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How to Dress Pop Punk

Updated on February 25, 2014

The Pop-Punk Scene

Pop-punk music is one of the most widely known and listened to genres, and it has quite the history behind it. With over 20 years of great music, culture, and fans, it's gone through many different musical periods and shifts, but it doesn't seem as if it'll be letting up anytime soon.

Like all major music genres, there's a sort of clothing style and attitude associated with pop-punk music. While the sound may have had some tweaks, so has the fashion. Thankfully though, the attitude hasn't one bit!

Mark Adkins of the pop-punk band Guttermouth
Mark Adkins of the pop-punk band Guttermouth | Source

Nervous About What People Will Think?

Don't be. Everyone's been taught to be original and to not worry what others think about you, but sometimes it helps to see others your age doing the same thing so you don't feel alone.

Take some of the following highly successful pop-punk musicians who are all 31+ and still dress like they're in their freshman year at college: Mark Hoppus (blink-182), Mark Adkins (Guttermouth), and Chad Gilbert (New Found Glory).

While I'd love to include some female examples, it's practically impossible to find any successful female pop-punk musicians, but it's not hard at all when you look into other genres.

New Found Glory: an example 90s and early 2000s pop-punk style.
New Found Glory: an example 90s and early 2000s pop-punk style. | Source


Fashion in the pop-punk scene is all about comfort and practicality. The rule of thumb is that if you can go to a show or climb a tree in it, then it's not worth wearing. There's no such thing as being sharply dressed, or being afraid to get your shoes dirty.

If you're a 35 year old man who's a lover of pop-punk music and interested in dressing the part, then prepare to dress like an 18 year old teenage boy who's just booked his first gig at the venue down the street.

Really though, pop-punk style has evolved quite a bit over the years, adopting a more clean-cut appearance nowadays. So keep in mind that if you want to dress up like 1990s and early 2000s pop-punk, it's going to look a lot more colorful and messy than 2010+ pop-punk style.

This article will include both styles, but will make it a point to call out when something is more recent or dated so you wont be out of the loop.


Lots and lots of t-shirts! Plain, solid color t-shirts and band t-shirts are something that you should have in insane numbers. These are possible the pinnacle clothing item in both the guys' and girls' pop-punk wardrobe and are always relevant, no matter the year. Long sleeve shirts are also a nice occasional top to have.

Polo shirts are a great addition to your closet, again for both the guys and girls. Nowadays though, polo's aren't frequently seen worn by women in the scene.

Flannels and button-down shirts are a more recent adoption to the style, but they're much loved by both guys and girls! Girls cannot go wrong with a few flannels in her closet, and guys can get a lot of out short sleeved button-downs.

Tank tops are great for girls on those hot concert days, or for any day, actually. You wont see too many guys (if any at all) wearing them.

New Found Glory: an example of pop-punk fashion now (2010 - )
New Found Glory: an example of pop-punk fashion now (2010 - ) | Source
Hayley Williams of Paramore
Hayley Williams of Paramore | Source
Mark Hoppus of blink-182, who's hair has been pretty much the same for the past 20 years.
Mark Hoppus of blink-182, who's hair has been pretty much the same for the past 20 years. | Source
Alan Day of Four Year Strong
Alan Day of Four Year Strong | Source


Besides t-shirts, jeans are the second-most important piece of clothing in pop-punk fashion for both guys and girls. They're not supposed to be skin tight like most people seem to wear their jeans today, as they were originally baggy, but fitted or looser is a good rule of thumb (if you look at the two above photos, you'll see that the older one has the guys in much baggier jeans than the photo of the same people at a later year).

Jeans aren't the only option that you've got, as cargo pants, chinos, and khakis are also some things that you should have a pair of in your closet.

For the days you don't feel like wearing full length pants, go for some cargo shorts, gym shorts, or even knee-length cutoff jeans (more recent, both guys and girls).


Converse is and forever will be a name brand associated with the pop-punk scene, but nowadays Vans seem to have stolen the hearts of pop-punk kids everywhere. If you don't like Vans or don't have the money to splurge for them, any skater-type shoe will do.


There really isn't any one hair style that makes someone a "true" pop-punk fan or not, but there are definitely some guidelines that you might want to follow.

Older Hairstyles

Guys: If you're going for an older pop-punk style look, don't be afraid to add some color to your hair. Most hair colors were dark (brown, or more often dyed black), but a lot of people weren't content with a single solid hair color and opted for even more, adding fire-engine red tips or bright blue streaks through their hair.

Hair, for the most part, was short to medium length. When I say short, I mean still long enough to achieve the "Just-Woke-Up" bedhead look, which was very popular then. Gel was used a lot, especially in order to keep hair in the aforementioned state throughout the day, or to keep hair spiked up.

Girls: The above pretty much applies to girls as well, except for the gel part. While most girls kept a solid hair color (usually their natural hair color), a lot of them added streaks of color to their hair or even completely dyed their hair a whole different random color (blue, pink, green, etc). They didn't worry much about having pin straight or constantly perfect hair.

Recent Hairstyles

Guys: The hair gel has been pretty much completely abandoned, and there aren't many traces of guys in the scene who add wacky colors to their hair. Hairstyles have become a lot more simple in recent pop-punk style, still being short to medium length (though mostly short).

Girls: The above, once again, pretty much applies to girls as well. Girls seem to care more about if their hair is straight or messy now, though it goes against the pop-punk mentality of not caring and just having fun. Girls use more hair products and many even experiment with cutting their hair as short as the guys.


  • Piercings, such as nose, eyebrow, and lip rings, were a huge accessory in pop-punk style. They seem to have fallen out of favor, though.
  • Beards were never really cared for in the pop-punk scene until recently. Lots of pop-punk musicians have grown their beards out, and they're usually associated with beardcore, usually another term for easycore, which is super small subgenre of pop-punk.
  • Hoodies (or pullovers) were, and still are, worn and loved by pop-punk fans. You've got to have at least one!
  • Striped tube socks were almost always worn with Dickies shorts, but not anymore -- most people prefer ankle socks, instead.


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    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Going by this, my four year old dresses in pop-punk, including his converse sneakers! :D I love it!

      Very interesting hub. Voted up, useful and awesome!

    • mwilliams66 profile image


      8 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      Interesting hub.


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