How To Dress Grunge At Work

 How To Dress Grunge At Work

Grunge fashion is a style that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It's edgy and rebellious, yet still sophisticated enough to be worn in an office setting. If you're looking to incorporate grunge into your work wardrobe, here are some tips to make it look professional and chic.

The fashion you wear to work depends on the company you work for and the environment you’re in. Quite possibly, the most challenging place to maintain a sense of rebellious style in a “professional” manner is corporate America. So how do you show your passion for grunge fashion on a daily basis…especially if you’re around a bunch of stiffs? Here are some fashion tips to help you maintain both your professionalism as well as your edge. Viva La Grunge! 


Plaid ‘N Professional

Go grunge at work! Plaid flannel can be polished for your daily corporate wardrobe.Image Credit: www.zimbio.com


Whether you're soft grunge or you love classic 90s grunge, a plaid button-up shirt or flannel is likely to be a staple in your wardrobe (or five of them!). So why not get good use out of it in the office? You can wear it with all black – buttoned up as the focal piece of the outfit or unbuttoned over a simple black blouse. Plaid button-ups also work with skirts and cute maxi dresses. But be sure to keep it in good condition! If you’re really trying to work in your favorite grunge fashion items so you can maintain your sense of identity in the corporate world (and sense of sanity!), you may want to categorize your flannels and/or plaid shirts. Some for play…and some for work! In other words, the shirts you throw to the back of your closet and the ones you hang up. As for the type of colors or other prints to work into your outfit, the key is to keep it simple and professional. 


Dressed-Up Distressed Jeans


Distressed denim styled for the workplace.Image Credit: www.360nobs.com


Distressed clothing is like the holy mecca of the grunge movement. And as our society progresses, so do the standards and philosophies of corporate companies. There are some businesses that have a very liberal dress code, in which ripped or holey jeans can be worn on a daily basis. Then there are other businesses that only allow this type of fashion item to be worn on “Casual Friday.” And, of course, there are those that won’t dare allow it. If you work in an environment that does allow you to wear distressed jeans, be it every day or once a week, the safest thing to do is to dress them up. Throw an awesome heel, blazer or leather jacket, and a button-up blouse together with your edgy denim pants to show that you still value the concept of professionalism. Who knows? You may inspire other chicks around the office to show their rocker personality more with grunge fashion! 


Boots And Mini Dresses


Use boots to add edge to your Casual Friday style.Image Credit: www.gastrochic.com


What did Winona Ryder and Drew Barrymore share in the 90s? Well, besides their adorable smiles and their super-cool films, these two 90s style icons were awesome in working their grunge-inspired, indie styles in real life as well as on-screen. Boots with dresses?! Totally. Although Winona was way more long dress and Drew was may more mini dress – their 90s styles are major influencers of today. So if you have that urge to wear boots and dresses to work, then make it work! First thing’s first, make sure you understand the dress code at work. After that, have fun stocking up on cute hosiery and fun leggings to wear with the dresses. Just like with plaid shirts, be sure to keep quality boots in mind. When in doubt – if you’re ever unsure if there’s such a thing as “too scruffed up” – avoid them altogether. But don’t shy away from this adorable grunge ensemble if you got the goods and you get the go-ahead. Cardigans and blazers to wear with this grunge outfit are great pieces to consider, and accessories such as belts and scarves can help add character! 


The Oversized Slouchy Sweater


Oversize sweaters are a comfy way to go grunge at work!Image Credit: www.justthedesign.com


The original grunge movement was heavily rooted in poetic sadness, and no other fashion item exemplified the angst and isolation of this subculture more than the oversized, slouchy sweater. It was the security blanket of the 90s that could be worn with any outfit. Whether thrown on top of a band tee or worn over a floral vintage dress, it was a key ingredient in grunge fashion. Now, more than 20 years later, the oversized, slouchy sweater is still a hot item. Some prefer to still score theirs at thrift shops, while others shop for the perfect fit in a tailored version of it. Either way, you can wear both to work appropriately! If you’re all about the oversized style, try wearing it with fitting pants or a pencil skirt. If you’re all about the tailored-yet-loose sweater style, go for a wide-legged trouser or flowy skirt to offset it. Last, but not least, make sure your sleeves don’t resemble the grunge period toooo much. This means: make sure your fingers aren’t covered by – or sticking through – any holes! 


Do you find it difficult to show your edgy style in the workplace? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below!


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Cover image courtesy of: lilicons.com


About the Author

Elana Pruitt