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Your lifestyle, your quirk
The punk subculture is all about rebellious and confrontational style – usually expressed through a bold combo of clothing, hairstyles, cosmetics, jewelry, and body alterations like piercings and tattoos. The punk culture was born in the 1970s in London as a product of the music scene. Punk rock was huge at the time and was a deliberate rebuttal of the perceived pretension found in mainstream culture and music. Early punk artists were all about being anti-materialistic. In the United States, the movement inspired youths (usually people in their teens and twenties) to ditch the colorful disco scene in favor of simpler, edgier clothes - ranging from the T-shirt/jeans/leather jacket look popularized by the Ramones, to the low-class, second-hand style of acts like Patti Smith.
Most of the punk fashion of the ’70s was based on the designs of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren and the Bromley Contingent. McLaren has credited this style to his impressions of Richard Hell, while McLaren was in New York City working with New York Dolls. Deliberately offensive T-shirts were popular in the early punk scene, such as the DESTROY T-shirt sold at SEX, which featured an inverted crucifix. This style has continued to evolve through the decades. Punk gear is often torn or discolored on purpose. Other popular punk items included fishnets stockings; customized blazers; and dress shirts randomly covered in slogans (such as "Only Anarchists are pretty"), patches, and controversial images.
Today, the punk culture continues to be strong in America. There are a lot of different variations of punk style today, including gothic punk, hardcore punk, glam punk, skate punk, pop punk, and more.
Spiked or studded jewelry, safety pins, and body piercings are other popular favorites in the punk culture. Hair is often dyed bold colors like neon green, blue, or red and styled in to a Mohawk (or other variation of shaving part of the head).
Some female punks prefer to rebel against the stereotypical image of a woman by combining clothes that are meant to be delicate or pretty with clothes that were considered masculine, like combining a ballet tutu with combat boots.
If you’re interested in capturing the punk style, start by hitting up the vintage clothing and thrift stores for band T-shirts, leather jackets, spiked collars and studded belts – all typical components of both retro and modern punk fashion. Plaid miniskirts with fishnet stockings and striped knee socks with clunky boots or Chuck Taylor All-Stars sneakers are perfect for the punk fashionista (rip the stockings and add some safety pins to the skirt if you want to be more hardcore).
Punk guys love to wear kilts, leather or denim slim-fit pants with T-shirts that promote favorite punk bands or a strong political belief – don’t be afraid to make a statement!
Complete the punk ensemble by putting safety pins through your piercing holes, wearing military-style dog tags as necklaces, and rubber gaskets as bracelets. The punk girls (and some guys) favor heavy, black eyeliner and mascara or sweeping, bold-colored eye shadows (extend to the hair line). If you don’t like the idea of dying your hair a bright hue, bleach your hair white or platinum blond, or dye it jet black. Rock on!
So tell us, are you a punk girl? Share your fashion tips with us!