back when we wore grunge

One of the things I miss the most from the '90s is how you could dress down and still be considered cool and fashionable. I miss how getting out of the house was a lot simpler because it was acceptable to not look so put-together.

And when I say dress down, i mean dress down:
Ratty jeans, a tank top or statement tee.
Used-looking plaid.
Slouchy knits.
Comfy pants with a frayed hemline.
A black shirt with a band logo worn over cut-off denim shorts, unshiny worker boots or sandals with socks.
Clothes that you deconstructed yourself - not something pre-deconstructed by some designer wannabe that you bought at the mall for several hundred bucks.
If you had the confidence (like I did), you would've even worn pajama bottoms to school.

What was later called "grunge fashion" was actually initially anti-fashion. It came with the wave of grunge music (which was not originally a genre but an anti-popular rock way of making music), proudly worn by the unconvential and nonconformist. Of course you know how things catch on and become the next trend.

It was more or less acceptable to go to a party looking like a junkie. Runways even had a look called "heroin chic". Bad hair and bed-head could pass for an edgy, grungy 'do.

Frances Bean Cobain donning her late father's old getup
for a recent Elle photoshoot featuring rock icon offspring in their dad's clothes.
Those pajamas are the very pair Kurt wore when he married Courtney Love.
Photo from a random blog that didn't have photo credits, so there.

You didn't even have to wear accessories. In fact, the chunky, bright-colored jewelry that are considered hip today were fashion faux-pas. In the '90s, we thought of those loud accessories as old-fashioned junk from the '80s - baduy stuff that belonged in a Duran Duran or A-Ha music video. The in bling for the 90's was sleek, streamlined silver, and you didn't have to think much about coordination and crap because silver went with almost anything.

There wasn't that much fuss about makeup either; natural-looking was fine. Ladies donned earth colors, browns and nudes on their faces. Matte lipstick like Revlon Colorstay was the top choice. Glossy lips were icky; there was even the technique of lightly dusting your lips with face powder to make your sheer lipstick look matte. No pink lips or purple eyelids that used to be seen on outdated popstars like Boy George or Cyndi Lauper, no over-lined emo eye shadow like Robert Smith's. Unless you were a Spice Girl or Marilyn Manson.

Considering how fashion trends have cycled lately, I'm pretty sure grunge (or some elements of it at least) will be making a comeback some time soon. I can just imagine Mary Kate and Ashley in plaid baby-dolls and Doc Martens, the Beckhams in used jeans and lazy knitted sweaters.

I stopped to Google awhile and lo and behold - there's this thing going on nicknamed as the new grunge. It obviously hasn't picked up yet, since all the bright, big '80s reruns are still vastly popular. Ah well; we'll see where this goes.
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