Saturday, 11 June 2011

Parent-friendly Victorian deathrock

This post is a reader request from Qwack, who asks, "What's a good, parent-friendly way to mix the Victorian and Deathrock looks? I'm weird... I like reading while listening to Christian Death or whatever. By parent friendly, I mean no whips, chains, teased hair, deathhawks, PVC, shaved eyebrows, paleface, excessive makeup, little fishnet, boots that have heels more than two inches, and you get the picture... and that wouldn't kill the little money my parents and I have. Seeing as I'm twelve, that's like... nothing."

(Seriously, you're twelve? You comment here all the time and I never guessed you were so young!)

Firstly, I am going to give you my favourite piece of advice - charity shops/op shops/thrift stores. The image I'm creating in my mind of your preferred style sounds as though it needs blazers, frayed black denim goodness (ripped jeans and frayed skirts, easy to do yourself with a pair of scissors and a cheese grater), Victorian-esque blouses, and smart shoes (perhaps brogues for a Victorian-ish look, Mary Janes or flat, sensible boots - you can find similar styles of shoe in many high street stores for reasonably cheap prices) as basics. Since most of these items are wardrobe staples, you'll easily find some suitable stuff in secondhand stores at bargain-basement prices. Also try army surplus stores and markets.

Subtle deathrock!
Source: Tumblr
Whilst browsing thrift stores, see if you can find any T-shirts with interesting designs on - these can be cut out and fabric-glued, pinned or stitched onto other items. Speaking of interesting designs, patterned tights are currently everywhere, so if fishnets are out, try polka dots, bows, spider webs, stripes and other patterns. Primark have some great designs for around £2 a pair.

No excessive make-up? No problem. Try applying a lighter colour (eg. light pink, white) to your inner eyelid and blending outwards into a darker colour (e.g. black, burgundy, purple). Apply a thin line of liquid eyeliner across your top lash line and add black mascara. It's really simple but very flattering. Alternatively, this style, this one and this one are examples that keep the look simple, but dark.
Source: Google
As for no deathhawks or teased hair, there are a myriad of other styles that would flatter the discerning Gothling - if you own a pair of crimpers or mini-crimpers, you can use them to add texture and interest. Crimp all of your hair or just sections. I strongly hold that crimped hair looks awesome with or without backcombing. Dead straight hair is always a popular style. You could use clip-in streaks for flashes of colour - to make this more parent-friendly, use a 'natural' colour that contrasts with your own hair colour, e.g. blonde if you have dark hair, black if you have red or blonde hair. If you think you can get away with it, you can always go a little wilder, e.g. pink, red, turquoise, purple etc. Use your own discretion as to what your parents would be OK with.

You can have fun with up-dos, to. Zulu knots are always fun. ^^ (Tutorial coming soon!) What about plaited buns on either side of your head? Elegant, but a little quirky. ;-)
Source: Photobucket
Also, stock up on accessories. Patterned socks can be bought from basically ANYwhere on the cheap; try fancy dress shops for lace and fishnet gloves as a cheaper alternative to stores like Claire's (you can also usually find some fun skull jewellery). Safety-pins and badges can be added to anything.

Also, I'm sure my readers have some advice that they can share, so check out the comments below.

P.S. I thought the images in this post could possibly provide a little inspiration - let me know if I'm barking up the right tree!


Qwack said...

Whoa! Yay!
Thanks a lot for that!

I'm gonna go attack an old jacket with some safety pins and the like now~

Julietslace said...

NEVER throw away tights with holes in, you can either turn them into a top or shred them completely. Those foot scrubbers are a bit easier to wear down jeans with because of the handle, obviously don't actually use it for your feet as well.

chaoskitten[DF] said...

Jillian Venters (of Gothic Charm School) has a lovely take on Victorian Deathrock. :) Try covering the edges of blazers with safety pins! It looks great ^^

I'm lucky that at 19 my folks don't mind what I wear as long as it's reasonably modest :) (Also I'm a model "good kid" )

Good luck Qwack ^^

Angel of Darkness said...

Well, that is very good advice. And if you have a shirt you bought, I'm sure they won't mind if you cut up the sleeves a bit and safty pin them. My parents are fine with that. I'm 16 but my parents are ok with my style. And modest, what ever you wear make sure it's modest. :)

Unlacing the Victorians said...

Amy's right that a ton of stuff can be found in thriftstores and secondhand stores. Most of the badges/jewelry/clothes I have found that fit Victorian goth looks are there.
The only thing I can really add is you would like to try more of a Victorian deahtrock industrial look, try looking for old keys, mechanical parts, clockwork pieces, etc. to make the Victorian clothes a bit edgier. A lot of those items can be found at hardware stores.

Anonymous said...

this is a really good post.ya my family wer a bit suspicous when i started my goth fashion.i was 12 wen i started and i went all out on the makeup and accesories in school(d skul didnt like it but dey didnt tell me to stop till i became prefect n my last yr :P)and id tone it down on the bus before i got home but i gradually left more and more on till i came home one day looking like an extra to kiss(im alot better at d awl make up nowadays tankfully:D)but dey got over it fairly fast and now im 20 and my mission every day is to look as crazy and pretty(harder than it sounds)as i can.unless im sleepy :D college is a drag sumtimes:)sory for the ramble but u just hav to keep testing the warters.just dont dive in headfirst :)

Aislingchild said...

I can't really expand on what Amy has said and I obviously don't know that much anyway (I'm 12 two :D) but I think that leading into it gradually is the way to go. Ask your parents 'would you be ok with this' or whatever so you don't shock them and make them want to force you down further. Also, as had already been said, stay modest. You parents will be worried about you if you go around in showy clothes. I can't vouch for any of these as they're just what I've been told/read but they make sense.

Xanthy said...

For me, it started when I was twelve (I'm nineteen now), and I was in a very strict school with lots of rules regarding clothing - so I've become an expert at subtle goth-ness, lol.
Try mixing in some colour. Parents and teachers tend to get very concerned when kids stop wearing colour (especially if you're twelve), so mixing in coloured stockings or stripes should calm them down. Plus, it just looks cool.
Also, use playful accessories every once in a while. Bows in your hair, nice prints on T-shirts, stuff like that. It's the same principle as the colours, really. You just let everyone know you're not depressed, just trying out a new style.

In my experience, something that usually works miracles is explaining to your parents what you're doing and why. Maybe have them meet some of your alternative friends, read a few articles, etc. It shows them that you've thought this through and you know what you're doing. Usually makes them more tolerant as well.

just my (long-winded) two cents :p

LovleAnjel said...

There are a few options in addition to thrifting - hit the super-clearance sales in mainstream stores, esp. the post-Christmas sales - super cheap (up to 80% off!) and often there will be fall/winter stuff that's a bit more gothy. Also, you can hit up as many garage/estate sales as you can find - a lot of looking but you can find workable stuff for super cheap. Then attack with pins, buttons, scissors, ect. You can add corset lacing to anything by sewing on grommet tape or D-ring tape (find at your local craft store) and using string, ribbon, chain, ect as the tie.

In terms of parent-friendly, as other people said, add a little at a time & keep some color or cutesy things in there. No vinyl or leather. I used to shred/cut/tear my clothes and layer them up so no actual skin was ever showing. Fishnets or lace stockings layered over colored tights look really awesome but don't have the same level of sexuality to which most parents object.

Above all, be nice, polite, do your chores, get good grades and otherwise be an awesome child. If they say don't wear that, then don't wear that. If your look becomes a power struggle you'll lose right away and forever. But if you listen to your parents and do what they say, over time you can move further and further towards what you wish to look like, and they won't have a knee-jerk reaction to everything you put on.

Emily Lynn G. said...

I LOVE crimping my always turns heads and looks unique because its unusual nowadays. Amy's got it right-thrift and army surplus stores are the way to go. I recommend modifying hand-me-downs (if you have older siblings and do that sort of thing) and be prepared to get creative. bleach, rip,tear,fray,safety-pin,stitch...go nuts ;) A lot of snarklings think you have to dress provocatively to be goth...don't let the media fool you! If your a unique, out going goth by nature you'll attract enough attention as is-be yourself! Don't be afraid to get inspiration from any store or source.

Zoe Alice said...

Hiya Amy! I tend to lurk around your blogs (and visited the old Piczo one...) - very useful and humourous, with lots of information, music recs (all my wages this summer will be eaten by Amazon. Trufax) and info about you - you seem like an amazing person, and (how to say this without seeming creepy...) in your photos you often remind of Chibi from The Birthday Massacre :)

Anyway, I originally (haha) decided to comment here in regards to A Question About Piercings. Specifically, the practicalities of them; how to deal with colds when you have a nose ring, if a lip ring gets in the way of anything (my friend had hers recently done... mm, she can't really eat at the moment). Also if you can get away with wearing facial piercings and glasses. I dunno, what do you think?

--Zoe Alice

Aislingchild said...

@Amy Do you mind if do some guest posts from your blog? I'll credit them fully to you, I just think that you do a far better job at explaining different types of goth than I would :D

KatSlaughter said...

Mookychick also has a fair tutorial on customising jackets here:

The stencil-making advice is useful, although considering Qwack's age/parental restrictions I suppose she may have to hold back on hardcore spiking et cetera.

Anything Deathrock-inspired is a bold move (or so I find) and I congratulate Qwack for wanting to go ahead with her chosen look. The advice in the post and above comments is great so I wish Qwack all the best in adapting her look to fit into her parents' comfort zone.

Becky said...

Those pictures are certainly inspiring! I usually favor more romantic looks, but I'm feeling the urge to incorporate more studded belts all of a sudden. Time to look in the closet...

ultimategothguide said...

Ack! You guys are so awesome! I knew you would come to the rescue <3

@ KatSlaughter - I haven't checked out Mookychick in a while, thank you for reminding me I must pop over there post-haste!

@ Aislingchild - sure, go for it! I had a wee browse of your blog earlier today and am looking forward to seeing more from you. ^^ (Also, my first official stalker! Loving it ;-) )

@ Zoe Alice - yikes, Piczo... CHIBI? REALLY?! Usually I get accused of looking like Abby from NCIS (I think it's the hairstyle!) so this is a new one on me, but definitely a compliment! I will, however, state for the record that I am not a wayward TBM singer in disguise... ;-)

Aha - as someone with a few facial piercings (nose stud, nose ring, lip ring and tongu stud) I am qualified to answer such a question and will post soon. ^^

@ Unlacing the Victorians - BEST. Tip. Ever. <3

@ Chaoskitten - I was totally thinking of Jillian but I didn't want to steal any pics from her livejournal. For Qwack, you can find her here:

Anonymous said...

I turned 13 the day this was posted and I know were Qwack is coming from so good luck to the both of us. :P

Effervescent Elixir said...

Thank you for posting this! I am also twelve and going for a look similar to this- more like Emilie Autumn and Amy Lee combined. It really gave me inspiration.

LOVE your blog:)


Fae said...

Okay Im getting my strikes put in my hair in a month or. So but I can`t decied on a coulor.Im dirty blonde and I have fine hair so what colour do you think I should get please help me. <3

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