On December 1st I made my long overdue return to live music with Neck Deep, a pop punk band from the UK. Looking around the room, it wasn’t a shock to see the same fashion trends occurring as in every other pop punk show I've been to. If you threw a rock you’d hit at least 5 sweaty white guys wearing black in your general vicinity. Surprisingly though, a lot of the audience was composed of young women, which is quite abnormal for the genre, but exciting to see as a female myself. If you’ve ever wondered what the old scene kids wear now, are going to be attending a concert or are being dragged to an ‘emo night’ at a bar, here’s my list of pop punk 101: fashion trends in my favourite music genre.
Vans, vans and more vans
The first, and most prominent trend is Vans. If you look down at the sticky, beer ridden floor, you’ll be met with a sea of Vans sneakers, mainly the classic Old Skool style, but with some variation. This classic skater shoe is dominant in the genre, which was built on skater culture. Along with the shoes, the brand itself is popular in the crowd with t-shirts, bags, hats- just about everything they sell.
Whether it be of the band they’re there to see or random bands, merch is a huge trend among attendees. Like most genres, pop punk fans aren't afraid to drop $50 on a t-shirt even though they likely don’t need it. Buying merchandise is one of the best ways to support your favourite bands, which is a great way to justify the purchase!
Black jeans, specifically with holes in the knees are key components of the pop punk scene. Most of the attendees can be seen wearing monochrome black outfits with potential outliers of colour (usually with dyed hair). Black skinny jeans are so popular in the genre that artists have even made fun of themselves, and the fans, for it. For example, this Simple Plan TikTok where they stand there half naked when informed that “skinny jeans aren't cool anymore”.
Hoodies and beanies
The occasional concert-goer will wear a hoodie or beanie, and as a person who runs hot, this sounds like a nightmare. Unsurprisingly, the hoodie is often band merch and ranges from the colour black to, well, more black. I often see people wearing merch from local bands, like Seaway, or more globally recognizable bands like Blink-182.
My go to outfit
I usually try to switch it up depending on the show and my mood, although I do have a sort of outline I follow. This includes my Old Skool platform Vans (obviously), a t-shirt with a fishnet long sleeve underneath black ripped jeans, and a Vans shouder bag. With this outfit I don't seek to stand out, but rather, fit right in.
Being at a pop punk show further instills a sense of community into fans through the unofficial dress code. Whether you want to stand out or blend into the crowd of monochrome black Vans wearers, a pop punk show is a great place to explore your style.