Samhain/Halloween is here, and you may be feeling a little vampy. If there’s ever a time to put aside your colourful garb and go for something dark and sultry, it’s this week. It’s the season of witches and wandering spirits, after all – weird and wonderful dressing is expected! This is a great time to borrow a few ideas from Gothic folk. But who are goths and what are they all about? Here are a few things that we can take away that will help us with how to go Gothic for Halloween. Throw off your bright and colourful hippy clothing for one night and let your inner goth free… We all have one!
Being a Goth
The goth sub-culture evolved in the 1980s as Punk declined, and today goths come in too many varieties to mention. Gothic clothing borrows from Punk, Victorian and Romantic styles, to name just a few. Like hippies, goths are individuals, with many influences that take them away from the mainstream – including music, film, literature and art.
Being a goth is not just about eccentric clothes, makeup and hair. There are no rules – goth isn’t a cult! They can be religious or non-religious. Goths are not negative or down. Mostly, they accept that life has both light and dark aspects. According to What Is Goth, they ‘find beauty in what others consider dark’ and most admit to having a dark sense of humour. Nothing wrong with that – all the best people do!
Goths are inspired and engaged by history and mythology, which is perhaps why corsets and black lace are so readily associated with the Gothic movement. In fact, the Victorians went through their own goth ‘phase’, when they became influenced by medieval architecture and historical folklore and mysticism (it’s worth pointing out that today’s goths aren’t ‘going through a phase’ though, any more than hippies are going to ‘grow out’ of being who they are!) The Victorians were obsessed with the supernatural and the uncanny. Gothic fiction, such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, explored the murkier depths of the collective psyche – sexuality, questions of gender, duality, and the Other. Seriously spooky stuff!
So, history’s influence lends another layer to the modern goth movement. Steampunk, for example, is one branch of goth culture that favours artistry and craft over mass-produced, throwaway gear – which is a much more modern preoccupation.
How To Go Gothic For Halloween
But why do non-goths love borrowing from macabre and occult styles at this time of year? Maybe it goes back to those light and dark aspects of life. Non-goths get to acknowledge other parts of themselves at Halloween more than perhaps any other time of year. If hippies can learn anything from goths, it’s that life isn’t just about the bright and beautiful – sometimes things get dark. But, depending on your perspective, there is wonder in everything.
In the spirit of Gothic glam, we have some wonderful bits here for you at Mystical Mayhem Hippie Clothing. From corsets and jackets through to leggings and wrist warmers. We have something for all level of Gothic requirements. Choosing to dress in a Gothic manner does not mean that you have to forego colour, it just means you need to reign it in a little.
So, there you have a little info to on how to go Gothic for Halloween. We hope that it has given you some food for thought. If you still need inspiration however, watch this great video for a history of Gothic looks, from punk to pastel. See you on the dark side!