Finding Your Style in Goth Fashion: 7 Goth Subcultures & Their Evolution

Posted by Sherah Sherah on

Goth may not be your favorite style but everyone loves to throw in a bit dark undertones on their outfit. Whether it's a fine leather belt, a cute black dress, or a nice pair of boots. Black is a staple piece in our wardrobe. However, when you toss color aside, to go full black with notes of angst, gloom and a greater appreciation for the truly disturbing and dark. You definitely belong to the Goth Club. Although the gothic aesthetic had transformed through time, it's fascinating how it never wavered from its very essence.

Fashion is always a mix of personal preference and conformity. However, goth fashion has a way of communicating their belongingness to other goth, while simultaneously rejecting mainstream fashion. The Goth Subculture is a form of symbolic rebellion against the social order that instantly sets them apart from the rest.

The beginnings of Goth were marked by troubling times. The original goth was a bunch of barbarian tribes who brought destruction throughout Rome. Now, quite far from its origin, gothic culture went seeping through different aspects of our life from art, music, architecture, fashion, and literature. Focusing on fashion, today we'll take a look at the different styles, design, and outfit that made Goth Fashion, a distinct subculture.

1. The Basic Goth or The Punk Goth 

The Punk Goth

Goths are rarely ever considered basic. However, the origin of modern goth is based on the early 1960s punk scene. Developed by musicians and goth bands, the basic goth embodies the three essential traits. These are dark clothing, dark hair, and dark make up. Punk fashion is a major inspiration for The Basic Goth. Their outfit is marked by an affinity towards DIY fashion such as ripped or tattered clothing, religious-themed pieces of jewelry, spiked accessories and body piercings and tattoos.

2. The Androgenous Goth



Goth culture is popularized by its refusal to conform to social norms. Male goths are often seen with effeminate appearance. They're characterized by their thin bodies, pale skin, and little body hair. Followed by accents of female clothing such as fishnet stockings, skirts, skull accessories, and striking make-up. A great example of feminine mysticism in goth is David Bowie. The androgynous look in goth fashion is a symbol of their rebellion from sexism, female objectification and masculine dominance. The genderless persona makes, goth fashion, an oasis to empower females and those with alternative sexual preference.

3. The Romantic Victorian Goth



The foundation of goth fashion is the shared interest in dressing up. Gothic garb is depicted by extravagant ensembles and period costumes. Among the key elements of goth style are the dark, sensual and mysterious undertones popular during the Victorian Era. Clothing items such as frock coats, top hats, ball gowns, corsets, veils, and parasols create an elegant yet bizarre aesthetic. This goth attire generally resembles the Victorian mourning clothes which feature velvet, lace, and long flowing gowns. The Romantic Victorian Goth gives a sense of brooding and horror similar to the novels and stories of Victorian literature.

4. The Cybergoth



Even goths rebel against their own kinds. The Cybergoth is the total opposite of the dark and enigmatic traits of gothic culture. Often found, on loud and bright colored bars, the Cybergoths originated from the DJs of Europe who combined electronica with a goth rock. Their apparel showcases goth attire with futuristic undertones. PVC armbands, googles, faux military gear, helmets, rave-inspired clothing, and neon colored pieces make cybergoths seem like beings of a fantasy world. Cybergoth is a subgenre inspired by dystopian novels where heroes are rebels and outcast attempting to go against the evil institutions dominating the world.

5. The Vampire Goth



Fantasy, role-playing and a fondness for the supernatural makes goth culture a genuinely colorful group of individuals. The Vampire Goths take horror fiction to the next level by dressing up and sometimes behaving as real-life vampires. Often clad in black capes and robes, the Vampire Goth are the real risk takers of the goth community. Aside from intricately styled outfits, these goths may also sport vampire-style fangs, wear theatrical contact lenses and even go as far as committing to permanent razor sharp teeth. Films such as Edward Scissorhands, Dracula, and Interview with a Vampire are the main influencers of the Vampire Goths.

6. The Elegant Gothic Lolita



Born from the iconic Harajuku Street of Tokyo, the Elegant Gothic Lolita is an offshoot of baby doll fashion. The outfits borrow touches of Victorian and Edwardian dresses consisting of a poufy black dress with white lace trim. The Gothic Lolita is reminiscent of outfits made for children's doll in adult-sized dresses. The strange fusion of innocence and macabre can be observed with accents of high-knee socks, lace umbrellas, and frilly skirts. Elements inspired by horror and dark fiction are a mainstay in a Gothic Lolita's wardrobe. Horror-themed accessories like coffin shaped bags and batwing hats are mixed in the child-like ensemble.

7. The Nu Goth



Whoever thought that goth can't be trendy or contemporary is wrong. The emergence of Nu Goth goes to show that it's possible to bridge the gap between cute, dark and modern in goth style. This subgenre is a collage of grunge, hipster, casual goth with a bit of pastel. The Nu Goth style blends in the classic gothic attires with pop culture trends. It about combining vintage pieces with black symbols, denim, shorts, ombre hair, platform shoes, leggings and, mermaid hair. Basically, Nu Goth is a post-modern version of goth that essentially brings in a medley of influences to create a new kind of goth subgenre.


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