If you've always had a fascination with Victorian or older fashion then you might like dressing in the romantic goth style. I have to admit that I feel like a lady in a long dress with flowey romantic sleeves. You can't help but feel pretty in them. The colours in my wardrobe are dark. Black, black, and more black. However I do wear colour sometimes and mix it with my basic black pieces. I pretty much stick to the basic goth colour scheme of black, red, burgundy, purple, grey, and occasionally green. It's more about mixing textures of fabrics and silhouettes than it is about colours for me.
To build a romantic goth wardrobe can take a long time. And if you can't sew for yourself it can take a lot of money also. Good quality gothic fashion is expensive! My recommendation is to build your wardrobe slowly. Have items custom made and shop vintage for accessories and basic items. A romantic wardrobe can not be built by shopping at the local mall. You are going to have to look elsewhere for most of it. But that is a good thing. You can build a look that is entirely custom to you. A beautiful wardrobe takes diligence and patience to collect.
So if you are interested in building a custom romantic goth wardrobe here are ten essential items to achieve that look. All the images used are collected from Pinterest. Pinterest is an excellent place to start if you are looking gothic clothing.
1- Tops and dresses with flowey gothic sleeves- Large romantic sleeves are essential to this look. Velvet, lace, and chiffon are nice fabrics for gothic sleeves. Good quality fabric like silks and rayons are perfect for romantic clothing. Cheap velvets can look costumey if you're not careful.
2- Corsets- I cannot stress enough to buy the best quality corsets you can afford. You get what you pay for when it comes to corsets. I buy mine custom made but there a few online suppliers that are good as well. The most important point is to buy one with steel bones and curvy lines. Stay away from corsets that are straight on the sides. They will never be comfortable.
3- Long Skirts- i wear long skirts all year long. Morticia style skirts that are long and slim are especially flattering. Velvet and chiffon are my fabrics of choice. Velvet in the winter and stretch chiffon in the heat of summer. Victorian walking skirts, hi-low skirts, and handkerchief hem styles are best. I rarely wear my skirts past the knee.
4- Velvet Dresses- I started wearing velvet dresses for day in the 90s and never stopped. They are extremely comfortable in stretch velvet and always look good. Crushed stretch velvet looks a little more casual than regular velvet and it doesn't crush as easily either. Most crushed stretch velvets can also be washed easily making them very practical for every day.
5- Shrugs and Shawls- I love a pretty shrug or shawl to wear over a corset top or sleeveless dress. They go a long way to dress up any outfit. A simple dresss becomes something really special with a pretty lace shrug.
6- Victorian Inspired Jackets- Corset backed velvets and brocades are so pretty on gothic coats. The more lace and ruffles the better! Take a vintage velvet blazer and add some lace trim, new buttons, and maybe add some corsetry on the back and you have a great new jacket for fall. A little DIY can give you a custom wardrobe without the high price tags.
7- Gothic Jewelry- accessories can make or break any outfit. I have a huge collection of costume jewelry to choose from. I have been collecting for a very long time. Most of the pieces are from the local antique marts and thrift stores.
8- Boots- I wear boots all year long. During the snowy winter months I wear Doc Martens. And for the rest of the year I wear granny boots with a heel. I also love pretty romantic high heels with a nice dress.
9- Hats and Fascinators- I love hats! I have a few really nice hats that I've collected over the years. My vintage top hat and veiled hats are some of my favourites. I even have a hat with a taxidermy bat on it. But I will save that for another post!
10- Parasols and Gloves- antique parasols are lovely but they can also be very fragile. If you actually use your parasol on a regular basis like I do, you should invest in a nice sturdy modern one that will hold up to a few gusts of wind. Vintage gloves however are perfect for a romantic look. You can wear them as is or cut the finger tips off to wear them as fingerless arm warmers.
Now I'm not saying this look is for everyone. It isn't especially Corpgoth friendly. Although you can take parts of it to mix with business basics. It is high maintenance and it's expensive. But it is also timeless. It's a style of fashion not a trend or a fad. The pieces you buy today you can still wear in ten or twenty years. However in a world of most people wearing jeans and tee shirts you will stick out. So be prepared for the attention that comes with it. Some good and some bad. But life is not about just blending in all the time. Be brave and wear what you want to wear! Be true to yourself!