfit to a grunge gothic outfit, add in patterns like plaid, and ripped sweaters and tights. Accessorize your look with heavy boots with buckles, chains, and leather belts.
4. Korean Grunge Outfits
Most of the time, when people think of grunge fashion, they imagine people rolling out of bed and throwing on a giant, plaid button down and Converse sneakers like Kurt Cobain or one of the burnouts in Clueless. But, Korean grunge outfits have revolutionized the way we see grunge itself.
The aesthetic became more feminine, lighter, and with more fitted pieces, yet retained the grunge look with its patterns, and individual items. Korean grunge fashion takes bits and pieces from the grunge look itself, but isn’t so full on.
To achieve the look, try pairing a girly, summer skirt with a pair of fishnet stockings or a cool pair of tailored pants in a plaid pattern. If you go with black items, try tighter pieces like a corset top, or high waist jeans, and keep your makeup and hair feminine and chic.
5. Alternative Grunge Outfits
Alternative grunge is a beautiful, symbiotic relationship between rock and roll, gothic style, and grunge. Lots of black, with little punches of bright color here and there layered with clothing items that look ripped and destroyed all work together to form a fashionable alternative grunge outfit.
To go with a more feminine look, try a skirt in a bright color, and a pair of tights with a girly pattern like hearts. Make it casual with an oversize t-shirt, mixing layers, and gothic leather boots. Of course there is nothing better than a leather jacket to toughen up any outfit, especially if it needs an extra something to liven up an otherwise simple look.
Of course, for a really alternative grunge look, a destroyed band t-shirt paired with textured layers like black denim and fishnet stockings are super fashionable.
6. Soft Grunge Outfits
Sometimes full on grunge or a super gothic look with lots of dark colors is just not suitable for your personality or the occasion. That means you ‘ll need to go for a soft grunge look, which is still inspired by the movement but with less dark colors, more tailoring, and a simpler style all together. With this look, you’ll take more bits and pieces of the grunge style rather than go for an entire outfit.
You can try a pair of ripped jeans with converse sneakers and keep the rest of the outfit simple, with a simple t-shirt and zipped hoodie, or you can try a plaid (the ultimate grunge pattern) skirt with a simple top. For more glamour, try a fur jacket paired with black pants and laced up boots.
Grunge Outfits For Men
1. Boho Grunge Outfits
Grunge fashion does not always have to be really dark and gothic, or all plaid and casual. You can easily take just parts of the grunge style and mix it with another style like boho; a denim jacket for example, mixed with other darker, more alternative pieces. A ripped, embellished denim jacket, paired with destroyed black jeans, and a casual pair of sneakers.
To really fly the flag for grunge, try a pair of plaid pants, but keep it boho with a soft, suede jacket. To pull off this outfit, imagine all the boho pieces you would pair together, and make them darker. Instead of brown leather boots, try black, instead of a brown suede jacket, go with black. Of course, grunge doesn’t mean an entirely black outfit, but it’s what will give a boho outfit more edge.
2. Edgy Grunge Outfits
A grunge outfit itself involved lots of layers, meaning you have lots of choices when you want to make it look edgier. An edgy grunge outfit can be a lot of darker colors but it doesn’t necessarily need to be all black; you can make an outfit edgy with the textures you use, like leather, and other darker colors like brown and dark red. Of course, patterns are also important, so you can’t forget that famous plaid.
Try a simple white t-shirt, and pair it with a tough, brown leather jacket, making the outfit even more grunge with a plaid shirt tied around your waist. Of course, as the grunge look expects, destroyed jeans are the epitome of style, and you can pair them with leather boots or other dark layers for an edgy appearance.
3. Alternative Grunge Outfit
For a super stylish alternative grunge outfit, think Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Soundgarden; lots of textured layers, with heavy pieces like leather, and destroyed denim, paired with band t-shirts, and the forever grunge plaid button down tied around your waist.
For a little eccentricity, wear a white button down shirt under a band t-shirt, but make sure it’s paired with more grunge pieces, like older sneakers and jeans. Of course, you can always stick with a lot of black, as that’s always a way to make your outfit look alternative without trying so hard.
4. Gothic Grunge Outfit
It seems as if a gothic look is easy to do, but it’s not just wearing a bunch of black clothes and calling it “goth.” The look requires the right accessories, textures, structure and tailoring. To make a look gothic grunge, you’ll want to wear pieces that are more destroyed, and take patterns from the grunge look.
Black band t-shirts, perhaps a pair of skateboarding sneakers in black, or a black denim jacket with lots of embellishment or patches. Try large hoodies, and loose pants with a casual appearance, paired with more gothic jewelry and other accessories, like a leather bag.
Basically, your grunge goth outfit is all black but in a very care-free, super casual, “I just threw this on” way. A regular gothic look tends to be more tailored, while a grunge goth look is full of loose pieces, that appear old and super casual.
5. Soft Grunge Outfits
A soft grunge look is exactly what it sounds like; soft textures, easy going, comfortable clothes that you might hang out in on a Sunday morning. But, the grunge look means you’ll take soft layers and give them more of an edge, with darker colors and edgier accessories.
Think of an all denim outfit, made grunge with black, laced up leather boots or destroyed, textured black jeans with a super soft, gray sweater. Of course a soft grunge look can be achieved with light colors if paired with the right pieces. For example white jeans, and a pair of black and white skater sneakers paired with a studded, black leather belt, and a plaid button down over a simple white t-shirt. Make the look a little edgier with chains, and other silver accessories.
A soft grunge look can sometimes look as if the wearer tried a little harder with their outfit, but only used certain pieces from the grunge style.
6. Vintage Grunge Outfits
A lot of times you might find random clothes in a thrift store and think, “what should I wear this with?” Well, now you have a look! A vintage grunge outfit can be a dark pair of jeans paired with that old t-shirt you found in the clearance bin at the thrift store around the corner. Or, it can be that cool pair of purple pants that look like they’re from the 70s paired with a see-through black shirt, and black, leather accessories.
Take that eccentric pair of red pants hanging out in the back of your closet and pair it with a few edgy accessories like a black, embellished belt. Of course the nature of grunge is to look like you’re not trying too hard, so take it back to the basics of the look when you’re going vintage. A logo t-shirt, plaid button down, black jeans, and leather boots or converse.
7. Grunge Blazer Outfits
While the grunge look is anything but sophisticated and tailored, you can still wear a more formal item with this outfit if you do it in the right way. A blazer can be worn with a grunge outfit, if you keep the rest of your look super casual. The blazer itself can be patterned, like in plaid, with lots of eye-catching embellishments or even a simple black blazer that is super tailored and chic.
What matters is what you pair it with and the rest of your outfit items should be more grunge. Try a ripped pair of jeans with leather boots or an eccentric pair of loafers. With a blazer, you can wear other pieces that stand out, like a striped shirt or flashy accessories like chains on your pants. Try to stick to a well matching color palette, and don’t add to many different colors to the look; three at the most.
8. Korean Grunge Outfits
Korean grunge is always a bit more chic, a bit more tailored, and a bit more sophisticated; it usually looks as if the wearer just walked off the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. In this case, you’ll see a lot of simple layers and colors, paired with one or two grunge accessories or pieces.
Try an oversize jacket and loose black pants, keeping the whole outfit in one material, like silk. Make it grunge with a pair of laced up, leather boots, and perhaps a simple t-shirt underneath. For an even more chic look, pair black layered pieces and cinch them with a belt. Add attention grabbing patterns like leopard print, and surprise the eye with a casual pair of grunge sneakers. Keep the colors all in the same family, and don’t get too crazy with accessories.