In the past month, we’ve talked about gothic fashion, we’ve learned about its history and what it has been influenced by. Today, we’re going to immerse ourselves fully in fashion and the many styles that this culture has.
An (almost) complete guide to gothic fashion elements
Probably, one of the greatest misconceptions about gothic fashion it’s that it must be black. While black is one of the main colors, it’s incorrect to say it’s the only one acceptable in outfits. For example, a monochromatic white outfit could be gothic, whereas a black dress can just be a simple black dress. To clear up some misconceptions and questions, let’s investigate more about what makes an outfit gothic.
- A predominance of black with contrasting accents, such as white or red inserts, inlays, or other elements of clothing.
- Besides black, you can find clothes in deep dark colors like purple, burgundy, green, and blue.
- Clear silhouettes, straight or flowing lines.
- Eccentric clothes, sometimes kind of suggestive.
- Women wear vintage or modern dresses with complex cuts.
- Voluminous skirts, both mini and maxi.
- Jabot, lace, and mesh elements.
- Corsets and harness belts are used commonly on top of the clothes.
- The main materials are silk, velvet, denim, leather, lace, organza, brocade, and taffeta. They serve as great embellishment for gothic outfits.
- Footwear includes traditional heavy unisex boots, boots with lace, big platforms, high heels, combat boots, shoes with wide and high heels, and sky-high stilettos. A heavy platform, an abundance of metal and leather inserts, embellishments, and dark colors make the perfect gothic shoe.
- The list of accessories is made of eccentric hats with a veil, long gloves, large black backpacks, elegant mini valises, later, leather or metal chokers, and lace or velvet umbrellas to protect their skin from the sun.
- Big white metal jewelry (silver, white gold, or platinum) is loved by goths. Meanwhile, yellow metals are a complete no. Gothic jewelry includes rings, bracelets, pendants, earrings, and others, with Celtic crosses, dragons, bats, black cats, roses, skulls, etc.
- Expressive contrasts of dark hair and pale face. The classic hairstyle consists of long straight black hair, being used by both men and women who don’t try to appear a certain gender. A little dirty look is considered elegant.
- Meanwhile, romantic goths appreciate curls and lush hairstyles, dying their hair vibrant red or ashy colors.
- The key to gothic makeup is a face full of white powder, black eyeliner, deep-colored eyeshadow, and a dark or blood-red matte lipstick. Nails are often painted in red or black.
Styles of gothic
Goths are divided into many subcultures. Here are some of them:
▪ Traditional goth
The popular portrait of a traditional goth consists of a black-haired person wearing a unisex outfit, with a mesh top, leather pants or a tight skirt, torn black tights, and shoes with big platforms. The skin is very pale, with piercings and eccentric makeup.
▪ Antique goth
Outfits try to imitate fashion from the 18 and 19th centuries. Main elements include lace, elbow-length gloves, long dresses that reach the floor, corsets, veils, cylinders, and tailcoats. Antique goth style is inspired by romanticism and neo-gothic.
▪ Victorian goth
This style can be considered one of the varieties of antique goth. Victorian outfits are suitable for balls, picnics, or photoshoots. It’s a style used for certain occasions, rather than every day. Nonetheless, the Victorian-style takes one of the most important places in gothic fashion.
▪ Gypsy goth
Playful and beautiful, this style is characterized by wide maxi skirts, flamenco dresses with complex structures, blouses with big sleeves, and leather corsets. The materials used are velvet and lace, while colors are dark blue, scarlet, burgundy, purple, dark green, and black. All clothes are mostly baggy.
▪ Vampire goth
By far, one of the most popular and easy to recognize styles of this culture. Vampire goths imitate popular vampires, such as Lestat de Lioncourt and Dracula. Girls try to emphasize their sexuality with dramatic images. Their faces are extremely white, with vibrant red lipsticks, manicures, and accessories. Men wear camisoles, white shirts with ruffles, raincoats, and leather pants. They symbolize blood by contrasting black with rich red colors.
Cybergoth fashion combines traditional gothic and industrial elements in the outfits. Clothes are mostly made of artificial fabrics, often of bright acidic or fluorescents colors, over the knee boots with big high platforms, and elements of the cyberpunk culture. Dreadlocks and Mohawks are the most popular hairstyles. Women wear vinyl miniskirts, vibrant pantyhose and stockings, and tops that reveal the torso. Both men and women use leggings of vinyl, leather, or latex, shirts with thematic prints, mesh waistcoats with zippers, one-piece latex, or PU suits.
▪ Fetish goth
Popular fabrics include artificial materials such as latex, vinyl, and faux leather. All outfits are tight-fitting and sexy. Women rock jumpsuits, mini dresses, corsets, crop tops, and tight pants. Fetish goth style is characterized by an abundance of accessories with a BDSM aesthetic, like collars, bondage, handcuffs, and chains.
▪ Western goth
A not so popular, and almost rare to the mainstream public, style generated by the band “Fields of the Nephilim”. In this style, both men and women use wide-brimmed hats, cowboy-style leather pants with fringes and lacing, leather jackets, and vests. Westerns goths are often seen with whips and revolvers.
▪ Gothic Lolita
A sub-culture originated in Japan. This style explores the image of a sad girl wearing gothic-style knee-length dresses embellished with frills, laces, crinolines, or pantaloons. Lolitas don’t want to look vulgar, and, instead, they try to appear elegant and at ease. Their clothes are black with blue, purple, or red details, but they can be seen in white too. The numerous accessories include decorative umbrellas, hats, and platform shoes with rounded noses.
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