Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Add some romance to your Goth wardrobe...

In honour of Valentine's Day, may I present a brief, and hopefully useful, guide to Romance and You, or, more specifically, Romance and Your Goth Look. Whether your significant other is Goth or not, you may still wish to add some more romantic touches to your wardrobe on Valentine's Day - and yes, you can do that without exchanging your deathrocker or rivethead style for a bunch of romantigoth threads, and if pink really really isn't your thing then that's OK too.

Make-up and beauty
For a quick and easy way to add a hint of girlish femininity (why yes, this article is going to be tailored more towards the ladies. Maybe I'm being sexist, but guys don't need to look romantic as long as they are romantic...), especially if you don't usually wear blush, use a large round brush to add a soft pink blush to the apples of your cheeks (a light application will give you a soft look; or you could layer it on and balance it out with heavy eye make-up like Adora BatBrat).

We all know that toning down make-up if you're usually really extravagant is no fun at all, so don't do that; but if your lipstick tends to be green, blue or purple, for a more classically romantic look you might like to try a red (all shades from deep wine red to siren scarlet) or even *gasp* a pink. For a glamorous retro look add a flick of liquid eyeliner to give cats' eyes (with red lipstick, chocolate brown or even gold eyeshadow is usually a fairly safe bet); or for a more 'traditionally Goth' look apply a dark grey or black eyeshadow and finish with smudgy black liner for a smoky eye. Nude lips and smoky eyes are also a good daytime look for Valentine's Day.

False eyelashes are great for fluttering across the dinner table, and would work with light, Lolita-esque make-up for girlish freshness or with more dramatic reds and blacks for full-on decadence.

On Valentine's, the best hairstyles are those your significant other could run their hands through without getting stuck, which means unfortunately that the Robert Smith rats-nest is probably out. If you're a very girlie-girl, ringlets might be a nice touch; you can achieve tight ringlets by sleeping in a decent set of curlers, spend your morning tonging away with a heated curler, or simply cheat like I did and buy a hair fall that you can clip over a ponytail or bun.

For those with long hair, loose waves or soft curls create an attractive look; or for more polished elegance, twist your hair into an up-do. (Simple up-do: gather your hair at the base of your skull as though you are going to put it into a ponytail. Twist it until it begins to curl up on itself, then use a claw clip to pin it up.)

If you are going for a flirty, sweet look rather than heavily romantigoth, you could always decorate your hair with Lolita-inspired bows or heart-shaped hair clips.

Source: Photobucket
The trick to looking 'romantic' is to accentuate the feminine, and here the crazy world of Goth fashion provides a myriad of options - lace and velvet are, of course, traditionally considered romantic; frilled Victorian blouses and lace glove provide instant femininity. Corsets accentuate the female figure; lush, decadent fabrics such as satin and velvet compound the image of decadence.

Medieval-inspired dresses with long sleeves, pretty necklines and flattering bodices, usually gathered or elasticated just beneath the bust, provide an entirely different image of romance. When partnered with long, flowing hair and soft make-up, the look brings to mind a pre-Raphaelite painting.

At the other end of the spectrum, 50s-style dresses in prints such as polka dots and gingham are generally flattering on most figures due to the tight waist and full skirt - they lend a fun, flirtatious look and work equally well with clompy boots or pretty heels.  

If your style is usually very utilitarian (e.g. rivethead) or punk-inspired (e.g. deathrock), there's no need to switch to layers of fluff and frills throughout February. A punk-tinged look could be recreated in fine fabrics - torn velvet edged in lace and adorned with safety-pins would still look romantic if you usually wear simpler fabrics such as cotton. If you're a baggy camo trousers/tank top/goggles kind of girl, styling your hair in soft waves and adding pretty, feminine make-up and a corset would still give you that romantic touch. (Shaven-headed? Fear not; just swap those baggy trousers for a skirt.)

Speaking of skirts; mid-calf-length is great for those who want to be feminine but not overtly sexy. Of course, if your look is more Victoriana, medieval or romantigoth, a floor-length skirt is probably a winner. 

If you're not afraid of pink, adding some pink accents to your wardrobe gives a nod to the occasion - pink lace gloves; a pink trim on a skirt; even pink nail varnish or skull jewellery. Otherwise, red is of course a signature Valentine's Day colour - a red dress or blouse is always a knockout look.
Source: Google Images
Accessories depend very much on the outfit - but delicate fans, beaded chokers, shrugs or capelets in opulent fabrics, fingerless gloves and anything lacy all tend to signify romance.

Even perfume can be used to add a little something extra - romantic Goth-friendly perfumes include Black XS, Love Generation Sexy (what, you haven't seen the pink and black striped packaging?) and Love from the Harajuku Lovers range. If we're talking a bit more specialist, try Fairy Wings, Funeral Flowers, Tea and Sympathy or Gothic Rose from Goth Rosary; or Florence, Antique Lace, Ephemera, or Ode to Melancholy from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.


Anonymous said...

Sigh. I have no real reason to dress up for Valentine's Day...but it sounds like it could be very fun to do anyway. Maybe P and I will have a party of our own and listen to some of the new CDs I just bought!

Stephanie said...

All wonderful points. I'm going to try and dress up for Mike. I think he misses me always being dolled up in Goth fashion. Maybe this will make him smile. =]
Thank you.

DuskRose_Dreaming said...

I like your ideas. I'm always looking for inspiration as I build my romantigoth wardrobe. ^-^

Emily Lynn G. said...

What if you plan on listening to Love Never Dies soundtrack while eating a bowl of ice cream for Valentine's Day? Just the same, nice post.

Corin said...

Your ideas have really inspired me! I think I'm going to curl my hair for Valentine's Day and add a bit more romance to my wardrobe (which is quite romantigoth already, so that shouldn't be hard :D).
Such great articles you write!

Carmen LeBlanc said...

I love the dress in the last image, it's beautiful. Though I'm a bit late for Valentine's Day, I love adding feminine touches to my wardrobe.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I really love this post. Thanks Amy! I really love both the Lolita and the more Romantigoth looks.

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