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5 Amazing Grunge Trends Sellers Should Consider in 2023


Grunge originated as a subculture in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It was popular in the mid-1980s and showcased a DIY (do-it-yourself) aesthetic and a  blend of punk, heavy metal, and alternative musical elements. 

Grunge fashion is about creating a relaxed and unpretentious look, often associated with countercultural movements. Despite being a 90’s fad, this trend continues to make waves in contemporary fashion. 

This article will highlight five grunge trends fashion sellers can watch out for in 2023.

Table of Contents
The global apparel market size in 2023
The top five grunge apparel trends to watch out for in 2023
Bottom line

The global apparel market size in 2023

Woman wearing a grey oversized jacket

The global apparel market size increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% from $551.36 billion in 2021 to $606.19 billion in 2022. Experts project the numbers will reach $768.26 billion in 2026 at a 6.1% CAGR. 

The industry owes its expansion to the rising demand for online shopping. This movement opens more opportunities for businesses to connect with consumers within and outside their local area–hence, fueling the growth of the apparel market. 

The lockdown era was a major obstacle for the apparel industry in 2021, with multiple trade restrictions and consumption decline plaguing the period. Despite the supply chain disruption, Western Europe held the dominant position in the 2021 global apparel market, while Asia Pacific followed closely behind.

However, the apparel market survived the pandemic onslaught and witnessed a much-needed revival. Now, social media and pop culture influence help push the industry’s growth into more appealing styles, like grunge wear.

The rise of the grunge trend stems from the need for self-expression and the fight against excessive consumerism. The increasing popularity of grunge fashion helps supplement the growth of the global market while providing businesses with more opportunities to make sales from basic and versatile pieces in 2023.

The top five grunge apparel trends to watch out for in 2023

‘90s grunge

Girl wearing a red 90s grunge top and black jacket

Grunge fashion during the 1990s showcased a laid-back, unpretentious, and anti-fashion style. Consumers who love grunge may take a cue from the 90s and opt for comfy, loose-fitting vintage clothing. They may also layer it for warmth in chilly seasons.

Flannel shirts are a big part of the 90s grunge style. Interestingly, consumers make rock them as regular shirts or wear them like a shacket. These staple tops made great combos with ripped or distressed jeans, another grunge favorite.

However, grunge ripped jeans featured tears or frays at the edges to exude a worn-in casual look. Hoodies, sweatshirts, and band t-shirts are other grunge-styled items with a heavy 90s appeal.

90s grunge offered the peak of minimalism and carefree attitudes. Businesses can appeal to consumers interested in the 1990s counterculture with this trend.

Pastel grunge

Guy wearing a pink cardigan with ripped jeans

Pastel grunge blends pastel hues with grunge artistic components. Manufacturers add these pale colors to add a gentler and feminine twist to otherwise edgy pieces. Hues like pale pink, baby blue, and mint green constitute the pastel grunge palette. Consumers can also pair them with darker shades like dark grey or black.

One fantastic way to rock a pastel grunge outfit is by teaming a pastel-colored sundress with a denim jacket. Alternatively, pale-colored oversized sweaters with ripped black pants also make a fabulous pastel grunge outfit. Consumers may add chokers, fishnet stockings, or band t-shirts to complete the grunge look. 

Soft grunge

Man wearing a beanie and chain choker

While still maintaining the general grunge aesthetic, soft grunge fashion involves adding accessories like beanies, scarves, and chokers to complete the style.

The soft grunge look takes on a more feminine and fragile approach and is more versatile than any other grunge style. Interestingly, customers may rock grunge items in lighter shades with their favorite clothing pieces for an eye-catching aesthetic. 

Cute grunge

Lady rocking a cartoonish and colorful outfit

While soft grunge emphasizes a softer, more fragile appearance, cute grunge is a more fun, cheerful interpretation of the grunge aesthetic. 

Bright colors, cartoonish images, and exaggerated childlike aspects are mainstream in this style. In addition, cute grunge outfits create a distinct appeal with a kitschy and sarcastic attitude. Some designs even incorporate outdated fashion components, but with an updated twist. 

Oversized flannels, leather jackets, and colorful dresses are some items that make up the cute grunge trend. Businesses can consider investing in these pieces to maximize profits from the niche. 

Indie grunge

Lady wearing an oversized flannel shirt

Indie grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that combines elements of grunge and indie rock. An indie grunge outfit may include clothing and accessories that are edgy, grungy, or alternative in style. 

Usually, this style includes items like ripped or distressed jeans, flannels, and band t-shirts. Consumers rocking an indie grunge outfit may also accessorize with studded belts and chokers. 

Although a general indie grunge style looks casual, it may also draw influence from punk and alternative fashion trends. However, style is often a personal business–hence, what makes an indie grunge outfit may vary from one consumer to another.

Bottom line

Grunge trends offer something different from other fashion movements because it defies conventional standards. More importantly, this trend’s flexibility provides sellers with more opportunities to expand sales. 

Fashion retailers looking to set up shop in grunge fashion won’t go wrong with 90’s grunge, pastel grunge, soft grunge, cute grunge, and indie grunge trends.

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