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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Readers' Questions; of irony, corsets and confidence

Haven't had one of these in a while... I have had quite a lot of questions falling into my comment boxes so I thought perhaps it was time to pull myself together and answer a few queries.

Mindless-Antagonist said, "I was wondering if you could somehow do a post on or give me some basic pointers for using irony in in Goth fashion... as that is an asset I've really been wanting to try, but have absolutely no idea where to begin with. For example, I have a Tweety Bird shirt that's light pink, but have never been able to pull off wearing it with anything - and the same case for about half of my closet. Pretty much any non-Gothy colors or logos, etc. have been shoved to the back because I just have no clue how to wear them. Any advice? :-3 Thanks."

Oh, this is something I've had trouble with myself... how cool I thought I was in my pink My Little Pony shirt and baggy bondage pants *facepalm*. Top tip: don't do what I did and try to 'blend in' your ironic piece by amping up the mallgoth cliches with black lipstick or pants with a million chains and straps. This is the time to keep the rest of the ensemble 'classically dark', e.g. a black skirt, fishnet tights, your fave pair of boots and some arm accessories like lace gloves or spiky wristbands (no armwarmers from Claire's this time; yes, I have hundreds, but mixing irony with babybat cliches can easily read as clueless).

A black cardigan, blazer or jacket will cover part of your T-shirt (obvs) and help tone it down a little. Perfect - but dark - make-up, sans excessive eyeliner squiggles, and a sensible hairstyle (e.g. not pigtails) will help negate any further confusion as to whether you were intending irony.

In other words, don't do this.
However, there's nothing wrong with playing up the un-Gothy colour scheme, such as pairing a pink T-shirt with a white leather skirt, white (or pink) sparkly boots and a white choker, particularly for events or festivals. The trick is to keep your ensemble, right down to your fingernails, hair and make-up, essentially flawless so that you look like you know what you are doing, not (as I do in the picture above) like someone a little baffled by alt fashion.


Fae said, "My mother is letting me get a corset. Or a suitable corset dress. But I am a bit embarrassed to buy one from Spencer`s Gifts. Because they're in the "sexy" part of the shop. What do I do? I`m also having a hard time trying to find a gothic corset dress but its not too "over the top." So, could anyone help me? Please and Thank you. :)"

As someone who spent their fair amount of time as an awkward young darkling squinting anxiously at assorted PVC... uh, ensembles.... in Anne Summers, I can sympathise. Would it be easier to go into 'that' part of the store if you went in with friends? You could always say to an assistant, "I'm looking for a corset, can you help me?" if you are worried about them giving you sideways looks for being in the 'sexy' department if you are underage.

Most corsets from lingerie stores are of slightly dubious quality anyway, but as such they do tend to be cheap which is a bonus for those just getting to grips with dark fashion. I wonder, can you shop online? There are corsets online in a similar price range - one of my friends just asked for a particular corset from eBay for her birthday; I had a look at the seller's items and wondered if this sort of thing is what you're looking for. (Younger darklings might find they can get more wear out of an underbust style as they can be more easily worn with a variety of garments.)

I had a look around for corset-style dresses online that were not too a) short, b) sexy, or c) clubwear-ish. Styles like these could quite possibly be worn over (or under) blouses or T-shirts to get more wear out of them: one, two, three, four, five.


Daphne F Melancholine said, "I am a metalhead but my clothing is a mix of Metal and Goth.But I have a problem...Although I do feel confident about my physical looks in general...I am just afraid. I am terrified of wearing what I truly like because I want to avoid people's reactions, the bad ones to be more accurate. For example I always get ready to go out and end up going out with my outfit toned down a notch because of that reason. I am almost 21 and have been battling with this since I was 16 and I haven't got over my fear of peoples negative reactions. I don't want to reach 30 and regret that I never wore what I really wanted when I was younger. I need to get over this now but I don't know what to do. All I want is to be who I really want to be without giving a damn about people on the street who I will never see again. It seems easy, but how is it accomplished? I buy all those nice clothes, I have loads of platform boots and they end up gathering dust in my room cause of my inability to wear them."

Babe, I had a look at your blog and not only are you stunning but I love your style! I'd love to see what you'd wear if you went 'all the way' with it.

However, I understand where you're coming from and from time to time I also have similar drops in confidence, where I don't feel like I could wear what I want. For me, I was inspired when I saw a group of girls in the shop where I work, head-to-toe tattooed, blue hair and dreadlocks, wearing exactly what the hell they wanted and not even thinking twice about it. It galvanised me to do the same myself, although there are days when I need to have my headphones and sunglasses on as a shield so I don't notice people staring quite so much.

Let's be honest, though, we all know that stares and snarky comments are just the tip of the iceberg, and I think many of us are a little nervous after events such as the attack on Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby. However common sense prevails; avoid isolated places, walk in groups after dark and carry a mobile phone (walking in a group, even if you are the only alternatively-dressed one, is also a wonderful way to begin wearing more outlandish ensembles out-of-doors). Carry yourself with confidence, even if at first you have to fake it, and you are less likely to ever be a target.

To begin with you may find it easier to add one highly unconventional piece at a time to your normal outfits, e.g. mahoosive platform boots with simple jeans or skirt and T-shirt. This way you can get used to wearing such things and gradually learn how to deal with the attention, both good and bad, that they tend to recieve.

As you say, if you don't start now you are going to regret it. Don't let yourself be put off by a few negative remarks - as I read somewhere on Tumblr, there are billions of people in the world... don't let just one of them ruin your day - tell yourself that you can hold your head high and get out there, because you can. Take it one step at a time if you have to, but frankly it takes guts to dress the way you already do in a society that is sadly judgemental, so I feel you already have the courage and the confidence you need to do whatever you want. Best of luck.

Does anyone have any further advice to offer to these three lovely ladies?

8 comments:

Bats said...

@ Daphne F Melancholine - First of all, good for you!! It's nerve-wracking, sometimes...but Amy is right, you do look great!
A good way to help yourself feel a little more confident would be to step out of your comfort zone in other areas of life. For instance, I'm a little shy (used to be much worse :/), but I made myself go out places without my mom, and to talk to people I met. If you try something that makes you a little nervous, wearing clothes will seem like no big deal :)

Also, just before you leave the house, think about what you are going to be doing. Get yourself as psyched up about it as you can, like it's going to be the MOST FUN EVER!! If you're really happy and focused on something other than what you are wearing, it will make you feel good and you'll look more confident, which is essential to looking awesome. Good luck! :)

Fae said...

Thanks so much Amy! I loved the links, and what you said about looking with friends calmed my "nervs" I never thought of that.

Thanks so much, your amazing!^.^ <3

Mindless-Antagonist said...

Oh my God, THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! Jeez, you've saved me from yet another terrible and embarrassing pitfall on the road to gothdom... this blog is like my Goth dictionary, lol.

Well. Enough of my rambling! The point was to say thank you, and I think I've done that, so...

Oh! Wait! Um, I was just wondering... if you get some spare time when you're bored or something, would you mind coming to check out the blog that I started? It's only two days old, but it's my baby~ :3 Here's the URL:

littleneonlights.wordpress.com

Thank you so much for the post and the extra blog hit whenever you get time! :3

Becci F.S said...

For corsets, check in charity shops. It might take a while to find something, but found the most beautiful corset for an amazing £4.00! recently, so it's worth it to keep checking. Also, with charity shops ones that have stocked corsets before are very likely to do so again, as the same person may donate more stuff at a later date. Or, you could try "thegothiccatwalk.co.uk" I have ordered a corset from their before and it's amazing quality, but very stiff so for your first corset I would recommend going for something with quite soft boning first

D.F. Melancholine said...

Hello Amy,

This post was great. First of all thank you so much for responding to my comment especially mentioning in a whole blog post and thanks for linking me. I found your views and comments so very helpful and I will sure follow your advice. My attitude has to change now or I will certainly regret it in the far future.
I have noticed that my hesitation lies mostly on the footwear. That's probably the hardest part for me. A lot of times I am wearing some awesome outfit and hesitate to wear the huge gorgeous Demonia platforms that would look beautiful and match 100% with it and end up wearing combat boots which look simpler.
I was thinking of making a detailed post this week. It will feature images of how I dress up at first and how I end up looking after "toning down".

Lots of love and many thanks again for everything.
(I have to also mention your link brought many wonderful new followers.^_^)

-Daphne

Fae said...

Thanks Becci ^.^

Nenedhel said...

good post, the only thing I would add however as to corsets, most ones from high street stores are not actually 'corsets' as they are plastic bones and not overly flattering for some people.

If you want a cheap(for a corset) alternative and the tell steel boned deal go to corset-uk which is an online store. Go 2-4 inches below your waist size. Underbusts are the best starting point and you don't need to worry about wandering awkwardly around stores. ^^ Hope this helps a little. If you have a lot more money to spend then of course get a custom fitted and bespoke corset as they are much more comfortable and better for you as they will fit your figure correctly. off the rack corsets do not. (walking around in a real steel boned corset will boost your confidence more than a plastic boned fashion bodice will.. for men and women alike)

LaChesita said...

Oh my, Daphne, you do have a great look and you're so beautiful! Keep your chin up and don't be afraid to wear exactly what you want. You'll rock it!

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