Goth Aesthetic: How to Nail the Look

The goth aesthetic has influenced countless fashion icons and spawned numerous subsets since it first emerged forty years ago. Versatile and brooding, this style is great at adding a dash of mystery to your goth outfit. So if you ever wanted to try going goth but didn't know where to start, this is the perfect article for you!

However, before we begin, let's look back on the origins of this enduring and fascinating aesthetic.

goth aesthetic
Source: @cathrsys

What Is The Goth Aesthetic? Where Did it Come From?

The gothic aesthetic originally surfaced as part of a music-driven movement derived from the UK punk scene in the late 1970s and early 80s. But instead of worrying with politics and nihilism like their punk counterparts, goths were fascinated by dark themes such as death and occultism.

The term ‘goth' was initially coined by music journalists to describe certain bands such as Bauhaus and Siouxie and the Banshees, whose lyrics discussed ‘creepy' subjects and whose fashion sense was a lot darker than their peers. Goths later reclaimed the label, thus solidifying one of the most long-lasting subcultures ever.

goth aesthetic
Source: @ghost.cvlt

The original goth aesthetic featured influences from classic literature and B-movies from the 1950s. For example, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and films such as 1958's Creature from the Black Lagoon. In addition, it's characterized by the use of dark hues such as black and red.

Traditional goth fashion features a mixture of Victorian-inspired items and modern day goth clothing, like corsets and mini skirts, which are almost always paired up with versatile items such as combat boots.

This is done in order to add some paleness to the skin, providing a ghostly and ethereal vibe to the overall look. Disheveled hair with tons of hairspray is also a main element in this style.

Aesthetic goth girl
Source: @vesmedinia

Different goth aesthetic styles

The goth aesthetic has morphed and birthed several subcategories in the last forty years, with Mall Goth aesthetic, Pastel Goth and Nu Goth being the most popular. These two styles take the core elements from their predecessor and adapt it to current times.

Mall goth makeup is pretty much standard goth girl makeup, but more inclined to the e girl style, due to its social media nature.

Though similar, Pastel and Nu goth clothing take different approaches to the goth aesthetic.

To learn more about them, we recommend our articles on what is the Pastel Goth aesthetic and the nu goth fashion look, which on its own is inspired by the 90s grunge look.

Ok, so now you've learned the basis of the goth aesthetic. But how can you nail goth aesthetic outfits?

Mall Goth Aesthetic
Source: @hellgrl.666

1. Wear Black!

This is pretty obvious, but it's worth mentioning nonetheless. Black is the most important color in this aesthetic, so make sure to incorporate it into your wardrobe.

wear black
Source: @mybeautifulnightmare

2. Dye Your Hair

The aesthetic goth look is all about expressing yourself through fashion, and a great way of doing so is experimenting with hair dye. You can go as colorful as you want or keep it dark —choice is yours!

dye your hair
Source: @akrutiviras

3. Play Around with Makeup

Another staple of this style is makeup. There are virtually no rules in creating goth makeup looks, other than using a dark color scheme and light foundation.

Aesthetic goth makeup
Source: @mia_lxpez

Black winged eyeliner and black eyeshadow are staples of the classic goth aesthetic.

Dark-colored lipstick is also used, mostly in dark red or purple. Another element is the use of light foundation, at least two shades lighter than your natural skin tone.

4. Wear Leather

Leather is a super reliable material that will add the right amount of edge to your outfit and make you look badass. There are tons of clothing made from vegan leather in our store, so you might want to check that out.

Vegan leather outfit
Source: @hellgrl.666

5. Rock a Black Tee

If you want to start with something more casual, a simple black tee will do the trick. It's a super versatile item and a great way to begin experimenting with goth fashion.

black tee
Source: @mia_lxpez

6. Put on Tights

Tights are great at adding a feminine and sensual vibe to your outfit, which is super important in goth girl aesthetic outfits. There are countless designs that you can choose from, such as classic fishnets and even spiderweb pantyhoses.

Hello Kitty Goth Aesthetic
Source: @eli.monsivaisg

7. Thrown in a Pair of Boots

A good pair of boots will make you look elegant and terrifying all at once. Plus, they're timeless items within the gothic fashion. A pair of combat boots is perfect for a more traditional goth look, though platform and ankle boots are amazing as well.

Goth Fashion: Platform Boots
Source: @eli.monsivaisg

8. Accessorize!

Accessories are hugely significant to both elevate and finish off your look.

You can go for something BDSM-inspired and like a choker, or something more religious like inverted cross earrings or even pentagrams socks.

By @eli.monsivaisg
Source: @eli.monsivaisg

 

Congratulations! Now you know how to become goth and rock this astounding and timeless aesthetic.

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