Keys to creating a gothic look: the origin of gothic aesthetics

Have you heard of the Gothic style? If you want to know more about this urban tribe and what their type of clothing is like, in this article we tell you some keys to creating a gothic look that you should know. In addition, we tell you the origin of the Gothic aesthetic and much more. Do not lose detail!

The origin of the Gothic style: a walk through history

  • The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the Gothic style is the artistic movement that developed in Europe from the 12th century to the Renaissance. It is a type of art deeply rooted in religion, with stained glass windows being one of its main protagonists. Like any aesthetic movement, it had its repercussions in the world of fashion and it was not until the Victorian era that we saw its beginning. Queen Victoria, after the death of her husband Prince Albert, did not wear another color than black for forty years. During those years, mortality rates remained at very high levels, which is why it was commonplace to see women in full mourning attire. Queen Victoria thus became an icon of widowhood andthe color black began to be a symbol of social status.
  • Returning a bit to the present, we can understand why the color black is chosen as characteristic of the Gothic style. It is undoubtedly a movement that is inspired by the fashion trends of the past, taking the Victorian style as a reference.
  • The return of this type of aesthetic occurred in 1970 in conjunction with the appearance of the punk movement in England. Little by little it was taking its own shape and bands like The Cure or Joy Division whose messages were depressive and sinister, gave rise to the gothic style beginning to become popular by itself.
  • Gothic aesthetics is not only influenced by music but also by other types of art such as literature and horror films. This is also where the vampire symbolism comes from thanks to the different movies inspired by the character of Dracula. Philosophical ideas regarding death are discussed by this urban tribe and that is why in fashion it is transferred to the attraction for the color black, associated with mourning.

How to achieve the gothic look? Essential style guide 

As the color black will be the protagonist in any of the outfits that we put together, the originality will be given by the mixture of materials such as velvet or satin. These types of fabrics give the outfit some dramatization, making it look more theatrical. Let’s see then some key garments when it comes to putting together a gothic look.

Off-the-shoulder clothing

Marked shoulders are a repetitive aesthetic in the Gothic culture, so to achieve this effect we will resort to garments that allow you to leave your shoulders and your collarbones exposed. Tops or dresses of this style are very easy to achieve and you will see that they also provide unmatched femininity and sensuality.

Pleated skirts

The short pleated skirts or also known as tennis skirts, are perfect for achieving a gothic type outfit. Although they can be plain black, here you can play a little with the pattern and choose a tartan-style checkered fabric, although black and white is to play it safe, a pattern with red and black is also a combination of colors that is allowed in this style.

Striped sweaters and t-shirts

Like a character straight out of a Tim Burton movie, black and white or black and red stripes are a great print to apply to your sweaters and long-sleeved shirts. They are ideal to wear alone or with a layer effect under a plain short-sleeved shirt. Try combining them inside your favorite black skirt or pants.

Lace clothing 

Lace is another of the fabrics that can be worn with this style, it gives the look mysticism while making it look delicate. Blouses with flared sleeves will make you look like a modern witch. Other ways to incorporate this fabric is with long lingerie-style skirts, short bodycon dresses or crop tops.

Printed shirts 

The simplest way to incorporate the gothic style into your look is with allusive prints. These can be of the astrological type, with drawings of your sun sign or stars, tarot cards, the ouija or the most predominant, skulls. Of course you must not forget that all must be with a black background.

Ruffled garments

In the style of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the movie “Interview with the Vampire”, ruffled blouses give a certain romanticism to your gothic look. Apply them to the sleeves and neckline for a totally enviable Victorian look. If you don’t feel like it so much, you can also resort to ruffled stockings, yes, one of those we used when we were little, folded, and with loafers they create the perfect balance.


The cinched waist is another of the patterns present in the Gothic aesthetic. To achieve this effect, the best thing to do is go for a feminine corset. Also very characteristic of the Victorian era, it was always present in the history of fashion, and of course it is still valid today. Although there are many specialized or lingerie houses where they can be obtained, they can also be replaced by the famous bustiers. Although it is associated with a piece of underwear, the idea to achieve a good gothic look is to show it off, there are many dresses that already have it incorporated and if not, you can wear it over more classic shirts to create a different look. The most used are leather but there are also lace and more rigid materials.

And in the feet? 

There is a shoe model that cannot be missing to crown your gothic look, these are the creepers. They are shoes made mostly of suede, with a rubber platform. They became famous in the 50s thanks to rockabilly, and in the 70’s they were adopted by punks and later by darker movements such as gothic. They can also be found in matte and patent leather and come with both laces and buckles. Some of them have embroidery of skulls or crosses and even nice decorations such as bat wings.

Accessories that cannot be missing in your gothic look

To complete a good look, you always need accessories that make it look unique. In the case of the gothic style, you should play with textures such as leather or dark colors, purple, deep blue and burgundy are the most recurrent, in addition to, obviously, black. Some of the most used plugins are:

  • Chains make any look look tougher. To use them, it is best to hang them from the loops through which the belts are passed in both pants and skirts.
  • If you don’t know them, it is an elastic band that fits tight to the thigh, which is why they are ideal to wear with short garments such as skirts or shorts.
  • This style of necklace was very fashionable during the 90s and a few seasons ago they made a comeback. It is also known as a choker since it is adjusted to the neck, they are available in different widths, materials and also with charms.
  • Crosses, as we said at the beginning of this article, have to do with religious mysticism around the Gothic style and that is why a great way to wear them is through accessories such as pendants and earrings.
  • The harness, like the corset, is armed to enhance the female figure and that is why we can use them over dresses, t-shirts and tops.
  • Long black stockings can be ripped or also mesh. Buccaneers are also a good option.

As you can see, the Gothic aesthetic has influences from the Victorian era, bondage, and the punk movement, which makes it a unique style. If the color black is one of your favorites, do not hesitate to experiment with this type of garment to look like a gothic girl.

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