What is 90's Grunge Fashion?

What is 90's grunge fashion? I've seen my fair share of reposts on Instagram of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. I've read about musicians taking inspiration from the grunge scene and designers creating collections based off the grunge scene, but how do you classify grunge, and more importantly grunge fashion? 

Before we discuss what is grunge fashion, lets first start off with what is grunge. To put it simply grunge is term applied to the music coming out of the Pacific Northwest during the late 80's/early 90's. Some popular grunge bands include: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, and Hole. 

90s grunge

Grunge is moody, it is angsty, it is raw and has an anti establishment vibe to it. It rejected consumerism, big brands and the glamour of high fashion. The nihilistic undertone within the scene and music was also communicated through how people dressed within it. Grunge fashion is anti fashion. Those within the scene rejected the the over top designs from the 80's and moved for simple, oversized items from a thrift store. Dressing in the grunge scene had more of a functional approach to clothes as well. People would wear combat boots, doc martens in particular, old flannels, graphic t-shirts, oversized sweaters and very worn in ripped jeans. The look was accessible and disheveled, but somehow effortlessly cool.kurt cobain

As the grunge scene grew out of the Pacific Northwest and grunge bands gained more popularity, it trickled up to influencing high end designers. Marc Jacobs designed his Perry Ellis SS93 collection based off of the grunge scene. What was once ratty thrift store t-shirts and bulky flannels worn at a concert was transformed to a more refined and attentional grunge look that graced the runways. Grunge went from anti fashion to fashion.

90s marc jacobs

 Fast forward to the mid 2000's! Teens and young adults have pulled inspirations from the grunge era and refined it. With fashion being on a ten year cycle, it would only make sense for grunge to have a comeback moment. Also this was a time where everyone was (and still is) obsessed with the 90's nostalgia. Blame it on Tumblr or blame it on the 10 year fashion cycle, either way 90's grunge came back and it stayed. In my opinion, I think people continue to pull elements and inspiration from the grunge scene is because of it's effortless cool vibe, comfort, and accessibility (grunge fashion at its root is all about thrift store finds).


Enjoy the fashion history lesson and shop the look!

Graphic T-shirt: Nuclear T-shirt

90s outfits

Flannel: Cooper Flannel

vintage flannel

Worn in Pants: Splatter Pants

vintage trousers for men

 Leather Jacket: Dylan Moto Jacket

vintage leather jacket