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Monday, 6 December 2010

Styles of Goth fashion: Corporate Goth

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
Pinstripe suits, red and black ties, and delicate coffin and spider jewellery became the uniform of the working Goth, and so led to the creation of a very popular - and practical - subset of Goth fashion. Of course, corpgoth fashion does not have to involve suits and ties. Practical dark officewear could include long black skirts with elegant Victorian-esque blouses; velvet blazers with pinstriped pencil skirts; really anything that is smart, formal, tailored and reasonably demure.

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.
Source: Photobucket
Corporate Goth clothing is often expensive because of the amount of careful tailoring and attention to detail involved. There are several brands whose stock is almost exclusively corpgoth-styled, such as Necessary Evil. Ties with unusual cyber or Goth inspired prints are popular and can be found on sites such as Zazzle and Etsy. With make-up and jewellery, less is more, but black in the office is generally perceived as sensible and neutral, which means, yes, top-to-toe black is fine. And pointy-toed shoes work just as well for your normal (eep! I used the 'n'-word!) look as they do for the office.

Yes, you can hold down a great job without sacrificing your dark dress sense (or your soul).

2 comments:

Black_Lilly said...

I'll potentially have to incorperate some Traditional Corp Goth attire into my wardrobe for next year at school. There is something about lethal spiked bracelets that may not go down so well with some of the staff...

MissGracie said...

Hahahaha, the 'n'-word. Yes, I am going to be a teacher so I need to get to work on making some professional attire... The professors in the education department are very awkward around me, even though they have seen me dress completely normal during our school placements...

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