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Learn The History Of 90s Grunge Fashion And How To Style?

The word “Grunge” actually means a type of 20th-century music genre of country rock, which originated in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. This classic music genre became a revolution in the music industry, especially in the alternative rock genre of music. Let’s learn about 90s grunge fashion.

However, today, we are here to talk about the influence of grunge in the world of fashion and how it became such a revolution in this industry.

So when we talk about grunge fashion, we refer to the clothing, accessories, and even the haircut that goes hand in hand with the aesthetic of the music.

“People act like Nirvana invented grunge; they just took it and personified it.” – Billy Corgan.

Nirvana 90s grunge fashion

Just like the music genre, grunge fashion also originated in Seattle back in the mid-1980s. By the mid-1990s, the grunge fashion spread like wildfire due to bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.

‘’What people don’t realize is that the so-called Seattle grunge scene grew out of several close-knit gourmet super clubs….” – Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)

The characteristic of the 90s grunge fashion was that the clothes were thrift store durable clothing. The clothes are in general worn in a loose and carefree fashion. Let’s dive deeper into the 90s grunge fashion and have a clearer understanding of what the grunge era was all about.

The History Of The Grunge Movement

The History Of The Grunge Movement

Most of the time, the word Grunge is used to refer to something that is dirty and even offensive. That being said, the Grunge era was a trend that dates back to the 1960s.

So it was mainly for the generation x audience, and it mainly lasted till the end of the 20th century. The grunge trend took the center stage, all thanks to the rock bands and artists.

These musicians back then didn’t have a lot of money to invest in recording studios for create clear and crisp sounds. So in return, what they did id they turned the volume up, and that started to be considered a “Dirty recording.”

The History Of The Grunge Movement 1

Along with the music, the fashion trend was also considered dirty and, at the same time, offensive. “Both the lyrics and the overall sound of grunge music are filled with angst and a feeling of being misunderstood. These themes spoke to a broad audience and, ultimately, ignited what’s known as the grunge era.”

“We had a wonderful time with this kind of grunge awareness, where suddenly rock was cool again. People wanted to hear loud guitars.” – Billy Corgan.

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The Grunge Era

The Grunge Era

Whenever we talk about the Grunge era or music, the band that stands at the forefront of the era is Nirvana, but more specifically, Kurt Cobain, the one who people associate the most with the Grunge era the most.

Although they were not the only band to represent the grunge era, other bands, like, Hole, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, The Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains, are a part of it as well. In the 1990s, these Grunge bands like Radiohead and Bush were topping the charts.

Around the late 90s, when the grunge era of towards its end, more indie rock bands were influenced by grunge music and incorporated it with heavy metal and punk music to create a subgenre of grunge music.

The Grunge Era 1

These bands were such as  Doors Down, Nickelback, Collective Soul, Everclear, Creed Hoobastank, Godsmack, Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind, and Incubus. The main reason why the Grunge era remained so iconic is because the era ended at the end of the 20th century.

Moreover, it hit even harder when the news of Kurt Cobain’s death came in 1994. The whole entire Grunge movement was in mourning, the movement started and ultimately ended with him. The Grunge sound shifted and then integrated with alternative music that inspired modern rock music.

The Grunge Fashion

The Grunge Fashion

It is well-established by now that the grunge era of music is about distorted, down-tuned, and riff-based music with a lot of electric guitars. But what about the 90s grunge fashion? How did that incorporate with the grunge era?

“The appeal of grunge fashion is it’s vintage-inspired, it references rock music, and features dark and moody colors.”

Just like the moody and social isolation vibe of grunge music, the grunge fashion went along with a “pushback against social norms vibe.” The vibe of fashion is a bit laid back and effortless in a very nonchalant way.

80s & 90s Grunge Fashion

80s 90s Grunge Fashion 1

The grunge fashion aesthetic debuted at the same time as the grunge era movement. Around the 80s and 90s, fans of grunge rock bands started dressing up like the band members, and that is how grunge fashion began.

To give you are better understanding, grunge fashion is about dressing in the most effortless way possible, later called a slacker and slouchy style of fashion aesthetic.

At the beginning of the era, grunge fashion was inspired heavily by punk fashion. With a lot of neon colors and shiny clothing in the 1980s. But later, they went a little darker, and 90s grunge fashion changed towards more fringe, black clothing, body and face piercings, and mohawks.

“The best thing about grunge fashion is that it’s not just for teenagers. It’s for everyone who wants to be different and iconic.”

They also had tattoos, fishnets, belts, studs, cut off sleeves, chains, and a lot of leather clothing, especially leather jackets. But as the movement became more and more prominent, the 90s grunge fashion evolved as well.

“The 1990s grunge scene was known for people sporting ripped, faded, frayed and sometimes even wrinkled threads for a generally disheveled look.”

Also adding, “Some fashion staples that many associates with the time include ripped jeans, denim jackets, converse sneakers, Doc Martens, and other lace-up, combat-style boots.”

80s 90s Grunge Fashion 3

One of the major inspirations for 90s grunge fashion female was Courtney Love from the grunge band Hole and also Kurt Cobain’s wife. Her fashion aesthetic was more about wearing gorgeous and simple slip and baby-doll dresses.

She wore them with tights, combat boots, or Mary jane shoes and heavy black eye makeup, dark lips, and an oversized coat. Her sense of fashion and style became a major influence on women to incorporate within themselves the grunge aesthetic.

Grunge Went Lumberjack

Grunge Went Lumberjack 1

Whenever you think about the 90s Grunge Fashion, it was heavily influenced by flannels and plaid clothes along with jeans. The plaid button down flannel shirt is the quintessential 90s grunge fashion vibe that still continues.

“It’s outfitted with all the right stuff, like a pair of distressed jeans, a hoodie, and a pair of suede ankle boots.”

Whether these button-downs are worn over graphic tees or tied around the waist, they were the ultimate grunge look. The flannel shirts gave out a very lumberjack vibe, the reason being that many of these bands were just starting their journey.

So they primarily shopped from thrift stores to save up as much as they could. And it is understandable that thrift stores primarily have a lot of flannel and plaid button-downs. And that is exactly the aesthetic that became the vibe for the 90s Grunge fashion.

“Brace yourself for the grunge fashion trend. The 90s are back (and better than ever).”

For both men and women, the 90s grunge fashion was more than just the clothes, it was the whole package. The makeup, the hairstyle, and even the shoes are a part of the whole grunge aesthetic.

Talking about the hairstyle, for men, it was all about having long, shaggy, unwashed, and unkept hair with wild, scruffy facial hair. And on the other hand, for women, it was similar but with shaggy and pixie haircuts.

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Wrapping Up!

The 90s Grunge fashion is coming back in a bigger and better fashion. The accessories and styling may be different, but the vibe and aesthetic will remain the same as before.

So if you were unsure about grunge fashion before, then it’s time that after reading in-depth about the history, you will find the look to be much more iconic than most other movements or fashion trends.

Now that you are well aware of the 90s grunge fashion and the grunge era, if you liked this article, then don’t forget to give it a like and comment down below.

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