Tracing the beginnings of the grunge scene, which inadvertently turned into a national movement, is like trying to find the Space Needle in a haystack. That is to say, it isn’t hard to locate the root of all things grunge: the state of Washington.
In this week’s MP3.com Spotlight we continue ore celebration of the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind by highlighting the five essentials of grunge wear. Can you guess which five? Plus we have a free MP3 from Seattle’s Kill Rock Stars band The Makers.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Grunge music and the fashion it influenced was not pre-planned as a pop-culture phenomenon. That’s just what happened, however, and this attitude of resistance and disdain, rebellion and the rolling-of-the-eyes toward everything mainstream, was so outwardly apparent in the fashion of the ’90s. The rule of thumb regarding grunge gear: look like you don’t care what you wear!
The five essentials toward achieving the look of “I don’t give a f**k” (or what you’ll find in any grunge closet) are as follows:
1. The Thermal
Long-sleeved thermals and long johns, worn under t-shirts or flannels, were originally worn because it was cold as all hell and it was practical to layer clothing and be comfortable in the climate of the Pacific Northwest. Who could’ve predicted that Seattle-based, cold-weather clothing like the thermal would become a staple in Marc Jacobs couture collection.
2. The Flannel Shirt
One of the most notable items of clothing worn during the rise of grunge, the flannel shirt fashion trend had both men and women looking like lumberjacks.
3. The Baby Doll Dress
The baby doll dress is short, frilly, uber-girly, adorned with lace, buttons, and ribbons. It rose to fame in the early ’90s with the emergence of riotgrrrl and popularity of performers like Courtney Love of Hole, who takes credit for starting the fashion trend known as “kinderwhore.” Torn and tight, babydoll dresses were often paired with a pair of Mary Janes.
4. Doc Martens
We couldn’t find a pair that were black, but leather boots fell into step with the rise of grunge, and most every guy and gal could be seen sporting a pair of black docs with shorts or skirts, or the aforementioned baby doll dress.
5. Ripped Jeans
Now how exactly does one get ripped jeans, one might ask? One thing is for certain, not with a pair of scissors! Back then, kids would buy a pair and wear them every single day until they faded and ripped on their own. It’s called patience.
Lesson’s over–now for some free music!
Hailing from Spokane, Washington, The Makers have been around since the early ’90s, releasing garage-punk with a soul influence on labels such as Sub Pop Records and Kill Rock Stars. The music can rock you or it can lull you with their unraveling punk-rock tales, but either way, once you hear the music of this kick-ass band one thing is clear: it rocks!