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Fashion Trending in an Alternative Direction!

Since the beginning, fashion trends have come and gone. With such a wide array of clothing designs to choose from today, we can take pieces from each era creating different styles by combining old favorites with new, putting a new spin on fashion trends from days gone by, and bringing them up to date. For awhile, we can call it our own, but, like everything that is genuinely awesome, it will be copied and eventually mass-produced. Then it’s on to the next best trend. The fashion industry is fast-paced and fabulous any way you look at it, and I like to look at it from an alternative fashion forward perspective!

80s girls fashion style revived

80’s style revived. Photography by: Jeremy & Claire Weiss Photography.

As a young Punk Rocker, enthralled in fashion, I was combing every thrift shop in town for pre-owned items that I could nip, tuck, and morph into whatever I wanted. I, personally, didn’t pay attention to clothing labels, because it wasn’t about what I spent on my clothing, but what I looked like inside them. I didn’t have enough money to keep up with who made what anyway, but I knew I loved fashion! Now I own a unique Vintage Rockabilly Pin up & Punk Second-Hand store called Retro Kitten Apparel full of all things alternative and my love of fashion, thrifting, and affordability has found its way into my everyday life.

Punk Rock People

Punk Rockers hanging out. Photo by legley.

We’ve all seen it. The revival of the 60’s on the cover of every fashion rag, because a reputable clothing designer decided his Spring line’s theme was “Flower Power”. The next thing you know women everywhere are sporting brown suede fringed vests and moccasins complimenting loose-fitting bohemian blouses, an old faded pair of jean shorts, accessorized by a brown leather belt, and maybe a pretty hand-made flower headband. And there’s my favorite, Alternative fashion. With endless styles, genres, and sub-genres one can come up with some of the coolest fusions combining one with another. Just adding a few accessories and, before you know it, you’re outfit is headed in an entirely different direction!

60's Flower Power

60s revival woman in fringe vest. I do not own the rights to this photo.

Rock-N-Roll, of course, is the origin of a myriad of trends, cultures, and sub-cultures. We now have the luxury of what it really means to be hip. The Beatniks gave new meaning to the color black, art pop culture, coffee shops, and snapping. Mods brought the 50’s back on scooters. Skinheads gave the working class citizen something else to wear. Punks, well Punks just smashed stuff, but thousands of youths jumped in head first, and “Do It Yourself”! became cool once again. Kid’s like me shunned grandma’s dress patterns and went straight for a large sewing needle, some dental floss,  and a favorite music band’s clothing patch nipping and tucking virtually destroying the original design of what could be scavenged from the local thrift until it was wearable again. Goths glamourized darkness and mortality with theatrical black and white movie style. Pin up girls in their form-fitted sweater tops and high-waist shorts gave the girl next door a sexier image, and soon America was staring at Bettie Page in her darling underpants. Men in the military were absolutely thrilled! Then along came the combinations of these like Rockabilly, Psychobilly, and Steampunk. I am in absolute fashion heaven!

Bettie Page America's Pin up Girl

Bettie Page America’s Pin up Girl

Rockabilly Fashion Retro Kitten Apparel

Rockabilly Fashion Meghan Petty Copyright Retro Kitten Apparel.

Here we are in 2015 with every fashion trend combination imaginable. We no longer constrict ourselves! Today it’s okay to be who you are even if that’s many different fashion styles combined into one beautiful you! Tattoos aren’t even taboo and piercing your body has become an art form all in itself! Check out some of these great products from Urban Body Jewelry.

Looking for a few great stores to shop at? Here is a list of shops for some of the many genres of Alternative clothing and accessories:

Retro Kitten Apparel Everything Alternative from Pin-up, Rockabilly, Punk, and Vintage Clothing and Accessories

Lindy Bop for your Pin up Girl Dresses

Too Fast Apparel Punk Clothes and Accessories

Infectious Threads Gothic Clothes and Accessories

Feel free to leave me a comment if you have a store and would like to be added to the list! RKA is huge supporter of all things alternative and we would love to exchange links with you!


There are many people leading alternative lifestyles, and many considerations to be made about what is an alternative lifestyle. In my opinion, an alternative lifestyle is a few alterations to the society you live in and what might be considered normal, or a mainstream point of view. An alternative lifestyle might be one’s cultural upbringing, or choice of traditions practiced and celebrations; nutritional choices, and the food you eat, or choose not to eat; sexual orientation and with whom you share your love; or appearance, the clothing you wear, or the way you decorate your body possibly with tattoos, or piercings (in many other areas of the body than the ear lobe). For some it is personal, freedom of choice, and for others it is something they feel they were born into, a calling in one form or another.

sondra fire dancing spinning 8-16-14 Oceano beach

By the way, the term lifestyle was coined by the media mixing life and art together, thus life-style. I find that pretty cool. A fairly common alteration to one’s style of life is by dress. It is a common way for people to express themselves, through the type of clothing they wear, and most of us wear clothes on a daily basis (not you nudists though). Therefore, it is a pretty easy way to represent your alternative lifestyle, and it can be pretty fun expressing freedom of choice through your own personal style of dress. It isn’t hard to point out some of the alternative people we share our cities with, as their lifestyle choices, represented by the clothing they adorn, has not been adopted by society’s mainstream, or what is considered “normal”.

The earliest influx of the alternative life-style I’ve read was during the roaring 20’s with the flapper “movement”. As a symbol of freedom from oppression women were cutting their skirts short and their hair shorter; leading lives aloof of the heavy restrictions preceding. The “old days” were gone! Women were driving, cussing, having sex before marriage, and, oh yes, dancing. Women everywhere were jumping in with both feet, this was modern America.


Now, while we still have society’s standardized “norm”, there are many people leading alternative lifestyles. Sub-culture is abundant in America, and I am proud to be a part of the alternative life-stylists.

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I have begun to compile a list of terms attached to styles of clothing, as this obviously fascinates me seeing as I own what I consider an alternative thrift store Retro Kitten Apparel. Please help me out by including any styles I may have left out. Please do not send any links as I will not open any links, and must search the style myself.




Crust Punk

Pogo Punk

Horror Punk

Steam Punk




Gothic or Goth

Emotional (Emo)




Steam Punk

Pin up






Heavy Metal




Fag Hag

Independent (Indie)



Bohemian (Boho)

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