The most defining trend of the 1990s was undoubtedly grunge. And since the 80s revival has reached its peak and is on the steady decline, it’s the 90s that are next in turn – grunge naturally included. This neo-grunge takes the ripped denim trend firmly in its stride; and along with it comes another 2009 and 2010 fashion trend: laddered stockings.

Laddered stockings at Alexander Wang A/W 2008Alexander Wang Autumn (Fall)/Winter 2008

The first we really noticed it was on Alexander Wang’s Fall 2008 runway, in which beanies, boots and ripped tights made up a look that was rock chic meets neo-grunge. Since then, it’s taken quickly to the streets – featuring in many a street-style blog across the web.

Ripped stockings street style and Erin WassonRipped stockings: street style photo by The Sartorialist; Erin Wasson in I.D magazine.

How to wear it

With conviction. Wearing a crisp, corporate skirt-suit and a pair of stockings with a little ladder or two just looks like an unfortunate run-in with a sharp fingernail. On the other hand, shredded tights with studded boots and a black mini screams fashion-forwards neo-grunge chic.

Laddered tights trend: street style photosStreet style photo by StyleSightings; outfit on Rumi at Fashion Toast.

Who is wearing it

DIY holes, rips and ladders

It’s not hard to get this look. God knows, it’s easy enough to rip stockings when you’re not trying to. For heavier fabrics use a bit of creativity with scissors, or even a cheese-grater, to work in interesting shapes.

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