Norwich fashion heads for the grunge scene

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 February 2012

Biker jacket £40, sequin vest £28, tiger print cropped jeans £35, snakeprint wedges, £40, Dorothy Perkins.

Biker jacket £40, sequin vest £28, tiger print cropped jeans £35, snakeprint wedges, £40, Dorothy Perkins.


The days when you looked like you had just got out of bed and thrown something on are back. Emma Harrowing shows you how to get this year’s take on the 1990s grunge trend.

The 1990s were my era. Walking to City College Norwich in my purple DMs with beads on the laces, a long patchwork skirt, a Stone Roses T-shirt worn under a baggy V-neck jumper and my trusty long chunky pattern knit hooded cardigan; I tried to have a ‘I don’t care what I look like because I’m making a statement’ air about me.

I would sit in the basement of ‘F block’ with similar lost souls debating who was better out of Oasis or Blur, before making plans to go to Meltdown at The Waterfront on Saturday night to stomp our way through Madchester tracks.

Of course this was the fashion then. Grunge in all its musty thrown together glory was the look that defined one of fashions most memorable eras (for me and the other cool fashionistas anyway!).

Now it’s back and it may have a slightly different look with the bias-cut slip and lace -up biker boots, but key pieces still remain such as the check shirt, the boyfriend jumper, the hoodie, the acid wash and sometimes ripped jeans and the faded band T-shirt. It’s the perfect antidote to spring’s ladylike 1920s, 1930s and 1950s styles.

It’s also an androgynous look; a style that has migrated from winter’s neat tuxedos and tweed jackets and skinny jeans to a genderless mix-match of prints and textures.

So how can you get this 1990s look without looking like you are trying to relive your teenage years?

At the SS12 shows Topshop showcased tie-dye palazzo trousers with matching baggy blouse tops and nude dip hem skirts worn with cut out and lace dip hem tops. The look was very laid back hippy chic with the same ‘I’ve just thrown this on’ look of the 1990s.

However, wearing head to toe tie-dye may not be your bag. It’s certainly not mine having worn the look throughout my teens. So this is where a little bit of customisation is required to make the look work for you.

For a simple 2012 grunge look wear acid or stone-washed jeans with a faded band T-shirt (some of the vintage shops in Norwich could probably find you an original one or try Norwich market or the high street – Topshop had some Stone Roses ones a few months ago). Pull on your lace-up boots and your long cardigan and you have an easy-to-wear grunge look.

Alternatively mix your feminine skirts with masculine pieces such as boots and a boyfriend jumper. Mix patterns – a floral skirt, a stripy T-shirt layered with a lace jumper and DMs or biker boots.

For men the checked shirt is king. Wear it with your stone-wash jeans, faded band or logo T-shirt, parka and boots (with laces undone), wear it with a pair of flared jeans and layer with a T-shirt and a patterned jumper, in fact wear it under, over and with everything.

It’s time to bring back the grunge.

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