8 Grunge Style Outfits That Are So Cool It Hurts

Go grunge or go home.

Grunge style outfit including a grunge flannel shirt and grunge varsity jacket

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Grunge style is the throwback aesthetic gift that keeps on giving. From slouchy silhouettes to mix n' mismatched prints, grunge style does what other reemerging aesthetics can't: stays effortlessly cool while also being comfortable. Unlike Y2K style's dreaded low-rise jeans, whale tails, and micro-minis, grunge style doesn't demand you expose a ton of skin with every outfit. Simply, put, it’s the ultimate in being cool without trying hard or even at all. 

Think of grunge like normcore’s cooler older sister. Grunge style appears unassuming, but don’t be fooled. When you see a celebrity rocking baggy separates and basics that comprise a high-end grunge style, their wide-legged jeans and oversized flannels have likely been tailored to appear nonchalantly oversized. If you prefer to keep things fitted, don’t fret. Grunge style isn’t exclusively the domain of supersized separates. 

Layering, playing with plaid, throwing caution to the wind by mismatching, leaning into punk-inspired accessories, and slipping on a pair of throwback stomp-around boots are all ways to get grunge while still looking snatched. If you’re looking to incorporate grunge style vibes into your wardrobe, consider working one of these grunge styling cues into your weekly ‘fit rotation. 

Play With Plaid 

A model wears a grunge style plaid skirt

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'90s grunge took cues from alt-rock culture and, thanks to Nirvana’s massive fame at the time, plaid flannel button-downs became synonymous with grunge. You can modernize this grunge style staple by skipping the shirt and working in the iconic pattern through a jacket, skirt, or matching set.

Layer, Layer, Layer

A grunge style outfit including layers.

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Another quintessential grunge style hallmark is adding lots of layers. For spring, try layering denim outerwear with lightweight knit tops, and don't shy away from cinching a flannel shirt around your waist.

Add Some Soft Edge 

A grunge style outfit including a sundress and combat boots.

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Warm weather doesn't have to mean the end of your grunge style experimentation. An airy sundress paired with combat boots channels the effortlessness and hard edge of grunge in a brunch-approved silhouette.

Mix N’ Mismatch 

A model wears a patchwork grunge style skirt

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Clashing and contrasting prints and patterns are a hallmark of grunge style. Remember, grunge is too cool to care to match. If you don't quite trust your own sense of mismatched taste, try a single piece of clothing like a patchwork skirt or top that combines two different prints.

Work In Pleats 

A grunge style pleated skirt

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Grunge style doesn't have to be loud or ostentatious. You can nod to the aesthetic with something as simple as a pleated skirt. Plaid is definitely the grungiest of grunge style options, but any skirt with accordion pleats sends out grunge style singles.

Bring On The Boots

A model wearing grunge style combat boots

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Footwear is a key part of grunge style and, when it comes to boots, the bigger the better. A classic combat boot combines toughness and comfort, two major elements of the grunge aesthetic.

Embrace School Spirit

A grunge style street style outfit including a long flannel shirt and a varsity jacket.

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Nothing evokes the OG true '90s grunge aesthetic quite like an oversized flannel tunic under a varsity jacket. To bring this grunge style into the modern age, pair the fit with a pair of heeled boots to give it a bit of va-va-voom.

Go Oversized

Grunge style pants and jacket as seen on Hailey Bieber.

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While you certainly don't have to wear an oversized item of clothing to give off grunge style vibes, embracing at least one loosely fitted piece definitely helps channel the aesthetic. There's really no way to overdo the oversized element of grunge style, but if you prefer more form-fitting tops, try incorporating a pair of baggy cargo pants or distressed jeans into a look.

Slip Into A Slip Dress

A model wears a grunge style slip dress.

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Grunge style's softer side plays up the feminine. A slip dress paired with combat boots, tights, and with or without a flannel shirt, plays up the softer side of grunge while still staying true to the aesthetic.

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