Effortless style, but on purpose. This is the legacy of the 90s. Flannel shirts, torn jeans, and combat boots will never stop being cool. This low-key fashion trend became synonymous with the Seattle grunge music scene, but today it’s back with a force, appealing to all age groups, music tastes, and subcultures.
Grunge was a major part of American music history, and like all the fashion trends emerging from the personal styles of rock stars, it spread like wildfire to young fans everywhere. Grunge was a term for the music scene that emerged in a post-punk America, taking influence from various genres but really catapulting itself into mainstream culture with its style and attitude. Fronting this movement was Nirvana and Pearl Jam, making fashion statements by looking like they didn’t even try - oversized flannels, torn up jeans, plain old Converse kicks or Doc Martens, nothing fancy and nothing pretentious.
The style communicated something to society. Masculine lumberjack flannels were mixed with feminine dresses, big stomping boots with granny floral prints, ripped up and lovingly worn garments were prioritized, as were loose-fitting comfortable threads. The wearer was telling society that gender was on the table. That form-fitting, waist-enhancing, hip-hugging women’s wear wasn’t the only option. That your outfit wasn’t always an indicator of wealth and class.
Grunge changed our fashion trends. Thrifting became popularized. Raiding your dad’s closet became cute. The body’s silhouette was less emphasized, hair grew longer, and grooming was less involved. Second-hand was special. Flannels were a year round style, and if it became too hot? Tie them around your waist. Rock tees with band logos + plaid and flannel button down shirts + worn jeans. This became a formula for looking cool.
In the early 2000s, designers like Marc Jacobs brought grunge to New York Fashion Week. Runway models sported knitted beanies, low-rise jeans, ripped up band shirts, and of course the iconic flannel shirt. This transformation of grunge to high fashion trickled down, as it always does, to fill shopping malls, catalogs, and teenage closets with grunge-inspired looks for their first day of school. And their parents just didn’t understand.
But that was the greatness of grunge. It was disillusioned youth saying NO to the trappings of pomp and pageantry. Grunge made no claims to the general desire for tidy, neat appearances. The kids wanted to be free. Free to be messy, free to be wild. Complete with holes in their knees, frayed cuffs on every shirt, unkempt hair, and a big HELL NO to the expectations of their parents.
At Thrift Vintage Fashion, we have a huge love of subculture and the fashions that have emerged. We dedicate our business to preserving these looks and making them available to consumers today in an environmentally friendly and cost effective way. We have had such a great response to our collection of vintage flannels that we created a Flannel + Two Tees Combo for those looking to boost their wardrobe with easy, effortless styles. Grunge fashion speaks volumes with very little effort. And that’s exactly the point. Effortless style, but on purpose.