Getting the most out of your new Pastel Grunge look.
The best thing about trends is that they are cyclical—if you missed a fad the first time around, wait long enough and it will be back, albeit usually with a little bit of a twist. Such is the case with pastel grunge, which takes the grunge trend of the 90s and combines it with a more delicate color palette. Incorporate a little pastel grunge flair into your own personal style by following these tips:
1. Pastel hair
This is one of the easiest, but boldest changes to make—making your hair needs the color of cotton candy. Pink is extraordinarily popular, as are blue and purple, or you can be very daring and allow your inner rainbow unicorn to come out and play by doing several colors at once.
2. Pastel lipsticks
Match your new Easter egg-inspired hair hue/s with some pretty pastel lipstick. Pink has been a standard in most makeup bags for years, but don’t limit yourself to just pale pink. Blue, lilac, creamy yellow, and even green lips are now seen as suitable for everyday use (not just for Halloween!)
3. Dark lipstick
There is such a thing as too much. Contrast is important in fashion and a great place to bring in a little contrast with the pastel grunge look is with your lips. (Also, note in the photo of Kesha—her hair is rainbow pastel, her lip color is light pink, but her eyes are clearly defined with dark eyeliner. Contrast.) In other words, don’t forget the second half of the trend: grunge. Which, in case you were too young (or, you know, not born) to remember, looked like this:
Courtney Love on the cover of a 90s Rolling Stone
Nina Gordon and Louise Post of Veruca Salt, a fantastic 90s band. (Seriously, if you haven’t heard of them, check out “Volcano Girls” and “Seether”)
And an easy, cheap(er) way to add contrast is with some simple dark lipstick, especially if you decide to go with pastel hair and light/minimal eye makeup. Dark lips will really make everything POP and black lips especially will give you more of a gothic edge.
4. Rediscover Doc Martens
Doc Martens were the shoe to have if you wanted to take part in grunge during its first appearance in the 90s and the same is true for the current pastel grunge trend. And the good people over at Doc Martens have definitely noticed as they are now offering their shoes in a rainbow of pastel colors.
Alright, just pastel shoes in general!
Doc Martens are the grunge standard but if you’re like me—someone who finds them too clunky on her tiny feet and who lives in a climate not particularly well-suited for boots—then you can substitute the Docs for a pair of pastel Converses — they’ve gotten in on the trend as well.
Or are you more of a ballet flats person? Luckily, ballet flats and pastel colors go perfectly together. And don’t be concerned about ballet flats or heels not being considered “grunge.” With fashion, you don’t want to look like you’ve copied your look out of a textbook. Be original, let your own tastes shine through—if that means eschewing Docs for light and breezy flats, go for it.
5. Crop tops
Perhaps not totally practical for those living in colder regions, but crop tops were a 90s staple. Combine them with other iconic 90s fashion trends–holographic elements, rips, band shirts, melted graphics—and you’re on your way to shine your new look!
6. Band shirts
There’s only one rule with band shirts—if you are going to wear the shirt, you need to AT LEAST be familiar with the music.
You don’t need to be a huge fan, or be able to recite their discography, but have a little bit of knowledge. Why? Because band shirts are often a conversation starter, especially at social events, and if you can’t hold your own in a discussion about a band whose shirt you are wearing, you look like a follower playing dress-up, which is not very impressive.
Particularly denim vests/jackets and denim shorts, preferably ripped or attractively stained with signs of wear.
For example, you could pair some pastel denim shorts with a black band shirt, some leggings (also it can be a great accessory), and some platform shoes and be a perfectly suitable for your outfit.
8. Platform shoes and creepers
Platform shoes and creepers look absolutely wicked when paired with some tights and short denim shorts.
Bonus points if you can find some that are holographic or pastel.
9. Spikes and studs
Spikes and studs were incredibly popular in the 90s and they can give a not-so-pastel-grunge outfit just a little bit of that 90s flair. Incorporate them into your wardrobe by looking for studded/spiked shoes, jackets or vests, belts (but make sure the belt is visible when you wear it), or shorts, like the pastel ones featured above.
You know everything you need to know about how to pull off pastel grunge from head to toe! Enjoy your new look!
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