How do I Choose the Best Grunge T-Shirts?

G. Wiesen

When choosing the best grunge t-shirts you should consider the style of the person who is going to be wearing the shirt, as well as possible designs for such shirts. T-shirts, much like other types of apparel, can make a statement about the person wearing them, so care should be taken when considering a shirt. You should also try to choose a t-shirt that you will want to wear for years to come, to improve the longevity of your selection. Since grunge t-shirts are often designed to look worn or weathered, you might also consider looking for older t-shirts in secondhand stores or buried in your closet.

Grunge music became popular in the 1990s with bands like Pearl Jam.
Grunge music became popular in the 1990s with bands like Pearl Jam.

Grunge t-shirts are shirts, usually with short sleeves, that epitomize the aesthetic look of the grunge movement in music in the 1990s. This style can vary somewhat, and much of how it is worn depends on the wearer, but it is often noted by casual, comfortable clothing that may be aged or weathered in appearance. A number of different factors heavily influenced this style, including the rise of the “Seattle Scene” in 1990s music, and some aspects of this style include wearing flannel shirts, boots, and similar garments. Grunge t-shirts also typically serve to promote various musical groups that were part of the grunge musical movement.

Shirts can be ripped or shredded to look worn.
Shirts can be ripped or shredded to look worn.

The best grunge t-shirts typically depend a great deal on the tastes and style of the person who will be wearing them. If you are looking for t-shirts for yourself, for example, then you should look for designs that you like and that represent who you are or how you feel. You should choose shirts with bands you like, or that are favorites of the person who will be wearing the shirt. The designs on grunge t-shirts often reflect a sense of hopelessness or emptiness, and a general ennui that marked much of the generation of young people who grew up in the 1990s.

You should also remember that grunge t-shirts are often purposefully designed to look aged or older. Images printed on these shirts are typically cracked or faded, in this way the shirt represents the sense of tired pessimism often reflected in grunge music. You should consider searching secondhand stores for older t-shirts that may work well with this sort of aesthetic. If you have old t-shirts from the 1990s or 1980s, then these may also work well as grunge t-shirts, especially if they are for bands that were popular during the era of grunge music.

Secondhand stores often contain many different styles of clothing.
Secondhand stores often contain many different styles of clothing.

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Discussion Comments


Some of those old grunge t-shirts can fetch serious prices if they are authentic vintage. I always keep my eye out for that kind of stuff when I am thrift store shopping because you can buy a t-shirt for two bucks and then re-sell it for twenty. I have been able to do that four or five times.

There are a lot of older men and women who move out and clean out their kids closest without thinking about what they are throwing away. Great stuff ends up in thrift stores all the time.


I feel like when I was 14 just about everyone I knew had the Smashing Pumpkins shirt that had zero written in silver letters across it. I thought it was really cool and I had one of my own but thinking back I bet my parents were horrified to see their daughter wearing a shirt that basically advertised how worthless she was. Ah youth, what a silly time.


When I was in middle and high school I pretty much lived in grunge t-shirts. I don't think I had any t-shits that did not have one of my favorite bands on them and most of them were from Seattle.

I had a Nirvana shirt of course but I also had Peal Jam, Sound Garden, Mud Honey and a few others. I also had non Seattle band like Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins and NIN. All of the t-shirts are in a box somewhere at my mom's house. I should really dig it out and see if I can sell some of those shirts.

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