Winning Retail Formula: Grunge With A Feminine Edge


Our consumer love for the 90s shows no signs of slowing down. In fact that latest retail data at WGSN shows that womenswear retailers are catering ever more to our penchant for 90s grunge.

“The 1990s looks which have been driving young fast fashion are given a grunge twist for new season deliveries. The rock band tee is the defining item, increasing 3pp YOY to hold 5% of the new-in T-shirts,” explains the WGSN Instock team.

Topshop band tee

Topshop band tee


“Dresses are an important aspect of the grunge for 2017, with the influence of Molly Goddard felt at young retailers such as Topshop where tulle dresses are layered over band tees.

1990s velvet dresses are stable YOY at 1% of the new-in dress mix while the stripe dress which would traditionally be a nautical spring opener loses 1pp YOY.”- according to WGSN Instock retail data


Styling and casting by Alice Goddard ❤

A post shared by Molly Goddard (@mollymgoddard) on


The key to this look is to get the balance right. The dresses are prevented from being too girly and the overall look ‘too finished’ by the grunge feel of the rest of the head to toe look. Consumers are playing with proportions, mixing light floaty dresses, with warm outerwear, from hooded tops to oversized jackets.

This grunge effect in womenswear retail is a continuation of last year’s summer fever for music merchandise, with Justin Bieber’s Purpose tour clothes and Kanye’s Life of Pablo tour and pop-up store. Both musicians championed the loose, oversized style hoodie last year which continues to rise in popularity, as a street style fashion staple.

“Hoodies hold 3% of the new-in top mix as another key component of grunge styling, for both urban and rock looks. Oversized hoodies increased by 4pp to hold 7% of new-season hoodies YOY,” the WGSN Instock team adds.

The look is then perfectly finished off, with accessory du jour: the choker. Or as we’re seeing, the rise of the integrated choker tee, which is quickly gaining pace, accounting for 1% of the new-in T-shirts for first deliveries whereas last year there were none.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.