HOW TO: Pull off punk

Ever get tired of looking, well, nice? Sometimes girls get stuck into a rut of wearing “cute little outfits” that reinforce their image as sweet or innocent.  There’s nothing wrong with being that, but it gets old. Sometimes we feel the need to shake things up and toughen up our look, and one of the best ways to do that is to draw inspiration from punk styles.

Punk as a style originated in the music scene and is characterized by dark colors and metal accents. Think plaid, flannel, leather and neon. It can be a lot of fun and pretty much defines cool; however, punk has traditionally been a hard look for “girlie girls” to pull off.  (It can be tricky to work a punk outfit of leather and plaids for those of us who are more likely to have a wardrobe full of pink clothing and floral accents). However, that doesn’t mean the world of punk is lost to you. You don’t have to show up to class in flannel and combat boots in order to make your statement. There are many ways to pull off punk, and the best way for a beginner to do it is to start off small.

First off, start with an outfit of your choosing. Maybe you love patterned sundresses. Maybe you have a closet full of floral skirts. Or maybe you can’t get enough of jeans and cardigans with matching jewelry. Whatever your go-to outfit is, put it on and punk it up. Pair black tights and a black v-neck with a feminine skirt to give it more of an edge. Throw on combat boots instead of your usual ballet flats, or swap out delicate jewelry for something with more weight. Metal accents are great ways to give your outfit a punk look as well, especially since they are becoming more widespread and can be found on everything from sweaters to boots these days. It’s the little touches that can give an entirely different feel to an outfit and take it from sweet and girly to something with a little more edge.

If you’re feeling bold and want to incorporate more than just little accents, try swapping out larger pieces for punk items. Switch out your skirt for a leather miniskirt or replace your usual cardigan with a flannel button-up knotted around your waist. Stick to something that fits with your style so it feels natural. Ruffles keep an outfit a little feminine if that’s your style, especially if the pattern or color has more of a punk feel. Look for something in a plaid or a more muted color, like a dark orange.

Punk is fun. It’s tough, it’s bold, and it makes a statement. It’s a great way to switch up your style and break away from your rut. Just remember to stay true to your original style and wear it in a way that works for you- punk is not without pink, so don’t be afraid to hang on to that if it’s what you love.