Achieving the Gothic Look for Summer

Mysteriously elegant, the Victorian Goth style is popular amongst nostalgic types who long for bygone days and those who simply want to look refined. Unfortunately, as beautiful as they may be, petticoats, heavy velvet, and corsets are impractical, not to mention uncomfortable and even dangerous, additions to summer wardrobes. If your hometown or city boasts a steamy summertime, you simply can’t go Goth the same way as you do the rest of the year without overheating. Many Goths give up over the summer and temporarily adopt another look. But just because the temperatures rise, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the look you love. Here’s how to modify your Gothic outfits for warmer months:

*Stick to a specific palette: Carry your gothic color choices into the summertime: black, deep reds, rich purples, silver, emerald green, chocolate brown, ivory, gray, navy, and royal blue. Don’t succumb to tacky colors that stores tend to push as soon as the thermometer starts pushing 70. Remain reserved in your selections and you’ll automatically be halfway to establishing your Goth summer wardrobe. To stay cool, you can still wear summer clothes—tank tops, sandals, mini skirts, and shorts.

*Accessorize with period pieces: Since your clothes can’t be as ornate in the summertime without you suffering from the heat, you can rely on accessories to show your gothic style. Look for cameos, crosses, crescent moons, fairies, skulls, and similar charms. You may also consider temporary tattoos, ranging from unicorns to teakettles to horse carriages to dragons. Very thin gloves, warm weather hats, parasols, and light scarves are other fashionable options.

*Tone down the make-up: Summer heat melts off most make-up so apply your make-up sparingly and choose waterproof products whenever possible. Most Goths would agree that eyeliner’s the most important cosmetic product, with powder being a close second unless you already possess flawlessly porcelain skin. Remember to indulge in loads of sunscreen to maintain your pale complexion!

*Experiment with unusual combinations: Now that I have explained the basics, you may be interested in how you can further your look. One of my favorite styling techniques involves wearing shorts over fishnets (or similarly textured tights). You can also layer camisoles over one another or put tank tops over short-sleeve shirts. You might want to pair boots with shorts or dresses over jeans, too.

Here are a few sample outfits to try out or to use for inspiration; modify them according to the temperature and humidity of the day:

*Black tank top with lace trim, choker, black shorts, ballet flats

*Burgundy sundress, chandelier earrings, black gladiator sandals

*Gray tee, black tutu, multiple rings, ankle boots