Guest post: Still Goth after all these years

by on May.02, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

By VictorianKitty of Sophistique Noir.

I found myself drawn into the Goth scene when I was 15. Like many other young Goths, the normal people in my life patiently accepted my new style as a phase. From the very beginning, I had a feeling they were wrong.

Image courtesy of Sophistique Noir

At age 37, I now have a very successful career as a Corporate Goth, and I still go for classic, full-blown Romantic Goth on the weekends.

Here are some of the guidelines I have set for myself that have helped my “weekend look” grow and mature with me:

  • Limit the use of cliches in your style. Choose a few to ensure your Goth identity, but make sure they really suit you. Then build your own look on those foundations. I don’t feel there is anything wrong with cliches and stereotypes if you really enjoy them, and they can be quite lovely if done right. But giving more thought to your style and sometimes even toning it down just a bit in certain areas helps you look less like a rebellious teen who never grew out of it. It shows that you are really expressing who you are, down to the core of your being.
  • Find a style of Goth that works for your age. Amy has done a wonderful job of describing many sub-styles of Goth fashion. Some of these, such as Cyber or Fetish, might not work as well on people over 30 as others, such as Romantic or Medieval.
  • Wear mostly high-quality clothing. Cheap clothes can look edgy on younger people but tend to make older Goths just look unsuccessful. Save up and buy a few nice pieces that you can use to dress up your inexpensive pieces: a quality steel-boned corset such as those made by Gallery Serpentine (if you like corsetry), a couple of elegant skirts and a few blouses made from good fabric such as silk or velvet (try Heavy Red for skirts and blouses). Wait for sales so you can get well-constructed items at great prices. You don’t need a massive wardrobe; just a few quality staples and some creativity for mixing and accessorizing. If you choose to “Goth up” more normal clothing pieces, make sure you use good materials, take your time and do a semi-pro job. Again, focus on quality!
  • As your look evolves, choose clothing that you are reasonably comfortable in both physically and mentally. Corsets and high heels take some getting used to (and aren’t for everyone), so don’t expect to spend a long night out at the clubs the first time you wear certain things. Adjust gradually, wear them on some trial runs, and give them a chance to become a part of you. When you are comfortable in what you are wearing, it will be reflected in how you carry yourself and give off a sense of confidence that is most becoming in a more mature Goth.
  • Image courtesy of Sophistique Noir
  • Cover up a bit more, even at the clubs. I know, some people do maintain their figures into their 30s and beyond, but even a perfect body looks more mature when more is left to the imagination. Go for figure-hugging instead of blatantly revealing. Choose classier styles that are sexy in a timeless way, such as the amazing designs by Stop Staring.
  • Lighten up the makeup, especially in areas that have fine lines. Dark eyeliner below the bottom lashes, for example, can seep into the lines after an hour or two making you look much older. Even if your makeup style is extreme, practice until you can apply it in a very professional manner. Be sure to check it regularly to make sure nothing is becoming smeared or clumpy.

Of course, all of these things would vary from person to person. I don’t believe in hard and fast rules like those that are so popular in the mainstream fashion world, so always use your own judgment and be willing to reevaluate from time to time. Even I break some of my own guidelines sometimes, in situations where I feel it’s appropriate to do so.

Image courtesy of Sophistique Noir

I don’t know if I have gained any profound wisdom or insight over the past 22 years on aging gracefully as a Goth woman, but I have somehow managed to gain respect and even admiration of my style from the normal, conservative people in my life. This still surprises me every day, and I surely hope it means I’ve been doing something right. 🙂

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