The Basic Goth Wardrobe: A Comprehensive Guide For Men and Women.

This is my own take on the Goth’s wardrobe basics. It’s no mystery that what goes into the average wardrobe is much like a Goths but with a little more flavour. A basic Goth wardrobe has been spoken about by many bloggers already (mentionable ones below) but I wanted to go more into details, specifics and well, pictures!

Blouses
My first well-done Polyvore set-thing – Link

Blouses

  • For basics you would want several singlets: black and white or nude. It’s good for sheer blouses, wearing alone or layering.
  • Formal blouses, more specifically two black (a short sleeved and a long sleeved) and one white blouse. I think there are times in everyone’s life when they need to dress a little more formally but if you aren’t really into the romantic style or such they can be toned down easily depending on the style you choose.
  • At least two everyday blouses that are lightweight and good for summer but can also be teamed up with a coat to be versatile enough for days that are colder. Blouses that are sheer or lacy tops, or cotton pieces. A good look for men could be silk or satin. Not too formal but not a band shirt. These are the kinds of blouses in a style you’d wear a lot, so choose something you really like.
  • Two band shirts at least. Good to mix with everything. It can be toned up with a high waisted skirt or waistcoat and toned down with skinny jeans or a simple skirt.

Skirts

 While this list is primarily for women I’m a supporter of men and the androgynous look. It’s something great about Goth culture and it’s experimentation.

  • A black a-line skirt is generally flattering to all shapes and goes with anything.
  • Slim fitted pencil skirt, body-con skirt or straight skirt. Though be aware that body-con skirts are a lot more limited in wear than a straight plain skirt.
  • A long skirt. Only one? I know you must be thinking and with the record number of long skirts in Goth closets I may sound insane but this is for a basic wardrobe. Build off this list how you may! But for people like myself who just don’t look right in long skirts it’s always nice to have one hanging around for emergencies.
  • A tartan skirt in any shape or style that would be the most versatile. I would say that plaid skirts are a staple in Goth or not wardrobes. It might seem to be for the younger but it really isn’t. There are enough styles out there to suit anyone at any age.
  • A statement skirt: whether that be vertical stripes or leather. It’s always nice to have something interesting to pull out of even the most basic closet.

Dresses

  • A little black dress goes a long way. Great for throwing on if you can’t think of a good co-ordinate or for more formal wear. You can dress it up, down – any-which-way to make it completely different each time.
  • A summer dress, yes I said summer dress. Even us Goths need summer wear – even though I’m usually terrible at buying it. My summer dress isn’t nearly as versatile as it should be. Since it’s the green eyeball dress from this post [here].

Layers

 Honestly, what do you call the subgroup of clothes that are coats, vests, cardigans and such? I would love to know.

  • Three coats: a light coat (blazer, hoodie) for cold days, winter coat for freezing days and formal coat for dressed up freezing/cold days.
  • A cardigan that goes with everything. This is something I’ve yet to find. When will my search for the perfect cardigan ever end!
  • A waistcoat or vest for summery days or layering.
  • A jumper (knit sweater, puffy huge jumper, v-neck etc.) for obvious reasons.
  • A plain corset that can be mixed with everything. Of course a corset isn’t always necessary but in a working Goth wardrobe it can be very useful. For your first corset please, please choose something plain (I made this mistake myself) that will go with everything. I hear a lot of people talk about under-busts being a lot more versatile and while that’s true literally, some people (myself being one) do not suit under-busts.
PANTS
Oh gosh, I want those brocade jeans – Link

Pants

  • At least one pair of pants, preferably dark in colour or in a colour that would match everything in your wardrobe. Black skinny jeans are a good staple for both men and women. Or even leggings.
  • A pair of shorts or bloomers. They can come in very useful and do not have to be boring! Stud up a pair of black denim shorts (which is insanely popular these days) or even go with some black dress shorts. The key to wardrobe basics is versatility! When you get the basics down is when you’re actually able to start experimenting.

Shoes 

  • A good pair of boots. It’s definitely a staple and they are insanely useful for rainy days and walking almost anywhere. Plus, there’s a never-ending amount of choice for anyone’s style. Heels or flats, laced or zipper is all based on your own ability and preference which in the end is all that matters. If you aren’t going to wear them, no matter how pretty, do not buy them.
  • A pair of heels for interviews/work/etc. This can go for both men and women and is really playing on your own creativity. Wedges, platforms or simple heels – whichever suits your lifestyle.
  • Everyday shoes that aren’t boots. Try as you may but some days are just too hot for boots or you have five minutes and your eighteen holed thigh highs just wont do.  These should be simple and easy to wear for days you just can’t handle a four inch heel or so.

Hoisery
Link

Hosiery

Such a simple thing – no matter whether they have lace, ribbons or skulls – are suitable for both men and women of which want to wear them and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • Three pairs of black stockings or more because we all know that black stockings are drawn to rose bushes, sharp branches and even rounded corners that continue to baffle you as to how the whole knee was ripped apart by it.
  • Two pairs black socks. Have you worn stockings in summer – it’s really quite painful and uncomfortable. Plus it leads to more possibilities of layering.
  • Statement socks/stockings (striped, patterned, covered in lace).
  • Fishnets for layering, summer, and wearing as a shirt.

Don’t forget that every wardrobe is different. Personally, I just can’t get long skirts or corsets to look good on me. And any men reading should understand that it’s perfectly acceptable to bend the rules of mens fashion into a more androgynous look and the same for women. Androgyny is getting more and more popular around the world and it’s perfectly normal. Alternatively, if it’s not something you like don’t – along with any of these listed above. Is there anything you think I’ve left out or isn’t necessary at all?

Other Articles on Wardrobe Staples:
Colour Me Goth
Stripy Tights And Dark Delight
Academia Gothica’s Wardrobe Basics (plus more)
Goth To Goth

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18 Comments

  1. I've left out the basics! 😀
    My wardrobe's filled with fancy stuff which I can only wear in the weekends, and never during the winter by the way: corsets, fishnets, tutus, lacy tights, hold ups… that's the stuff I love, of course, but I can't definitely wear it at work or at university.
    Your guide has been very useful to me because it made me realize (well… I had realized it by myself already, but you gave me confirmation XD) that I need to buy some everyday clothes, and, most of all, *which* everyday clothes. I've always had trouble trying to understand how I can be "goth" despite toning the outfits down, I just couldn't get which where the items I needed. The ones you can put on with pretty much everything, according to the formality of the occasion.
    So thank you for writing this guide, I'll put it in my bookmarks and print it for next time I go shopping XD!

  2. The only thing I would definitely toss out from that list is heels. Can't wear them on my messed up feet and I would refuse even if I could.

    Otherwise, you did a great job of getting all the basics down!

  3. I would love to dress in skirts, corsets, and blouses! They're so breathtaking.
    But sadly I'm very overweight/short and feel so uncomfortable showing skin in any way, shape, or form.
    I only wear band tees with a cardigan/hoodie, but I deeply admire the goths who have the confidence to dress so nicely!
    I wish I could.

  4. I’ve been looking for some blouses for my various gothic outfits, and decided to take my search to the internet. You wrote that you want to have some blouses that are lightweight and good for warmer weather, and recommended choosing those that are sheer, have lacy tops, or are cotton pieces. I live in a rather hot city, so I’ll have to look for tops that are like this. Thanks for the tips.

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