Friday, 27 April 2012

Grecian clothing dilemmas

Today's email request comes from a reader living in Greece, who explains their dilemmas thusly, "I have some questions about where to find goth clothes. I live in a country where goth is not so well-known. I searched a million times all the shops at my town and there aren't any alternative shops nor thrift shops. As a result I buy clothes from mainstream shops and try to put my own spin on these but many times they don't seem Gothic at all. Could you please write a post about where to find cheap goth clothing in a situation like this? I would really appreciate it. Furthermore in my country (Greece) it gets really hot at summer. How can I dress in order to dress goth?"

1. Sourcing clothing
I'm sure this is a problem that many people have; some of us in the UK and USA may complain about the proliferation of cheap Gawth-branded clothes and accessories popping up in clothes stores catering predominantly to alterna-teens and rebellious spooky kids, but at the other end of the spectrum there are countries where a single Hot Topic would be a welcome Mecca for those starved of dark finery.

There is, of course, always the internet, but this isn't always an affordable or viable option. However, it is one that may be of help to some people. If large clothing items are beyond your budget, do remember that accessories are cheaper and can be used to give a basic black outfit a whole new look; badges, belts, scarves, gloves, brooches and jewellery are all small and generally affordable items that can change a pair of jeans and a black T-shirt into an ensemble that is perfectly suitable.

Are there any shops in your town that sell fabric pens/paint, trims, ribbons etc.? I know I've said this before, but adding stencils or paint designs, a few rips and safety pins or a hint of lace trim can turn pretty much any mainstream store item into something gorgeous. Ditto black fabric dye! Perfect for all those pretty shirts and blouses that would be just right if only they weren't lemon yellow. ;-)

As well as accessories, hair and make-up can make all the difference to an outfit so don't neglect these.

I know that in Greece Halloween is not celebrated as enthusiastically as it is in places like America, but if you should see any stores near you selling Halloween-y items in October, don't be afraid to step in and stock up on tights, jewellery, and cheap costume pieces that you can destroy and use to make something else; for example you could use all the spiderweb lace to add trains and trims to other items. (I did a little research and apparently the chain Epilegin offers Halloween items at that time of year; if you are close to Athens I am told they have several outlets there.)

Honestly, I do feel that simple basics in black - T-shirts, vests, jeans and skirts - can look perfectly 'Goth'. There's nothing wrong with having a simple, casual wardrobe if that's what's available to you or simply your preference. Black basics are available anywhere, can be mixed, matched and customised to your heart's content, and are really all you need for a suitably dark look. Everything else is just trimmings!

I don't suppose I have any other Grecian readers who can offer further advice?


2. Spooky clothing in summer heat
You probably know that I live in England, where when we say summer what we really mean is 'not frosty', so extreme heat is something dark culture enthusiasts in the UK rarely if ever have to contend with. However I can offer some advice I've picked up from around the interwebs.
  • Sandals ARE allowed. I know I've made the occasional joke about flip-flops, but seriously, showing some toe won't get you banned from the local Goth club.
  • If you are a lady, remember skirts and dresses in lightweight fabrics are obviously cooler than trousers.
  • Speaking of lightweight fabrics! Look out for them!
  • White and grey are attractively ghostly and will be cooler than heavy black clothing.
  • Be careful with patterned tights unless you want weird tan lines.
  • If you can get hold of a parasol or elegant fan, these are not only interesting accessories but can be invaluable.
Around this time last year I did a full post on this topic, which you can find here.


Lucy Abilene said...

Have you tried While the clothes are generally pricy, you can get a cute brooch for as little as £5 to add to a plain black blazer. If you're willing to spend more, they sell some amazing blouses, dresses and much more too.

Ellone said...

I used to live in Greece and there are alternative/goth shops but only in Athens. Here is a list:
Black n' Rose
Monsterville (E3arxeia)
Topman (Monastiraki)
Full-Moon (Monastiraki)
The whole Monastiraki area has a few other no-shops where you could find alternative clothing. Hope I've been of some help to your reader ^^

Cupcake.on.Crack said...

I have a very
I live in California, and when it gets hot.. I feel like I am dying so I stick my under wear in the freezer, and leave them there for about 45 minutes while I am getting ready. I also carry a little hankerchief with me because my skin is very oily and if you are walking somewhere it is nice to walk in a room without a drop of sweat on you... Then you can say you flew there, and it was no big deal ( and they never need to know about your hankerchoef or freezer undies).

If you have a jar or baggy you should put them in there especialy if your family doesn't clap in glee when your panties are touching their food, so remember to put them in a plastic bag or little box.

Lily N. said...

One thing you might try is making your own clothing. Especially for women (and the beautiful gentlemen), loose items like circle skirts are very easy to make.

It's not too difficult to learn how to sew, especially if you get some help online (YouTube) or from a family member!

Good luck!

Madamoiselle Schakal said...

Broad your mind! One of the comments there,says a nice list of shops to try,but don't go only in places where you see gothic. I am greek i live in Athens and i know...Amy,you say really useful things.(we have our halloween but not in the wya you celebrate,it is even longer like weeks and with different customs)
SOOO TRY OTHER PLACES! i have found nice military boots in Zara or gothic skirts. There are pieces that ordinary people will just put on but if you ara goth...You have the skills and the imagination to combine it in your taste...I know coz i've done it :DCome with me and i will show you my tricks ahahahah :P :P Amy you rock!
Clementina xxx

Anonymous said...

My suggestion is that you could make patches with bands or images on it for a waistcoat or a blazer. You just need a type of material (denim etc) to cut out and paint, then sew it on. It isn't difficult at all to do, unless you know how to sew.

Tenebris In Lux said...

Definitely look into DIY. Not only can you learn a valuable and useful skill like sewing, but you can make articles to your own taste and sometimes -- gasp -- they last longer! I'm hoping there is at least some sort of fabric store near where you live .. or even a craft store that sells some fabrics at a decent price. Some patterns, thread, fabric, and patience can go a long way :-)

Also, it helps to compile some "pretty pictures." Pictures you find in magazines or on online .. keep them somewhere (like in a folder or on some sort of site like Tumblr or Pinterest) and look back at them if you want some inspiration. I'm not telling you to reconstruct what you see, but maybe find one bit that you like, or try to take a feel from it. I'm probably spouting out nonsense, but maybe you understand a bit? Sorry about the dilemma.


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Anonymous said...

another greek here!as other said above,there are many alternative stores in Eksarxeia and Monastiraki,but unfortunately they are pricey.WHat i do is go on a spree,at big Malls,or Ermou street which is filled with clothing stores.All you have to do is search everywhere,and from the pile of mainstream clothes pick out the ones that can work with your easthetics.I got a lot of skirts and blouses from Tally Weijl-most of them in colours like black,grey,or striped patterns.It all boils down to how you put your outfits together,not where you shop from.

Anonymous said...

I am from Greece and have been heavily involved in the goth scene for years. Athens and Thessaloniki (the 2 largest cities) have sizable goth scenes (and sub-scenes), but I've also found scenes in smaller college towns. It's really easy to find clothes and accessories to suit that style in Greece, as many Greeks are drawn to the dark and dramatic, even people who don't with the subculture. I personally don't shop at the designated goth stores, I find them overpriced,low quality and lacking in imagination. Embrace the DIY and creative gifts that goth style has to offer, and you will find tons of things to wear at all sorts of stores, from mainstream fashion chains to touristy hippie stalls. I won't get into summer fashion, as there is a ton of information about that, both on this blog and online in general.

ruby ragar said...

Found you on google love the blog.

Merrihel Wednesday said...

I'm Californian, too, and sandals are excellent summer wear- and it's quite easy to find some with dark touches in chain stores like Target or Wal-Mart. A black gladiator style is my go to- something like the Target Mossimo Winni Sandal, a multi- crisscross- strap gladiator on a flat heel. Your feet will stay in the shoe when out doing active summer stuff (festivals/fairs, beach walking)!

Anonymous said...

thanks you so much for all the advise you offer.Both the comments and the post are really helpful!!!

x-akurei said...

If you can get hold of some sewing patterns, try your hand at sewing! I make a lot of my own clothes now and I'm always far more happy with them than I am anything that I buy. Also, you can guarentee that no one will have anything that you own too.

Miss Miskatonic said...

Greece is on the Euro, isn't it? That means if you shop online from retailers based in the USA, the exchange rate is in your favor.

Anonymous said...

A goth in greece is torment,trust me

Anonymous said...

The exchange rate may be better, but shipping may be horribly expensive, so be really careful, and compare costs.

DoomedInSorrow said...

Greetings from greece!I live in Thessaloniki and there are two or three shops in my city that has gothic clothes!However, they are tooooooo expensive and i usually buy clothes from or ebay(prefer uk). You can shop accessories, as you may find that shipping costs can exceed the price of the products.I dont know if i helped you, stay up with your dark mood!

Anonymous said...

As an American of Greek (and Irish) descent, I like to incorporate Greek, & Greek-inspired jewelry into my wardrobe. At least here, in the States, it gives a more unique aesthetic to my overall look.

whitewitchgoth said...

Not much Gothic anything in Shropshire. Such a very dull and boring landscape of chavs. Wish I could just up stakes and leave. But that is easier said than done. Wish I was living in a Gothic country such as Germany. I bet there are loads of Gothic shops/nightclubs and bars, all Asperger-friendly.

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