The Best Grunge Outfits To Style

Grunge and edgy is what we're all about, though we know it can be intimidating to start dressing in full grunge aesthetic. We're here to give you an overview on what grunge style entails along with our personal top tips for grunge outfit styling. 

The Grunge Look 

Let’s preface this and break down what the grunge outfit aesthetic is to start. Some say it can best be described as a nostalgic look back into the good ol’ 90s. The movement of aesthetic grunge outfits can be attributed to the proliferation of punk and metal music during the mid-1980s. Ideas of rebellion and going outside the norm was a popularized concept, and this translated into their clothes, expressing more unique outfits that stated their distaste to conform to societal standards. As a result, grunge outfits ironically came from an anti-fashion wave that took the form of clothes as a way of protesting the mainstream. The grunge style is characterized by a variety of dark tones which are often complemented by combat boots, plaid, ripped jeans, band tees, chokers, and edgy hairstyles. 

How to Dress Grunge

To start, you need to step back and think about how an outfit can be put together in an effortless sense. In fact, sometimes the more chaotic and mismatching, the better. After all, the grunge aesthetic outfits come from a place of rebellion, and therefore being too perfectly put together contradicts the grunge style


As previously mentioned, grunge outfits often have a common theme to start as your base. Go with a dark-tone outfit, to begin with. Women’s grunge outfits work best when you have a dark theme to complement your outfits and accessories with.


A classic grunge girl outfit would consist of a loose, perhaps distressed, band tee. However, you aren’t limited to band tee’s if that’s not your thing. Typically any top that sits comfortably with a less polished finish will do the job. Fabrics that are a little more worn down and soft helps create this careless grunge outfit aesthetic. This applies to dresses as well - shapeless and loose with a little bit of a worn-out finish. Another popular piece you might find is the denim jacket to accompany your top. 


Grunge outfits for females have popularized dark ripped jeans for bottoms. This accounts for all types of jeans, whether skinny, high-waisted, or short, the dark and distressed ripped jean look is a winner in the books of grunge outfit ideas. If not for jeans, the love of plaid pants has also been widely accepted in women’s grunge fashion, as you can see many girls sporting skinny plaid pants to cuffed plaid baggy pants. The key here is simply plaid. 


While there are a lot of shoe options you can go with, the most popular that appear in grunge style is typical converses, black combat boots, or creepers. There’s something about a pronounced platform shoe that really makes the grunge outfit. These shoes are a statement piece and are rather bottom-heavy, perhaps a metaphor for their strong stance on anti-fashion. 

Types of grunge 

Soft Grunge

This type of grunge fashion is the best way to start yourself into this style. It’s often characterized by a generous mix of traditional grunge fashion and your modern mainstream fashion. It takes both elements and combines them for a grunge outfit that meets the best of both worlds. Soft grunge is more forgiving and can be implemented rather easily with your existing closet and a few plaid finishes, and perhaps a pair of black combat booties. In this outfit, you can see the model is sporting more mainstream styled shapes but lean towards the darker theme and rough aesthetic that is characterized as grunge.

lychee model wearing tofu reflective tank top

Pastel Grunge

While typical grunge aesthetics focuses largely on darker color schemes, pastel grunge tends to play with the same themes in mind (plaid, comfortable, converse, etc) with the underlying theme of a lighter color scheme. This often changes the aesthetic to something a little more youthful and playful, eliminating any intimidating elements you might associate with your traditional grunge style. The model here can be seen sporting an oversized pastel pink cardigan that is accompanied by edgier pieces like a cropped tank top and pin skirt.

lychee model wearing honey oversized pink cardigan

Indie Grunge

This style of grunge favors the combination of your traditional grunge with vintage elements. Textures that are a little different such as velour, would be an example of pieces that are favorable in this category. More unique and obscure pieces often make for great accessories in this category of grunge. Band tees of your favorite indie bands would 100% work in this section. In this photo, you can see the model sport a velour slit sleeve crop top accompanied by a red plaid skort. 

lychee model wearing pumpkin spice slit sleeve velour crop top

Cute Grunge 

Similar to pastel grunge, we take the traditional elements that make grunge a little intimidating and we eliminate it. In this case, we go against the traditional aesthetic of loose, baggy, and oversized grunge clothes and go for something a little more form-fitting and feminine. This includes skirts, tighter tops like bustiers, and maybe a few floral prints here and there. In this outfit, the model is rocking a black chain bustier, accompanied by a strap short and plaid skirt

lychee model wearing anise chain bustier latte slit skirt

Grunge Accessories

Last but not least, you can’t have a full grunge outfit ready without incorporating the key accessories to make your overall look. How to dress grunge and complement it? To start we can look into the beauty aspect of this style. Dark makeup such as smokey purple eyeshadows and dark lipsticks often characterizes the grunge style. As for grunge outfit ideas, dark round shades and thick statement belts and chains are just a few of the many accessories you can pair with your grunge outfit. Depending on the style of grunge you’re hoping to achieve, feel free to play around with what you can mix and match into your grunge outfit.


Now that you are ready to rock this new style, you can start shopping and finding your inspo over at Lychee the Label’s women's grunge clothing collection. Don’t be afraid to ease your way into the soft grunge aesthetic and mix and match the pieces you think would work best.
March 24, 2021