Jean Paul Gaultier once said, “Grunge is nothing more than the way we dress when we have no money.” The movement was based entirely off of the fact that it was easy and affordable. When Vogue legitimized the movement in the December 1992 issue, there were a medley of reactions; and eventually, Anna Wintour marked the end of the movement in fashion by marking “a return to chic.” However, rooted in its functionality, grunge has never truly died out. While it may not be seen throughout the pages of magazines like Vogue, it has survived in fashion through modern paradigms of street style, like Rumi Neely of Fashiontoast or Alexa Chung, combining high-end clothes with flannels and graphic T-shirts.
This Fashionisto is an exemplar of the trend, in his beanie, varsity jacket and Vans. His effortlessly cool vibe stands as a perfect representation of grunge as something effortless, affordable and comfortable. The raw, unpolished nature of the ensemble may not be seen on a runway, but the metallic nature of the jacket mimics those seen at Burberry, and the checked shirt is easily comparable to trends for this spring.
It may not be easy to go fully grunge and still stay chic, but there are ways to tactfully incorporate the look into your outfit while remaining chic. Try pairing your favorite leather shorts with a chunky sweater, like this one from Madewell and some floral-printed Dr. Martens for an edgy, yet refined look.
Grunge may not be an obvious trend, but its undercurrents are still flowing despite fashion’s ceremonious denial of its validity. With the importance of street-style increasing, the movement is making a comeback. You don’t even have to listen to Nirvana to try it out.