How to do Modern Grunge Part 1: Classic Grunge Style

how to style grunge in 2016
Now that we are enjoying these last few weeks of autumn until winter steals it away, I am very excited to announce a November mini-series here on the blog. After the success of this previousGrunge inspired post, I decided to do a month’s worth of grunge inspired outfit posts. I find that this is a more secretive side of me. Hidden inside the love of ruffles and lace is a girl who just wants to hang out in ripped tights and denim cutoffs, which I often do when I am not on blog duty. Today, and for the rest of November, I want let that little part of me shine brightly and bring a little bit of a different flavor to this blog.

how to look grunge

how to be a 90s grunge girl

3 easy steps to grunge girl fashion

how to wear grunge with stuff already in your closet

easy grunge girl outfit

It seems that every autumn people peruse Tumblr and Pinterest for grunge inspiration. It’s something that so many of us associate with the changing leaves, but I always hear echoes of people wondering how they can wear a grunge look without looking like they tumbled out a Seattle 1992 alleyway. Believe me, it is possible to dress like a grunge princess in a more updated and streamlined way that won’t make you look like you’re stuck in an episode of My So Called Life.

I’m starting with an updated basic grunge ensemble for two reasons. One, it’s the easiest grunge look to wear on a day to day basis. Much easier to wear out than a ripped Nirvana crop and army jacket if you don’t want stares.  Two, these items are readily available at any thrift store or even the mall. Make sure you have a flannel shirt, not just plaid (yes, there is a difference – flannel is a type of fabric, plaid is a print) in a style you like. I personally believe boyfriend fits work a little better to achieve that careless mood, but if you do choose to go for a more fitted silhouette, make sure it’s not too fitted. Your ribs should dance freely with the flow of your breath.

Next, choose your jeans. Denim is a a staple in most American closets since the 60s at least, and the late 80s/early90s were no different. Every grunge teen had a pair of careless looking denim and today you should not be the exception. To keep the look fresh, trade those 90s wider legged mom jeans for the more updated ripped-to-shreds skinnies that fit ever so snugly inside a pair of beat up combat boots.

Speaking of boots, shoes are also incredibly important to get that exaggerated historical image of grunge. Do remember me asking which combat boots to get? I eventually settled on these Corcoran military boots, and I’m ever so delighted with them. Of course, for today’s outfit, they are a little too nice looking, but since these boots are such good quality, completely comfortable, and don’t slip in wet or icy weather, I feel confident that after a few good winters or rock shows they will really rock my little heart.

But I digress. Finish your look off with a beanie, smack on a matte red lip, and go find some graffiti to stand against.

What’s your favorite way to do grunge?

Update: Originally, I did say to do a red lip like I did here (and for next week’s post too – sigh), but as May pointed out in the comments, red is totally fine, but a matte berry, brown, or black will work even better. Hoping to rock some berry soon!


  • I love this look, it's casual but really pretty!

  • I'm so excited for this series to roll out, Liz. I'm a huge fan of grunge and like to think that my style incorporates grunge elements albeit subtly. The plaid flannel and ripped denim combo are the perfect representation of 90s grunge. I do think that while this is something I'd rock any day, I'd take it further with a darker lip colour. Matte red is gorgeous. A matte wine would be great. A matte brown or black — even better!

    May | THE MAYDEN | Bloglovin'

    • Hah, don't have brown or black but I do have several berries! It's funny because I almost did a berry instead of red but went red at the last minute. I def agree with you though! Wish I had done a berry now. 😀

  • Loving that look, red on the lips is always gorgeous, but berry would look so gorgeous, too 🙂

  • I am absolutely a fan of grunge & your spin on modern grunge is fantastic. You can't go wrong with plaid & combat boots; that is my go to uniform for fall. :]

    // ▲ ▲

  • Kay

    Wow, this is definitely my kind of style, I love it! x The boots are really awesome, and I like your makeup. 🙂 I can't wait to see more post in this mini-series! <3

    Following on bloglovin' x


  • This is such a lovely late autumn outfit! You look incredible – this shade of green just suits you so well and you can never go wrong with plaid in fall or winter.

    Rae of Love from Berlin
    Bloglovin' // instagram

  • Great post dear! I invite you to join my Giveaway on the blog:

  • I love this grunge vibe! You have the perfect flannel shirt, may I ask where you got it? 🙂 I've been looking for a similar one, but can't find anything I'd like. Most of the flannel shirts available in stores are red, and it isn't a colour I feel very good wearing. I'd love to find a shirt like yours, because it's a casual, comfortable piece that doesn't look boring, and this is exactly what I look for on a day-to-day basis. What's more, I think such shirt would look really interesting with a fitted black skirt for parties or dinners out 🙂

    Have a great weekend


    • Hi Joanna! I bought this shirt at H&M a few years back, but I was just there today and they have quite a few non-red flannels. Since I am not a red flannel fan either, I am always on the lookout for green or blue ones. You might also have luck at Urban Outfitters as they tend to have a variety of colors as well. Good luck!

  • Love this modern grunge look! Those red lips go perfect with it.