Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Basic Goth Wardrobe

Blazer - DIY
Belt - ASOS
Skirt - Lindex
Fishnets - H&M
Sandal pikes - Second hand

First off, how you look has NOTHING to do with ''how goth you are''. You don't need to look like your idols to be a goth. Don't worry about ''not being goth'' cause your school / work has a dress code, or that someone will knock on your door to inspect you when you're in your PJ's at home! None of us look 100% spooky 24/7 - It's just that people don't exactly post selfies when they first wake up in the morning.

Belt - ASOS
Skirt - H&M
Boots - Second hand (Demonia)

Okay, so you need figure out what kind of style you like. Do you lean towards victorian, cybergoth or trad? Often your fashion style goes hand in hand with your music taste, but in the goth scene we have other aspects of the culture as well, so many get inspired by those too. Some of the styles are recognized by their elaborate and extreme aesthetics, and don't worry, you'll get there some day. Find out what fabrics and colors you like, or other details. Look for these things! It's much easier to shop when you know what you like and are looking for, than just being overwhelmed by a sea of black clothes.

Dress - DIY out of a second hand shirt
Blazer - DIY

Go thrift shopping! You never know what you'll find, trust me. If you're lucky, someone went through a goth phase and has now given their New Rock boots and entire wardrobe of brand clothes to charity! I have myself found an Alchemy Gothic bag for almost nothing, tons of clothes from ''normal'' stores that look super gothic, and there's always a million velvet blazers (too bad I don't like velvet).

Shirt - Gothicat
Belt - Custom by my friend Jez (Studio 777)
Pikes - Second hand

DIY. I know some of you might say; ''But I can't sew!'' or ''I'm not creative!'' - but I say the same things, and even I have managed to alter a few things! I try to post mine here when I do some. Even if it means just cutting and ripping and holding things together with knots and safety pins. Look for tutorials online! You will get many more goth points by making or altering something yourself than buying off the rack from the big goth brands ;)

Jewelry - My friend Ayame Designs
Lace collar thingy - Ebay
Skirt - Second hand (RQBL, I think?)
Stockings - Walmart
Joy Division boots - Doc Martens

When actually buying from goth stores and brands, don't buy something that's ''out of your level'', so to speak. What I mean by that is that if you have a wardrobe of band t-shirts and black jeans, maybe that elaborate and complicated strappy vinyl body suit isn't the thing for you just yet. Buy things that will go with what you already have, so that you can feel good about any outfit with it! My suggestion would be boots or a jacket / coat. These you can add to any outfit, and instantly feel better!
Also, shop smart. I see a lot of goth shops nowadays that sell the simplest clothes for ridiculously high prices just because it's a ''goth brand''. If you find something you like, do some research and see if you can find it at another site for cheaper (and preferably a site that has a warehouse close to you). A good rule of thumb is only to buy what you can't make.

Sleeves - DIY (old pantyhose)
Skirt - Thrifted
Stockings - H&M

Remember to be yourself! Buy things you genuinely like, and not cause they look cool and would impress your friends and anger your parents. You should be comfortable in what you wear, and not letting it wear you. Then it might feel like a costume. Of course some people feel this way when they first start looking goth - goth is an extreme style, and is a long step from the norm. Building a wardrobe and your own unique look takes time, so be patient and experiment! If you are like most people, you don't fall into one label. I for example can on different days dress trad goth, deathrock, victorian or black metal. It doesn't matter! It makes you you, and that is awesome.

Shirt - H&M
Jabot - Ebay
Skirt - Burleska

Below is a helpful checklist of items to get if you're looking to build up your goth wardrobe.
I definitely don't recommend going out and buying everything at once and immediately throw out everything you already owned - Unless you're really rich. No, but seriously. Not only will it be a weird shock for both you and everyone around you, but it just won't be.. genuine, in the lack of a better term. And who knows, maybe it will be just a *gasp* phase (which is okay). Then you'll just regret it. So ease into it, make it your own, and get to know yourself in a journey of self discovery.
  • Boots (for everyday, and it's also nice to have more sensible shoes, plus some fancy ones)
  • Stockings (that's what I personally prefer, but if you like socks, go for that. I think it's especially fun to buy childish socks, just to give outfits that whimsy contrast)
  • Blouses / shirts (black of course, maybe some jewel tones or even white)
  • T-shirts (I definitely recommend getting official band merch, and some funny shirts!)
  • Bottoms (black jeans / pants, skirts or shorts, so you have something for every occasion)
  • Dresses / suits  (be sure to have a nice dress / suit that fits you perfectly for effortless fanciness!)
  • Jackets / coats (for every season, depending on where you live. I also recommend having some you decorate to wear for alternative occasions)
  • Layering bits (vests, hoodies, corsets, whatever you like)
  • Other outerwear accessories for winter if you need it (gloves, scarves, hats, etc)
  • At least one belt (either for actual functional purpose or just for accessorizing)
  • Jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets and other things in designs you like)
  • Headgear (hats, headbands, headpieces, decorative clips, veils and so on, whatever you prefer)
  • Bags (I like having a shoulder bag, a handbag and a smaller bag for concerts)
I recommend having both plain and more alternative stuff, so you can tone it down and dress up if you need to for any occasion. I think that's all I can think of that will work for an alternative wardrobe, as well as for work or school dresscodes.

Bolero - Thrifted
Top - Spiral
Skirt - Thrifted

I hope that helped some of you! I know a lot of kids today are REALLY into the fashion and thinks that's what goth is all about, but it isn't. But I would like to give some advice on the fashion as well. The most important thing is to discover the culture, find out what you like, find yourself and get inspired. If you are sure of who you are and what you like, having your own style isn't hard at all.

Parasol and gloves - Darxity
Necklace - Darkling Beloved
Jabot - Ebay
Blouse - Retroscope Fashions
Pantyhose - Walmart

Post updated with photos in 2020, added ''sources'' where I remember


  1. Great post I wear boots everyday even in Summer!

  2. A very good post! I've been into both goth and punk for over thirty years and the best advice I was ever given about clothes was that to invest in good quality coats/jackets and boots/shoes and the rest will follow. To this day I will drop serious money on these items because they will last for years.

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