What Is Punk Style?

By fashion, we mean a sense of style that can change over a decade or a century, but it always keeps the feeling of beauty at the forefront. Each significant fashion era can be wholly different or retain elements from earlier trends. Still, fashion is always associated with two common elements: luxury and elegance in every major fashion trend.

This constant is most likely derived from Ancient Egypt, which has a significant relationship with the history of fashion; many people believe that the foundations of fashion can be found in the history of Egypt, and while this is a controversial view, it is still an essential assertion that we cannot ignore.

Every fashion style, like the military style fashion, should exude power and attitude and give you a sense of individuality. From this remark, it is clear why punk fashion was among the most influential dress code movements from its inception till today.

But what exactly is Punk Style? Continue reading to find out.

What Is Punk?


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The punk subculture is a movement that emerged in the mid-1970s and was immensely popular for approximately a decade, but you can still find its influence all around us today. It is centered on punk rock music, but it also embraces a wide range of beliefs and modes of expression, such as visual arts, film, literature, and even dance. Even though the subculture is labeled exclusively anti-establishment, it also advocates for individual liberty.

Punk rock, a very aggressive style of rock with a lot of soul and emotion, was the most popular music genre. For a long time, punk was assumed to be a left-wing political movement, although it spans the entire political spectrum. Punk philosophy pushes people to control their lives by promoting nonconformity and the do-it-yourself attitude.

Punk Style

a woman sitting on the floor under a yellow light wearing a punk style outfit

In comparison to the existing quo, punk fashion also followed nonconformity laws. It frequently stimulates independence, aggression, and freedom, and some punks had tattoos (many with a socio-political message). Most of their apparel was purchased from thrift stores, demonstrating a new sort of revolution against the consumerist statement.

Punk fashion encompasses clothing, popular make-up trends, hairstyles, and jewelry (including those directly applied to the body). Depending on the designer, punk fashion has distinct oscillations and colors.

For example, Vivienne Westwood, who produced outfits for punk bands like Sex Pistols or The Exploited, had a different perspective on this clothing style than Jean-Paul Gautier, but this is a natural occurrence in fashion trends where the sole rule is that there are no rules. Punk clothing was first handcrafted, but it quickly became mass-produced, and it is now sold in a variety of retailers throughout the world.

Punk fashion drew inspiration from various other fashion fads, but the fundamental starting point was BDSM. That’s why girls sported ripped fishnet stockings with spike bands or other spike-encrusted jewelry. Silver bracelets and piercings were popular alternatives for a casual dress for both men and women.

In terms of make-up, black was the most popular color, with both males and females typically wearing a lot of black eyeliner. Girls wanted to look more manly, but they also wanted to maintain their femininity; therefore, a new uniform was born: a ballet tutu paired with large massive army boots.

To emphasize the “I don’t care” image, authentic punks frequently destroyed their garments or included everyday things into their ensemble, which was held together by safety pins and even tape. The most heinous form of this type of fashion was when garbage bags were transformed into dresses or other clothing items (skirts, T-shirts, etc.), and leather or chains were present in all of the apparel and had a strong connection with the BDSM lifestyle.

The Punk Style Essentials

Let’s focus on the classic pieces that defined the influence style of the movement.

Band Buttons

Punks are the first flair fans. Consider it similar to wearing your Facebook “likes” section and stock up on the bands you enjoy. But beware, posers: if you don’t know the song, keep it off your lapel.

The Leather Moto Jacket

Whether it’s the Joe Strummer’s go-to Lewis Leathers biker or Ramones’ Schott Perfectos, the moto jacket is about as necessary a punk garment as you can get, designed to be worn all day, every day until it becomes a second skin.

The Striped Mohair Sweater

The spongy, Muppet-textured yarn was a favorite of Johnny Rotten, and designers from coast to coast produce variations in Sex Pistols-approved stripes.

Chuck Taylors

The legendary American sneaker was, predictably, the preferred shoe for punk fans on this side of the Atlantic, most famously and incessantly ripped to shreds by Joey Ramone.

The Tudo Jacket

The punk aesthetic may be associated with spiked collars and tartan pants among the general public. Still, many of the music scene’s founders repurposed ultra-traditional menswear pieces, such as dinner jackets, into everyday wear.

Skinny Jeans

Jeans have finally shrunk down in the last five years, a return from the “larger is better” 90s, but before that, punk style arbiters didn’t consider anything below the waist. Battle-scarred knees are optional.

The Denim Jacket


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The well-worn patina associated with so many punk’s iconic pieces wasn’t purposeful; it was more because most of the movement’s influencers only had a few clothes, and the ones they did possess had to last. As a result, the denim jacket has become the perfect outerwear workhorse.

The Studded Belt

The harsher headbangers of punk used accouterments designed to be unappealing to the typical bystander. Hence, studs and spikes adorned wrists, waists, and even necks for those genuinely committed to the cause.

White Shirt and Skinny Black Tie

That’s correct; the stylish combo that’s a must-have for every man’s wardrobe now looks just as nice as it did back then. There were ample torn tees during punk’s peak, but just as many artists (both men and women) were wearing this fundamental combo.

Black Combat Boots

The original shitkickers were not just a bold fashion statement but also essential protection during crowded, rowdy events. While it’s not uncommon to see males wearing boots with suits these days, these were the obvious choice for fuck-off footwear back in the day.

Make It Your Own

The whole purpose of punk was to rebel against the established, and nothing screams lemming more than settling with what’s available. Graffiti a button-down, scratch up your pants, and, most importantly, don’t appear to care while doing so.

A wise saying goes, “Punk is not dead,” and this couldn’t be more true! You may still find punk aspects in practically every attire youngsters wear nowadays. If you are fearless enough to try this fashion style and lifestyle, keep in mind that people may condemn you, but if you can pass this line of prejudice, you will discover the true freedom that punk people promoted worldwide in the 1970s and 1980s.