Whatever, Nevermind: A Look Back at Grunge Icons

‘Cause not giving a fuck is the new giving a fuck.

Since its revolutionary birth in the ‘90s, grunge is still as relevant as ever in both the fashion and music scene, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s messy, half-arsed anti-fashion aesthetic required minimal effort (an extra hour in bed, anyone?), and yet, ironically resulted in maximum impact, style wise.  It made you look as if you frankly, didn’t give a fuck what people thought of you (even if you maybe did), and was the uniform of non-conforming slackers in the ’90s. We’ve complied some of the most iconic looks of the era. Get inspired (or don’t—whatever).


Back in the days when Gwen Stefani was busy frontwomaning for No Doubt (PLZ COME BACK), she was also busy looking utterly ICONIC. On initial memory of Gwen’s fashion choices, we may at first think of her ska-inspired looks (blue hair, crop tops, and general eccentric attire), but she was also considered to be part of the grunge movement, especially at the beginning of her career. With her mini bun hairdo, dark lip, and all black sheer outfit, she was the epitome of grunge-cool.


Back in the day, the pivotal ’90s series My So-Called Life had us dying our hair with Kool Aid, borrowing our dad’s flannels, and burning Jordan Catalano’s broody eyes into our souls. The show starred a young Claire Danes as Angela Chase, a 15-year old nerd who suddenly cuts her hair, ditches her friends to hang out with the cool kids in the bathroom, and swaps her tweeny Laura Ashley vests for the epitome of a grunge wardrobe: think oversized cardigansdenim, thrift-store knitwear, flannel shirts. It was so badass. Also, let’s never forget that once upon a time Jared Leto looked like this:


Courtney Love, just like her late partner Cobain, is also an undisputed perennial style icon for the grunge movement. Achingly-cool and effortlessly stylish, when she wasn’t wearing flannels and ripped tights, Courtney‘s version of grunge had an edge of glamor when she was rocking a red carpet or a stage. This included slip dresses, tiaras, chunky platforms, a red lip, and messy hair. Bad.Ass.


One of the (many) reasons why Winona Ryder is one of our favorite ever people and considered a legendary figure in the ’90s is partly because of her nonchalant and uncaring demeanor when it comes to being universally liked (ironically)This is demonstrated in her wardrobe—from chokers, head-to-toe black, shredded denim, menswear pieces, and, of course, a black Moto jacket, Ryder stood in complete contrast to the sickly-sweet teen stars of that era. Read more about her stylish appeal here.


Drew Barrymore was seriously killin’ it in the ‘90s as one of the ultimate IT-girls of the generation, and she always brought the party. Her fashion reflected her rebellious attitude, which she usually mixed with a lot of feminine pieces (who can forget the butterfly clip phase?). She’d go from wearing a bashed in Moto jacket, vintage denim, and a crucifix choker to then owning it in a polka dot dress with a black lip, while exuding a disheveled “Oh this old thing? I just threw on whatever” vibe and thus cementing herself as a pioneer for ’90s grunge (and responsible for stealing our hearts).

Shop the look here.

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