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Gothic Clothing, Fashion And Make-Up - How To Get The "Goth Look"!
Gothic Fashion - how to get that "Goth" look!
Goth Clothes...Goth Fashion...Goth Style...Goth Make-Up...Goth Hair...get the Gothic "Look" !
- Rich jewel colours, sensual textures such as velvet, satin and lace combined with leather and PVC
- Antique clothes worn with bondage gear
- Fishnets, thigh boots, chains and spikes
- Corsets and cleavage
- Vampires and Victorians
- Cyber Goths and Caberet Goths
- Romantic Goths and GothLolis
- Steampunk and Deathrock
Goths are diverse and individual!
Whether you're into the Goth "scene" or not, you've got to admit, Goths have STYLE!...and Gothic fashion is VERY sexy too :)
The aim of this page is to look at what constitutes Goth fashion and to help you achieve a "Goth-look"!
Here you'll find tips on Gothic fashion, clothes, hair, make-up, jewelry and accessories, along with tutorials on how to apply Goth make-up (for girls AND guys!).
You'll also find lots of news, videos and links to other Gothic resources.
Where Does The Word "Gothic" Come From?
Why are Goths called "Goths"?
The word "Goth" is derived from "barbarian" Germanic tribes (Visigoths & Ostrogoths) who from the 3rd - 6th centuries opposed the Roman Empire.
The word "Gothic" later became applied to an unconventional style of medieval architecture and later still to a genre of literature which focused on death & the supernatural.
In the late 1970s the phrase "Gothic Rock" was used to describe a post-Punk musical style. A subculture grew and developed from these origins with followers known as "Goths"
Gothic Culture & Fashion
What Is Goth Fashion?
A personal definition of Gothic fashion
Ask most people the question "What is Goth fashion?" and the answer would probably contain the words "long black clothes", "eyeliner" and "vampires"!
But there's a LOT more to Goth fashion than that!
It's true that lots of Goths do tend to favour black, but this is often used as a base colour and contrasted with bright, bold colours for clothing, hair, make-up and accessories.
The term "Gothic Fashion" encompasses a broad range of styles and fabrics.
Gothic clothing can both hide the body shape with loose, flowing clothes and emphasise it with tight corsets and trousers. It can be severe and aggressive with it's use of leather, PVC, studs, laces, buckles and zips and also delicate and sensual with luxurious fabrics such as velvet, lace and satin. Often the two extremes are combined.
There's no one "Goth look". There are no restrictions. Goths wear what they feel like wearing and freely experiment by mixing and matching until they achieve a look that they feel comfortable with.
Gothic fashion encompasses many distinct and diverse Goth styles, beliefs, cultures and lifestyles including Cyber Goths, Romantic Goths, Vampire Goths, Cabaret Goths and Aristocrat, Dandy, Medieval, Victorian, Edwardian and Steampunk fashion.
Goth fashion has no boundaries. It welcomes everyone on equal terms, regardless of gender, size or age.
It is diverse, stylish and individual - no-one makes a unique personal statement like a Goth...and that's what makes Gothic fashion so great!
A Video Tour Of Gothic Fashion - Gothic fashion in pictures
The Development Of Gothic Fashion
The evolution of goth fashion
Starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s, goth became not just a musical style but also a fashion movement, influenced by contemporary goth musicians such as Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure, Bauhaus, Southern Death Cult, The Damned, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and Fields of the Nephilim.
The look was typified by elaborately back-combed "big hair" dyed jet black and sometimes shaved at the sides to form a wide "Mohican".
Skin was always deathly pale and early goths wore tight black clothes, pointed boots and lots of silver jewellery often using religious designs from early European and ancient Egyptian culture such as Coptic and Celtic crosses and Ankhs.
They teamed this with black leather biker jackets, skin-tight black jeans, mini skirts and T-shirts, black fishnet stockings and black sunglasses.
Some goths mixed elements of goth fashion with the New Romantic style, incorporating loose, white ruffled shirts and flowing scarves.
In the early 1990s, the media interest in goth music waned, but the goth subculture rooted in the goth clubs and independent record labels survived.
It was greatly boosted by a series of hit films with a "dark Gothic" feel such as "The Crow", "Edward Scissorhands" and "Interview With the Vampire" and this focused a great deal of new interest onto the goth scene.
Since then goth fashion has evolved and diversified as new elements have been added to make an ecelctic mix of styles.
Many goths now wear clothes influenced by 18th or early 19th century fashion in fabrics such as silk, velvet and lace.
Combat trousers and chunky platform boots, striped tights and leggings and neon colours now mix with the traditional goth black base colour and styles have been incorporated from other subcultures such as Cyberpunk. Techno and the BDSM and fetish scene.
Hair now tends to be longer and straighter as the teased big hair look of the 1980s has given way to new ideas. Other styles such as brightly coloured hair extensions and pony tails are now part of the goth look, as are tattoos and body piercings.
Goth Culture - A video interpretation of gothic culture
Goth Definitions - What is "Goth"?
There isn't a precise definition of "Goth", just as there isn't just one "Goth Look"...here's some links to other sites that explore the diversity and origins of the Goth "scene"...
Vampire Goth Fashion
Goths + vampires...where would fashion retailers be without them?
For the uninitiated, the image of the "Vampire Goth" is stereotypical.
It's the popular image of goths...teenagers who eagerly soak up the latest vampire themed literature, films and TV series and walk around dressed like an extra from "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" or proclaiming that they're "in love" with characters from Stephenie Mayer's "Twilight Saga"!
But the roots of "Vampire Goth" go back much further than that.
The description "Gothic Fiction" was first used way back in the late 18th century to apply to a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance.
Often referred to as "Gothick Horror", common themes are foggy graveyards, crumbling castles, remote haunted houses, attics, vampires, demons, evil monks, skeletons, hidden family secrets, virginal damsels in distress and a dashing romantic hero figure!
Many classics of literature fall into the "Gothic" category, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Phantom of the Opera and most of Edgar Allan Poe's work!
In more modern times, the popularity of this genre has continued with Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and numerous other novels, series, films and TV shows along similar themes.
Vampire Goths use a lot of the imagery and clothing styles used in Gothic Fiction/Gothick Horror.
Vampire goths usually try to look like vampires - ranging from the beautiful to the grotesque.
Common fashion elements are primarily black clothing with red accents, cloaks, long, straight hair, pale, pale skin, long red fingernails, fangs and often the use of make-up to simulate blood.
For some, it's just fun to dress up...for others, it's more than that and the desire to "be" a vampire is real!
Gothic Vampire Girls Music Video: Soulidium & Vicious Angelz
Victorian Goth & Steampunk Fashion
Victorian Goth & Steampunk - Edwardian, Dandy, Aristocrat, Madam and Steampunk fashion
I've lumped quite a few related styles together here as they have common elements.
Generally speaking, this style includes genuine antique clothing or clothing inspired by historical styles.
It includes items such as formal gowns, corsets, bodices, petticoats, and bustles for women and suits with waistcoats, coats, spats and military uniforms for men.
Hats are worn by both genders.
Victorian and Edwardian goths often carry related accessories such as parasols, evening bags and walking canes.
Aristocrat/Madam styles include long sleeve blouses and shirts, long skirts, trousers and corsets that are styled similarly for men and women and are focused on androgyny and elegance.
Especially in the case of steampunk fashion, retro styles are frequently mixed with anachronisms with a modern material such as PVC clothing worn with antique flying goggles or a top hat etc.
Victorian Goth & Steampunk Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Steampunk Style! - A pictorial guide to steampunk fashion
If the default image of a goth is black//vampire/retro, then cybergoth can be considered the opposite end of the goth spectrum.
Cybergoths favour bright neon colours mixed with black clothing often made from reflective or shiny materials such as rubber or PVC to create a "futuristic" effect.
This is worn with huge platform shoes and boots and industrial and technical influenced accessories such as goggles, gas masks, medical masks and prosthetics.
Hair can be streaked with contrasting colours and hair extensions are often used which are usually brightly coloured and sometimes made of artificial materials such as plastic tubing, wool or electrical wire.
Make-up is futuristic and may incorporate fluorescent or metallic colours. Colored or patterned contact lenses are sometimes used to give a "non-human" effect.
Many cybergoths have multiple body piercings and sometimes other forms of body modification.
Cyber Goth style slideshow
Loli-Goths, Gosurori, Goth-Loli and Harajuku
This style is BIG in Japan.
It originated in the 1970s and refers to a look that is inspired by Victorian children's clothing. Over time, the original "little girl" elements of this fashion style have been added to and several "style subcultures" have developed.
In GothLoli fashion, the clothes still consist of knee length skirts or dresses, layered petticoats, tights or knee length socks, rocking horse shoes or platform boots worn with headdresses or hats, but unlike traditional pastel shades that are usual in children's clothing, black, dark blues or reds or deep purple with coloured accents are the norm.
GothLoli accessories include jewellery based on religious symbols such as crosses and ankhs, with bags and purses in "morbid" shapes and designs such as coffins, skulls, bats etc. Frilly parasols and lace gloves and mittens in dark colours are often used.
Make up tends towards dark eyeliner, smokey eyes and red, purple or black lipstick used to provide a dramatic look.
Hair tends to be worn long and as Japanese hair is usually dark, it is often bleached, streaked or coloured to provide a contrast.
Japanese street style (Harajuku, Goth Loli)
What Do You Think Of Goth Fashion? - Love it, hate it or can't make your mind up? Share your thoughts on Goth fashion with the world...
Do you like Goth style?
Goth make-up tutorials for Goth girls and Goth guys!
How to achieve perfect Goth make up
If you liked the pendant and choker Bunny Alexander was wearing in the video above, here's a very similar one available from Amazon.com!
Stunning Gothic makeup tutorial from the awesome AdoraBatBrat!
Make Up For Goth Guys - Step by step guide to Goth makeup for guys from Gothtec
Gothicgrowler's makeup tutorial for male Goths
Speeded up video showing how to do Goth make up for men!