Alternative children's clothing is almost commonplace in today's culture. Though the concept of alternative culture originally sprouted as a backlash against mainstream pop culture, alternative rock soon became so popular that the current alternative culture is almost as pervasive as its competitor. Elements of alternative fashion have found their way into high fashion as well as lower-end design merchandise. Since tweens and twenties are frequently the main consumers of trends, it's no surprise that alternative clothing is now so accessible.
Elements of Alternative Children's Clothing
Alternative clothing has been greatly inspired by musicians and bands that have embraced the anti-pop attitude. Bands such as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Counting Crows were a distant shot from the chart-topping Spice Girls of the 90s. The music of alternative bands embraced different themes, exuded a different personality, and a completely different set of fashion rules that are key to the soul of alternative culture.
When you are shopping for alternative children's clothing it is important that the very seed of alternative culture is imbued in your purchase. First of all, bands like Nirvana were marked by a grunge-appeal. At the heart of this grunge fashion is an attitude that is "against the grain". Therefore, key elements of alternative fashion involve clothing pieces that try very little to impress. Ripped jeans, vintage T-shirts, industrial boots, skate shoes, a general sense of dishevelment, and beanie hats are distinctly alternative. Smudged eyeliner can be helpful. At the end of the day, a flawless alternative outfit should leave the individual looking emotionally jaded and smelling like a used book.
One of the more difficult aspects of alternative culture is that the term alternative now embraces several more specific subcategories. Trends such as emo, indie, goth and punk are often classified under the umbrella of alternative fashion. However, emo, indie, goth, rockabilly and punk music are quite distinct from alternative rock, the latter of which is closer to mainstream pop culture. More esoteric bands usually fall into the smaller subcultures.
Such nuances make a difference when it comes to one aspect of alternative fashion: band tees. Alternative culture is lead by the music. Hence, band tees are an absolute criteria for credible alternative fashion. Current alternative bands such as The Temper Trap will look far more appropriate alongside your child's shredded acid wash jeans than an ominous Switchblade Symphony baby tee. Band tees and T-shirts alike should always fit small as baggy items are more commonly affiliated with hip hop culture or a general lack of taste. Such details may seem awfully intentional for a culture that is built on "not caring", but clothing can often help to create a clear sense of self-definition and so there is nothing lost on the particulars.
Where to Purchase
Items such as skinny jeans, studded belts, vintage T-shirts and beanies are commonly found in chain boutiques and department stores. Interestingly enough, many higher-end brands that embrace elements of the alternative are ever frequently appearing on the scene. High fashion fans that enjoy an alternative twist will find solace in children's lines from True Religion, Lucky Brand Jeans and Rock and Republic. One of the most difficult aspects of alternative fashion involves finding the perfect pair of distressed denim jeans. This is a territory that is well-covered by higher-end brands. However, consumers will discover quickly that when it comes to alternative clothing, the cost of "not caring" is considerably high.
Hot Topic is the veritable Walmart of alternative culture and its various subcultures. Here, band tees, accessories and an endless wave of little touches can be found to make a child's alternative appearance even more credible. Theoretically, purchasing a band tee from an actual concert is the frosting on the credibility cake, but Hot Topic is an invaluable resource as well.
Thrift stores are another indispensable Mecca for alternativists. Not all second-hand stores are the same in their ability to supply vintage goods, but the right stores will be rich in tight vintage tees and polos. In the past, many band icons frequented thrift stores for key elements of their look. At the lowest of possible prices, thrift stores negate the concept of trying too hard and should, therefore, be considered a prime fashion reserve.