Geek Chic: Femme Goth

Back in 1998, when I didn’t own a pair of jeans, shaved my head and wore black all through summer, I used to be Goth. Those days are to me what cheerleading or summer camp might be to other, less freaky folk. Nineteen, no responsibilities and single, I went to community college by day and frequented the Sunset Strip and it’s hinterlands nightly. To “be” Gothic, one must embrace the night, because all that black lace and white makeup just doesn’t have the same eerie glow in the afternoon sun.

Hey! Who turned on the lights?
This is not me.

Nowadays, I venture outside during daylight hours, listen to country music on occasion and wear colors like pink and mint green. Together. Still, I enjoy a good corset now and again, and appreciate the recent revival of steampunky, victorian cosplay-ish style that the kids are wearing. With the interwebs at the fingertips of every angsty fashionista, putting together an unique outfit is much easier than in the 90s, when we were forced to scour the thrift shops to constitute decent club wear. It’s not just about the black, though, every Goth girl knows that. The accessories, the hair, the makeup, just like any style, make the outfit.  Before I get lost in reminiscent memories of trannies at Del Taco or parties in the Hollywood Hills, let me focus this dark energy and let’s look at a few amazing interpretations of the feminine gothic style.

1) The Corset

Steel Boned Corset, House of Heavy Red $98
Steel Boned Corset, Heavy Red $98

This is an important piece of fashion in the subversive style choice. While you might think lovers of the night only wear black, there is a wealth of color in the Gothic scene, you just have to know how to use it. Rich crimson, deep purple and night-sky blue can excite an otherwise dreary outfit. The corset is meant to hold in, smooth out and accentuate a woman’s natural shape, so the piece looks great on a curvy body. For good quality and great prices on Goth attire, visit heavyred.com.

2) Lace

Black Boroque lace top, Black Mirror Design, Etsy $90
Black Boroque lace top, Black Mirror Design, Etsy $90

Lace is not just for your grandma’s doilies! The feminine Victorian style informs much of the Gothic style, and there is nothing more feminine than good old fashioned lace. A simple white or black lace blouse or shrug compliments both the industrial and the femme fatale style of Gothic clothing. Since lace can be manufactured by machine or by hand, my favorite place to find interesting and original pieces is Etsy.

3) The Makeup

Gothica: Vampy Gothic Makeup tutorial (by MissChievous)

This makeup tutorial focuses on a simple, elegant dark eye and red lip look that is a staple in Goth style. Youtube is full of amazing tutorials, but I found for the subtle, sexy Femme Goth, MissChievous has the dark-yet-suitable-for-everyday-look perfected. Check out her YouTube Channel for more ideas on how to properly layer dark shadows and black eyeliner and not look like a walking paintbrush.

4) Accessories

Femme Goth Accessories
Femme Goth Accessories, Polyvore

When it comes to accessories and the Femme Goth style, there are a plethora of options. Everything from a long cigarette holderbirdcage veil or hand-carved wooden coffin purse to classic creepers or stiletto high heels can make an outfit scream. Just remember to have fun with the look and be creative.

5)  Music
Gothic clubs and music are the lifeblood of the scene. If you don’t know or dislike the music that comes with the Gothic lifestyle, GET OUT NOW. You will be discovered. If you don’t know at least a few classic Goth bands and attempt to shadow dance or do the industrial, punch-the-invisible-wall shuffle, hang your head in shame for being a poser and listen to these songs right here.
Nine Inch Nails, Closer
Siouxie and the Banshees, Christine
Bauhaus, Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Dead Can Dance, The Carnival is Over

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