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Grunge Fashion: How to Wear Grunge Style Clothes for Men

How to Wear Grunge Style Clothes for Men

The grunge style is mostly related to the clothes and accessories that were worn and made popular by the members of popular musical bands in the mid 1980s and 1990s, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Radiohead. Grunge was a music genre before becoming one of the most popular fashion trends. Grunge was all about individuality, teen angst, carelessness, and not conforming to social norms, and this applied not only to the clothing and accessories, but also to the hair and makeup, which tended to be messy and disheveled.

In the mid 1980s, Seattle musical bands were the first ones to popularize the loose-fitting look when they wore baggy, faded jeans, flannel shirts, and oversized sweaters and cardigans. So, this cool and edgy style was adopted by other people who wanted to dress like their favorite rock music idols. In the 1990s, grunge fashion became more popular and even inspired fashion collections with grungy elements like oversized jackets, plaid shirts, baggy or ripped jeans, and graphic t-shirts. Today, the grunge look is all the rage among young people, influencers, and fashion models on social media, who are absolutely obsessed with the ’90s grunge aesthetic. From ripped denim to plaid shirts and baggy clothing, this iconic style is back both on the streets and on the runway. But, how to rock the grunge style in 2022? Here is a list of the essential grunge clothes you will need and a few styling tips to achieve the perfect male grunge look

Grunge Fashion

Men’s Essential Grunge Clothes

If you want to achieve an effortlessly cool grunge look, the following elements are a must have. We’ve compiled a list of a few simple pieces of clothing you’ll definitely need in order to pull off that trendy grunge style.

Flannel Shirt

When it comes to grunge style clothes, a flannel shirt is the crucial piece you need to achieve the perfect grunge look. Musicians used to wear a plaid flannel shirt over simple white or black graphic t-shirts, but they can be styled in so many different ways. Go for a long sleeve flannel shirt and wear it unbuttoned over a graphic or a plain t-shirt, or wear it tied around your waist. Keep in mind that grunge style is all about achieving a laid-back and cool look, so the bigger and older the shirt is, the better.

Graphic T-Shirt

Just like a flannel shirt, the graphic tee is a must have! Any kind of t-shirt with band names, quotes, or different graphic elements, works well with grunge style clothing. And luckily, band tees and graphic tees are not limited to thrift shops only and nowadays they are extremely popular and can be easily found almost everywhere.

Ripped Jeans

No grunge look is complete without ripped jeans. Faded distressed jeans were hugely popular in the 1990s, and the good news is that they’re still in style, so you should have no trouble finding a pair that fits you perfectly. For a more edgy and authentic look, choose a vintage pair of ripped jeans.

Baggy Jeans

Baggy, oversized clothes were huge in the 1990s, when the fashion rule was: the bigger, the better. Cargo pants and baggy jeans were also extremely popular among men during the ’90s, and they were typically worn low on the hips with a chain attached to a wallet. Nowadays, baggy jeans are back in fashion, and you can easily find modern versions in any store.

Denim Jacket

A denim jacket is a classic piece of clothing that can complete any outfit. For decades, denim jackets have been popular, and they’re always in style, so if you don’t own one already, try to find a vintage denim jacket or buy a new one that’s slightly faded and pair it with other simple, modern pieces like a graphic t-shirt and ripped jeans, to achieve the perfect grunge style. You can make your denim jacket even more fun by adding some studs or spikes to it.

Leather Jacket

Leather jackets are timeless pieces, and they were the epitome of edgy style in the 1990s. Almost everyone has a leather biker jacket in their closet—it’s practical, warm, and goes with almost any outfit. The leather jacket is also a staple for grunge outfits, so if you don’t have one but want to achieve an effortless and cool style, invest in a good and high quality leather jacket that will last you for years.

Oversized Sweater

Loose-fitting sweaters, cardigans, and hoodies are great statement pieces you definitely need for the fall and winter. They’re also very comfortable and can be worn with basically anything. But if you want to recreate the ultimate grunge look from the ’90s, pair an oversized knit sweater with a graphic t-shirt and baggy jeans, and you’re good to go.

Converse Shoes

The late Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, was the biggest grunge icon, and his favorite shoes were the iconic black and white Converse. His unkempt, laid back look helped launch the grunge fashion trend in the early ’90s, so obviously everyone wanted to copy his style. Since then, Converse sneakers have become an essential item to complement the grunge style.

Combat Boots

In addition to the Converse shoes, black combat boots are also the main grunge shoes. Heavy-duty, lace-up combat boots were very popular in the ’90s grunge era, and they’re still very trendy, so if you’re looking to achieve that super-cool grungy aesthetic, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of black combat boots. They’re a type of shoe that you can wear on so many different occasions.


The accessories you choose are just as important as the clothes. So, if you want to finish off the grunge look, you need to choose accessories that will complement the outfit and help you make a statement. Some of the most popular grunge accessories associated with ’90s fashion are chains, studs, bandanas, beanies, black leather belts, and rounded sunglasses.

Styling Tips to Make Grunge Style Work for You

Grunge fashion is generally portrayed in an androgynous way that doesn’t emphasize the silhouette. In addition to the basic elements we mentioned above, like the flannel shirt or the ripped jeans, grunge is all about uniqueness and individuality, and the outfits should be a reflection of the people who wear them. Fortunately, all of the characteristic grunge elements are back in fashion and are especially popular among young adults. If you want to dress grunge, here are some style tips to make grunge fashion work for you.

Shop at Thrift Stores

Since grunge style is characterized by cheap, comfortable, and durable clothing, the best place to get some good grunge pieces is the thrift stores. You can find grunge clothes at almost every store nowadays, but that’s not the point of grunge. So, go to your nearest thrift shop and try to find a few classic pieces such as t-shirts, ripped jeans, or denim jackets that are comfortable and that are slightly worn out and faded. When it comes to the colors of the clothing, it is recommended to stick with black and muted colors, so try to avoid vividly colored items.

Dress in Layers

If you want to achieve the perfect grungy careless look, try layering your clothes. Wear an oversized sweater or a big flannel over a tee with the name of your favorite band or a black leather jacket over an unbuttoned plaid shirt that sits on top of a basic t-shirt. Your clothes don’t have to match, so take a look at some photos of the ’90 grunge movement to find some grunge style men inspiration.

Grunge Clothes

Grunge Hairstyles

When we think of the grunge style, we usually think of long, messy, tousled, and unwashed hair. In addition to being one of the most talented musicians, Kurt Cobain was also known for his unkempt looks and his tendency to leave his blonde hair unwashed for days. Long and messy hair was very popular in the 1990s, and those who were particularly interested in the grunge culture, grew their hair long and just let their hair do whatever it wanted. So, if you want to achieve the perfect grunge look, you should grow your hair out. 

Don’t Worry About Looking Perfect

Grunge is always associated with a disheveled appearance, so if you’re trying to achieve this look, you should not worry about looking perfect. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to stop grooming yourself and start wearing dirty clothes, but it means that you should go for a messy, carefree look and that your clothes don’t have to match perfectly. In fact, your typical grunge outfit should convey the message that you aren’t too concerned with being stylish and that you don’t like spending a lot of money on the clothes you wear. As we mentioned above, grunge style is characterized by inexpensive, loose fitting, comfortable, thrift-store clothing.