Tear It Up: How To Style Distressed Clothing

Tear It Up: How To Style Distressed Clothing

Distressed clothing can make a bold fashion statement, but it can also be difficult to style. With the right tips and tricks, you can easily master the art of styling distressed clothing. From the right fabrics to the right accessories, here is a comprehensive guide on how to style distressed clothing.

Both the punk movement and the grunge movement are rooted in DIY fashion. Enter distressed clothing, which is hardly a new look on the scene. For decades, fashion rebels have intentionally damaged clothes to make them appear naturally aged, simply because it’s an anti-fashion fashionable statement and symbolizes rock and roll.


Distressed clothing for a grunge and punk rock style!

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And even though the popularity of distressed clothing has evolved and become more mainstream, crossing over to various music genres, including pop, soul, hip-hop, and the sounds of country, the question remains: How can I wear distressed clothing without looking lame?


Fortunately, there are tons of looks you can come up with! Let’s look at some ways you can style distressed clothing, including jeans, dresses, leggings, and tops, while staying in tune with the authentic vibes of punk rock fashion and grunge fashion.


Distressed Jeans


Go grunge with distressed jeans!


Jeans, which remain one of the most coveted types of distressed clothing, can be abraded with chemicals, bleach, friction, and most notable, fabric rips and tears. An awesome aspect associated with wearing ripped jeans is the sense of freedom you have; there is no right or wrong way to wear ‘em! It’s all about finding key pieces that communicate your personality. You can go androgynously grunge in true Kurt Cobain style with a graphic tee, plaid button-up or jacket, and combat boots or Converse. Should you want to show a bit more of your feminine side, a simple change in shoes will make a difference without breaking the coolness of the outfit. A pair of buckled stiletto black booties can turn up your daytime outfit into a sexy evening!


Distressed Dresses


Grunge and punk rock style with distressed dresses!


For ultimate comfort and ultimate style, don’t shy away from a distressed dress! From dramatic runs throughout the dress to subtle holes here and there, this type of clothing item has “anti-fashion” written all over it. It can be worn over solid, contrasting colors that peek through, racy lingerie if you’re into that sort of thing, and distressed leggings or tights if you want to show your overall allegiance to grunge. Because a distressed dress is a major statement as is, consider just one or two key pieces of edgy punk or steampunk jewelry to wear with it. Unless you’re a “more is more” type of chick, too many add-ons could potentially distract from your dress! As for shoes, a pair of black or colored combat boots is always a go.


Distressed Leggings


Distressed leggings for a grunge-punk look!


Leggings – a thicker style of tights that nearly every chick lives in – don’t have to be boring! Sure, a basic pair of black leggings is always in style, but to make that rebellious statement, it’s all about adding that extra edge. And big ‘ole rips, holes, and tears will definitely do that. You can wear a white graphic tee and black leather jacket for a solid punk rock appeal, which always works with creepers or stiletto black heels. Another option is wearing a backless dress and floppy hat with your distressed leggings for a more ethereal, boho vibe. Also, makes for a creative Spring look with lots of depth!


Distressed Tops


Distressed tops for an edgy grunge-punk style!


Distressed punk rock tops and t-shirts make for fun styling! Whether it’s a band tee with even rips throughout the shirt or a sweater that is totally shredded, a distressed top can be worn with jeans, goth pants, leggings for a casual, comfy feel. A pair of black, spiked sneakers or platform boots both work well with as footwear to sport with a distressed top. A messenger bag or a backpack adds a touch of grunge in a practical way, and a pair of oversized sunglasses adds a touch of glam punk to your style. As always, there is no right or wrong way to style distressed clothing. Rather, there are some really cool looks you can adopt to switch up your wardrobe! Distressed tops are definitely one of them.


How do YOU wear your distressed clothing? Leave a comment with your own styling tips!


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About the Author

Elana Pruitt