Dress like a Punk – DIY clothing ideas

Tips to achieve a punk-inspired fashion style through do-it-yourself (DIY) clothing projects. Easily custome clothing items to match the punk aesthetic with distressing, patchwork, stenciling, etc.
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punk fashion style clothing choices.

If you love punk rock or just one particular band, or you don’t care, it does not matter. If you want to spend a lot or as little as possible, following the punk style – this also does not matter. That is the beauty of punk fashion style -it does not matter what you do as long as you are not conforming to normalcy. You do your thing, and you will be ok.

Punk clothing became quite a trend world over in the late 1970s. It had a revival in the 1990s and has been around the fashion scene since then, on and off. It is a beacon for the youth who want to celebrate independence and individuality.

You can read more about Punk fashion style here.

Why DIY punk clothing?

You can get all the clothes and accessories to make you a punk in shops – no delayed gratification, and sometimes it also happens that it might be cheaper to buy them ready-made. But, this is not for a true punk.

Punk clothing is all about DIY. Those who follow the punk movement believe in DIY because they do not want to contribute to the growth of exploitative corporations. And most may not be able to afford the style they want to follow. Another reason may be that they have their own unique designs, which are not available in the stores.    

So refashioning your plain old clothes to a new style and keeping with the aesthetics is in sync with the philosophy of punks. With just some easily available tools and supplies like sewing thread, needles, scissors, fabric paint, metal studs, bleach, and a sewing machine, you can complete a full punk wardrobe for yourself.

Here is how to wear punk clothing without breaking the bank – some easy DIY steps to adapt this revolutionary style.

Some tips on punk clothing before you start

Punk is non-conformistic, anti-materialistic and anti-brand. You have to keep these in mind when you choose your clothing.

Punk clothing is a generic term with many subdivisions. There are many different sub-subcultures in the punk aesthetic. You can be Glam punk, Pop punk, Hardcore punk. Anarcho-punk, punk jass, Christian hardcore, skate punk, art punk, pop punk, crust punk, melodic hardcore, gypsy punk, or ska punk. You can decide on the aesthetic you are going to follow. 

Decide on the colors of punk.  Punk clothing uses black as the base and adds splashes of color -usually neon colors like blue, pink, and red.

colors of punk fashion DIY clothing

There are some constantly used symbols in punk clothing like the mohawk skull, punk’s not dead, vote the anarchy symbol.

punk symbols

Graphic t-shirts /Band t-shirts

This refers to black t-shirts with punk symbols printed or painted. 

punk clothing
Band t-shirt with graphic print.

You can buy a plain t-shirt, print your favourite punk symbol on it. Band T-shirts are very big in punk style. These are t-shirts with band symbols attached – printed or as patches. 

print tshirts with punk symbols.
T-shirt design with skull and slogan.

You can dye it if it is not the color you want, and decorate it to suit your punk sensibilities. You may want to slash your t-shirt to make it look as scrappy as you like it.

Bleach it to give it a shabby look. You can spray bleach all over the t-shirt with a spray bottle or immerse it in a bleach solution to remove the color. When you use bleach on a black t-shirt, you get a bronze color. 

Create your own band patches or buy them. But as this post is all about DIY, I suggest you make them yourself. You can make your own band patches with flannel or other knit fabrics – get it painted, printed, or embroidered and attach it to your T-shirts.

A super simple way to make a punk t-shirt is to start by cutting the sleeves off and adding studs or spikes along the neckline.

Famous punk Band logos to look out for : Teitanblood, Beherit, Blasphemy, Archgoat, Distillers, Get Dead, Dead Kennedys, The suburbs, The shirts, Minutemen, The Effigies, The members.

Distressed and Ripped jeans

Black jeans and distressed blue jeans are staples in punk clothing. If you have an old pair of faded black jeans in your cupboard, forget about all other DIY. Get on to this.

You can further distress your jeans with bleach, which can then be ripped and mended with patches for more effect. You will now have your crust-punk-style pair of jeans.

Punk Pants

punk pant

Punk pants are loose trousers made of a thick material with lots of buckles and decorated with patches. You can use fabric paint to draw designs onto them or add ready-made patches.

Battle jackets

battle jacket of punk style
Punk style battle jacket with patches and print of skull on the back

A battle jacket is another must-have in a punk wardrobe and a totally DIY project. This is a sleeveless vest made from denim jackets or leather jackets with their sleeves cut off. You can easily make it from old jackets and adorn it with patches and studs.

Read about how to make the battle jackets:

how to sew a battle jacket

Studded black Leather jacket

Leather jackets in punk parlance mean Studded jackets – metal studs are used generously all over – Spiked collar is the most popular. You can also attach studs on the back-yoke, shoulders, or anywhere.

metal studs on leather


Spiked wristband, other metallic accessories, and embellishments like chains and safety pins, wool socks, and nylon tights. Bullet belts and silver stud belts.

fishnet tights on arms

Fingerless gloves and arm warmers made of old socks or knit fabrics or fishnet tights. Read more on how to make your own fingerless gloves here.

fingerless gloves

Combat boots

army boots isolated on white background
Combat boots

Combat boots belong to military clothing, but in punk fashion, it is a must-have. These rugged boots (Doc Marten boots) may not be the most comfortable, but they add to the rough and tough persona of this aesthetic. 

References : Punk music 


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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