Despite its close association with Punk and Hippies, subcultures which were fuelled by music and politics and utilised their dress sense to make strong statements, grunge was driven more by music and self-expression-sadness, giving a voice to Generation X.
Arguably, the most important item of any grunger’s outfit is the oversized plaid/flannel shirt which was worn by every token grunge girl in television programmes during the nineties. They avoided bright colours and instead opted for darker, more earthy hues such as browns, dark greens and burgundy as well as the neutral black, white and greys. These shirts were a versatile piece which were worn either open, layered over a t-shirt or ties around the waist.
As the Grunge subculture was driven by music, band t-shirts were a staple item, especially those of nineties bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. These were paired with baggy, ripped jeans or oversized dungarees.
Despite the androgynous attire associated to the style, grunge girls retained some femininity by wearing cropped tops which showed some of their midriff.
We have Marc Jacobs aka ‘the guru of grunge’ to thank for bringing grunge to the runway with his Spring/Summer 1993 ‘grunge’ collection for Perry Ellis. ‘Two-dollar second-hand flannel shirts were translated into plaid-printed silks, lumberjack thermals were re-imagined in cashmere and Kurt Cobain’s floral granny dress was turned into floaty chiffon, worn with untied DMs or duchesse-satin Converse.’
Grunge fashion remains a popular style choice even today thanks to social media sites such as Tumblr and Instagram with ‘grunge’ being amongst the most popular fashion tags.