The irony of discussing trendy punk looks is that the overarching rule of a punk rock attitude is that the mainstream doesn't interest you. So, by definition, there's no such thing as trendy punk. Which may help us understand why the punk look of today largely resembles the punk look of the 1970s.
The whole attitude that punkers try to pull off is that they don't care what you think. But the secret is that though dressing in the style of punk belies a devil-may-care attitude, it actually takes more than a black leather jacket and a studded belt to create an authentic punk look. Read on for tips on rocking it like a Ramone.
Heavy Smoky Eyes
Heavy eyeliner is a staple of the punk accoutrement and that goes for guys as well as girls. Punk dress is by nature supposed to look imposing to civilians, so if heavy eyeliner makes you look a little scary, all the better. Punk eye makeup isn't necessarily about super clean lines, either. It's acceptable to apply eyeliner that makes you look like you slept in it. Just be sure to keep a black kohl pencil in your studded black leather purse to reapply as necessary. If you want to glam it up a bit, add some blue or pink to the mix.
Skinny jeans are trendy right now in many style circles, so expect to find them a staple of punk style as they have been for many years. But when we talk about punk skinny jeans, we're not referring to the finely tailored designer jeans that hug your thighs and gently taper down to your ankles. We're talking the skinny rock star jeans that look not unlike pajama pants and are about as skinny at the thigh as they are at the ankle. They inevitably bag a little in the bottom, but a studded belt will at least keep them around your middle.
For most of us, wearing a ripped shirt held together by a row of safety pins either signifies that we have close personal connections with a couture designer who has carefully disheveled your shirt, or we have fallen on hard times. But if you're thinking punk, you don't care what other people think. So, when your favorite T-shirt -- you know the one that's worn in all nice and soft because you've worn it 100 times -- develops a big rip across the chest, you do what you have to do to keep wearing it. And you're pretty much obligated to have rips in your jeans, especially in the knees.
Punkers are used to being picked on, which requires footwear that either allows you to fight back or run. This is why you'll never see a punker wearing flip flops. Chunky and clunky boots are the name of the game and they typically resemble combat boots. It used to be that Doc Marten boots were the go-to punk footwear of choice, but the way punk works is if more people start to like it and wear it, then it's no longer punk. Chuck Taylors have historically been a punk footwear staple, but they always have to be black. Skate shoes like Draven and TKU also fall into the punk domain, too.
Brightly Colored Hair
Sure, cutting your hair into a Mohawk demonstrates a solid loyalty to your punk aesthetic, but there are ways to experiment with punk style before you actually go all in. Fortunately, you can achieve the same attitude with semi-permanent hair dye. But we're not talking the normal hair color kits you buy at the supermarket; we mean the Manic Panic palette of colors like neon green, bright pink and shocking blue. Go for a whole head transformation, or add chunky highlights of purple and yellow to your black mane. As with anything punk, there are no rules on how it should look. Just follow your instincts, but remember that faux hawks are for posers.
Squeezing into a tight pair of Spanx can make you look better, if not feel better. Learn about shapewear by reading this article at HowStuffWorks.
- Cogan, Brian. "What Do I Get? Punk Rock, Authenticity and Cultural Capital." Nyu.edu. http://www.nyu.edu/pubs/counterblast/punk.htm
- "How to Dress Punk Rock." Waysandhow.com. May 26, 2012. http://waysandhow.com/how-to-dress-punk-rock
- Marinelli, Gina. "Trend Alert! Prepare For The New Punk." http://www.refinery29.com/new-punk-trend-spring-2012
- Yancey, Bryne. 'How to dress pop-punk (and metal, and indie). http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/how_to_dress_pop_punk_and_metal_and_indie