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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Styles of Goth fashion: geek Goth

I'm not sure how long I had been involved with Goth culture before I realised that, actually, more than a few of us - pretty much all of us, in fact - have some definite geeky tendencies. No wonder, then, that a proud few have formed the subset 'geek Goth' or 'nerd Goth'. I adore being part of a counterculture where so-called geekiness is embraced and celebrated rather than shunned!

Those qualities and interests which label one a 'nerd' in the eyes of the mainstream include: a love of sci-fi (a large proportion of Goths enjoy Doctor Who, for example), reading a lot, watching anime, actually knowing the location of one's local library, playing RPGs (role-playing games - no, not that kind!) or MMORPGS (massive multi-player online RPGs), LARP-ing (live action role playing), attending Ren Faires or historical re-enactments, having an interest in folklore, philosophy, fantasy (a lot of Goths enjoy fantasy novels and movies such as Lord of the Rings) etc, reading comic books or graphic novels.

And additionally, Goth's subcultural relatives such as steampunk have huge potential for geekery (especially this whole octupus/tentacle trend, what's up with that? Some sort of Cthulhu derivative? Am I more geeky because I can spell 'Cthulhu' without looking it up?). So yes, by these standards, a lot of us are huge geeks.

The geek Goth, however, has refined their geekery into an art form. They may not place as much of an emphasis on fashion as other Goth subsets; a pair of black jeans and a black T-shirt featuring a) a band logo, b) a fantasy or Gothy reference e.g. a dragon or flaming skull, or c) a witty slogan or internet meme e.g. Three Wolf Moon are the general uniform for geeky Goth guys, probably paired with long hair, a Celtic pendant and some basic black boots. Geek Goth girls may dress in a similar fashion, except substitute a black skirt for the jeans and sprinkle on a little eyeliner and extra jewellery.

Conversely, geek Goth may be a fashion style created from the combination of Goth fashion and geek chic, having some similarities with emo fashion such as argyle prints, multicoloured, layered haircuts, faux specs (y'know, the ones with clear glass or plastic lenses), baseball boots and accessories such as studded belts, braces (aka suspenders), jelly bracelets and bow ties.

Perky? Geeky? Both!
Source: Google Images
Stereotypically, of course, a geek is greasy-haired and unattractive - I may be wrong, but I would be willing to bet that this probably holds untrue for Goth geeks, as there seems to be a sort-of 'Goth instinct' that tends towards high standards of grooming and attention to appearance in even the most antisocial of net.Goths.

When not playing Dungeons and Dragons, you can find the geek Goth at the local Ren Faire, comic store or at several of the bigger comic book or science-fiction conventions. These cons tend to be enormously Goth-friendly and boast a high Goth turnout due to the amount of interest Goths often have in sci-fi, fantasy etc. Comic*Con and Dragon*Con are probably the most famous of these.

Bands popular amongst geek Goths may include the darkly humourous, such as Voltaire and Uninvited Guest, those with 'geek-friendly' lyrics such as The Gothsicles, trad Goth bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees - and otherwise, pretty much anything that takes their fancy.

15 comments:

The Green Fairy said...

High five for geeky goths!

Pretty much every one of my goth friends I can think of is geeky...I love geeks!

Also, although obviously Cthuhlu (or however you spell it) is something that comes to mind when you think of octopuses (is octopi still being used?)the thoughts that they evoke from me ishow adorable they are, and super intelligent and cool and also remind me of 20,000 leagues under the sea. -Nod-

SaryWalrus said...

Happy to say, I'm a proud member of the Geek Goths! :D

The Gothsicles FTW!

Kitty Lovett; A Charming Notion said...

Green Fairy: "Octopuses", "Octopi" and "Octopodes" are all correct. I use the former, though, because it's more obscure.

And there I go, proving my geektitude. Just to re-enforce (like i need to), though - I have an Invader Zim bikini and a sonic screwdriver on the way. I also have an Invader Zim shirt in XXXL that I wear with a tutu and stockings underneath. It certainly attracts doughnut shop workers. I'm pretty much queen of the geeks.

Maeam said...

Ahhh~ I do like. I'm at the library right now~! Looking up reference books...*sighs dreamily*

Ashlee said...

You know, I never considered myself a geek. I seem to have some pretty geeky tendencies though. That's pretty cool, geeks are awesome.

Sal Kaye said...

This sounds so much like me in my early twenties... ;)
I'm still a geek, I think. Cool, ain't it? ;)

Emily Lynn G. said...

A lot of people are geeks before they are goths...also, nerdy guys LOVE us sexy goth chicks. (some of the very nerdy boys at my school try to woo me and look up the ole' black miniskirt...I ALWAYS wear shorts, sillies!) But yes i like some goth-friendly animes (Hello, Black Butler and Hellsing, anyone?), have been to a anime con, and like fantasy and philosophy. I'm a book worm...So yeah, I'm a nerd B)But my fashion doesn't usually show it.

Lucidia LeFang said...

Yay for geekiness! It's funny, many people are absolutely shocked when I mention loving Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and that I attend anime cons. I find it amusing...

SiouxsieL said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that all goths that blog are geek goths (at least on some level). Great post!

KatSlaughter said...

Interestingly I spent last weekend at a tattoo convention, and most of the guys I knew there were exceptionally nerdy. One of my friends was trying to break the world record for longest superman suspension, and he was gaming Tekken and Half-Life on his PS3 whilst hanging from hooks in his backskin. One of the other tat artists from the shop has 'play' and triangle square x circle on his knuckles. Then there's one who is more well-read than me and loves EA Poe. All very cool guys, all with multiple piercings/tats/expanded earlobes and all very, very nerdy.

None of them are goth per se, perhaps, but still.

Violet the Sloth said...

Yes! Geek goths FTW!

Carmen LeBlanc said...

Bahaha, before I read this I was practising my programming skills.

Guilty as charged.

Black Rose said...

You really understand us.

InfiltratorN7 said...

This subset is definitely me I'm always in the library. I adore sci-fi, comics, manga, anime and western animation. I love playing video games on various platforms (from Atari, NES and the Mega Drive right through to the XBox 360, I love them all). I've never cared for MMORPGs though I've always wanted to have a go at table-top RPGs but never found anyone else who did!

Faux specs - wtf? Seriously now? People actually walk around wearing fake glasses pretending they need them? Why? That's just stupid.

The octopus connection seems like clutching straws to me. Anyway, cephalopods like octopus, squid and cuttlefish are cool in their own right.

I'm surprised you didn't mention computers anywhere. Surely a key aspect of geek gothdom? There seems to be a lot of goths who work in computing and IT. Also, slightly on a tangent, as pointed out by Paul Hodkinson in his book: 'Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture' the internet has played a big role in supporting the goth scene of late. It always us all to more easier communicate with other goths (essential for those who live in areas where there doesn't seem to be [m]any alternative types around at all), selling merchandise, promoting events, sharing music etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy! You are so so awesome, just saying. I love Doctor Who.

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