The Pop-Punk Revival Is Upon Us. Here’s How to Wear the Trend Like the Stylish Adult You Are
Etsy recently released its annual report of the best and biggest trends from the past year, but alongside those recaps it also posted its predictions for what we’ll all be adding to cart in 2022. Among those forecasts is one trend we really didn’t see coming—a pop-punk revival. Etsy has already seen a major surge in searches for vintage plaid pieces, fishnet stockings, studded belts and spiked collars (which appear to be one of the most popular pieces with searches up a whopping 879 percent).
In many ways, it makes a ton of sense that this throwback style would be making a comeback in 2022. Pop and alt rock stars like Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker have been dominating the celebrity spotlight, thanks in large part to their incredibly fashionable partners, Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian, bringing the moody trend to the forefront of our feeds. Add to that the fact that pop-punk’s most recent revival before now came immediately after the Y2K craze, which is currently flooding our Instagram feeds in its own new wave, and it only makes sense that we’d be reaching for our distressed plaids and Dr. Martens as the cycle of trends continues.
Then again, we’re no longer teenagers hoping to mosh at a Green Day concert or shock our elders with ripped tights, miniskirts and loads of eye liner. So, what’s the best way to wear pop-punk 2.0 like the stylish adult you’ve become? Let these seven street style stars show you the way. Rock on, babe.
1. Start Small with Just One Trendy Accessory
The best way to approach any trend you’re not super sure of is to start with something simple. Try a studded belt with a mostly black ensemble, fishnet tights under a floral dress or spike earrings with your white button up. These pieces will all lend just a touch of rock-n-roll without making you feel totally outside your wheelhouse.
2. Try a Plaid Midi Instead of a Mini
Longer skirts or dresses often feel inherently more grown up than mini lengths, and this is definitely true for pleated plaid skirts. We’ve found the Goldilocks length, that isn’t too sexy nor too dowdy, is a midi that hits somewhere between mid-calf and just below the knee. Pair it with a black leather jacket (a moto or a trench will do) and a cropped or tucked sweater for a look that’s both punk and posh. As for shoes, stick with styles that show off some shin, like flat sneakers or loafers, or ankle boots over knee-high styles.
3. Embrace Bold, Graphic Prints—One at a Time
Plaid and houndstooth and graffiti, oh my! Your pop-punk idols might be able to pull off wearing all three at once—or an even funkier mix—but for every day looks we suggest trying just one at a time. The other elements of your outfit should be solid in color (probably black) to help those bold patterns feel even bolder. If you really enjoy print mixing, try adding a second in a small way, like with a headband or mini handbag.
4. Swap Ripped Tights for Fishnets or Printed Versions
Pop-punk may be back, but ripped tights aren’t. Instead, try fishnets or stockings with a logo print or houndstooth pattern. They still have the same rock feel without making you look messy.
5. Opt for Spike Earrings or Pendants Over Spike Chokers
Spike necklaces were one of the top growing searches on Etsy, but choker styles are difficult to make feel genuine and not like a costume. For those testing the pop-punk waters, try spike earrings or necklaces with a longer length chain to add some edge to your look instead.
Shop similar styles: Eveschains necklace ($9); Ettika necklace ($50; $38); Minima Maxima earrings ($39); Kendra Scott ring ($58); Rellery earrings ($75); Alexis Bittar earrings ($95); Joomi Lim necklace ($245)
6. Combine Pop-Punk with Another Hot Trend
Cowboy boots are another growing trend for 2022, and they work surprisingly well with studded leather jackets and raw-hem black denim. The outdoorsy, grounded vibes of western footwear help to balance out the inherently glam, tough look of pop-punk staples for an overall effect that’s chic and cool rather than over-the-top.
7. Stick to Sleek, Minimalist Staples Rather than Distressed Styles
Gently frayed hems or worn in Dr. Martens are fine, but leave the holey T-shirts and torn sweaters for laundry day. You can still go casual with sweatshirts or easy tees, but look for simple, solid basics instead of highly distressed versions. (P.S. Adding in a sleek handbag will also help to make your look feel more fresh and modern.)