I Left My Heart in Seattle

The rainy, drizzly weather we’ve been having this week has inspired me to write about something I noticed a few months ago:

GRUNGE IS BACK.

I realize this isn’t exactly ground breaking new information. If you’re like me and obsessively read fashion blogs when you should be doing other things (ie. updating your own blog) you have probably noticed that trends from the 90’s are back in a big way.

This hit home when I was out shopping and noticed one of my favorite stores is now carrying its own version of “Grunge”: designer flannel plaid shirts, pricey long johns, reissued band shirts and distressed, ripped, ill fitting baggy jeans (that cost well over $300). It all just seemed so wrong to me.

I grew up on an island off the West Coast of Canada, about 2 hours north of Seattle (by boat). By the time I entered high school the music and look of Seattle had hit the mainstream. I wasn’t as into the music as most of my friends (by then I had already started reading Vibe and had become obsessed with hip hop and R&B) but I still played Hole’s “live through this” album on repeat, wore baggy jeans, big plaid shirts & little flowered dresses with combat boots—we all did. But back then, getting this look was a DIY affair: my favorite pair of baggy jeans were a pair that used to belong to my Dad (Thanks Dad!), plaid shirts could be purchased at Value Village or a men’s work wear store, combat boots from the Military Surplus place downtown etc. With the exception of buying your Doc Martens, the whole point of this look was that it wasn’t meant to be expensive.

I’m starting to understand how my Mom must have felt when the “hippie” look came back. I remember leafing through a Vogue editorial that featured patch-work bellbottoms, as she scoffed “We used to make all those kinds of things ourselves. You couldn’t just buy it in a store

I have this rule about RETRO clothing: You should only wear clothing & trends from decades where you weren’t actually alive to enjoy it the first time. I love the feminine styles of the 50’s & 60’s however the 90’s are too close to home. High school was an awkward time. Why dress like you’re still there? Sometimes its good to leave things behind. I think this is why my Mom still has a giant hate-on for all things polyester & 1970’s.

There are a few trends from the 90’s that I don’t hate. My favorite look in high school was a pretty, vintage-y, floral dresses paired with tough boots or some other contrasting footware . Think Bridget Fonda in Singles or Winona Ryder in Reality Bites*. I think this mix of Pretty & Tough can be adapted for today. Thus, the inspiration for the two looks in today’s collage.

(*My younger, plaid shirt clad coworker asked me the other day, “Who’s Winona Ryder?”. I wanted to cry)

On the left: “1992”. A literal translation of grunge featuring: a flannel plaid shirt, the ubiquitous Current Elliott boyfriend Jean, Nirvana tee, shapeless long johns, floppy hat & Docs. I respect that the kids out there think this look is cute but there is no way you’re going to catch me leaving the house dressed like a roadie for Lollapalooza.

On the right: “2009”: My favorite look from the 90’s adapted for today. Floral dresses, paired with black tights, and some lace-up boots. The boots featured above are from Tory Burch and look scarily similar to a pair I owned in 11th grade but I think they are updated enough to look modern. Throw on my motorcycle jacket, the floppy gray hat from Look #1 and I’m ready to hit the coffee shop to hang out with Cliff & the gang. Its chic and doesn’t scream out “I just haven’t left the coffee shop or changed my look since 1992**”.

**a look that’s popular in my hometown (unfortunately)


What’s a trend that you will never wear?

Share:

Latest pins

Follow on Pinterest