College Fashion Trend: '90s Grunge Style Revival

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1990s grunge style

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

Many of us may not have been a part of this trend the first time around (I know my '90s elementary self wore only rainbow leggings and jelly shoes), but the iconic grunge style of the 1990s is back with a vengeance! Whether you are a fan of this look or not, trendsetters everywhere have been rocking everything from Doc Martens to acid wash denim to bowler hats recently.

If you want to add a little 90s rock 'n' roll edge to your spring wardrobe, look no further than the outfits below!

1. The Little Grunge Dress

vintage grunge dresses

Photo Credits: 1, 2

The easiest way to add a touch of grunge to your look is with an essential LGD. Not just a term from your econ textbook (snore), in this case it stands for a little grunge dress. Many retailers have been bringing the style back this season, characterized by its babydoll-style fitted top and flared skirt. Try one in a floral print or even a romper style (which is also making a big comeback).

Of course, one of the best places to find a perfect (and authentic) LGD is a vintage or thrift store. Both of the dresses above are vintage, and many others I've found have the cutest details like button fronts, corset backs, and and lace fabric. If you don't live near any vintage shops, however, don't fret! Places like Etsy and eBay always have quality vintage items for sale. Try pairing your LGD with some Doc Martens, a bowler hat, and ripped tights for a truly retro look. Or keep it charming like the first look and just wear the socks.

How to wear 90s distressed florals

Product Information: Dress- Miss Selfridge, Over-the-knee socks- Modcloth, Hat- Village Hats, Earrings- Forever 21, Bracelet- Forever 21, Boots- Zappos, Socks- Miss Selfridge.

2. Faded Denim Pieces

faded denim

Both photos from

Denim and chambray are everywhere this spring, so this is one of the easier '90s trends to find. Look for pieces in light or acid washes, like cropped vests, high-waisted cuffed shorts, and the ever-versatile jeans jacket. Wearing shorts over tights can be tricky to execute, however, so stick to tights in a neutral color like black for maximum impact. Keep the rest of your outfit simple and try to pick shoes in a neutral color as well to look effortlessly cool instead of a trend disaster.

A cropped vest looks great thrown over a romper with floral-printed sunglasses and gladiator sandals. The modern pieces enliven the outfit and keep it from looking costume-y.

How to wear faded denim

Product Information: Vest- Shopbop, Sandals- Urban Outfitters, Romper- Urban Outfitters, Sunglasses- Modcloth, Purse- Modcloth.

3. The Plaid Shirt

plaid shirts

Both photos from

What grunge look would be complete without a plaid shirt, popularized by Mr. Kurt Cobain himself? Look for one in classic red tones with a relaxed or slouchy fit. Then throw it on over a tee, dress, or under a jacket as shown above. However you choose to wear it, let your inner punk shine through with devil-may-care accessories and twists on classics like these sequined houndstooth sneakers.

How to wear plaid

Product Information: T-Shirt- Target, Shorts- Forever 21, Sneakers- Zappos, Plaid Shirt- Buckle, Tights- Hue, Both Necklaces- Rachel Roy.

What do you think?

Are you loving the grunge flashback trend, or do you think it should stay in the '90s? Do you think shorts can be worn with tights? Would you ever wear a bowler hat on campus? Let us know your opinions!

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