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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Did anyone here go to university in the era of 'grunge' fashion?

71 replies

BranchingOut · 13/08/2010 20:46

I am 35 and when I was in my late teens early twenties the big fashion news was 'grunge'.

Can't seem to find a link, but there was lots of emphasis on wearing large, loose clothes. So a female student at my university would probably be wearing slightly baggy jeans or a long loose skirt, maybe a vest top but always with a large cardigan or probably a plaid or check shirt over the top - never with spaghetti straps exposed, leather bracelets, long loose hair and fairly minimal make up. Oh, DM boots or shoes.
There was a definite sense that wearing tight, sexually exposing clothing was not 'cool'. Rightly or wrongly, I think that levels of respect for female students from male students were probably better than today.

Does anyone else remember this?

OP posts:
BranchingOut · 13/08/2010 20:46

Found a link.

OP posts:
spanxaremyonlyfriend · 13/08/2010 20:49

I wore DMs, jeans and M&S mens lamswool jumpers exclusively.

BranchingOut · 13/08/2010 20:50

Yes, wearing mens clothing was big, wasn't it...

OP posts:
Dione · 13/08/2010 20:55

I remember. Back then though we were all keen to assert our independance and describe ourselves as young women/men. Now university students tend to describe themselves as girls and boys.:(

OhPee · 13/08/2010 20:56

Definitely remember this. I never quite grew out of it, tbh. But now I just look like a bag lady.

Hazeyjane · 13/08/2010 20:56

I went to art college 90-94, my best friend and I wore old lady dresses, leggings, dms, and fur coats.

It being art college, dungarees were popular too.

I do remember a lot of hotpants over black tights and skinny rib tops, but it was usually worn with dms, clompy boots, and not really overtly sexy.

EnglandAllenPoe · 13/08/2010 20:59

well, not everyone wore it, but my grunge look involved : mini skirt, thick tights, dolly heels (a la Courtney Love, but also because i have wide feet) and vest with big, baggy wool cardigan over the top for warmth.

there are comparisons to current 'emo' fashion which is probs the closest equivalent.

grunge chicks also dressed like [ kelly macdonald in Trainspotting]]

Shirley Manson, and that advert for levis (you know the one with 'Space-mannnn') sparked a trend for bra & jeans combos.

so there was as much scope for short skirts and revealing items as ever. Getting thin was a big thing.

Besom · 13/08/2010 21:03

Oh yes, god, I have some photos from 89/90.

I had dm's, clothes that were too big for me. Lots of charity shop and second hand stuff. Baseball boots, parka and dyed black hair as well. I looked a fucking state.

My friend from uni who I'm still in touch with said she was scared of me at first!

smittenkitten · 13/08/2010 21:04

yes. tie died skirts with DMs and long grungy cardigans and dirty bits of string around my neck. Oh, and lots of ear cuffs. Brilliant - no effort.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear · 13/08/2010 21:04

I did.
I looked such a state that, when I sat down for a rest on a bench on Oxford St, a tourist tried to give me money.
I still have my parka though. Best coat ever.

Besom · 13/08/2010 21:05

I still have my parka too!

It is so enormous that dh wears it now when the weather is particularly bad.

BranchingOut · 13/08/2010 21:06

I think Kelly MacDonald pouting in the tiny dress on that Trainspotting poster was probably around the time the tide turned in the opposite direction...

OP posts:
lal123 · 13/08/2010 21:07

Link is a bit americanised for what I was wearing. Usually consisted of a tiny skirt, thick black tights and a huge holey jumper - which made it look like I'd forgot to put my trousers on. DMs with everything

BranchingOut · 13/08/2010 21:11

My own everyday look was:

Long flowing skirts - tassels and patchwork optional
Victoriana type dresses/blouses
Baggy jeans
Big cardigans
DM shoes - somehow I never got into boots
Lace up Victorian style boots
Leather thong wrist band
Random pendants

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AmazingBouncingFerret · 13/08/2010 21:11

My eldest sister went to Uni during this fashion era. She often wore DC's, cords, mens shirts bought from charity shops and long baggy cardi's.

Infact I have the most lovely photo of her wearing a long-length red and white small gingham pattern dress with docs and an army surplus store jacket with waist length hair. She looks so pretty in it. (and is still absolutely gorgeous now)
As a young impressionable teenager I often tried to copy her sense of style. Never measured up compared to her though!

OhPee · 13/08/2010 21:15

I wore black leggings, a vest, and a huge man's v-neck jumper, with an over-sized silver locket necklace (2p from a jumble sale) and victorian lace-up boots. Big hair and black eyeliner. I was convinced I was channeling a Warhol muse. Felt great.

MarthaQuest · 13/08/2010 21:15

I was into grunge in the A Level Years.

I was one of the only ones in my year.
Used to wear flat shoes, my dad's old jumpers, loads of second hand loose skirts.

I had hennaed unstyled hair with a fringe and wore very heavy eye make up- think tons of dark grey eyeshadow.

Music wise, though, i was really into the Levellers.

I was told off for wearing my grungy old boots at my Saturday job on the deli counter at Tescos by a grumpy old cow who worked there Grin

ravenAK · 13/08/2010 21:16

I was a goth (well, I still am tbh) & wore lots of baggy black jumpers, black jeans or leggings, Army Surplus boots. Closest we got to overtly sexy would be a black lycra mini, but invariably worn with a huge jumper & opaque tights!

Interestingly goth wear seems to have got a lot more sexualised over the intervening 20 years - corsets & high heeled boots for example, with lots of burlesque influences.

I'm not convinced that wearing unrevealing clothes resulted in higher levels of respect from male to female students, though - I think it's the other way round, & young women's attire reflects the prevailing culture - & I think it starts quite a bit younger than Uni.

OhPee · 13/08/2010 21:17

Yes- I wore that get-up to sixth form. I used to shop in a second-hand emporium before it was fashionable and wear fifties prom dresses with my leggings and boots to, for "going out". Then the fashion police started calling it vintage and put the prices up.

LynetteScavo · 13/08/2010 21:20

Oh yes, I remember grunge...and drinking as much as blokes. Because I could....Hmm

Chumbawumba were so totally cool, y'know!

belgo · 13/08/2010 21:22

Yes me too. I'm 34 this month. I did a course involving a lot of outdoor walking and digging across moors and forests, and I remember the lecturers saying how much they liked the grunge fashion because it meant that the female students were all wearing practical clothes - thick warm jumpers and sturdy boots. They said that ten year before in the eighties they had students trying to do the same hikes in high heels.

I was somewhere between grunge and gothic. It was the best time for anti-fashion. I still love long skirts and thick jumpers.

chiefcook · 13/08/2010 21:27

I'm 34 did the whole grunge thing, my sexy outfit was short black dress with stripy green and black tights and DM's.

I remember going to a Suede concert and Mum telling me I looked like a clown with my patchwork dungees and green DM's!!

I still think I looked cool (ok maybe not the bandana)Grin


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LynetteScavo · 13/08/2010 21:33

My favourite outfit was an oversized denim shirt, a black miniskirt, black tights and back DMs. I could take on the world wearing that!

PaulineCampbellJones · 13/08/2010 21:41

I was a student during that era as well. The days I had a great figure were spent in massive cardies, flowery dresses, purple docs etc. Loved it though. It's all back in fashion now but I would look like mutton dressed as Morrissey.
Suede ahhhh Bernard Butler!

Guadalupe · 13/08/2010 21:42

yes yes

my ugliest outfit must have been the orange and black vertically striped leggings overlaid with torn fishnets, HUGE boots and lacey black cardigan and long purpley straggley hair and a sad face.

I wish I'd kept those leggings actually!

Lots of flowery dresses and layers and big boots and umpteen bangles and black eyeliner with black cherry lipstick and white musk.

Then I moved almost overnight into clubwear, hotpants, cargo trousers and weird little vest tops with many strap variations.

Ah it was fun.

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