Gothic fashion is a lot more diverse than people think. While it's commonly regarded as simply consisting of dark clothing, dark makeup, antiquated or spooky styles and a general air of morbidity - the style itself has morphed into plenty of interesting subgenres since it first became popular.
Now you can be a cute and kawaii pastel goth, a Gothic Sweet Lolita, a steampunk - the variations are seemingly endless! And the modern twists on the original genre mean that there has been a lot more colour injected into a style that was first and foremost all about dark tones and even darker personalities!
It's true that when it comes to dressing in a more traditional Gothic style, one shade always comes to mind; black. Sure, you can accent your wardrobe with flashes of colour, bright gothic makeup or coloured hair, but gothic style in and of itself will always boil down to that one, wonderfully diverse colour. Coco Chanel once said;
“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. ... [Its] beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”
It's true - black really does have it all. It's not just reserved for dark gothic clothing styles - rather it is widely considered to be pretty much the safest colour anyone can have in their wardrobe. But this does beg the question; can you ever have too much black?
If you want to dress in all black to achieve a gothic look, then go right ahead - it's your right as a Rebel, after all. However, if you want to make sure that your gothic style doesn't come off as flat and boring, then it might be an idea to employ a few of these simple tips, to keep your wardrobe looking fresh, varied and interesting.
Vary The Fabrics and Textures You Wear
To create some variety in your style, it's always a good idea to vary the different fabrics and textures of the clothes you wear. An all-black outfit made entirely of cotton would be pretty boring, don't you think?
By incorporating different fabrics, you help to visually break-up your outfit so that different pieces are more distinguishable. For example, pairing a Gothic leather jacket with a ruffled lace blouse and a pair of black skinny jeans still gives an all-black gothic look without seeming completely monotone and dull.
You should also make sure that the different fabrics you choose are appropriate for the season - and take advantage of blacks super-slimming powers by layering up in colder months. Just remember that the eye craves variety - so by mixing up the different fabrics and textures of your all-black outfit ensures you remain interesting, without detracting from that macabre gothic look that you're going for.
Mix it Up With Gothic Accessories
Again we have to reiterate that achieving an interesting and unique all black gothic look is about creating variety with the pieces you wear, since you can't create contrast using different colours. As such, it's a great idea to wear a few carefully selected pieces of Gothic jewellery to really help your all black attire to come to life.
Consider opting for black cuffs or armbands if you're wearing a short-sleeved top, or going for a statement black choker or necklace if you're wearing something with a low neckline.
If you want to cheat a little, you could also opt for silver or chrome jewellery and other gothic accessories. After all, chrome technically isn't a colour... is it? A black belt with silver studs helps to break up an all-black outfit, and a pair of gothic boots with silver metal accents really adds a much-needed level of detail to an all black gothic style.
Fifty Shades of Black: It's Not Actually A Colour
This might seem a little odd, since we've been referring to black as a colour over and over again in this article, but it's actually important to mention that black is not technically a colour (although this can become debatable, depending on whether you ask an artist or a scientist). Scientifically speaking, black actually absorbs all colour, reflecting none back to the human eye - so what we see is actually an absence of colour.
Cool concept, right? Sucking in colour and light before our very eyes - it doesn't get any more gothic than that!
But why is this relevant when it comes to styling an all-black outfit? Because not all 'shades' of black are the same, which leads to a bit of a grey area (pun intended) when it comes to the classification of black. Have you ever noticed that some shades of black seem to be darker than others? Weird, isn't it.
However, this is actually a great thing for people who want to dress all black for a gothic style, but still want to inject a little bit of variety into their look. If you're up for bending the rules a little bit then you can start incorporating dark greys into your outfits, or opting for graphic, monochrome print t-shirts in gothic designs.
But, if you're dead set on styling an all black outfit, you can still achieve variety in the tone and shade of your look by following the first point about mixing up the fabrics and textures of the pieces you wear. A pair of black gothic leggings will look completely different in contrast to a pair of leather or patent boots, for example.
Add Interest With Unusual Prints and Graphics
You can add more detail and interest to your outfit by choosing unique goth prints and graphic tees. This works in very much the same way as adding in different textures and fabrics to your ensemble; it's all about creating variety without the aid of colour.
Consider opting for a pair of patterned gothic tights with a fitted black bodycon dress. There are plenty of different varieties to choose from - ranging from printed leggings to embroidered tights (styled with cobwebs, skulls, polka dots, the list goes on!). So you're sure to find something thats all black, but still cool and interesting.
Printed graphic T-shirts are another great way to add interest to your outfits, and it's easy to get your hands on something that's monochromatic but still in-keeping with the gothic style. Black and grey skull print T-shirts work well with ripped skinny jeans (giving you another extra layer of texture to add a little variety), or you could simply opt for your favourite band T-shirt in grey and black tones.
Again, you might be bending the rules a little here by venturing into the 'shades of grey' area, but it doesn't really matter. What matters is creating your own personal all black gothic style that's completely unique to you, and having fun in the process!
How about you? Do you have any tips for dressing all in black for a gothic style?
Please share them with us in the comments section below!
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