Underground Trends: Soft Grunge

Here we are now, entertain us…

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Plaid grunge outfit

Soft Grunge: a pale, sensitive, emotional, brooding, and otherwise Tumblr #goals movement that somehow – over the past year or so – has turned fashion.

If you’ve been following along over the past month, you may have seen the last two installments in my Underground Trends series: Cutester and Seapunk. Both featured bright, eye-catching outfits and trends that verged on ridiculous. Therein lies the beauty of the internet – taking the simply silly and turning it into the simply inspirational. This week I’m taking shots at a new trend, something a little bit…softer.

Rooted in the grungepunk movement of the ‘90s, soft grunge is the spawn of Nirvana, flannel, ripped tights, moody teenagers, and wannabe punks. It’s the grandchild of a movement that swept the nation. Or, perhaps, it’s the meek-mannered cousin.

Either way, soft grunge has made quite an impression. Girls across the internet turned Kurt Cobain, crosses, pastel hair and pixie faces into a Kate Moss-esque fashion statement. Soft grunge is all about flannels, floral patterns, platform sneakers

However fabulous the fashion, the message behind the movement is nothing short of troubling. Should negative self-talk be so blatantly glorified? Should pictures of anguished faces, bruises, half-smoked cigarettes, and angular bones be lifted up as an iconic, or even desirable, look? The ‘90s seemed to think so, but we don’t.

So today I want to make it clear that we’re separating the fashion from the Tumblr movement a bit. We can talk about the styles yet still aim to treat ourselves – and those with mental illnesses – with respect.

If you’re interested in the grunge look or just edging up your everyday casual, take a look at these (safe) (unique) (interesting) ways to bleed a bit of soft grunge into your wardrobe.

Look #1: Fab Flannel

Product Information: Flannel, Bodysuit, Jeans, Heels, Hoops, Lipstick, and Cuff.

Punk it up with a pair of shredded, printed jeans and a flannel tunic. An of-the-moment black lace-up bodysuit keeps things cool for a muggy fall day. Pair it with silver hoops, red lipstick, and fun heels for a fresh, modern, comfortable look that can transition from class to night out. Subtract the flannel, add heels, and you’re good to go!

Look #2: Broken-In Boots

Product Information: Sweatshirt, Skirt, Boots, Necklace, Jacket, and Bralette.

Kick things up a notch with this all-black ensemble. “But wait,” some of you cry, “Denim on denim! And not even…the same color, denim on denim!” Fear not, fashion lovers: Black denim and blue denim can be worn together. Be tasteful with accessories or rock out with a leather necklace and Dr. Martens. The choice is yours: pretty sweet, or pretty stoic?

Look #3: Punk Rock Pastel

Products: Shirt, Socks, Shoes, Sprinkle Crowns, Choker #1 and #2.

Look pretty in pastels in these sweet ribbon heels and over-the-knee socks. Add a little spice by wearing an oversized denim shirt as a tunic. Pair two chokers (or layer on another necklace) for a fun, quirky vibe. Finish things off with black nail polish and your pastel-hued crown of choice.

What do you think?

What are YOUR thoughts on soft grunge (and its many faults)? Would you / could you / have you rocked it? Are you a fan of the Underground Trends series? Looking for more of the cyber-strange, or the ultra-modern? Sound off in the comments!

1 thought on “Underground Trends: Soft Grunge”

  1. I’m not sure what the dress codes are in various colleges but I can’t imagine anywhere it would be appropriate to wear a denim tunic with over the knee socks and nothing that could even vaguely qualify as pants. If leggings as pants is pushing the envelope, as many of us believe, socks are right out. This goes double with heels that high. Even some unseen but present floral or denim shorts would work with this outfit.


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