Corporate Goths, or corpgoths (sometimes also known as city Goth), are the result of the first wave of Goth music fans growing up and needing to make a living. Nowadays it is split into two factions - corpgoth as clubwear, and traditional corpgoth; that is, Gothwear for the office or workplace. Of course Goths want to hold down good jobs, but for many Goth is something that is innate, and these people didn't - and don't - want to lose their individuality and blend into the world of grey suits and ugly shoes.
|Source: Drac In A Box|
For the Goth about the office, there are other things which must be taken into consideration - whilst some workplaces are blase about multiple piercings and tattoos, some require piercings to be removed and tattoos to be covered. Personally, I would not work somewhere that required me to remove my piercings - they cost a lot of money, hurt quite a bit, and are difficult to remove. Make-up generally remains subtle - smoky eyes or dark lips, rather than both; lipstick tends to be red, plum or dark brown rather than blue, green, bright purple or black. Hair colour tends to be no more shocking than plum, dark red, black or blue-black and styles are kept simple.
For clothing, black is of course the main colour, although white, grey and rich jewel tones are often seen. As you may have gathered, pinstripes are popular. Fabrics may be rather more opulent than traditional officewear, incorporating silk (Siouxsie Sioux wore a black pinstriped silk suit for a photoshoot in Meltdown Magazine - I've wanted an identical suit ever since), brocade, velvet and lace. When it comes to footwear, New Rocks or similar styles are rarely seen - smart, 'witchy' heels or plain combat boots are de rigeur.
With corpgoth, however, there is often more than meets the eye. That demure purple shirt and black brocade blazer may be covering full sleeves of tattoos, and that sharp black bob covering an undershave, ready to be backcombed into deathhawk perfection after 5 p.m.. Corporate Gothwear is often 95% camouflage, to avoid scaring co-workers and to keep the wearer on track for promotion.
For more on surviving life as an office Goth, click here, or for more on Goth-inspired office fashion, click here.
Corporate Goth as clubwear is an entirely different matter. Here it is often fused with cyber/Industrial or fetish styles to create a sharper, sexier look. Pinstriped PVC, corsets tightly laced over immaculate black shirts or blouses, velvet pencil skirts and dagger-sharp heels twist the look of demure officewear into something erotic and dangerous.
Yes, you can hold down a great job without sacrificing your dark dress sense (or your soul).