October 1, 2021
The 90s saw the explosion of grunge and a new style to match. Far from the pop royalty that largely reigned during this decade, grunge was all about a grittier reality. And while grunge definitely had its roots in the 80s, it was this decade that saw people really dig into the nuts and bolts of the movement.
Everything from the outfits to the music was really about rebellion. People were rejecting conventions and trying to find something that spoke more to their personal ideals. Today, this timeless aesthetic remains a big part of fashion. Whether you want to fit in at a single event or plan to adopt the look as more of a constant in your life, it’s a funky style that doesn’t demand too much from you.
The best part about grunge? You don’t have to spend your whole paycheck on it. Whether you’re looking for male or female clothes, Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley is here to give you tips on getting the best styles for your money.
To be fair to the true nature of grunge, the lifestyle was never about blowing your hard-earned money on fashion. In fact, it was always meant to be the reverse. Only when it started exploding in terms of profits did brands start to appeal to people’s wallets. Many designer labels came out with ‘fancy’ versions of these duds that were marked up in price.
Grunge is about being authentic to yourself. When Kurt Cobain picked out his clothes, it had nothing to do with what other people thought was fashionable. Real grunge means embracing ripped jeans and faded button-downs. It means donning the chunky jewelry that other people may have considered too gothic before.
At a thrift store, you might find anything from pre-ripped jeans (which have remained relatively popular over the years) to old flannels that have already undergone years of proverbial wear and tear. Or you’re free to distress old clothes with anything from scissors to dye. As long as you start with the right mindset, you should be able to spot the looks that will have you ready for an alternative aesthetic in no time.
The grunge look is about fighting against the ‘normal’ way of doing things. This means taking risks and thinking outside the box. You might be extra-small but that doesn’t mean you can’t get an extra-large button shirt and pair it with a tiny tank top.
Or opt for baggier pants with a more tailored velvet jacket. Old jean jackets and faded leather are also excellent items to spice up your look. At Goodwill, there’s no right way to do grunge. The best thing you can do is search for pieces that speak to you.
Goodwill specializes in selling truly one-of-a-kind items that are easy to alter without having to worry about messing up an expensive item. For instance, you might find a classic pair of blue jeans, take them home, cut off the legs, and dye them black. Or you might find a concert t-shirt bearing the image of a classic rock band on it, only to rip off the sleeves and the bottom third of fabric.
Because grunge outfits are all about saying ‘no’ to perfectionism, those who adopt the ethos are free to play around the clothes and accessories until they find something that works for them.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to blend your grunge attire with the rest of your closet, consider the principles of opposition. Grunge was born from taking the expected and combining it with the unexpected. So maybe you throw on work boots with a babydoll dress and jean jacket, or a formal blazer with a pair of classic Converse.
Maybe it’s a knock-off of the most in-demand purse or shoes of today matched with a $.50 t-shirt that you fished out of the clearance rack of a thrift store. Sometimes we think of fashion as what’s in a magazine, but the truth is that fashion is accessible to anyone who can use the resources at their disposal.
Grunge doesn’t mean that all of your clothing and accessories have to have an edge. At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, there are plenty of ‘softer’ looks that still highlight the rebellion that grunge is meant to represent. The mom jeans or pastel t-shirt in your closet can be jazzed up with anything from a studded choker to a black leather bomber jacket.
Much like our affordable styling tips for your clothes, remember that accessories are meant to be chosen the same way. Aviator sunglasses, berets, knee socks, buttons, scarves: these can all be used in your grunge look. When it comes to jewelry, look for vintage pieces like chain earrings or necklaces that give an outfit more personality.
When you look at different accessories, like buttons or backpacks, ask yourself what feels right to you. Attaching hundreds of buttons to a jacket is a style statement for some. (It could even be a political statement, depending on what they say.) For others though, it’s just a collection of random objects that don’t actually have any meaning to them. If the scarf or hat feels authentic to you or seems at home with the activities and people you love the most, then you’re likely to find yourself feeling confident when you’re donning it.
Grunge uses some of the best pieces from every decade to build its aesthetic. A fedora from the 80s, a jumpsuit from the 70s, and a pair of chunky clogs from the 90s might sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but on the right person, it can be an outfit of true authenticity. Anyone who wants to incorporate a little (or a lot) of grunge into their life should be looking at how fashion changes over time, and how people mix and match different pieces from the eras to create something new unto themselves.
One of the best ways that you can get a glimpse into different people’s wardrobes is by checking out Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley. Our store is stuffed with treasures that are just waiting to be discovered by you. It’s not always easy to build a grunge look, but having a few staple pieces is a great start. Stopping by and browsing both male and female items can help people pin down a style that is cool without even really trying.