As we're all aware, grunge, as it started as a fashion, had something completely unique about it that no other style ever had. It was affordable. Kids who struggled to dress as they came from poor families suddenly found themselves shocked: the flannel shirts from dollar store they always had to wear due to family's situation, suddenly were the item to wear! Getting second-hand clothes from your older sibling, especially a bit torn or not sized properly suddenly became the only thing you needed to have a style.
Culture and fashion came a terrifyingly long way from then. We've hit a point when disco shorts are paired without a problem with Bardot crop tops and bum-bags. Styles evolved and mixed and as a result – there are some grunge trends that became a must-have in every 2018 wardrobe.
Number 1 – Ripped Jeans
Whether they're jeans with holes or basic black leggings with slits, they no longer are pants that my mother used to scold me for as they signified no one in the house knows how to use needle and thread -they're style. They used to be grunge-only and of course, they had to rip or shred from use – but now they became such a widely worn trend that even clothes websites that think Pearl Jam is an organic brand of high-quality jam, offer them in more than one version. These pants are something that was elevated above original fashion they're from to actual normal wardrobe must-have, similarly to a simple leather belt or small black dress. This particular trend is something that shows the passage of time since the development of grunge till now. Back then, a kid wearing torn jeans used a razor on to make holes – this was rebellious and would never be acceptable as church attire. It didn't signify just fabric damage, it signified possible poverty and therefore we should all run away and hide. Today jeans with slits are no longer rebellious or outrageous. In fact, paired with simple t-shirt especially slightly oversized and statement western belt – they create a stylish look that wouldn't be allowed only in most rigid of churches. Forgive them, Lord. They do not know what they're missing.
Number 2 – Distressed
Not exactly the same thing as slits in jeans, although close! Now I am going to be completely honest with you. When I was a teenager and a hole showed up in something I was wearing (unless it was like not very decent hole) I was insanely happy to wear it and leave it be. It made sense to me that experience and time are reflected in clothing worn because in my teenage eyes even unfashionable or “wrong” clothes can create a look of their own on a person, provided the person allowed them to express themselves. As I grew up I realised that some items are most beautiful especially when distressed by design. Till today I believe that the idea that all items or clothes should be perfect, never show any use or time passing, is just detached from reality. Maybe some fashion houses located somewhere I can't afford to travel see perfect clothes as the first real quality sign, I believe that there is much more to torn clothes than just fashion. Namely – statement. Japanese have an art called “kintsugi” which translates roughly to “golden repair”. It is a practice in which a broken china or pottery if broken, was put back together with gold – thus becoming even more beautiful. Western culture is big on pretending that flaws never were there and I believe that distressed clothes are so amazing for this exact reason – they're a statement that something damaged doesn't become obsolete, but even more amazing with said damage.
Number 3 – Simple Tees
Again when I was growing up I considered simplest tees detestable and awful and too simple and I too amazing to wear this. I am very happy that since the 90s the idea that a simple tee is too simple has changed because holy shit this is so comfortable! The non-problematic simple cotton t-shirt has all the advantages that need not be listed here, as I am sure if you're on a grunge-clothes website on laptop or smartphone – you already know what is awesome about them. Good chance if you're reading this in one! The trend is very simple – it's a t-shirt – it can be with some sort of a phrase, or band logo, it can be cropped, it can be distressed – at the end of the day, it's a cotton t-shirt. IT's the fabric specifically that makes the tee look the way it looks – and allows for it to become slightly rumpled, to show that iron is not a necessary accessory in our house. What I love about t-shirts is not just how unisex they are, but their simple understatedness which in turn gives room to an insane amount of stylisation. And because it is so understated, “heavy” grunge item – like really ripped jeans or jewellery to scare our grandma and heavy buckle belt work really well with it, without creating an overdressed look or over-styled look. What works for women especially is the crop top kind of cotton tee, because with high-waist anything it instantly makes us look good without much effort put into it.
Number 4 – Trainers
When I discovered “The Sartorialist” I wasn't sure what to expect. What I didn't expect though was the actual underdressed stylisation I found was the theme of this blog. It influenced me immensely – anyone who read the sartorialist can understand how and why. I never will forget the moment when I was looking at a photograph of a woman – and I can't remember anything about this picture – except for the fact she was wearing simplest, cheapest trainers. Now, this was posted at the time around 2009 when trainers were not the normal shoe to wear, but the staple of “lazy” or “has no clue about fashion”. The clothes the girl was wearing in this photo were very simple as they so often are at sartorialist – but the trainers fit them so expertly I instantly understood why fashion designers don't consider trainers an abomination to be abolished, which was what I thought of them when I was made to wear them to P.E. classes. The trainers need no introduction or explanation – and now that they have become allowed in the mainstream style it's so surprising in how many looks they work seamlessly without ruining them or bringing the entire focus to feet which some shoes can do. It doesn't matter what you're wearing. A skirt, tights, ripped jeans, ripped leggings, biker jacket – they work perfectly complimenting the style, integrating it without any problems of painful wearing or not letting the air through.
Number 4 – Chequered
I don't have to tell you. You're a knowledgeable person. Your presence on this website says so. The “sexy lumberjack” trend evolved from grunge. All it took was a beard and maybe a hunky lumberjack. And the rest was history.
Checkers were at some point the very message, “I do not want to get laid”. Paired with simple tailored trousers and maybe a tie on a dork they looked like the most boring, predictable, normie-like item of clothing in the whole universe. If the aliens researched us and created a dictionary about us, under the phrase “boring people who won't pass on their chromosomes” there would be a photograph of a white dude in the blue chequered shirt, specifically with a short haircut. Therefore I find it something to marvel at that fashion designers managed to go from the most unsexy part of wardrobe to what chequered clothes are today. The print is used everywhere – mini skirts, tops, blazers, trousers, bags, hats. And it's the same print used in lumberjack-style shirts – chunky, heavy, with red and heavy thick lines. And somehow some people can assemble a style that with chequered item – becomes the very epitome of awesome.
Regardless of their boring past, checker has made a comeback in such fantastic style it's not going anywhere anytime soon. It no longer is grunge or lumberjack – even if it can still be worn within these. It's a mark of clothing that is easy and not restricting but isn't ignorant or desensitised to self-awareness of wardrobe choices. In the modern version - it simply is effortlessly stylish.
I think I am going to go and buy one. Oversized, with red. No! A tee! Something. I am going to buy something.
Be right back.
Written by Anja