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The Best Punk Clothing - 2022

Last updated on March 28, 2022
Best Punk Clothing

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Our Picks For The Top

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

SweatyRocks Ripped & Cropped Punk Tee For Women

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

SweatyRocks

Ripped & Cropped Punk Tee For Women

Overall Take

Great For WorkoutsThis edgy yet versatile shirt can be worn in the gym or at the club.

  Runner Up

Romwe Women’s A-Line Smock Punk Mini-Dress

Romwe

Women's A-Line Smock Punk Mini-Dress

Overall Take

Fun, Flowing SmockSashay into spring with this comfortable dress.

  We Also Like

Ambcol Men’s Streetwear Punk Tactical Cargo Joggers

Ambcol

Men's Streetwear Punk Tactical Cargo Joggers

Overall Take

Funky Yet FunctionalBuy these baggy pants for the look, keep them for the fit and the pockets.

  Strong Contender

DSDZ Men’s Riveted Punk Denim Sleeveless Vest

DSDZ

Men's Riveted Punk Denim Sleeveless Vest

Overall Take

Thick, Durable MaterialToughen up any top with this sturdy punk vest.

Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on March 28, 2022

When it first emerged in the 1970s, few critics or even fans could have imagined how punk rock would change the trajectory of rock and roll over the next few decades. But as big an influence as punk had on music, it could be argued that it had an even bigger impact on the world of fashion.

So exactly what does “punk” clothing look like? Surprisingly, very few key elements have changed over the years. Super-spiky mohawks may not be as common among club kids now as they were in the heydays of the Sex Pistols, but tattered fishnets and spiked bracelets get that rebellious message across just as effectively now as they did back then. For better or worse, you don’t necessarily have to identify as a punk to adopt the best aspects of the fashion. And anyway, nothing says “punk rock” like thumbing your nose as such rigid definitions.

If punk fashion has one guiding principle, it’s to be the antithesis of fussy. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep things simple, or even comfortable (although that is one big fringe benefit to the look). Tight or loose, layered or bare-bones, you can’t look like you’re trying too hard.

For ladies, that leaves a lot of room to play around. The default punk shoes are a pair of classic Converse sneakers or thick black boots. Either one can be the perfect start to a variety of outfits, but heels can work too — especially if they’re worn in contrast to a pair of distressed jeans.

Mind you, those jeans are far from your only option. Leggings paired with a studded belt can evoke the more colorful, 80s side of punk, and a red plaid skirt has been the de facto uniform of the punk rock girl for decades.

When it comes to tops, t-shirts are always a great option. This is the time to break out your favorite band concert tee, whether it’s got a few holes in it or not. (And if there aren’t, feel free to make some.) If you want to be daring, you can use that extra ventilation to show a bra strap or two, or you can layer it up by putting that t-shirt under buttoned flannel, an oversized sweater or a worn leather jacket (or all of the above, if it’s warm). To go all in, add some thick chains, leather bracelets or even some fishnets along the arms.

Guys have a lot of options as well, but it usually comes down to two main elements: Leather and denim. That goes for pants as well as jackets, and either one will be complementary to just about any body type. Needless to say, boots and sneakers will work equally work for this kind of getup. Punk was and is about thumbing your nose at convention, so have fun with things. Wear a tie over a tattered tee, and don’t worry if an element clashes here and there. To a certain extent, clashing is what it’s all about.

The Best

1
  Top Pick

SweatyRocks Ripped & Cropped Punk Tee For Women

Give your gym sessions a little rock edge with this tee. The ripped sections on the shoulders aren't just fashionable — they provide a little extra ventilation when you need it. The fit is loose enough that you can wear it solo or over a tighter top.

Features


Specifications

Brand
SweatyRocks
Model
2
  Runner Up

Romwe Women’s A-Line Smock Punk Mini-Dress

This one can complement any number of tops. The material can stretch a bit to cover much of the blouse area, while the skirt portion is loose and billowy. The fit runs a bit small, but the straps make it easy to compensate.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Romwe
Model
3
  We Also Like

Ambcol Men’s Streetwear Punk Tactical Cargo Joggers

There's plenty to catch the eye on these pants, but they're not all for looks. While the straps may only be for show, the deep pockets are handy for storage. The fit is loose and comfortable on the leg and tight around the ankles - just right for showing off those sneakers.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Ambcol
Model
4
  Strong Contender

DSDZ Men’s Riveted Punk Denim Sleeveless Vest

Here's a vest that does more than just put on a front. The thick material can stand up to plenty of rough treatment, not to mention washing. The rivets make a big impression and it looks equally great over a t-shirt or sweater.

Features


Specifications

Brand
DSDZ
Model
6

YEMOCILE Women’s Off-Shoulder Distressed Punk Crop Sweater

If you want a garment that you can build a whole look around, this deliberately threadbare sweater fits the bill. it's designed to hug the figure but hang loose and low. The fabric is thin but surprisingly warm, and will hold up well in the wash with a little TLC.

Features


Specifications

Brand
YEMOCILE
Model

Our Buying Guide

When it first emerged in the 1970s, few critics or even fans could have imagined how punk rock would change the trajectory of rock and roll over the next few decades. But as big an influence as punk had on music, it could be argued that it had an even bigger impact on the world of fashion.

So exactly what does “punk” clothing look like? Surprisingly, very few key elements have changed over the years. Super-spiky mohawks may not be as common among club kids now as they were in the heydays of the Sex Pistols, but tattered fishnets and spiked bracelets get that rebellious message across just as effectively now as they did back then. For better or worse, you don’t necessarily have to identify as a punk to adopt the best aspects of the fashion. And anyway, nothing says “punk rock” like thumbing your nose as such rigid definitions.

If punk fashion has one guiding principle, it’s to be the antithesis of fussy. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep things simple, or even comfortable (although that is one big fringe benefit to the look). Tight or loose, layered or bare-bones, you can’t look like you’re trying too hard.

For ladies, that leaves a lot of room to play around. The default punk shoes are a pair of classic Converse sneakers or thick black boots. Either one can be the perfect start to a variety of outfits, but heels can work too — especially if they’re worn in contrast to a pair of distressed jeans.

Mind you, those jeans are far from your only option. Leggings paired with a studded belt can evoke the more colorful, 80s side of punk, and a red plaid skirt has been the de facto uniform of the punk rock girl for decades.

When it comes to tops, t-shirts are always a great option. This is the time to break out your favorite band concert tee, whether it’s got a few holes in it or not. (And if there aren’t, feel free to make some.) If you want to be daring, you can use that extra ventilation to show a bra strap or two, or you can layer it up by putting that t-shirt under buttoned flannel, an oversized sweater or a worn leather jacket (or all of the above, if it’s warm). To go all in, add some thick chains, leather bracelets or even some fishnets along the arms.

Guys have a lot of options as well, but it usually comes down to two main elements: Leather and denim. That goes for pants as well as jackets, and either one will be complementary to just about any body type. Needless to say, boots and sneakers will work equally work for this kind of getup. Punk was and is about thumbing your nose at convention, so have fun with things. Wear a tie over a tattered tee, and don’t worry if an element clashes here and there. To a certain extent, clashing is what it’s all about.

DWYM Fun Fact

The earliest punks had one thing in common with the hippies of the 1960s: They both were reactions against materialism. While the hippies turned their backs on it, punk — both in its music and fashion — confronted it with a sneer. Yet ironically, there’s a strong argument that one of the greatest punk bands in history was created largely for the purpose of selling clothes. There’s some dispute as to whether artist and designer Malcolm McLaren created the Sex Pistols or simply took them under his wing after their members started hanging around the SEX clothes boutique he started with his girlfriend Vivienne Westwood. But there’s no denying that McLaren managed them, supplying the stagewear that helped define the Sex Pistols — and punk fashion writ large.

The Tips and Advice

Contrary to what your kids may tell you, the door isn’t closed to punk fashion once you hit your 40s. You just may want to approach it a little more strategically. Women of a certain age may not be able to rock a plaid miniskirt with abandon, but the good thing about black is that it’s slimming and appropriate for just about anybody. The same goes for boots and sneakers. You may not want to go for big holes in the jeans or t-shirt, but using a punk element here and there can add a little edge without losing any dignity.


About The Author

Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness has been a features journalist and writer in Central Florida for the past 20 years. His stories covered everything from indie fashion to nightlife, but they have only slightly improved his taste in clothes or the quality of his homemade Manhattans. Luckily, he still looks good in black.