When the French existentialist Albert Camus wrote Resistance, Rebellion, and Death, he was doing so in the wake of everything from the horrors of the Second World War to the ennui afterward to the struggles for independence which dotted the globe at the time, and still do to this day. His pairing of crisp prose with an uncompromising individualist streak have stood the test of time and influenced countless readers. If you think it odd to begin a look at alternative clothes and heavy metal bands with a book written by a French philosopher, consider this: what is metal but rock, and what is rock but an attitude, and what is that attitude but one of rebellion?
Whether you’re heavy into bands such as Iron Maiden or Metallica, or are just looking to add some edge and attitude to your look, here are some tips when it comes to alternative clothes:
What Counts as Alternative?
The stereotype of the metal head or punk rocker is that of a black-wearing leather-loving ever-pieced rocker with long hair and an even longer list of Judas Priest songs on their iPod. That said, what does it truly mean to be “alternative?” For our purposes, it means standing in opposition to another force or idea, including stereotypical representations of the Goth, metal, and punk images. As such, while you’ll want to check out all the usual Goth blacks, silver studs and spikes, and pink rocker paraphernalia, you’ll also want to avoid following the “norm” of that trend by mixing in your own ideas about what it means to rebel, thus allowing you to become truly “alternative.” Remember—rebellion is an attitude, one created by your choices, and for those to be truly authentic and thus truly “alternative” by your standards, you need to avoid what Jean-Paul Sartre (another French philosopher who was all about self-identity) called “bad faith.”
Choosing some generic leather jacket because you think it “should” be alternative? Bad faith.
Choosing that same jacket because despite what anyone else says, you still think it rocks? Rock on.
Resistance, Rebellion, and Dress
Let’s take a moment to take a look at the ladies’ section of the alternative scene by acknowledging that part of that ethos of rebellion here is predicated on breaking down the very idea of “a ladies section.” Remember, the idea behind being alternative is to be not just different from the norm, but to define oneself on the basis of one’s own being, not simply to that of another. That means dressing how you want no matter what, including whether or not it’s “ladylike” or from the “the ladies section.”
In the end, whether you’re a French existentialist or a Goth girl looking for a killer dress, it all comes down to you making your own choice, no matter what anyone else says. Sites such as http://mylittlehalo.com/ feature all manner of different leather dresses, pants, leggings, shorts, hotpants, bags—you name it. From there, it’s up to you to build your own persona. Resistance and rebellion require something against which to rebel, but it is the clothing style and attitude choices you make which truly define you as “alternative.”
Embrace the ethos of Resistance, Rebellion, and (Mega) Death with killer alternative clothes of your own choosing.