Grunge is one of those trends that experiences frequent resurgences, and every time it comes back around we like to give it a new twist to make it fresh and exciting. This season we love giving grunge an unexpected girly element by mixing florals with plaids, whether it is in the form of a boldly printed maxi dress or a sweater. The core elements of the grunge trend, however, will always remain the same. So what exactly is grunge, and where did it come from? It’s history helps shed some light on the heart of this trend, which really comes down to one thing – attitude.
Grunge refers to a genre of rock music that emerged out of the Seattle area in the mid 1980s. There is some dispute over who originally coined the term, but it is generally attributed to Mark Arm of the band Mudhoney. The genre is characterized by its distorted guitar with heavy feedback effects, a fusion of punk and metal sounds, and angst-ridden lyrics. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice In Chains were some of the most successful of the grunge movement, which also carried over into mainstream popular culture in films like “Singles” and “Reality Bites.” Those who exemplified the grunge movement shared a general feeling of disenchantment with society, and a “who gives a f*ck” attitude that was carried over in their music and also how they dressed. When you think of grunge style, Kurt Cobain is easily one of the first who comes to mind. Without even trying, he pioneered a style of oddball dressing that was so against the norm that it became its own fashion trend, characterized by ripped denim, baggy flannels, mis-matched prints and colors, old oversized sweaters, beanies, and dirty sneakers. Yet somehow it works, and the statement – of being a complete individual who can’t be bothered by what is trendy or considered ‘normal’ – became a trend in and of itself.
Maybe it’s because I was a child of the 90s, but every time this trend comes around again I feel so nostalgic for that era, the attitude, and the music. Listen to a playlist of some of my favorite grunge music below – and tell us in the comments, do you love grunge as much as we do?