Looking to find your inner emo? In this post, we share everything you need to know, including what is emo, how to look emo, how to dress emo, and more.
With many artists reviving the emo subculture, a lot of fans are once again adopting emo fashion. If you find yourself asking "What kind of style is emo?" — then you've come to the right place.
Keep on reading because we explain everything you need to know about emo style and how you can pull it off.
Emergence of the Emo Subculture
Emo subculture first appeared in the 80s, when the music genre for the D.C. hardcore punk scene was first called "emotive hardcore."
At the time, the hardcore punk culture was dominated by "tough guys" who indulged in violence. However, some people wanted to break away from that. Instead, they wrote songs with emotional lyrics.
More than a decade later, the genre has evolved into a new generation of emo music. Icons like Kelly Osbourne and Avril Lavigne paved the way, along with emo-pop bands such as Paramore, Fall Out Boy, and Panic! At The Disco.
Goth vs Emo: What's the Diff?
Emo is a style of rock music that uses a more complex arrangement along with lyrics about emotional subjects.
Lots of folks wonder about the distinction of goth vs emo. It boils down to: Emo bands emphasize the release of emotion while goth bands focus on delivering a dark tone. Punk bands concentrate more on political and social issues.
These nuances provide each sub-genre with its own unique take on music. These sentiments and priorities are also visible in the clothing, makeup, and hairstyles devotees of emo, goth, and punk take on.
Emo Fashion 101
If you're wondering "What is an emo kid?" — just look for someone who:
- Dresses in black outfits with skinny jeans, band tees, hoodie jackets, and Vans or Converse shoes
- Wears rubber bracelets, razor blade necklaces, arm warmers and tights, and studded belts
- Has a straight, flat, and jet-black hairstyle with bangs that cover at least part of their face
Ok, so this might be an oversimplification or going too all-in on stereotypes, but these are perhaps some of the most recognizable characteristics an emo kid might be rocking.
Below is a breakdown of the most essential things you need to know about emo fashion — and how you can get the looks used by your favorite artists and bands.
How To Look Emo
Because emo is an artistic and deep subculture and music genre, it's become a timeless style for both young adults and teens.
To pull off this look, stock up on dark-toned, form-fitting clothing. And then, tie your look together with a bunch of edgy accessories.
On top of your wardrobe choices, you may also want to adopt an emo aesthetic for your hair, nails, makeup, etc. It's the best way to fully achieve the pinnacle emo appearance.
How To Dress Emo
When it was first explored in the 80s, emo clothing usually consisted of black or dark clothing. Think skinny jeans, tight band T-shirts, Converse sneakers, black wristbands, and studded belts. Probably what you already had in mind.
However, as fashion evolved over the years, the emo style began to include more things like sweater vests, cardigans, and thick-rimmed glasses. By the mid-to-late 2000s, horn-rimmed glasses, flat-front jeans, accessories like striped arm warmers, and short-sleeved shirts with the names of emo bands were also "in."
Basically, channel your innermost Avril Lavigne into your look.
Emo fashion brands — hello Too Fast! — offer a wide range of emo clothing pieces such as:
You can't go wrong with these emo picks!
Emo Everything Else: Hair, Nails, Makeup, Tats
Many members of the emo subculture have various body modifications, such as facial piercings, tattoos, and plug-pierced earlobes.
Emos' hair is usually kept long, with side-swept bangs and lots of layers that are usually dyed a deep black. However, their hair has changed and diversified over the years. Today, many will feature highlights or streaks of color along with their black hair, and the length varies from person to person.
In terms of makeup, it's usually heavy and alternative with a lot of dark colors. Emo enthusiasts frequently wear black eyeliner with matching eyeshadow and black nail polish. It's a moody, broody, and dark palette for sure.
The meaning of emo isn't limited to the clothing and the fashion behind it. It's a way of life for those who love the bands that create the deep and sorrowful music that inspired this subculture.
You can get the look with the right clothes, jewelry, and hair and makeup. Then, just adapt your image to make it your own, inspired by what your fave emo bands project.
At Too Fast, we make it easy to get the best emo clothing and accessories.