The "Grunge Chic" Style

By Natalie White on January 25, 2015

As I walk down through the Diag on Michigan’s campus, I’m not surprised to find that countless numbers of my classmates are dressed in sweatpants, oversized shirts or sweaters, and sport ponytails or beanies to cover their otherwise messy hairdo. Nobody seems to mind that everyone is dressed so casually, but where did this trend come from? It hasn’t always been the case that people owned more sweatpants than jeans. In fact, just a few years ago dressing so sloppily would’ve been frowned upon. Furthermore, travel back to when our parent’s or grandparents were in college and this kind of uniform would be unheard of.

This sloppy style, or what I like to call “grunge chic”, is a huge reflection on our generation, but not in the way you might think. While some people may think that it means we don’t care or we’re lazy, it’s actually quite the opposite. Today, college students dress comfortably because that’s how they believe that they can perform their best on a day-to-day basis. This more relaxed manner of dress lets students concentrate on what they’re learning, rather than what they’re wearing.


Of course, there is still a time and place for business wear, but that place just might not be the classroom. Students are still being taught how to dress up for interviews, and how to dress for the job they want. This isn’t a lost skill, it’s just one that young people are now learning to balance with a new style that they’ve created all their own.


This new style, like many other things, is a way for the current generation to leave their own unique mark. How do you make this style a success? Despite the acceptance of the “grunge chic” look, there is still a fine line between looking like you meant to dress this way, and looking like you actually did just roll out of bed. The ability to perfect this look isn’t always as easy as it looks. Look out for my next article when I delve deeper into the do’s and don’ts of nailing the “grunge chic” ensemble.

I'm currently a junior at the University of Michigan. I love reading and writing and I have a passion for the color pink, although not in my wardrobe. "Be so good they can't ignore you." -Steve Martin

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