Alternative Style — the Mother of All Non-Mainstream Fashion
Alt fashion is all-encompassing! It’s the umbrella under which so many other genres we love and wear exist. Read on to see what alternative style is and why alternative clothing is an anti-conformist’s BFF.
Alternative style is kind of a non-descript fashion category. What the hell does it even mean?!
We’re getting into the nitty gritty of alt: What it is, where it came from, and why it developed. We’ll cinch it all up with some killer alternative casual fashion examples (one’s you can snatch up for yourselves!).
What is Alternative Fashion?
It’s pretty much what it sounds like it is. Alternative style is a fashion aesthetic that intentionally deviates from the norm. Mainstream looks tend to target general appeal and broad marketability. Alt fashion purposefully heads in the opposite direction.
Alt fashion may even be like a textile incarnation of a protest song…. It pushes back against traditional or conventional concepts of beauty. It turns its nose up at commercial mass-marketed clothing trends. It’s distinctly counter-cultural, striking notes of individualism, creativity, daring, and outspokenness.
Alternative Fashion Style Genres
There are many genres feeding into to alt style. These include:
- 70's core
- Fairy kei
- Hip hop
- Lolita fashion
Alternative is the starting point for these deeper genres. All these flavors of alt fashion come together to form alternative style.
It’s really similar to how we categorize music genres. For example, hip hop is the broad term for all hip hop music, but it gets more specific — such as rap, boom bap, trap, cloud rap, etc.
If it helps, think of alt fashion as the color white, which is what you get when all colors on the spectrum are combined. Each substyle, then, is just one of the many hues on that spectrum. (Alt style is like a prism in the sunshine, breaking out all the different colors of the rainbow!)
Characteristics of Alt Style
If you’re at all familiar with any of the alt genres listed above, you probably have some inkling as to many of their characteristics. Alt styles are often:
Some genres focus on comfort and convenience while others prioritize making a statement. Regardless, there’s plenty of room for self-expression!
(FYI — We can only scratch the surface here, So, check out or blog for in-depth posts about punk, goth, emo, pastel goth, and other styles. Each will give you more details on the defining traits.)
“Part of what I have to represent is an alternative to this perverted fashion industry concept of what beauty is.” — Lydia Lunch
Show Me Some Alt Style, Yo!
What better way to illustrate alternative fashion style than with some of our best examples?
Alt Fashion: Punk
Alt Fashion: Goth
Alt Fashion: Tattoo-Inspired
- Don't Ask About My Tats Pink Tank
- Gunslinging Cherubs Sports Bra
- Stick N Poke Tattoo Thigh-High Socks
Break Away from Boring & Find Your Fringe Fashion with Alternative Style
Dare to be different. Alternative fashion makes it easy and fun!
Alternative style — which includes a ton of looks you know and love, like punk and goth — is all about bucking tradition and shaking off the conventional. There are countless options to create your own alt aesthetic.
If you’re ready to score some alternative casual fashion, check out what we’ve got in store for you. Seriously, you’ll discover everything you’ve been searching for from alternative apparel to shoes and accessories to stuff for your home. It’s epic.