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Alternative Clothing Ideas

Author: John Hinds
by John Hinds
Posted: Mar 17, 2021

What constitutes alternative? One person’s alternative is another person’s everyday of course, but this article looks at some of the fashion choices that mainstream society might consider on the alternative side yet significant subsections of society have embraced.

The spirit of the Subcontinent

There is little doubt that the popularity of disciplines like Yoga, Pilates and Meditation have led to a surge in popularity in trends originating in the subcontinent, from incense and Hindu statues through to harem pants and loose fitting exotically patterned yoga wear, you are increasingly likely to see someone wearing clothes with a subcontinental flair. You are likely to find shirts emblazoned with Maha mantras, lotuses and Om detailing and there are plenty of excellent online shops that specialise in this alternative clothing trend.

Heavy metal, or no metal at all!

The diversity that exists within the multifaceted world of heavy metal fashion is staggering. The many subgenres like black metal, power metal, folk metal and death metal all have their own nuances and takes on what – in a fashion sense – best transmits one’s dedication to the cause. Black metal is inarguably the most striking, with roots back to the gothic and post-punk days of all black and black jeans, boots, ominous band shirts and black denim jackets being the most pervasive items of clothing. There are parallels between modern black metal fashion and the minimal / no wave scene, with black the unifying element. Folk metal and power metal are more playful subgenres, which is definitely reflected in the respective choice of outfits in these scenes. The former often seeing devotees resembling extras from Vikings, while the latter hark back to the original heavy metal dress code of the late ‘80s – think washed out denim and leather. The one thing that remains constant is wearing the official band shirts and merchandise of your favourite artists.

Cyberpunk / Techwear

As the world around us increasingly resembles the dystopian fiction and films portrayed by the likes of Blade Runner, The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell, so cyberpunk fashion has grown in popularity. You can trace the origins of this particular alternative fashion movement back to the early days of Goth, with certain modifications of course. Familiar pieces such as trench coats and shiny black items of clothing are often paired with colourful dreads – electric blue or pink being exceptionally popular. The recent popularity of video game Cyberpunk 2077 shows how this particular niche is growing.


With many fed up with the disposable nature of high street fashion, there has been a big upturn in upcycling in clothing, with DIY clothing ideas increasingly populating Pinterest boards and vlogs. Cutting of clothes (think jeans) has been a thing for a long time and people are constantly finding new ways to make this work, while patches, sequins and other accoutrements are a major part of the DIY fashion trend. This can even tie in with heavy metal fashion as, especially women, often make DIY mods to their band shirts to give them a bit of shape and flair.

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Author: John Hinds
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John Hinds

Member since: Jul 29, 2018
Published articles: 45

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