Quick Tips: Shopping Mainstream (Online) Stores for Alt Clothes

Travelling Punk
Photo by SoulStealer on Flickr
Personally, I get so bored with Goth shops almost all of the time. All they ever seem to stock are the same old corsets, fake corsets, Iron Fist, Demonia, Hell Bunny, and so on. (If anyone has some more unique Goth stores they like be sure to let me know bellow because I’m drowning in a sea of fifties inspired dresses in annoying prints). Pulling myself out of said sea I decided it was time I gave mainstream stores a chance, here are some tips:

  • Search for typical prints and fabrics you like and want. I tend to use words like: leather, tartan, lace and velvet. But beware some store’s search functions just plain suck.
  • When online stores let you customise your search by colour, is a godsend. It’s even better if you can select more than one at once!
  • Never buy anything before checking for sales and discount codes. This is a more general rule of thumb but I’m not someone that likes to throw money away (unless it’s on my caffeine addiction). I frequent sites like Retail Me Not for discount codes. But beware of some websites because a lot of them are scams or secretly get commissions if you purchase something after being on their site (I’m not particularly bothered by this – everyone has to make a living). 
  • Look for mainstream stores that advertise a style that is more like your own. They may not be a Goth-rock store that sells Cure and Smith’s shirts but some have a more punk flair with lots of leather and plaid, and others (ModCloth) have a vintage inspired, romantic feel. They may be typically mainstream but they still have a certain flavour that you might enjoy!
  • Do I really need to mention the sale section?
  • Lots of online stores like ASOS have a vintage market place. And by ‘vintage’ they usually mean eighties and nineties (more retro than vintage). But we all know that eighties is a time filled with luxurious and ridiculously printed clothing that fits well in a Goth’s wardrobe. Shirts similar to Robert Smith’s could be found straight from eighties marketplaces.
  • Do some research and utilise the trends. Military and Oxblood seem to have disintegrated, while Leather and Plaid are sky rocketing for winter.

Suggest me a store you love (any store, at all) and I will be forever in your debt! Alternatively, tell me what you think of mainstream stores? Am I the anti-Goth?



  1. November 21, 2013 / 1:34 am

    The 50's is NOT a period that inspires me, especially with regard to clothes, so I'm with you there!! And I think I have to agree with you, way too many "goth" stores seem to have the same things, most of which I wouldn't wear now (tutus, corsets, etc.). I've had pretty good luck with Etsy stores; there are several that carry goth or goth-inspired items that really ARE unique, and not necessarily vintage or retro styles, so you don't get the sense of feeling Old School (unless you want to, of course!).

  2. November 21, 2013 / 2:56 am

    I get some necklaces or patches from Etsy, jeans and odd patterned tights from Rue 21 (mainstream store but they now are selling ear cuffs and things with skeletons!), I try to buy band shirts from local bands for support or from my local alt store. But thrift stores are my mecca. Where I live (Alabama,USA) there are no goth stores…no goth clubs…zilch. So unless I heavily stock up during Halloween I depend on mainstream stores and the only time I get something from a "goth brand" is when it is found thrifting. You are not an anti-goth! We goths are crafty.

  3. November 21, 2013 / 6:07 am

    I buy my every day clothes in were common people buy theirs (I'm maybe common myself?) but looks for the darker colours. Shopping in springtime is difficult.
    I also buy more expensive clothes at Gudrun Sjöden or Ewa i Walla, clothes that I wear for decades

  4. November 21, 2013 / 8:55 am

    I buy almost all of my clothes from mainstream stores, some of my favourites are: Asos, Romwe, New Look and Topshop. I also like H&M, but the problem with H&M around here is that it doesn't matter what you buy from there, because within a week everyone else will also be wearing it.

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  7. November 21, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    I recently noticed that H&M had lots of black clothes that suited my style even in summer, so the main part of my wardrobe is from this shop. I usually do my research online before going to the mainstream shops, where I buy most of my daily cloths. When I want something special I use to buy at goth online shops, but I get bored of the "same things at every damned goth shop" isue so I have decided to go to local shops to find something more unique.

  8. November 22, 2013 / 12:58 am

    I still like a lot of Hell Bunny dresses, but they're sort of run-of-the-mill nowadays. I will forever stand by thrifting. As far as mainstream stores go I'll get something at Macy's and then turn around and raid Target, depending on my budget XD As far as store suggestions? Redbubble is an online store with really cool t-shirts for casual days. I get a lot of my more typically gothy things from Trash and Vaudville. (Jackets!)

  9. November 22, 2013 / 1:41 pm

    I am bored to mainstream goth stores aswell (nice things some times, but always overprice for my taste), so that is the reason I buy 95 % .. of everything I own in second hand. Sometimes you can still find cool stuff in normal stores and I really can´t understand elitist goths who are "you can´t be a goth if you don´t wear only Lip Service etc clothing"… Oh, that was the reason you are a goth? So you can be the 10+ fake person..? Great to hear that, bye bye now! So, these kind of tip posts are great because some people may think that still. Damn.. I want to ask them, were there goth stores in 80`s..?

  10. November 23, 2013 / 1:55 pm

    I'm going to start by saying that this is biased by my being into the more Romantic side of the fashion, and I know you like punkier things, so this might not be entirely useful to you, but these stores sell things that aren't just Criminal Damange, Banned, DarkStar and Alchemy over and over
    Moon Maiden clothing (UK) – sell their own designs, lean towards the hippy end of Romantic Goth, lots of velvet!
    Gloomth & The Cult of Melancholy (Canada) – a mix of romantic Goth and Lolita designed in-house. Nice, but pricey.
    Gallery Serpentine (Australia) – gorgeous things in the Victoriana vein, but oh so expensive!
    Retroscope Fashions (America) – mostly Steampunk and Steamgoth stuff.
    Kambriel (America) – Arty Goth fashion, expensive but worth it
    Moi-Même-Moitié (Japan) – Mana's brand of "elegant gothic lolita aristocrat vampire romance" graveyards, vampires, and lots of dark-blue on black colourschemes

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  12. December 1, 2013 / 4:57 pm

    I buy almost all my basics (jeans, cardigans, et cetera) at H&M online, using lots of discount codes. That way I have more money to spend on more unique items.

    Some unique online shops that I recommend are Restyle (pl), Draculaclothing (pl), Fanplusfriend (us), Cyberdog (uk) and Bizzare (nl).

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