Style Tips for Indie and Grunge

Written by robert godard
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Style Tips for Indie and Grunge
Unique tattoos can be seen in both grunge and indie style. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Grunge describes a music movement that began in the early 1990s and was made popular by bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Indie describes a movement that started more recently, and is not necessarily defined by any one musical genre or aesthetic, but generally describes a desire to move away from mainstream style. There is some overlap between both styles, though they are each unique.

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Both men and women wore long, unkempt hair in the grunge scene. People dyed their hair, usually blond, but they left long periods between dyeing so that the roots would show. Indie style is much more flexible, though long hair is common. Indie hair styles are by and large unusual, meaning that they do not conform to standard practices when it comes to hair style.


Perhaps the signature style for grunge was ripped jeans and a plain white T-shirt. However, both men and women also wore plaid. Plaid is also common in the indie scene. Both grunge and indie styles dictate that you not devote too much time to picking out exactly the "right clothes." Standing out is the main function of fashion, and wearing something as unconventional as possible will typically do the trick.


Accessories are certainly more important to the indie movement than they are to the grunge aesthetic. Indie scenesters can be seen with a lot of accessories, including necklaces, multiple bracelets and large earrings. These are typically inexpensive pieces of jewellery, but are designed to stand out. Grunge style was much more reserved about donning accessories. The most common was a winter beanie hat, regardless of the weather, or a thin leather bracelet.


Tattoos are an excellent way of making yourself stand out, and have been used by many subcultures to react against the commercial norm. For the indie aesthetic, this means picking a tattoo design that is colourful, but different from the usual ones you may see. Tribal bands, for instance, are not favoured because they are generally considered unoriginal. Grunge devotees also sported tattoos, but in the era of grunge tattoos were seen as much more offensive and subversive than they are today.

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