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Emo fashion has changed over the years so there are really two parts to the answer for this question: emo fashion of the past and emo fashion of the present. While there are some basic generalizations across the board, the emo fashion style has changed from a pretty tight dress code to a much more relaxed style that encompasses a variety of different elements.

Emo Fashion of the Past

In the beginning, most emos conformed to a fairly strict fashion statement, all the while claiming that their style was unique. The irony with being unique is that the more people that jump on the bus, the less unique a style becomes. Emos shunned the idea of a standardized fashion, and in their attempt to be different, created just that.

Hair was, is, and probably always will be a huge part of emo fashion. Originally, to be emo you had to dye your hair black. Not everyone did it, but it was the thing to do if you were truly going for the emo style. The emo hairstyle for guys typically consisted of flat ironed hair with a side swooping bang that covered one eye. The emo hairstyle for females brought back the idea of big hair but also encompassed the side swooping bang that covered one eye. I think the best comparison of the female hairstyle would be to that of Elvira.

Giant hair bows were a big time accessory for girls. Eyeliner found its way onto the faces of emo guys and gained the affectionate name of guy liner. Again, not all emo guys wore guy liner but enough did that it became a pretty popular part of the emo fashion statement. Some even went a step farther by wearing eye shadow and other make up items.

Emo males started wearing girls jeans. In the beginning this created much controversy which later died down when retailers caught on to the trend and brought back skinny jeans. Tight clothing, in general, was/is a fashion standard for emos.

The fashion style was very vintage looking in the beginning. Many emos went to thrift stores to shop for printed t-shirts and flannels. Thick framed glasses, sweat bands, and messenger bags were also a pretty big thing at the time.

Thanks to the emo culture, lip piercing gained in popularity. This has probably contributed greatly to the exploding expansion of new piercing parlors opening up across the United States. Many emos got a single lip piercing on either the left or right side of the lip.

Emo Fashion of Today

Many things have changed but a lot has also stayed the same. It’s still a popular trend among emos to flat iron their hair as straight as humanly possible. A few additional hairstyles have been added to the repertoire of guy emo hairstyles, like spiking the back of the hair. The female emo hairstyle hasn’t changed much.

While many emos still dye their hair black, it’s no longer a hardcore requirement for the style. There are quite a few emos out there that dye their hair platinum blonde instead. It seems to have become more about how you wear your hair than what color your hair is. The newest hot female emo hair accessory is multi-colored hair extensions. In fact, coloring part of your hair a radical color was quite the trend for a while.

Much fewer emo guys wear guy liner now. Like many of the original emo fashion trends it has faded into the background.

Tight clothing is still very much in style with the emo culture, though much of it has taken a more modern look. Stripes are popular in emo fashion as well as stars, hearts, skulls, nautical stars, and sparrows. Emo females typically wear more trendy fashion as opposed to the original vintage style.
Piercings have also seen an expanded horizon. Many emos have gone from a single lip piercing to snake bites. Hip piercing has also recently become popular.

There’s really no telling how much more the emo fashion style will evolve. Unlike many other fashion styles the stability of emo culture changes as time passes. Some imagine that it will fade out completely with time. Until it does though, it will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on the rising and falling trends.

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