Autumn wardrobe revamps under £10: Grunge and Punk

There are plenty of ways to bring your wardrobe up to date on a budget this season, even if you only have £10 or less to spare. I thought I’d start today with a look at the grunge and punk catwalk looks the big designers served up for AW2013.

Both of these looks had street fashion at their hearts, and they were largely based around a DIY approach. Anyone who remembers grunge from the first time around will be laughing up their Nirvana sweatshirt sleeve at the current prices.

So, er, let’s rock.

Cheap grunge wardrobe fixes under £10

cheap grunge style updates Penny GolightlyOriginal grunge was all about second hand clothes, and often these were warm, washed to death and comfortable ones. There was also the ‘kinderwhore’ style of grunge that was more glamorous, with girly but semi-destroyed party dresses, smudgy makeup and stompy boots (it’s surprisingly safe to do an image search for these styles).

The current fashions all still have a large nod to this, so head to the back of your wardrobe and dig out any floral or ditsy print tea dresses or day dresses, an old plaid shirt and last year’s army boots or worker boots, and you’re pretty much laughing.

Add some new accessories such as fishnet or dot-fishnet tights, and a grey beanie hat to give it the full 2013 treatment. I’ve found Jonathan Aston double dot fishnet tights on eBay from £3.09 delivered (see picture), or there are Pretty Polly spot fishnets for £6.99 delivered at Tightsplease. The cheapest beanies are just £2.40 at Forever21 (see picture).

Spending £3.09 on the tights and £2.40 on the beanie leaves you £4.51 out of a £10 budget. You could do a lot of damage with that at a jumble sale. Just about everything for this look can be found second hand, including check print dresses, baggy old knits, sweatshirts and knackered blue boyfriend jeans.

To give something dark an aged look, run it through the washing machine with a small amount of laundry bleach or a good scoop of washing powder designed for whites. You can also attack the knees of blue jeans with a pumice stone to give them that worn-out appearance, or boil old woolly cardigans.

Cheap punk wardrobe fixes for under £10

cheap punk wardrobe updatesIn the UK, original punk clothes started out as a mix of designer and improvised fashions, often influenced by fetish wear. This time around it’s fairly sleek, with a base colour of black, and some splashes of red and white.

There’s a lot of tartan about, plus some houndstooth and other checks, and you can turn a plain black outfit punky just by adding a scarf in one of these prints. My current favourites are at New Look (1, £7.99), Matalan (3, £10.00) and Yours Clothing (2, £9.00).

Other current fashion punk looks include some gorgeous but expensive leather and patent skirts and trousers. You can easily find second hand leather skirts for under £10 on auction sites, and if the budget doesn’t stretch to the shiny skintight jeans you can still find some reasonably-priced ripped or wet look leggings online (Boohoo has loads from just £6, and Misguided has some in its sale too) or on the high street.

Various designers showed thigh-high boots, and although you won’t get change out of a tenner for those you can improvise with some ‘mock sock’ tights by Pretty Polly for £7.50 + P&P. These have the added advantage of not squeezing your legs unflatteringly mid thigh as they aren’t hanging on for dear life trying to stay up. There are loads of other bondage-style tights around (try Pamela Mann designs, such as tartan / side-slash /strapped, widely available), most are priced well below £10 and can transform a little black dress and pair of pointy heels into something more edgy.

The other budget option is to start customising. Take plain items (tops, jackets, shoes, bags etc) and add studs and spikes, chains, iron-on transfers, sew-on patches or offcuts of fabric. Local haberdashery stalls and shops are a good place to start for low prices, as are many craft shops.

In the next article I’ll be looking at some other styles under a tenner to try for Autumn Winter 2013. You might also like to read the recent article about making the most of the clothes you already have for this season.

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