Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Coming Out of the Goth Closet (No, not THAT Closet, the one with Clothes in it)

Since my post on The Goth Closet was so amazingly popular [insert :-) here!], I figure, why not elaborate on the theme?  Maybe I can put some ideas out there that those interested haven't thought of yet.  And they might have some new ideas for ME.

I'm going to focus on working people as opposed to full-time students, since students usually have a LOT more leeway in dress, and because when I was a full-time student (1979-1981) I was still in that stage where I usually just wore what everyone else wore, mainly jeans and t-shirts.  My BIG fashion statement back then was wearing clogs to campus, which almost no one else did. So I don't really feel qualified to talk about campus fashion, even though I work at one.  I will say, though, that in the 15 years I've worked at this university, I don't recall seeing even one other person who was obviously goth, even in my classes.  ::SIGH::

I have to admit, when I started gothing up my wardrobe I was worried that people would think I was going through a mid-life crisis or something stupid like that.  (When my ex hit his early forties, he got a divorce and about a million piercings, mostly in his ears but also in his lip, eyebrow, nose and, so it's rumored, somewhere else.  Thank the gods, the divorce came first.)  I celebrated my own new-found freedom with two small but meaningful tattoos; my new boyfriend and I both got ours at the same time.  This was my first foray into 'alternative' style, and I decided that I liked it.

Clothes are a lot easier and less painful to get than tattoos, and we have the advantage of trying them on first to see if they look good on us.  They're also not permanent; we can change them or get rid of them as we grow, shrink, or just change our minds about how we want to look.  However, we agonize over our clothes, and what we think people will think of us when we wear them, FAR too much.  Your clothes should be both fun and meaningful, stating who you are and what you like, not what you think someone else will approve of.  But getting up the courage to do that takes time for most of us, especially for women, most of whom are trained from birth to seek approval from others.  It was worse in my growing-up years than it is now, but that mindset hasn't gone away.

I started by wearing just one or two gothy pieces at a time, like a skull t-shirt or a gravestones necklace and earrings set, to see what kinds of comments or other reactions I got from coworkers.  When nobody said anything negative, I got braver and showed up in more elaborate outfits.  To date, the closest thing to a negative comment I've gotten is, "That's an... interesting... shirt." I just gave the guy a big smile and said, "Yes, it is, isn't it?"  (I think skulls are VERY interesting, actually, so I enjoy wearing them on shirts.)

I've found a LOT of my favorite goth jewelry and clothing items in thrift stores and Etsy shops.   I like buying at thrift stores because I find older items that are now one-of-a-kind, unlike when they were new, and at a thrift store they're also CHEAP.  Etsy items are also often either one-of-a-kind,  made in small batches, or made to order, since these are small businesses run out of people's homes.  I've had more than one custom order done, and am very satisfied with all of them.  The prices in most shops are pretty reasonable, and many sellers offer discounts or have seasonal sales, so you can 'favorite' items you like and check to see if/when they go on sale or a discount is being offered.  Some shop owners are also open to reasonable offers and/or trade.

Here are a few of my favorite Etsy shops and some items I've bought from them.  These are all items I have worn to work (except the last one!), and the ribcage t-shirt and snake vertebrae earrings are the ones I mentioned in my previous Goth Closet post.

Banyan Tree Clothing  -- These skeletons glow in the dark!Skeleton Shirt. Dancing Skeletons Women's Day of the Dead Black t-shirt

Bigtime Tees -- Gotta love this classic t-shirt!   And from TheGreenWolf -- My snake vertebrae earrings.
Rib Cage Skeleton Horror Punk Goth Halloween Costume WOMENS T-Shirt Your Choice of S,M,L,XL,2XLReal snake bone earrings vertebrae

Strangexchange -- These earrings go great with the two shirts above.
Skeleton Charm Earrings

 Funkomavintage -- I LOVE this skirt!!
Stripe vintage skirt Nautical French sailors Breton black stripe

Zorra's Vintage Emporium is now closed, but I got this 80's leather coat for $40, shipping included!!
FREE US Shipping 80s Vintage Black Long Big Shoulder Leather Trench Coat Jacket sz Petite L

SickOn Sin -- This is one of my all-time favorite shirts.  He's so... CUTE.
Grim Reaper - Women or Men T-Shirt

Delightfully Deviant -- You should see the grins I get when I wear these bloomers grocery shopping...
 White and Black Stripe Bloomers

Shoes are another story entirely, so I'll save them for another post.

So, I've shown you mine, now you show me yours.  Where do YOU find your favorite goth clothes? 


  1. I love the Sick On Sin t-shirt - that little Grim Reaper reminds me of the one on that fantastic Christmas card! ;o)

    1. Yep, it does! And it was just perfect with my Skelanimals pants before they got too big... :-( That is my ALL-TIME favorite shirt, and I'm just praying it doesn't wear out too soon!

  2. Like you, I started off slowly with the clothing once I discovered the Goth subculture. Eventually, it came to dominate my clothing aesthetic. I was already quite alternative in my style at the time; so basically, I simply darkened my aesthetic while maintaining my overall style--more or less. I say that because Goth has broadened my fashion horizons and I have acquired some special pieces of clothing that I probably wouldn't have thought about previously.

    There's a second-hand shop nearby that specializes in quite a bit of vintage clothing. I visit there quite regularly and have found quite a few items there that I couldn't resist taking home. I have found some good necklaces, such as the evil bat that I generally wear, at the mall stores such as Spencer's or even Hot Topic on occasion.

    I also like skulls and have several skull T-shirts. During the colder months I wear an open black leather jacket over them. Oh yeah, I also love my vampire shirts.

    1. My favorite second-hand store is an EcoThrift just a few blocks from our place. I was there Saturday, in fact, and found some lovely "new" things, including two tops and a pair of black short leggings with a skull-and-crossbones motif, all for about $8. :-) And yes, Hot Topic does actually still have cool and reasonably priced stuff occasionally, especially jewelry.

      I think that goth has also broadened my own fashion horizons, as well as giving me a better sense of style AND more confidence that I look good!

      I would love to see a pic of your 'evil bat' necklace some time!

  3. Oh, I usually shop at regular stores. With the current trends going on with crosses and studs there's bound to be some stuff in their collections that I like. They're also really useful for buying basics, like black tops, cardigans, stuff like that. I also have to deal with not being able to wear my gothiest of goth outfits to my internship, so I have to adjust my wardrobe to that as well, including some more mainstream items in there as well.

    When it comes to shopping for really alternative fashions, I've only recently discovered Restyle, so I'm quite curious what my first experience with them will be like and I also shop at some local Dutch webstores.

    1. Basics, definitely! Although I'm finding myself a bit jaded even on regular stores, I have to admit. Racks of the same stuff, not enough individuality. But that's just me, I'm probably too picky! I haven't heard of Restyle, I'll have to look it up. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Love the bloomers! YAY! I want some too!

    1. Check out her shop, she's got GREAT stuff and lots of different materials to choose from!