The ’00s Rock Chick Aesthetic Raised Us — Here’s How To Wear It As A Grown Up

As a '97 baby, I was lucky enough to grow up during the golden era of the rock chick aesthetic. Think Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday. Mary-Kate Olsen as Roxanne Ryan in New York Minute. Nikki Reed and Evan Rachel Wood in the controversial Thirteen. You get the picture, right?
The early 00s rock chick is failing high school history yet excels in visual art. She's in her room bumping both the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and blink-182 because she doesn't subscribe to the idea of a subgenre — she just wants loud guitars and angst. She has a collection of skateboards and grungey silver eyeshadow pigments. She might have been too young to experience the Riot Grrrl movement, but she's got a working knowledge of the era.
It's part pop punk, part skater, part pop star. It's a look that symbolises youthful rebellion, innocence, expression and most of all, fun. So, naturally, as grown-up rock chicks at heart, we're still dying to give the look a go. And with the enduring popularity of edgy aesthetics like the 2014 Tumblr look and Indie Sleaze, there's never been a better time to rekindle your inner rock chick.
Now, I just happen to be a rock artist, so I have some authority on the matter, and I think I've perfected the formula for a staple rock chick outfit. Here are my must-haves to nail the vibe.
Side note: this look is *not* to be confused with 'emo' or 'scene girl' aesthetics that might come to mind. To me personally, what the mainstream would consider 'emo' aesthetically recalls the 'Myspace' era, which is mostly associated with heavy, 'racoonish' eye makeup, tousled and textured hair with hot pink streaks, fishnets, skinny jeans and neon colours — and not a rock chick vibe.

Show-ready shoes

What's the rock chick doing every Friday and Saturday night? She's at the show. Or she's playing one. Heck, she's probably there Monday through Thursday as well.
In that case, show-ready shoes are a must, whether you plan on hanging at the back of the venue with a drink in hand, or getting wild in the mosh pit. While chunky loafers and boots (perfectly accentuated with frilly white socks) are a safe option, a versatile sneaker is a must as well.
Vans are the ultimate rock girl shoe. Hayley Williams has worn the brand on stage for years, and Vans literally sponsored the Warped Tour for its entirety (aka the rock chick holy land). The Knu Skool Silhouette is a timeless sneaker that works perfectly under a pair of baggy cargo pants, distressed jeans or even maxi skirts. They'll also ensure you're well supported and comfy through any crowd surfing and circle pit experience, too.

It's all about leather

Leather and rock have gone together since the dawn of time. While we're advocates for leather jackets as part of any good capsule wardrobe, it's a must if you're trying to achieve peak rock chick.
Moto-style leather jackets have truly popped off this year if you're looking for something more fitted and waist-snatching. However, a trench-style mid-length leather jacket is still a fantastic option to layer over a cream-coloured lacey slip dress (à la Courtney Love) or tennis skirt and vintage band tee combo (à la Sky Ferriera).
Incorporating doesn't have to stop a jacket — leather hats, belts, and pants (if you're bold) are also a good shout for adding a little rock chick pizazz to a fit.

Plaid is your bestie

Nothing says rebellious teen quite like plaid. Olivia Rodrigo, the ultimate torchbearer for the rock chick look in recent years, has managed to incorporate plaid into so many of her iconic looks over the years.
While you might've adored draping a plaid shirt around your waist or layering over a tee, opting for a plaid mini or midi skirt is an easy way to rock the pattern chicly. Brands like Unif and homegrown faves Highrack Studios are a go-to for shopping pieces like this.

All things glitter and grunge

When it comes to rock chick makeup, there are no rules. After all, it is about having fun and expressing yourself. However, if you're looking to nail the basics, winged black eyeliner, glittery, messy eyeshadow, and a striking, dark lip are your foundations for success.
British artist Beabadoobee has absolutely nailed the rock chick makeup vibe in my opinion — her worn-in eyeliner, accentuated freckles, finger-applied eyeshadow, and dark lip liner look have taken TikTok by storm recently.
In terms of accessories, Y2K-esque hair clips, berets, piercings, and layered silver chains are a few simple go-tos to amplify any look. Additionally, dark nail polish, pink bows and lots of rings are good shouts too. If you need inspo, look no further than Aussie band Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers who continually blow us away with their 90s and 00s homages.

Stock up on baby tees

Kim Gordon and Sofia Coppola's iconic 90s brand X-Girl was founded on the ethos of making the 'perfect' t-shirt and honestly, we're so thankful they did. The brand managed to solidify what the 'perfect' fitted baby tee looks (and feels) like, making them a staple in the rock chick outfit canon. It-Girls like Devon Lee Carlson have nailed the vintage-print baby tee look, that harkens to both the early '00s and '70s, pairing them with flared jeans, leather boots and long skirts.
As we said earlier in regards to rock chick makeup, overall, there are no rules when it comes to the aesthetic. It is about freedom and rebellion at the end of the day, so have fun with it — whether your outfit inspiration is Kourtney Kardashian backstage at a blink-182 show or the main character from an early '00s teen movie.
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