When you’re a fan of punk rock (or any music genre for that matter), you literally do everything in your power to express your adoration for your musical heroes. You buy their albums, collect their merchandise, and go to their concerts until you’re so immersed it makes you feel like you’ve known them all your life. One of the best known ways to show your veneration is by attempting to dress and act like them. By looking like them as much as we can, we somehow feel more connected even if we’re mere fans who love them from a distance—literally and metaphorically. The popularity of punk rock as a music genre upped the demand in clothing pieces and accessories worn by artists and assured a consistent supply of everything black, leather, studded, and that glimmers. If you too want to achieve a legitimate punk rock look, here are five exemplars that can serve as both your idols in punk rock music and fashion statement.
Billie Joe Armstrong
A household name known to every punk rock fan in the 90s up until today, Green Day frontman and principal composer Billie Joe Armstrong took on the punk rock scene with the songs he wrote and his consummate passion for music. His rise to being a punk rock icon was paved by their hit songs and his unadulterated punk sartorial choices. Whether it’s an all-out punk rock ensemble or just key pieces that are undeniably signature to the music genre, Armstrong wears his fashion picks as if they are tailored to his taste.
Get Billie Joe Armstrong’s Look: One of the staple accessories in the punk rock fashion scene is slim neckties which go very well with another key item in the form of button-down shirts. Just like Armstrong in this photo, you can highlight the seemingly minor detail which is the red necktie by wearing tailored black cotton polo and skinny jeans of the same color. You can also sport a studded belt for an understated yet classic punk rock look. Finish it off with a pair of sneakers whose color matches either the tie or the shirt and you’re good to go.
G Dragon is one of the rare musicians who are able to perfectly pull off everything that he wears. Blessed with a face and build that is malleable to transcend genres—from pop to hip-hop to hardcore punk rock—G Dragon is a marionette that comes to life when he is all dolled up with his elaborate costumes. He may be the poster boy of Korean pop but no one manages an extraordinary punk rock look and demeanor better than he does. Get G-Dragon’s Look: When it comes to dressing up, G-Dragon is known for pushing the fashion envelope. To recreate this Asian rendition of punk rock, don a clean and crisp white shirt and follow it up with a printed coat. If wearing trousers that look exactly like the coat is too much for you, you can wear a color-coordinated pair of skinny jeans. Complete the rigout with a set of leather boots, and don’t forget the punk rock accessories to glam up your entire ensemble.
Although he’s been photographed naked a lot of times and would perform either scantily clad or shirtless during his glory days, Sex Pistols vocalist and bass guitarist Sid Vicious is irrefutably one of the finest-looking punk rock personifications when he is fully clothed. And while his boyish looks may not be the first thing one would expect to go with a possibly menacing punk rock outfit, it somehow worked perfectly for Sid. Get Sid Vicious’s Look: Aside from being half-naked or garbed with a loose tank top, Vicious would regularly put on one of the classic ensembles known to punk rock. You can steal his style by donning a printed top, and then balance it with a standard black leather jacket. Wrap this ensemble up with a pair of distressed skinny jeans and a funky pair of sneakers. Also, don’t forget to adorn yourself with accessories such as bracelets, a necklace, and badges.
Although a women her name that is indispensable to the punk rock scene, Joan Jett has conquered not only the Billboard charts with her smash hit I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, she also excelled in the fashion department established by the music genre she belonged to. With the way she expressed her music and individuality, Jett was a perfect example of a woman who’s comfortable with her own skin and became the icon of every self-respecting punk rock fan. Get Joan Jett’s Look: For some reason or another, everything that Jett wore looked good on her, although there were specific outfits that inevitably got stuck in the minds of fans. Score this look by wearing wet look spandex top and jeans, preferably in black. This outfit goes perfectly with tall leather boots and add-ons such as chokers and elaborate rings.
The Internet has a wealth of articles indexing the best punk rock musicians ever recorded in history, but it is Joey Ramone’s name that is included in nearly every list. Yes, that is how paramount and essential he is to the punk rock scene that every single member of their fanbase wanted to look like him. The good news is this: while not all of us can be as kickass as Joey when it comes to singing, songwriting, and being an all-around punk rock deity, we can definitely mimic his fashion sensibility. Get Joey Ramone’s Look: Joey was often spotted wearing traditional plain t-shirts, and then glamorize the whole look with a black leather jacket. If you’re going to pull off a Joey Ramone bearing, your best bet would be two of his signature items, i.e. seriously-ripped jeans and round sunglasses.
You’re probably excited right now and want to rush to the nearest boutique but remember that the key to pulling these ensembles off is balance. The reason why they looked good on these icons is because they wore what worked and didn’t go overboard. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to experiment by mixing the classic pieces with the elaborate ones.