We applaud people who do things differently, and if there was ever a band who embodied the rejection of the mainstream, it's Black Flag. Universally identifiable by the their emblematic, simple black bar logo, the band had already changed punk rock by the time Henry Rollins joined in 1981. They played faster and louder than their British and New York predecessors, and the addition of Rollins gave hardcore a physical embodiment. Rollins' steadfast look of tight jeans, shitty sneakers and muscle and mesh tees is probably what a lot people think of when they think of hardcore. The band members favored functionality over fashion—the pit is no place for drainpipe jeans and triple soled creepers—and they looked good because they wore what they wanted with confidence.
Their commitment to Do-It-Yourself not only gave teenagers with pent up aggression a movement to join, but a way to replicate and add to that movement. They released their own records, organized their own shows, designed their own artwork, and most importantly, never sold out. Straight fitting pants, tennis shoes, tube socks, and band tees are all hardcore staples, stuff you could wear at work and at a show. The whole point is that the look is classic but basic, intentionally inexpensive, meaning you don't have to break the bank to dress like your favorite band.
Left to Right: Black Flag My War Tee, Dickies' 874 Work Pant
Clockwise from Left: Topman Western Jacket by Katie Eary, Nike Cortez, Hanes Over-the-Calf Tube Socks
Left to Right:Russell No-Pocket Short, Tripp NYC Mesh Shirt from Trash and Vaudeville