Goth teens often stand with their feet firmly outside of the mainstream. In some cases, the biggest difference between them and their non-goth peers is simply a matter of clothing. Whether you're a guy or a girl who embraces the goth aesthetic, you're no doubt looking for styles that help to define a large part of your personality. Fortunately, goth fashion is available to suit various types.
Shopping for Goth Clothing
Gothic clothing shops are few and far between, but online stores can bring goth fashion to any home. However, teens should get their parents' permission before ordering from any online retailer.
- Heavy Red provides ultra-stylish gothic clothing, including corsets, dresses, gloves, jewelry, and coats. Even the online catalog is stylish, with pin-up style photos of each item.
- The Spooky Boutique balances dark fashions with a touch of cuteness, like their mascot "Gothie." The store offers products to outfit you from head to toe, including some impressive platform and stiletto footwear. The makeup and dye selection features Manic Panic products for hair, face, and nails.
- Dear Bloody Mary offers gothic-themed makeup, including blood-red mascara, white foundations and powders, and complete kits for eyes, nails, and lips.
- Hot Topic has influenced the creation of a more pedestrian version of gothic fashion. With their brick-and-mortar stores, going goth is as easy as traveling to the nearest mall. Their clothing is a mix of gothic and punk styles, sprinkled with a bit of pop culture, for a slightly sanitized version of the goth look.
- Drac-in-a-Box is a UK company willing to ship to international customers. Their online catalog is helpfully divided by goth sub-style, including sections for gothic Lolita clothing, medieval looks, and even goth-friendly corporate wear. Customers earn "bat points" with every purchase, redeemable for a free gift with a future order.
Tips on Defining Your Gothic Style
Although the goth look may seem very much the same across the board, you can definitely put your own unique stamp on it. Still, gothic style is usually characterized by several details. Incorporating them into your lifestyle will make you easily identiable to others who share your outlook:
- The predominant color of gothic clothing is black.
- Black is also a common makeup color, for everything from lipstick to nail polish.
- Pale skin is another hallmark of goth looks, usually enhanced by powders.
- Romantic gothic fashions include lacy gowns, corsets, veils, and fishnet stockings. They are often based on clothing from the Elizabethan and Victorian eras.
- Silver is the preferred color for jewelry and other adornments.
- Body piercing and tattoos are common.
- Some goths dye their hair black, while others choose more vibrant colors like red or purple to create a shocking contrast with their dark clothing.
- Gothic fashion is more accepting of all body types than most trendy looks.
- The gothic Lolita look is a subset of gothic clothing, using the Victorian influence of goth fashion in doll-like dresses and accessories. Originating in Japan, it is popular with teen girls because it strikes the perfect balance between cuteness and darkness.
- Some teens fully consider themselves part of the gothic subculture, rejecting the mainstream and embracing a feeling of alienation by flouting conventional notions of beauty and societal taboos. Others simply enjoy the dark style.
Teenagers who embrace the gothic look have to face several preconceived notions. One common stereotype is that they are violent killers. This idea came about largely because the Columbine shooters wore black trench coats, a gothic clothing staple. Another misconception is that goths are devil worshipers. While some wearers of goth fashion do consider themselves pagan or practice Wicca, you're just as likely to come across a Christian goth. Friends and family members may also fear for your mental health, connecting an abundance of black clothing with depressed and even suicidal thoughts.
Gothic clothes are decidedly different from the mainstream, so there's no denying you'll stand out in a crowd. If someone is staring, some teens will counter rudeness with more rudeness; they'll purposely act out or leer at the other person. If you deal with stares and uncomfortable situations with good grace and a smile, perhaps you can change some long-held notions about what "those goth people" are like.
True to Yourself
Since clothing can be such a huge part of defining your personality, it's only natural that goth teens want fashion that shows what they're all about. Whether your goth persona is dark and deep or you're more of a romantic, you can wear styles that showcase your individuality within a unique subculture.