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"...
- What is Goth? | GOTH.NET
A personal look at the Goth subculture
- Pete's Guide to Goth
A brief guide to Goth - What is goth?
- A History of Goth
The origins and growth of the goth movement.
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 Gallery
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...
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!
Want hair like Siouxie Sioux? Watch this video to find out how to get BIG Gothic hair
How to do a DeathHawk!
Gothic Guestbook - Do you love the Goth look? Tell us about it!
Dejalove on November 11, 2013:
Love this ! :)
SororPeregrina on January 10, 2013:
LOL!!! I was what I'd call Proto-Victorian/Edwardian-Goth/Steampunk back in the mid and late 60's. Still am today, even if my hair is silver now instead of (naturally) black. One of my favorite accessories is the parasol -- I have heaps of them, from severe to flouncy -- and I wear studded collars and cuffs to this day. Perhaps fortunately, I don't have any children to rib me about my chosen mode of dress!
anonymous on November 14, 2012:
hahaha wow i had this style before i even knew it was a style... that's very interesting :D
JennaBaxton on September 18, 2012:
I would've loved this lens when I was in high school :P
TriciaLymeMom on September 10, 2012:
great lens...I'm fascinated by Gothic and it's nice to see a good "crash course"
Carole James on August 15, 2012:
I love the jewelry!
aquarian_insight on August 14, 2012:
Wow - great collection!
eternisemoi on April 17, 2012:
I love the goth look ^^
KReneeC on April 14, 2012:
Love the goth look! I love the fact that there is not a care about what others think. Much confidence within the goth world.
mistyblue75605 lm on March 27, 2012:
allenwebstarme on February 24, 2012:
My favorite lens, I like everything related to Gothic. I been looking for this information from long time ago. Apart from this information I heard many things about Gothic Culture and Gothic people behavior and attitude. Thanks for sharing this stuff dear.
JanezKranjski on January 22, 2012:
I'm not in to goth, but I sure like those goth corsets on women.
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on December 17, 2011:
@baby-strollers: I disagree...Goth fashion is for life not just for Halloween! ;)
baby-strollers on December 16, 2011:
Fun for halloween....
pawpaw911 on December 05, 2011:
Interesting, and a little creepy.
ErHawkns7100 on October 24, 2011:
Great times when I used to be a goth.
Stacy Birch on October 08, 2011:
I like the blue hair, I'd have it in purple, if I was young enough to get away with it.
fugeecat lm on September 24, 2011:
love the make up how to section.
dnmarket on September 18, 2011:
I am not in to the fashion but appreciate those who do. No judgement, here.
lucyvivian on September 07, 2011:
Wild images, amazing! Gothic Lolita looks good.
punkgrinder on September 06, 2011:
Excellent Lens, i love Goth fashion. Love the Lens, great work!
orange3 lm on September 04, 2011:
Great lens! I liked watching the goth make-up videos. Thanks for sharing.
wolfie10 on August 24, 2011:
very interesting lens. never knew there was so much around
MQWilson on August 22, 2011:
great lens on goth fashion..
rosytaylor on August 17, 2011:
Hi! This is an amazing and Awesome lens. Thanks for sharing such a nice lens. Nicely done, Keep up your great work!
TeddySteele1 on August 03, 2011:
Scary and yet something draws me to cyber goth girlies :P
anonymous on June 21, 2011:
This lens is interesting
Laniann on May 30, 2011:
Yes, Gothics do have style. Enjoyed your videos. Great presentation and very detailed. Blessed by a Squid Angel.
FunkyJewelleryUK on May 14, 2011:
Another great lens. Really detailed. Nice work! :)
Sanguinarius on April 21, 2011:
Great little (heh) lens you have here. I enjoyed spending some time going through it, reading and watching the videos. Keep up the good work!
Angela_Rosas on April 21, 2011:
I feel like Goth used to be a lot more popular. Am I wrong or has it just changed a little bit?
anonymous on April 16, 2011:
My daughter is Goth. I am going to send her your lens. Great work on this lens.
cuteordeath on April 11, 2011:
8D This lens is awesome. The only thing it's missing is the Goth2Boss video from IT Crowd.
tiddlywings on March 02, 2011:
Amazing lens, so detailed in all aspects =) you should check out my lenses and tell ma what you think. i'd appreciate it alot, im still a newbie here. Thx =) xx
anonymous on February 14, 2011:
Great pics. Love all the different goth fashions. Something for everyone.
anonymous on January 17, 2011:
Excellent! Demonia boots are the best. Love the fashion.
Jen from Canada on January 13, 2011:
I love the corsets and boots.
B_Gollihue on January 13, 2011:
My wife loves this lens, and this look. Great lens
TightsOnline on January 12, 2011:
A lovey resource for aspiring goths! I love the goth / victorian look and adore the Cure!
CashInTheHand LM on January 11, 2011:
Quite the charming lens -- seriously -- I like it.
Philippians468 on January 10, 2011:
very interesting. i never knew much about this topic. great lens!
adwanco on January 02, 2011:
very nice and interesting site.good job
polly72 lm on December 31, 2010:
Very interesting lens and styles
CheapWebDesign on December 30, 2010:
Gothic clothing is dark but great!
maxnic11 on December 16, 2010:
Sharaya on December 13, 2010:
Products designed by Sharaya Brooks Miracle, featuring her artwork, victorian inspired items, cryptozoology/paranormal related items, and more curiosities!
moonlitta on November 29, 2010:
I think I'd go for the jewellery.
diabolus lm on November 25, 2010:
#7 i PopCulture - Congrats.
gothicmomma02 on November 24, 2010:
the goth community on my end of ohio has been and is still dieing slowly..since hott topic was bought out by abercrombie and fitch we dont really have anywhere but online stores to shop...its sad when a bunch of preppys are telling us what goth clothes are...sigh
Kate Loving Shenk from Lancaster PA on November 22, 2010:
Glad to see you got the Purple Star for this!! and well deserved!!
indigomoth from New Zealand on November 21, 2010:
So much information! Very cool. Cheers.
jwindsor375 lm on November 19, 2010:
Intense lens! great work
Tamara14 on November 16, 2010:
Awesome! Very informative, great offer of pictures and easy to follow video tips. Thanks for sharing.
Bibilamb on November 04, 2010:
wintersquidoo on November 02, 2010:
Katrina Marie Britt from Oregon on November 01, 2010:
ArdenBaird LM on October 31, 2010:
Great lens! I've always been partial to velvet and lace myself.
cooldiet on October 29, 2010:
Wow! That's really amazing! Awesome!
sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on October 28, 2010:
well presented, informative and interesting lens. i enjoyed.
ZablonMukuba on October 28, 2010:
nice lens i love goth
badmsm on October 28, 2010:
Well executed lens! Added to my fashion quest list... ;)
Please visit my new lens: http://www.squidoo.com/ladies-in-lavendar
anonymous on October 25, 2010:
Great lens, great illustration. Big thumbs up.
DianaPrice LM on October 18, 2010:
I still love the gothic look...but then I am a child of the 80s!
Barbara Isbill from New Market Tn 37820 on October 09, 2010:
A Fascinating lens. Thumbs up!
CliveAnderson LM on October 06, 2010:
Outstanding lens, amazing information and pictures, a true work of art. Have lensrolled with my Armor Ring and Vampire Lenses. There is just so much to see and get ingrossed in here... Thank you.
jgelien on October 06, 2010:
I don't know that I love the Goth look but I certainly find it fascinating. Thank you for a very cool lens.
drifter0658 lm on October 05, 2010:
Just thought I'd make this my first visit on my second tour with the leather wings. Oh...yeah, I was also trying to see if I could steal a date from here :D
Smell the smoke of a burn out blessing? This lens is featured at: http://www.squidoo.com/chaotic-good
CoolFoto on October 05, 2010:
Mortira on October 02, 2010:
This is a great resource! Love all the photos and videos, thank you for sharing!
kt_glasses on October 01, 2010:
so cool! great lens here!
spunkyduckling on September 30, 2010:
Imagine my seven year old niece knows what goth / gothic is! How did I know she knew that/ She was telling me her mom (my sister) loves gothic clothing. Very informative lens you got here. Thank you for sharing. I think I might have a little gothic in me somewhere. :)
tmiller2 on September 30, 2010:
Wow, packed lens.
The goth look is very beautiful when rocked with confidence.
SusansZooCrew on September 30, 2010:
What a informative lens! Going to have to come back to this one closer to halloween!
dandbal on September 25, 2010:
this is a great lens. I loved the Gothic look a la The Crow back in the day.
K Bechand from NY on September 24, 2010:
I Heard that Oceanus and Tethys's girls are tired of hand-me downs - maybe they can find something gothic from your page for back to school ! - THANKS ! (will let them know !)
Petstrel LM on September 22, 2010:
I love goths :)
anonymous on September 21, 2010:
Massive information on gothic makeup and costumes. Some of them are terrific and some scary. Eeeeeeeeeeeek..............!!! Favorited.
Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on September 18, 2010:
Okay this is just an amazing lens. Lots of great descriptions and a lot of fun too. I want to wear goth just once for my mom to totally freak her out. Nope, that urge does not go away when you are no longer a teenager.
Tarra99 on September 18, 2010:
wow...this lens is PACKED! ...great info, tons of pictures...details on everything!...right down to the last earring!...well done!
hexagon on September 18, 2010:
Great lens on the subject!
Leanne Chesser on September 16, 2010:
This is an awesome lens! I do love the Goth look and this is such a thorough lens that I'll be back to learn more!
Dee Gallemore on September 16, 2010:
You've done a fantastic job here . . . Great images and information!
drifter0658 lm on September 11, 2010:
I DO love the Goth look, and until now, didn't realize how close I come to dressing the part when I suit up for the asphalt seas. I do think corsets are a fabulous spectator sport ;)
RichLeighHD on September 11, 2010:
A really in depth and interesting lens!
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on September 10, 2010:
This is a fabulous lens. You have nicely covered the subject. While I was enjoying this I started to wonder why is body adornment so hugely in vogue? It seems to be a big past time and in dozens of countries.
Linda Hoxie from Idaho on September 10, 2010:
So many choices here, great lens!
Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on September 10, 2010:
Very well done lens...interesting. Blessed by a SquidAngel
teamlane on September 09, 2010:
Very nice work here! :)
hlkljgk from Western Mass on September 08, 2010:
wow! great photos, videos, info, tips and accessories!
Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on September 08, 2010:
The GOTH look really hasn't gone anywhere over the past couple of decades. It seems pretty static and now part of our culture. At first, you may have looked twice when someone dressed Goth, but now it's more of common thing. Excellent lens!
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on September 08, 2010:
@JjPollack: Thanks JJ - this page is two and a half years old and has grown and evolved over time! I'm looking forward to reading some of your lenses - if you need any help, just give me a shout or use the forums on SquidU for lots of helpful advice from experienced lensmasters :)
JjPollack on September 08, 2010:
Damn - your stuff is really 'in-depth':) Some of these corsets lok a bit to 'cheap' to me, but it might be only my impression. Last one I really liked was something about 150 quid:)
But neverthless - great stuff, my first lenses look very poor compared to this analysis:) Will have to work on it more. I've definitely picked up a few ideas from you.
All the best
Sue Dixon from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK on September 05, 2010:
This is one of my favourite lenses, so I've just revisited to drop a blessing on it!
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on September 03, 2010:
@WhiteOak50: Thanks - I've featured your excellent Gothic Witch Clothing lens above!
WhiteOak50 on September 03, 2010:
Thank you so much for blessing my Haunted Cemeteries lens! I am going to feature this lens on my Gothic Witch Style Clothing Lens. Beautifully done!!
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on September 02, 2010:
@Yume Tenshi: I'm a Metalhead first and foremost - my love of Heavy Metal transcends all! I always wear black and have done for years and I do the leather and studs thing combined with lots of Goth jewelry. I'm an "original 80's Goth" so I'm getting a bit long in the tooth now! If I was younger, I'd probably get all colourful and experiment with Cyberpunk! I also LOVE all things Steampunk :)
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on September 02, 2010:
@SacredCynWear: Thanks - I've featured your excellent Vampire Trends lens above!
Yume Tenshi on September 02, 2010:
Wow! What a great resource! You don't often find a lot of tips and advice for guys to dress goth, not even mentioning the make-up for guys! I loved the whole look of the lens. :) Do you dress goth, and if so, what is your favorite style? I think I'll dress the Victorian Goth way, and then my girl the Lolita style! :) Har! Great resource!
SacredCynWear on September 01, 2010:
Very nice lens, I am lensrolling this one and featuring it on my Vampire Trends lens!
anonymous on August 20, 2010:
You make my dream come true!!