Anti-fashion is an umbrella term for various styles of dress which are explicitly contrary to the fashion of the day. Anti-fashion styles may represent an attitude of indifference or may arise from political or practical goals which make fashion a secondary priority. The term is sometimes even used for styles championed by high-profile designers, when they encourage or create trends that do not follow the mainstream fashion of the time. This anti-fashion was adopted in response to the ‘overly fashion conscious’ fans of bands.
Grunge is an example of the oppositional style of dress while the rational dress of the Victorian era, which allowed ladies to swim or bicycle, is an example of a functional anti-fashion. A trend for feminist women to dress in ways that do not follow the norms for women’s clothing has been described as anti-fashion, though research suggested many women who dress this way do not choose to label themselves this way, in the opinion of author Samantha Holland this is because the women do not like the confrontational overtones of the term.
In the 1990s, a minimalist style described as anti fashion emerged on both sides of the Atlantic where young people would typically wear simple clothes such as black jeans and white T-shirts without a visible brand name. Another period of anti-fashion has taken place in the 1950s with the advent of rock and roll, especially with young adolescent women.