How to Dress Like a Grunge Musician

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A grunge musician is the perfect example of someone who doesn’t care about what they look like. They are usually very dirty and their clothes are usually very ripped and old.

The Grunge Look

The grunge look was popularized in the 1990s by musicians like Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder. It is characterized by plaid flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and Doc Martens boots. If you’re looking to dress like a grunge musician, here are some tips.


Grunge fashion is all about comfort, layering, and simplicity. Start with a pair of lightwash jeans and a plaid shirt. Layer a thrifted cardigan or jean jacket over top. Add a pair of combat boots or Converse sneakers. Then accessorize with some jewelry and Layer some more. Finish the look with messy, bedhead hair.


The signature grunge hairstyle was long, dreadlocked, and greasy. To achieve this look, you will need to let your hair grow out for a few months. After your hair is the desired length, neglect it! Don’t wash it often, and when you do, don’t use conditioner. Allow it to air dry whenever possible, but if you must use a blow dryer, set it on low and keep it moving so you don’t fry your hair. You can further muss up your ‘do by sleeping on it wet or putting it in braids when it’s damp. When your hair is as unkempt as you want it to be, add some grunge-appropriate accessories like barrettes, headbands, or scarves.


While many people associate the grunge look with being dirty and unkempt, the reality is that many grunge musicians took care to create a specific look. This look included heavy eyeliner, dark lipstick, and often dark nail polish. Grunge makeup was all about looking edgy and different, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

The Grunge Sound

The grunge subculture emerged during the mid-1980s in the Pacific Northwest U.S. state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. The sound, style, and attitude of grunge musicians was often bleak, cynical, and angst-filled. Grunge fashion was created as a way for musicians and fans to distance themselves from the flashy, over-the-top styles of the 1980s. Let’s take a look at how you can dress like a grunge musician.


The grunge sound is characterized by heavy guitars and a raw, unpolished sound. Grunge bands often used distorted guitars and a mixture of punk and metal influences. The sound was popularized in the early 1990s by bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.

Grunge fashion is characterized by an anti-fashion aesthetic. Grunge musicians often dressed in thrift store clothing and wore their hair in an unkempt, natural style. Flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and Doc Martens boots were popular grunge fashion items.

Grunge music and fashion became mainstream in the early 1990s, due in part to the success of Nirvana’s album “Nevermind.” The popularity of grunge waned in the late 1990s, but the influence of the grunge aesthetic can still be seen in today’s fashion and music.


While any instrument can technically be used in grunge, the sound is most commonly associated with electric guitars, bass guitars, and drums. Grunge bands generally use standard rock ‘n’ roll instrumentation, with a few exceptions. For example, some grunge bassists use six-string basses instead of the more common four-string variety. This creates a lower and more growling sound that can complement the often distorted guitars. Synthesizers and keyboard instruments are sometimes used in grunge music as well, though they are not as common as other instruments.

The Grunge Scene

The grunge scene was a movement that started in the early 1990s and was characterized by its DIY ethic, gloomy aesthetics, and apathetic attitude. Grunge fashion is typified by plaid shirts, ripped jeans, Doc Martens, and flannel. If you want to dress like a grunge musician, here are some tips.


The grunge scene in the early 1990s was centered around a few key venues in Seattle. The clubs provided a space for the music and fashion to develop and grow. Some of the most famous grunge clubs included The Crocodile, The Vogue, Satyricon, and The Empty Bottle.


Gatherings and festivals play a big role in the grunge culture. These huge parties are usually fan-oriented and bring together people from all over to mosh and enjoy good music.

Attending a grunge festival is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and get to know other like-minded people. It’s also a great opportunity to check out different bands and see how they perform live.

If you’re planning on attending a grunge festival, be sure to dress the part. Wear comfortable clothes that you can move around in, and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty. ripped jeans, Nirvana t-shirts, and flannel shirts are all great choices.

most importantly, have fun and let loose!

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