7 Times Punk Has Influenced The Way We Dress
How About

7 Times Punk Has Influenced The Way We Dress

Avatar of Carolina Romero

By: Carolina Romero

June 2, 2017

How About 7 Times Punk Has Influenced The Way We Dress
Avatar of Carolina Romero

By: Carolina Romero

June 2, 2017

Have you ever felt like the person you're dating is "the one" and both of you are destined for greatness?

You might be right. Or at least, that's the story of punk's grandparents, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.

Westwood was the last name of Vivienne's first husband. In fact, her real name is Vivienne Isabel Swire. After her separation, she got engaged and married to Malcolm McLaren. That union wasn't only relevant for their lives, but to the world in general, and this is no exaggeration.

Punk, as we know it, is basically the result of that romantic, aesthetic, and ideological union. She was a designer and he was a musician. The Sex Pistols were, in the same way, a combination of many talents. McLaren became the manager of the band while Westwood opened a small clothing shop in King's Road in London, the famous Sex store.

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The amazing designs of this young businesswoman were quirky, showy, noisy, and lighthearted. Soon the band started wearing these unique pieces. Naturally, the London youth was shocked by the music and looks of the band. The clothes designed by Westwood started to dress a movement that represented a break with the established patterns.

With the passing of time, this designer garnered a following and her designs reached almost every corner of the globe. Clothes and accessories of this countercultural movement were adopted by the youth and soon became a global trend. To show you the scope of this fashion, here are 7 influences punk left in the way we dress today.

Studs and safety pins

These are the ultimate punk ornaments. They professed the resistance and rebellion of a whole generation. They're a weird combination of sensuality and irreverence.

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Ripped tights

This style of pantyhose became the rebellious item per excellence. Combined with a loose shirt, a denim or leather jacket with studs, they are still present in current fashion.

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Flannel shirts

These shirts are probably the most emblematic fashion piece of the time and of this subculture. Actually, they're now commonly used to show boldness.

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Dr. Martens Boots

The particular style and brand of these boots were originally created for workers and army men who needed strong and resistant shoes. Doc Martens were later adopted by this subculture, who reinterpreted them as symbols of mockery to military impositions.

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Black has been the favorite color choice for many counterculture groups. Stretch jeans, loose tops, and chokers are some of the elements that encompass a punk outfit.

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Shorts and black tights

A denim short and black tights are also a fashion statement we've inherited from this group. We still use them as signs of rebelliousness and youth.

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Pins and buttons 

They were a classic punk accessory used to stand out from the crowd. What started with designs of punk bands, soon evolved into showing political messages against the government.

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If you look closely, this phenomenon might sound odd, since punk and fashion (as we conceive it now) are seen as opposites. The first one is influenced by an anarchist intuition that believes there shouldn't exist any type of social restraint nor a canon to follow. Anarchy's quest is based on freedom. Then, how does this argument could be supported on a runway? How has fashion normalized the use of clothes and accessories that were actually against the normalized?

It looks a bit contradictory, right? Going against established social patterns couldn't become a trend without betraying its own ideals. However, it seems that's the fate of many countercultural movements that have been absorbed by the industry. Probably, dressing freely is more related to punk than following the canonized rules of this style. Take a look at these 8 Grunge Looks You Need To Release Your Inner Riot Grrrl.


Marie Claire
A Star

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards