How You Can Get In On The Resurrection Of '90s Grunge

We would do anything to time-travel back to the '90s and party with Kate Moss, admiring her iconic grunge-inspired ensembles and banging our heads to loud music in a wild, gritty scene. While this exciting grunge dream is sadly impossible — until we find a time machine that can grant us our wish — we can at least enjoy the grunge fashion resurrection. Every fashion enthusiast knows that our beloved '90s grunge is experiencing a second wave in the 2020s, giving edgy fashion enthusiasts a chance to express their gritty sides while staying trendy.

"The renewed interest in grunge across the runway reflects the sense of playful chaos we are seeing reverberate across the industry and will only continue to stoke more interest among young people," Steve Dool, Depop brand director, told The Zoe Report. Whether or not you're a "young person," there are many ways to embrace the intentionally rough-looking '90s aesthetic if you feel ready to explore your grungier side and express it through fashion.

Break out the ripped jeans

Distressed jeans tend to go in and out of fashion, but we can't think of a more fitting aesthetic for them than the grunge resurrection of the 2020s. So, if your ripped jeans or distressed shorts have been sitting in the back of your closet, break them out and bring them back out to play. If you want to wear something even more wild and grungy, consider wearing ripped leggings or tights.

Bring on the flannel

We haven't been surprised at all to see so many fashion enthusiasts putting 2023 spins on flannel shirts. The flannel look is about as grunge a garment can get, and some classic grunge fanatics may even believe that an outfit can't be genuinely grunge without a flannel. So, even if it's too hot to wear a flannel as a top, try tying it around your waist to capture some classic grunge flair.

Display your independence by wearing oversized clothes

The male gaze might not favor oversized clothing on women, but you don't owe anything to those men who only want to see women in skin-tight clothes. Consider embracing the IDGAF grunge mindset by swapping some of your body-hugging garments for a few baggy pieces. Don't be afraid to flaunt your favorite oversized hoodies and sweatshirts outside of your home, rock a flannel larger than your usual size, or wear oversized jeans or sweatpants.

Or show off your body in sheer clothing if you feel like it

On the other hand, we never said '90s grunge looks can't be sexy — just think of Kate Moss! If you want to prove you don't care what others think while looking ultra-seductive, wear sheer pieces or super revealing items, including bra tops, out to everyday activities such as walks and errands — as long as there are no actual rules against doing so in the venues and areas you plan on going. Or, mix revealing garments with oversized pieces for ultra-grungy vibes.

Avoid ultra-bright hues when going grunge

We enjoy summer 2023's neoncore trend as much as any other fashion enthusiast, but those bright colors aren't on theme with the '90s grunge aesthetic, so we don't recommend flaunting vivid hues for this specific style. It's usually a better idea to work with dark or muted colors when experimenting with edgy '90s grunge.

Represent your favorite '90s musicians

Of course, the '90s grunge aesthetic is tied to music, as grunge music is arguably even more prominent than grunge fashion. So, a fun way for music enthusiasts to get in on this '90s aesthetic resurrection is to wear a band or musician t-shirt from that era, such as Nirvana, one of the most iconic '90s grunge bands.

Explore grunge fairycore

If you feel classic '90s grunge isn't for you because you prefer daintier, more free-spirited looks, try experimenting with grunge fairycore, a girlier spin on traditional grunge born in the 2020s. The fairy grunge trend typically mixes easily recognizable grunge details, including dark colors and unpolished ensembles with more whimsical skirts or dresses and accessories.