What To Wear Now: Grown-Up Gothic

There’s a good chance that at least a few of our readers have played with with the goth aesthetic or some kind of witchy style at some point in their lives. It might have been a regrettable high school experiment or something more along the lines of modern day renaissance styling or perhaps a bit of tough girl glam inspired by Game of Thrones or Mad Max. However, those days are over and you’ve upped your fashion game and your budget, but maintained your love for all things dark, moody and romantic. So here’s what you should wear…

Lace-Up Luxe

Lace-up boots can lean either punk rock or Victorian depending on their silhouette and how you style them. This makes them perfect for those of us who remember their Doc Martins fondly, but don’t quite want to revisit the looks they wore with them in their teens or twenties. Go for the upgrade with Prada’s lace up suede ankle boots instead.

Flowy And Drapey On Top

At least one of those adjectives should describe your favorite top, at least when you’re aiming for this style. Think sheer black, lace, Edwardian-style necklines, poet sleeves and major volume, like this scalloped lace blouse by n/nicholas. Or go minimalist-Goth with this bell-sleeve Theory top.

Volume And Pattern On The Bottom

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While a full cathedral length train might be just a little impractical for everyday life, there’s definitely something darkly elegant to be said for a longer layered skirt in black (like this DKNY asymmetric number or this T by Alexander Wang midi – both which can definitely lean goth with the right accessories). Or try switching your standard black tights for something with a little lacy and subtly romantic, like these baroque tights by Pretty Polly.

Be Jeweled

Goth-style looks are nearly always heavy on the jewelry, and smaller accessories like necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings are a great way to incorporate a bit of the dark and slightly haunted feeling into your overall style without going full-on gothic. Of course, Alexander McQueen is the go-to for this aesthetic, and these skull crystal drop earrings are perhaps the pinnacle of contemporary gothic chic.

Focus On Fabric

Velvet, chiffon, and lace are probably obvious choices for this trend; however, don’t overlook heavily embroidered or embellished brocades or jacquards as well. Even beading or dark and/or matte sequins can work, but perhaps not as well as an ornate brocade jacket like this one from Ralph Lauren Collection.

It’s All About The Eyes (Or Lips)

Lots of black eyeliner and dark burgundy or even black lipstick have long been the hallmarks of the goth style, along with ghostly white skin of course. However, the only times when these are a good idea for most of us is on Halloween itself, but you can do a more subtle version during the rest of the year. For instance, try a crimson lip color like the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Palais Royal, or do a deep metallic eye with a black base – pretty much all of MAC’s Spellbinder eyeshadow collection is perfect for this, although we’re partial to the deep green Cosmic Clash shade.

There’s an undeniable glamour and romantic appeal to the gothic look, especially when it is done in a sophisticated, modern way. You don’t necessarily have to check your flair for the dramatic at the door, however – this look demands a certain attitude and it definitely gets attention. Think of it as the way that your teenage or twenty-something self would have loved to see the grown-up you dress!

Pictured Above (from left to right):

Prada Lace-Up Suede Ankle Boots, $990

n/nicholas Scalloped Lace Long-Sleeve Top, Black, $295

Theory Lexanda C Idol Bell-Sleeve Peplum Top, Black, $285

Pretty Polly Embellished Baroque Tights, $28

Alexander McQueen Swarovski Crystal Royal Skull Pendant Drop Earrings, $650

DKNY Layered Asymmetric Skirt, $154.80

T by Alexander WangVelvet Midi Skirt, Navy, $375

Ralph Lauren Collection Sawyer Brocade Silk Jacket, $3,490

NARS Satin Lip Pencil, $26

MAC Spellbinder Shadow, $22

–Jacqueline Zenn

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