Return of the Flannel Shirt: Recession Kids Get Their Grunge On

The year was 1991…Nirvana and Pearl Jam owned the airwaves, stocks and the economy were shaken by the Savings and Loan Crisis, and a young Chris Farley taught us how to laugh every Saturday Night.

And oh yeah, we were all wearing flannel shirts.

The flannel shirt trend came out of the Seattle thrift store culture and it accompanied the Grunge music wave that swept the nation.  It seems that pre-Starbucks, Seattle only had one other employer of note, Boeing, which was having a tough time of it’s own back then.  When the dismal state of Seattle’s employment picture combined itself with our national hangover from eighties excess, the stage was set for the emergence of Grunge as nineties teens sought to own their moment, recession and all.

Two recessions later, it appears that the flannel shirt is coming back (see below):

Today's Grunge Comeback

The children of the the eighties and early nineties are now grown up homeowners and they’re cutting back on the allowances they give their now-teenage children.  With teenage unemployment in the 20 percent range, what once was old is new again as that grungie feeling is coming back.

The kids of this generation are being offered the flannel shirt look from just about every teen-focused retailer in their rapidly-deteriorating local shopping mall.

Below are some examples from Gap, Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and Hollister…I probably could’ve found many more but then my eyes and ears started bleeding from prolonged exposure to these websites.

Take what you’re being given while I call a few hospitals:

Aeropostale

Aeropostale

American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch

Hollister

Hollister

The Gap

Gap

The cool kids will hit the vintage and thrift stores like mommy and daddy did back in ’91.  The rest will take mommy and daddy’s maxed-out credit cards to the mall and miss the point of grunge fashion entirely.

Oh well, I have other things to worry about.


What's been said:

Discussions found on the web
  1. chris commented on Aug 25

    HEY! finally my fav kind of shirt is ON! 🙂 good to know

  2. chris commented on Aug 25

    HEY! finally my fav kind of shirt is ON! 🙂 good to know

  3. chris commented on Aug 25

    HEY! finally my fav kind of shirt is ON! 🙂 good to know

  4. laurenabra commented on Aug 25

    There was a great article a few weeks ago in the NY Times about how Generation Y is getting nostalgic about events and trends (Like the flannel shirt) that happened just a few years ago… the article blames factors like our current recession and Sept. 11 for the phenomenon. There is a link to the article on my blog… http://www.woesofacollegegrad.wordpress.com – its in the latest posting

  5. laurenabra commented on Aug 25

    There was a great article a few weeks ago in the NY Times about how Generation Y is getting nostalgic about events and trends (Like the flannel shirt) that happened just a few years ago… the article blames factors like our current recession and Sept. 11 for the phenomenon. There is a link to the article on my blog… http://www.woesofacollegegrad.wordpress.com – its in the latest posting

  6. laurenabra commented on Aug 25

    There was a great article a few weeks ago in the NY Times about how Generation Y is getting nostalgic about events and trends (Like the flannel shirt) that happened just a few years ago… the article blames factors like our current recession and Sept. 11 for the phenomenon. There is a link to the article on my blog… http://www.woesofacollegegrad.wordpress.com – its in the latest posting

  7. girlfromtheriver commented on Aug 25

    I spent my teens buying checked flannel shirts from second hand stores – had at least three or four shirts. Now I’m in my thirties and knocked by the recession. I’m back at the second hand stores – only this time looking for bargain cashmere and silk.

  8. girlfromtheriver commented on Aug 25

    I spent my teens buying checked flannel shirts from second hand stores – had at least three or four shirts. Now I’m in my thirties and knocked by the recession. I’m back at the second hand stores – only this time looking for bargain cashmere and silk.

  9. girlfromtheriver commented on Aug 25

    I spent my teens buying checked flannel shirts from second hand stores – had at least three or four shirts. Now I’m in my thirties and knocked by the recession. I’m back at the second hand stores – only this time looking for bargain cashmere and silk.

  10. winston commented on Sep 17

    Forget about the look… Just check out the band that is going to re-launch rock music. Call it Grunge if you want… Its still rock music no matter what you call it. Their name is Senium and they are from New Jersey, America. If you dont catch them now, Im sure you’ll hear from them soon enough. Theyre recording their debut album with the one and only Steve Albini and it will be out in Early 2010. Oh, yes, Good music is coming back

  11. winston commented on Sep 17

    Forget about the look… Just check out the band that is going to re-launch rock music. Call it Grunge if you want… Its still rock music no matter what you call it. Their name is Senium and they are from New Jersey, America. If you dont catch them now, Im sure you’ll hear from them soon enough. Theyre recording their debut album with the one and only Steve Albini and it will be out in Early 2010. Oh, yes, Good music is coming back

  12. winston commented on Sep 17

    Forget about the look… Just check out the band that is going to re-launch rock music. Call it Grunge if you want… Its still rock music no matter what you call it. Their name is Senium and they are from New Jersey, America. If you dont catch them now, Im sure you’ll hear from them soon enough. Theyre recording their debut album with the one and only Steve Albini and it will be out in Early 2010. Oh, yes, Good music is coming back