A Guy’s Guide: How to Pull Off the New Grunge Sweater

It’s time to brush off the garage band mix tapes—grunge is back. But before you start tossing all your slim-cut, tailored clothing, we’ll be more specific: The trend is back and upgraded with a little polish. The grunge-inspired sweaters that popped up in fall fashion included contemporary twists. Here is your guide on how to rock the look now.

The cardigan is king. You may already own one, but for a grunge-inspired look, throw a graphic or band T-shirt underneath and pair it with jeans. Bring the trend to work by pairing with a tie and slim pants. 

Chunky is one thing, oversized is another. Modern grunge styles are more fitted than their ’90s predecessors. Look for thicker yarns and knits to add volume, not extra width.

Look for patterns such as stripes and checks in modern jewel tones. Deep green, burgundy, and amber are everywhere this season. Embrace these colors, as opposed to the muddy earth tones of grunge gone by, for a more modern look. Choose a thick rugby stripe or an open plaid.

Let the designers do the distressing. The worn-out sweater was a star in the early ’90s, but 20 years later moth holes and shapeless, sad knits are less than ideal. Instead, look for designs with artfully distressed knit. A carefully placed series of pulls or a thoughtfully designed uneven hem will look lux rather than lazy.