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10 Alternative Style Trends That Totally Went Mainstream In 2017

10 Alternative Style Trends That Totally Went Mainstream In 2017

With 2018 already fully underaway, it’s definitely a great time to reflect upon the wild year that was 2017. We saw many highs and lows this year, and fashion wise, many new trends and reinventions.

It was abundantly clear though, that (this year anyways) fashion experienced a significantly alternative flair. I don’t know if it was Stranger Things bringing back 80’s love and nostalgia, or AfroPunk serving amazing looks, but either way—certain trends got flipped on their head. And it is abundantly clear, just by searching through your Instagram feeds, that certain fashion styles that were once alternative and fringe-culture, are now mod and couture.

The rebel in me wants to roll my eyes at the “posers”, but the adult part is just happy to see more and more people comfortable with expressing themselves creatively, whether it is in fashion, or something else! Hopefully we get more amazing trends like this as time goes on!

1. Chokers

Back in the 80’s and 90’s, chokers were a key staple of the goth and punk subcultures. Tattoo chokers were especially popular in the 90’s to early 2000’s once grunge fully took hold. But apart from that, they never fully gravitated into the mainstream for too long.

I myself was one of a few who wore them unabashedly in middle school (late 2000’s). I fashioned mine out of a ribbon, but my other friends wore studs, chained belts, and the infamous “dog collars”. In the worst cases, there was some jeering and eye-rolls for the more daring pieces.

Which is why it’s so wild to see what’s happened with chokers today!  Every color, every fabric—pink, lace, black, studded, leather, gold—graces the fashion world now, and it’s rarer now to not see at least some variation of a choker being worn out. Fashion is definitely cyclical in nature, and it’s quite interesting to see some of the same folks who used to give my friends a hard time now proudly sporting dog collars, tattoo chokers, and so much more. Only time tells, eh? 😉

2. Combat/Platform Boots

Not just for the Hot Topic mall rats anymore! With the resurgence in popularity for Doc Martens in recent years, other forms of alternative boots have followed suit. From the heavily studded, steel toed, and infinitely buckled, 2017 has seen some of the more creative boots taking center stage again in fashion. Personally, I’m here for it! Just be sure to take care of your feet, because some of these more daring boots can be quite the doozy.

3. Colorful Hair

Before, dying your hair some crazy color used to earn you some looks, and a harder time finding jobs or other “adult” endeavours. But, in recent years, there has been a greater interest in experimentation and creativity when it comes to your hairstyle and your hair color. In 2017, pastel hair, rainbow roots, and so many other hair trends even broke through into haute couture! It’s safe to say that having neon green hair is no longer a way to rebel against your parents. But, if you’ve ever wondered when the right time to dye your hair some funky color was? Just head over to a salon today and find out!

4. Harnesses

Gaining traction on Tumblr and now gracing the walkways of fashion shows, harness fashion has come quite a long way! Before, you’d have to go to an alternative or adult shop to find some of the more snazzy pieces. But now, stores like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and so many more are offering a contemporary take on these classic bada** buckles!

5. Piercings

Last year, everyone I knew got a septum piercing. I wasn’t sure why, and I had no idea where it came from, but I wasn’t complaining. And now, this year, we’re seeing a greater rise in alternative piercings like eyebrows, Industrials, and the more daring Medusas. Piercings have certainly turned a new page in which they are no longer something to sneer at, but instead something fashionable, and even classy. With the way the trends are going now, it’s exciting to see what new piercing trends will come into the limelight next year! And the great thing about piercings? You can always take ’em out if you’re ready for a change 🙂

6. Plaid

Now, plaid has always fit into three categories: punk, schoolgirl, and kilt. Plaid bottoms—especially the crimson red checkers that are immediately distinguishable as punk fashion—were rarely worn by the mainstream, and were often instead scoffed at, or dubbed too matronly. But, with the rise of festivals like AfroPunk, and so many other fashion revolutions, plaid has slowly been making its way back in. And for good reason: it’s amazingly versatile, and can be worn for anything, and on any gender. And with the array of colors that you can mix up, I’m sure there’s only more new ways to modernize this classic pattern.

7. Creepers

This was a bit inevitable once Rihanna announced her partnership with Puma to create the now wildly popular FentyxPuma line. Originally, creepers were worn by punks in the 1980’s, and were most popularly either solid black, red plaid, or checkered. In the 90’s they experienced a resurgence with the grunge movement and 90’s goth culture. Creepers today—and especially Rihanna’s brand— tend to lean a little more towards sneaker style than platform flats—but they’re all still super cute, none the less.

8. Black Lipstick/Glam Goth Makeup

Makeup has seen some amazing trends these past few years, and with the resurgence of “drag” makeup and glam goth into the mainstream, we’ve seen more of an alternative flare in mainstream makeup. Glam goth (which takes many inspirations from drag itself) peaked in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

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Its staples included sharp cut creases, heavy contouring, dark/black lipstick, and, of course, the infamous black eyeliner  and eyeshadow. Today, more and more are gearing towards a modern variation of this look, to such a degree where it is no longer seen as purely vampy or goth—but rather, glam and creative. Hopefully, this trend only grows stronger!

9. Fishnets

Good lord, I don’t know what happened, but fishnets exploded this year. Tights, leggings, sleeves, tops. Everywhere you go, fishnets. Funny in a way, because fishnets have had a bit of a historically on-again off-again relationship with the mainstream. On girls, fishnets have always provided a seductive layer that mainstream could call daring in the best lights, and trampy in the worst. Fashion wise, it has made a home for itself in the goth, grunge, and overall alternative subcultures, often appearing in arm warmers, tights, and shirts, to name a few.

Once grunge grew back into popularity in the early 2010’s, fishnets seemingly followed suit. But they didn’t fully explode until this year—most popularly as an under layer on heavily ripped jeans and shirts. Interesting modernization, but I’m personally eager to see more of it!

10. Band Tees

In the olden days, tees were a symbol of your love for a band, often times a souvenir plucked from the merch shop of a particularly hype concert. During the “Emo Renaissance” of the late 2000’s, it was a staple for all alternative kids going through the awkward phases of teen angst and self-discovery.

Now, with fast fashion and Instagram trends bringing all that was on the fringe into the limelight, band-tees are now spotted every which way: OtepMetallicaThe Ramones, you name it. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wearing whatever you’d like, and it’s lovely to see merch like this gravitate more into the mainstream. But, it’s always quite the funny situation when you compliment the band on someone’s shirt, and they reply with an indignant “Who’s that?”

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