Gothic fashion

Image author: Alan Johnson

Gothic fashion is dark: a sometimes morbid and eroticized style of dress.

Gothic fashion is inspired by the Victorian era

Modern Gothic styles often borrow from the punk, rock or heavy metal subcultures but authentic gothic fashion is heavily inspired by the fashion of the Victorian era (19th century), before factory made clothing was the norm and when pieces were hand made.

In particular, the ‘mourning clothes’ of this era when mourning customs and etiquette were incredibly rigid and people would wear black clothing for set durations depending on how close their relationship was to the deceased.

“The origins of contemporary goth style are found in the Victorian cult of mourning.”
Cintra Wilson

Gothic clothing colours & Gothic fabrics

Gothic fashion usually features a lot of black, but often mixes dark reds, purples and other colours. Heavy fabrics are popular such as thick velvet or leather, mixed with lighter fabrics such as lace, silk and taffeta, fishnet etc.

Gothic hairstyles & make-up

Typical Gothic personal styles include black hair (often dyed), black eye make-up, black lipstick and black nail varnish. This goes for both men and women although it isn’t a requirement for anyone (always go with what works for you and develop your own personal style).

Modern day Gothic fashion

The modern day Goth style initially emerged during the 1980s Gothic rock scene. As the rest of the world was loving bright, extravagant colours, Goth fashion went the other way with dark black clothing and hair, and pale white complexions.

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