Gothic-Inspired Fashion Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Now that winter is upon us, it’s no longer shameful to cloak yourself in dark colours, rich fabrics and to embrace the mystical world of all things gothic. And with pale skin and dramatic makeup now as prevalent as Doc Marten’s and lace up ankle boots, the bohemian aesthetic of springtime has been replaced with something a little more substantial. Here’s how to embrace your inner goth without playing dress-up.

By no means an excuse for you to don velvet or valour tracksuits, if worn properly, the fabric of kings can translate well into your fall and winter wardrobes. Staying true to the year’s affinity for the 1990s, its rich qualities and natural sheen can add dimension to an otherwise standard ensemble, with dresses available at the likes of American Apparel or Urban Outfitters (and even more at vintage shops and thrift stores anywhere with a dress section). Worn with printed tights and lace-up ankle boots, you’ve created a sleek and stylish look, and worn with a blazer, you’ve prevented an aesthetic that’s overly shocking.

It seems every season we declare that black is back, but never has a statement been truer than during winter 2010. While head-to-toe black has never been taboo, it seems that with the surplus of leather, statement coats and a return to the basics, you can easily embrace your inner goth without diverting too far from your standard wardrobe. Create drama and texture with leather pants or a vintage motorcycle jacket, or pair your cigarette pants (available at stores like GAP) with Doc Martens and an oversize black cardigan. Heading to a holiday party? Use printed tights and smoky eyes to keep a simple black dress exciting.

You may think a gothic aesthetic is attainable only through Doc Martens and Creepers (shoes), but a dark pair of lace-up boots or footwear adorned with metallic hardware will add a dramatic edge to any ensemble. Paired with black jeggings, an oversize t-shirt and a leather bomber, slouchy ankle boots will make an otherwise casual look seem just as intense as Docs and a lace mini-dress, and with the likes of Aldo boasting heavier shoes far from the stiletto-based footwear of the mid-to-late 2000s, finding the modern-day equivalent of circa-95 Guess lace-ups is far from a struggle.

While we all know standard accessories complete all outfits, nothing works better than the pairing of rings, chains and brooches with the dark and dramatic look of the gothic aesthetic, as 90s throwbacks (crosses, metallics and rosary beads) add dimension to what can otherwise be taken as an affinity for safe. Hardware adds that innately gothic edge, and while you may want to avoid wallet chains and chokers (some things just don’t come back), layering necklaces and bracelets “ and pairing with black or red nail polish “ is the perfect way to embrace your inner goth.

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Tags: american apparel, black, Creepers, crosses, Doc Martens, dresses, Fashion, gothic, how to dress goth, style, Urban Outfitters, velvet, winter 2010

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