Saturday, 8 October 2011

to pull off a Goth outfit

Fact: Goth outfits are hard to pull off. I've seen some pretty bad Goth outfits in my day, and it's really easy to screw up a Goth outfit if one does not know how to coordinate, do their make-up, or use cheap and gaudy items. But once you get the hang of it, you rarely look bad!


This doesn't go only for Goth, but for any style in general. An outfit shouldn't have a subject repeated more than twice. For example, using an oval-shaped pendant with an oval-shaped bracelet and an oval-shaped headpiece. Another example: using a piano purse with a note-patterned dress and treble-clef shoes. So don't go around wearing a bat necklace with a bat purse, bat shirt, bat earrings, and bat everything. It's like #1: tacky and costume-y

2. A little bit of black, please?

A Goth outfit can have colour, you don't have to go completely black (Especially considering Puerto Rico's hot weather).  But I believe a Goth outfit is not complete without black, even if it's as a small detail. There are 4 levels to the Goth colour coordination spectrum:

Complete black

This coordination is as the name says. It may have 1 tiny detail of colour, like eyeshadow, lipstick, blush or a small accessory like earrings or a ring.


This coordination has details of coulour, but black is still predominant. The colours usually reside in the accessories or in a detail in the garment. 


This  coordination has equal proportion of black and colour. The colours and the black are divided equally amongst the garment and accessories.

This is a reversed version of 2:1, with the colours being predominant and the black being in the details.
Mostly Colour (A.K.A. Hard to pull off) 
Of all the Goth colour coordinations there are, this one's definitely the hardest. This one is as the name says, with barely any detail of black. The black would reside either on your make-up or on a small, understated accessory. I do not suggest this for Goth fashion beginners. You need a lot of creativity to make a barely-black outfit Goth. But after observing many pictures of Goth festivals, you can make a mostly-colour outfit Goth using what are considered "Goth" items in colour; like corsets, platform boots, dread falls, goggles, fishnets, etc...The way you do your make-up when barely sporting any black is crucial.

3. Make me pretty!

Make-up is essential for a successful Goth outfit. You could be wearing just simply pants and a shirt and look breathtaking if you have nicely done make-up. Now remember: the make-up your favourite Goth model wears could look astonishing on her/him, but look horrendous on you. For example, I remember watching Adora Batbrat's first video tutorial and saying: "Wow! I want to wear make-up like that!"
...Then I tried it on myself. First of all, I have a rounder and fuller face than Adora, not to mention I have big cheeks; so the drawn-on cross didn't look good on me. Second, I've had very few moments that I looked good with black lipstick. This wasn't one of them. And third: I don't have shaved-off brows, which means less space for the dramatic cat-eye. Yeah.

But alas! You have to look for inspiration! Google Image is your friend, deary. Take inspiration from models, or use YouTube! Soon, you'll adopt a style that will suit you and will be unique. And you will look gorgeous.

Also: practice, practice, practice! My God, how many Hot Topic wanderers I've seen with horribly applied eye-liner! You have to start with baby steps when you're Goth. Start simple and progressively get more dramatic on your make-up, or else you will look like a hot mess. I suggest starting off first with a simple black eye shadow with a black eye liner on your water line. And in the privacy of your own bathroom, practice dramatic looks.

Hot mess I commonly see: USING LIQUID EYE LINER OR PENCIL EYE LINER FOR BIG DETAILS! If you're going to do a dramatic cat-eye, don't do it with liquid or pencil liner. Why? Liquid eye liner cracks, and pencil liner is the equivalent of a crayon on your eyes. It gives messy coverage and it looks cheap and ugly. Use liquid and pencil liner for small details only. Liquid should be used for lining your upper lids, while pencil should be used for lining your eyes, lining your water line and making the outline for dramatic designs. NOT YOUR WHOLE EYELID. Instead, use cake liner or gel liner if you're going to fill in your dramatic cat-eye.    
Dramatic cat-eye is the one at the top. Outline with pencil liner, and fill in with either cake or gel liner. The one at the bottom is very easy to pull off. Just add some black eye shadow and intensify it more on your crease. Finish off with lining your eyes.
4. Your skin colour is ALWAYS perfect. 

Pale skin is NOT a Goth must-have. Love your skin colour and embrace it, because you are fucking beautiful. You don't need to be pale to be Goth, you can be fucking purple and be Goth. Goth subculture is open to all ethnicities and skin colours: black, Asian, white, Indian, Native-American, Latinos, Romas, etc... Embrace your skin colour and body the way it is. If some pretentious douchebag tells you otherwise, tell them to fuck off because you're fucking fabulous.

5. Leave the tackiness behind, please. 

"This shit's so fucking goth."
Hey, that design on your right is awesome, right? Perfect for a t-shirt!

*Slaps you*


ANYTHING that includes dark angels, wolves, dragons, wizards, or whatever else you see on World of Warcraft is an immediate trip to Tacky Town! The only people that wear that are overweight pizza-faced basement dwellers!

6. There is a world beyond Hot Topic.

Hot Topic sucks now. It's not even a resuelve anymore for Goth accessories or clothes. All they have now are Justin Bieber shirts and they play Lady Gaga. Hot Topic is now for...
Normal people.

Forever 21
Here in Puerto Rico there are no Goth stores, but there are vintage stores! In a vintage store, you can find yourself some nice clothing and accessories (and if you have luck, a Goth Rock record or CD!).

The internet is full of wonders. There are a ton of Goth stores on the web that sell beautiful things. If you want something cheap, go on eBay. If you want something beautiful and unique, go to Etsy.

Use your creativity! Ditch the pretentious "I'm so Goth that I only shop at Goth stores because I'm Goth" attitude. I have found a lot of beautiful clothing in Forever 21 and TJ Maxx, like lace shorts, striped shirts and pretty dresses.

7. Steer clear of cheap quality!

If you were thinking to wear this for a Goth festival, God help you.
Clothes made of cheap satin, cheap lace, polyester, and cheap fabric just shows that you really don't know how to dress yourself.

8. Hair is heated, not fried. 

How much do Goths abuse their poor hair! With all the bleaching, dyeing, straightening, teasing, etc, it's easy to look like a scarecrow. Learn to take care of your hair, and keep it silky smooth. For expert Goth tips in maintaining your hair, go here and here.

9. Be creative!

I probably have said this many times already, but it's true! Don't be afraid of trying new things, and soon you will develop your own style!

10. Your inner Goth shouldn't be inner.

Your confidence will make you shine! ...Or dull. Depending on how it is. Confidence is the most important thing not only for the superficiality of clothing, but for everything in life! School, jobs, relationships, the list goes on! Let your confidence shine, because you're awesome! Unless you kick puppies and are a meanie. Then you just suck.

Well that's about it, folks. See you next time~! ♥

LINKS: (A great Goth store resource site! You will find there a ton of stores!)

YouTube channels that you should check out:
NosebleedBaby (Not a Goth, but very good "dark" make-up tutorials)
LarsBatula (Hasn't put up a few videos in a while, but it's good make-up tutorials)



  1. Nice :) 2 bad I'm not goth. But it seemed helpful for anyone that is.

  2. This is really helped. :)THANK YOU! *gives you a huge hug* I agree completely.

  3. this really is a helpful blog/article. im starting to get into the goth subculture and ive been looking up quite a bit about it, for i want to actually know my stuff. and this gave me some great advice. now if only i could show this to some people i know who think theyre "gothier than thou" and that just wearing black jeans makes you a goth .-. thankyou c:

  4. Some sensible advice here :-)

  5. Hey, I'm not a goth but nevertheless I'm interessted in it. I just want to say that I think this text is not only useful to people within this subculture but also to normal people. It's great that you do not exclude anyone. Keep on writing and helping people, you're really good at it. ;) Excuse my English, I'm from Germany!