How to Be Punk

Punk has been around for a while now and is a style that as a result has a history and a heritage about it. Being punk has always been a statement of anti-conformity, but now it is also a nod to a bygone era. So how do you pull off this look?

The Punk Look

Essentially the punk look can be described as anti-conformist and colourful. In other words it is similar to the goth look except with a more colourful and energetic style and with less influence from horror comics and films. Whereas the goth aims to be different but also somewhat unnoticeable, the punk aims to draw as much attention to themselves as possible and look unusual.


Thus the first thing a punk must do is to use bright hair colours (red, green, blue or even multicoloured) and unusual styles. The most common of these is the mowhawk, which can be gelled to stick up as high as possible. Also popular though is very spiky hair that’s not in a mowhawk. Both require a big investment in gel and hairspray. If you want to take even further then you can also get a tattoo actually on your head – though this is very painful and won’t necessarily age well.


Piercings can also be highly shocking and make a real statement, and a few good piercings can actually be enough to transform your look. Rings are great for punks, as are chains hanging between two piercings or even paper clips that are going through the piercings. While goths use piercings to look vampiric, and emos use them to look trendy, the aim of the punk is to look at once gruff and shocking and also industrial and urban – so greys and metals are a great choice.


Your clothing is fairly open to interpretation as a punk, and the hair should really make your allegiance clear. However black leather that is worn as fairly light jackets and tight-ish trousers is highly popular. Go for leather jackets with lots of studs, and biker gloves with more studs. For your t-shirts look for bright colours but that look like they’ve gotten a lot of wear out of them. Try and work these to match your hair and bright greens are always going to look very punk. Boots are also quite a punk-ish look.

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