Modern Grunge: Hip Like Junk

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Girlfriend: Elle Fanning | Photo courtesy: Nylon

90s grunge has been trying to make its way into street style but with little success. However, a few magical moments of modern grunge have surfaced and we’re ready to give you the 411. With a few of our tips and some outfit inspo, you’ll be ahead of the trend and rocking it right.

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Photo courtesy: We Are Glitter

Modern Grunge v. Gothic

We first should point out that grunge is quite a bit different than gothic. Modern grunge takes its look from 90s music but it’s important to focus in the right direction. Use bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Babes in Toyland as your sources of inspiration. If you’re thinking about Jane’s Addiction or Nine Inch Nails, you’re in the right decade but the wrong fashion genre. So quit trippin’.

modern grunge | Kat Bjelland Babes in Toyland 90s band babydoll dress black boots | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriend: Kat Bjelland | Photo courtesy: Youth Crimes
How we did the 90s.

Celebrity Skin: Layering Dresses

Next to a smoky eye, a baby doll or floral print dress is your next best bet to hitting it off. Try layering a short floral dress over cropped cheetah pants for a modern grunge win. Girls in the 90s were all about layering slips over tees and their wardrobes were total feminine mash-ups. Cropped denim or high-water pants look wicked under a short or baby doll dress.

modern grunge | Lily Rose Depp black boots smoky eye shadow cheetah cropped pants floral print dress 90s | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriend: Lily Rose Depp | Photo courtesy: @stevenkleinstudio via Instagram

Supervixen Graphic Tees

Word—take your love for graphic tees and supersize them! The best way you can incorporate modern grunge into your look is by going oversized. Pair with wide-leg pants or no pants at all! Take a look at our article on how to make friendship bracelets and then layer those on as 90s-appropriate accessories. Hair clips and headbands also work with this style.

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Photo courtesy: Urban Outfitters

Sugar Kane Camouflage

Grunge style is also about print mixing patterns and colors often found in the Northwest. Plaid and camouflage make the perfect modern grunge mix. Colors should stay in a muted palette—forest green, brown, maroon, and burnt orange are grunge aesthetic staples. No need to have a salty attitude with a first impression this fierce.

modern grunge | plaid mid-length skirt oversized camouflage jacket maroon work boots 90s fashion inspiration | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Queen Lila

Here Comes Your Man

Did you know? The grunge look is totally just for 20-somethings and dive bars—NOT. Grownup girls can totally pull of modern grunge and still be office-appropriate. Look for suits that boast an oversize blazer in generous plaid prints. Plaid trench coats also work well and hefty platform boots are a must. We love Dr. Martens for their comfort, fit, and price. Pick a pair with large eyelets or no eyelets at all and you’ll find yourself wearing them with everything.

Photo courtesy: Who What Wear

Water is Wide

The biggest trick to looking fly in the new grunge look is to bring it into the 2000s. Modern grunge silhouettes should be rounded in the waist and hips. (Take a look at our barrel jeans article for more shape exploration.) Layer a plaid wool coat over an oversized empire waist dress. Take the inspiration of the fashion from the 90s and update it for today.

modern grunge | oversize wool flannel coat white dress cheetah Birkenstock mules 90s fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Design Love Fest

Riot Girrrlfriend

We hope that was helpful with some pointers that were illustrated by street style successes. Modern grunge is totally hot but it just needs to be done correctly. Vintage styles and colors with modern twists make grunge the next biggest thing on our radar. And you know we would never lead you astray.

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