Here's the Reason Kurt Cobain Often Decided to Wear Dresses and Skirts

Kid Cudi paid tribute to the late Kurt Cobain during his 'SNL' performance by wearing a dress. But why did the Nirvana singer wear a dress?

Gina Vaynshteyn - Author

Apr. 11 2021, Updated 4:07 p.m. ET

Kurt Cobain wearing a dress
Source: Getty Images, GossipGirl XOXO/YouTube

On April 10, Kid Cudi made the internet collectively cheer when he wore a dress on SNL. The singer wore a beautiful white floral dress during his "Sad People" performance, and many believe it was to honor the late Kurt Cobain, who died at age 27 almost exactly 27 years ago (Kurt died by suicide on April 5, 1994). Why exactly? Well, Kurt was known for wearing dresses back in the '90s.

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Why did Kurt Cobain wear a dress?

Kurt Cobain used fashion to defy gender boundaries. He wore dresses and skirts often, and once stated that he liked florals because "there’s nothing more comfortable than a cosy flower pattern.” There's no specific reason why Kurt donned dresses other than to communicate the idea that he believed in gender fluidity and didn't abide by any fashion rules. In fact, most of his clothes came from thrift stores, and he reportedly borrowed dresses from Nirvana's publicist. 

Source: Twitter
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It was written that Kurt was the exact opposite of a "macho" man in U.S. culture: “Kurt Cobain was the antithesis of the macho American man. At a time when a body-conscious silhouette was the defining look, he made it cooler to look slouchy and loose, no matter if you were a boy or a girl," The Fader editor Alex Frank told Vogue in 2014.

Not that this has anything to do with the dresses he wore, but Kurt was known as being a genuine feminist, which set him apart from a lot of rockers in the '90s. He once gave an interview during which he stated something pretty groundbreaking at the time: Men should be held accountable for rape. At the time, women were being taught how to prevent sexual assault, and Kurt disagreed. 

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Source: Twitter

He once said, “The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there." 

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Kid Cudi also wore an olive green cardigan similar to the one Kurt wore during the famous Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York performance. Underneath the cardigan, he also paid tribute to comedian Chris Farley by wearing a shirt with Chris' face on it. Chris, who was an SNL performer, died when he was only 33 in 1997.

Source: Saturday Night Live/YouTube
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Kid Cudi was always a fan of Kurt's. He has a tattoo of the late legend, and he also once sampled one of Kurt's home recordings titled "Burn the Rain" in Kid Cudi's track "Reborn" which is featured in the 2018 album, "Kids See Ghosts."

Want Kid Cudi's Kurt-inspired dress? Sadly for us, it was custom-designed by Virgil Abloh. Kid Cudi tweeted, "Virgil designed the dress for me.  I told him I wanted to show love to Kurt w a floral print sundress and this man made a masterpiece." 

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