Grunge Isn't Dead, It's Just Called Neo-Grunge Now

November 30, 2007 by SheFindsJessica
shefinds |

I was a girl who, once upon an embarrassing time, had a closet full of flannel and Nirvana on constant rotation in her CD-player. I wore my dad's old army button-down over his University of Chicago t-shirt (my dad is a little guy so it was perfectly oversized), ripped jeans, and maroon Doc Marten Mary-Janes. I smelled like teen spirit, drank pennyroyal tea, and made no apologies for teenage angst. I secretly coveted my grandfather's cardigans. It was a dark couple years when my mother's photo albums also surreptitiously stopped recording my image.

So when I began to notice the re-emergence of Grunge in today's fashions I thought, "Oh God. No. Not again." I imagine it's how my mother felt when I came home with a pair of bell bottoms early in 2000.

Thankfully, there is no reason to fear this trend. Neo-Grunge is fitted and feminine. It seems designers are taking cues from the hipsters who have been sporting thrift store plaids for a while. Loeffler Randall has taken plaid in a very lady-like direction with bibbed frocks while Charlotte Ronson has recreated the classic shirt as a belted tunic. Celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, and Kirsten Dunst have all embraced the cooler-than-five-minutes-from-now look.

I enjoy it mixed tastefully with more classic pieces, creating an eclectic, non-slave-to-the-trends style. Like this girl, who flaunts her ability to mix and match new styles (plaid/schoolgirl blazer/oxford shoes) to create a purely individual fashion intelligence.

Following are some of my favorite Neo-Grunge pieces:

1. Jovovich-Hawk adds a refined ruffle to update its plaid shirt ($242). And, with ankle boots and leggings, their bibbed Darla dress ($225: use code "toutie" for 10% off) is a stylish addition to this season's wardrobe (although I worry that come next season it'll be impossibly dated).

2. Loeffler Randall is not only creating shoes that my heart skip a beat, but they also made this dress that incorporates its Grunge influence well enough to outlive the trend and become a staple of your closet. Paired with some simple, classic heels, this frock ($385 : use code "apologies" for 25% off) is deliciously adorable.

3. Generra's dress ($245) is more understated but allows cute pairings with boots, a long cardigan, a cashmere scarf, or some chunky accessories.

4. Charlotte Ronson, always a favorite of celebrities and fashionistas, takes the plaid flannel to a tunic and belts it ($202). It's a perfect compliment to skinny jeans and would look amazing under a schoolgirl-inspired blazer. (Waisted shirts under blazers highlight your figure while shaving pounds away.)

5. Urban Outfitters has made a more budget friendly plaid shirt. Since this trend may, well, be a trend, it's smart to buy inexpensive pieces and keeping your investment wardrobe to garments less subject to designer whims. And shoot, at $48, this shirt is a great way to do so.

6. Another great way to inject some Neo-Grunge to your fresh and clean wardrobe (without sacrificing hygeine) is through a simple accessory. For instance, a plaid scarf. I plan on buying one to pair with a casual black dress, opaque black tights, and a pair of oxford heels. Prices can range to suit any budget, so you might want to get a couple.

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