Unleash Your Inner Rockstar Girlfriend: Mastering the Grunge-Glam Aesthetic

By Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse

We’ve all fantasized about it. The thrill of being the muse behind heart-wrenching song lyrics, the dedication of songs to you during electrifying concerts, and the allure of attending exclusive after-parties with celebrities, celebrating their Grammy wins. From iconic combinations like ABBA to the rollercoaster romance of Pam and Tommy, or the unconventional love stories of Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker, Megan Fox, and Machine Gun Kelly, being a rockstar’s girlfriend has always been associated with endless fun, free from the burdens of ordinary life.

The fascination with celebrity relationships is not a recent phenomenon. As long as there have been celebrities, the media, fans, and haters have been hungry for any gossip they can find. Perhaps this intrigue stems from our desire to live vicariously through these fantasies. Let’s face it; being in a relationship with a rockstar seems to come with a plethora of perks, including the ability to curate extravagant, designer outfits that the internet can’t get enough of.

Throughout the generations, the idea of being a rockstar’s “girlfriend” has captivated popular culture. Each era has witnessed countless movies centered around falling in love with musicians. Every love song sung by an artist leaves out enough details to make every listener believe that the song is about them. These false promises are expertly crafted by marketing teams who capitalize on our misplaced hopes. We are presented with a life of luxury, endless parties, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, which we still believe could be true, even after musicians release their “tell-all” documentaries. Naturally, we want a taste of that life.

To fulfill this desire, TikTok creators have flocked to the app, showcasing outfits intended for rockstar “girlfriend” occasions that are highly unlikely to happen. These videos provide an outlet for getting dressed up and wearing outfits that many wouldn’t have the confidence to wear outside. In these moments, people not only live out the dream of not being single but also have fun, experiment, and attempt to recreate the effortless chic and confidence exuded by those lucky enough to date musicians.

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But TikTok isn’t the only platform where this fantasy thrives. Spotify and YouTube are brimming with playlists that offer a chance to feel like a rockstar’s girlfriend for a few hours as you go about your day—a crucial step in mastering the rockstar girlfriend aesthetic. It’s not just about the clothes you wear, the way you do your makeup, or how you style your hair. It’s about your attitude, your movement, and how you embody that feeling of being untouchable—the one and only person in the eyes of someone who could have anyone they desire. Confidence is key, even if it’s simply an act.

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Megan Fox has played a significant role in popularizing this fantastical aesthetic and the dreamy lifestyle that accompanies it. She personifies the grunge-glam rockstar girlfriend, bringing her coveted style to the masses through collaborations with brands like boohoo. However, it’s crucial to note that buying from a company with a low environmental rating and poor labor treatment does not align with the ideals of a true rockstar girlfriend.

Since starting her relationship with Machine Gun Kelly and celebrity stylist Maeve Reilly, Fox consistently delivers eye-catching outfits dominated by leather and mesh, straying away from fast fashion. She opts for pieces from high-end designers like Mugler, Bottega Veneta, and LaQuan Smith, often coordinating her looks with her rockstar fiancé. Their matching outfits manage to avoid the cliché of being too perfectly coordinated.

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee (Photo by S. Granitz/WireImage)

Unlike Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, you don’t need to draw blood, create nail art chains, or speak exclusively in Tumblr quotes to embody the grunge-glam rockstar girlfriend look. Don’t let the name mislead you; this trend is not limited to girlfriends alone. It transcends gender and relationship status. All you need to do is fully embrace the flamboyant fantasy of dating a rockstar, even if you’re just popping out to the store to grab a loaf of bread.

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While this aesthetic may initially seem niche, it’s essentially an amplified version of the long-standing grunge-glam trend. Rockstar girlfriends and groupies have always effortlessly blended glamour and grunge to catch the attention of those in the spotlight, while staying true to themselves. The look is simultaneously over-the-top and understated, meticulously put together yet seemingly effortless, and undeniably playful yet exuding an intense sex appeal.

The go-to look for the rockstar girlfriend vibe combines high fashion with alternative punk rocker elements. It goes without saying that leather is a must-have material, appearing in jackets, trousers, boots, handbags, and corset tops. Since the release of the teaser for the Hulu/Disney+ series “Pam and Tommy” in December 2021, searches for “black leather corset” (an iconic look of Pamela Anderson) have skyrocketed by 45% on eBay. Additionally, animal print has become another staple, replacing neutral tones in the lives of those in the spotlight. Animal print visually represents their stance in life, symbolizing strength, independence, beauty, and adaptability—the primal forces of nature.

Animal print has been worn by royalty, punk rockers, sex workers, and even first ladies. It can evoke both a sense of old-money femininity and a perception of trashiness. On one hand, it exudes confidence and privilege, the ability to have and do anything. On the other hand, it can be seen as rebellious, defying societal norms and embracing untamed behavior. This juxtaposition of high and low culture perfectly exemplifies the essence of the rockstar girlfriend aesthetic.

The only rule to remember when embracing this aesthetic is to go all out. Don’t be afraid or try to refine your appearance too much. Wear what you want and wear it with confidence. The way you carry yourself completely changes the impact of an outfit. It may sound cliché, but clichés often exist because they hold some truth. When you feel good, your aura elevates your outfit. Conversely, if you’re uncomfortable, it shows in your body language and facial expressions, making you look as awkward as you feel. The rockstar girlfriend wears everything with ease. They don’t care about others’ opinions; they know they look good and invite everyone to appreciate their unique style. If nothing else, let’s embrace that fearless attitude from this aesthetic.

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