The heavy metal community is far more varied than most people seem to think. Not only are there tons of subgenres within heavy metal music, but there are also communities within the community. This is no more evident than when it comes to fashion.
When you ask an outsider what they consider to be heavy metal fashion, they will have a generic answer for you, depending on their specific experience. Within the community, however, we can all identify different fashion scenes.
There are those who go with a scruffy look, wearing worn out band t-shirts and jeans. There is a rich history of heavy metal fashion. There are others who take on full concepts in every outfit, with expensive threads and even designer eyeglasses. There is everything in between.
Let’s take a look into heavy metal fashion to bring out some of the most popular trends.
The most prominent fashion trend in heavy metal communities is also the most literal one: metal. We’re talking piercings, chains, rings, black frame glasses and more. Metal is truly representative of the genre in a very basic way. It is hard, cold, and no nonsense, but also flashy as hell.
Metal as a genre is similar. The most transformative and important metal always starts underground, but it is an incredibly loud genre. An outsider might walk past a club playing heavy metal and not even consider going inside. But they’ll definitely notice it.
The heavy metal leather scene is borrowed heavily from the biker scene. Of course, the two communities often overlap, with the same daring characteristics. Both are here to make a noise, while expressing something very personal and niche.
The tight fits and interesting designs, as well as the unparalleled darkness of black leather, are perfect for metal fans. Leather portrays the realness of the genre, as it is a material you can always feel on you. Like metal, it is flashy, but its biggest impact is on the wearer.
It has always surprised me how much of a disconnect outsiders place between metal fans and sex. Metal is not seen as a sexy genre. In comparison to the romance of R&B and the explicit clarity of hip hop bars, metal has a harsh, primal approach to sex. It is no coincidence that some of the biggest metal fashion trends overlap the trends in kink communities.
Heavy metal is the BDSM of the music world. It is bold, unapologetic, animal, and raw. It relies on the interplay between the dominant and submissive. It doesn’t care who sees and what those people think of it.
This is not to say that there aren’t metal fans who have a regressive view of sexuality. You do get toxic fans who see the genre as distinctly masculine and reject any sexuality other than the heteronormative type. But while these fans do make a lot of noise, they are the minority.
Heavy metal fashion represents the genre in a very primal way. The way different parts of our community dress portrays the variety within, as well as the sheer confidence that is inherent in heavy metal.