Although it may look intimidating, gothic fashion emphasizes inclusion and unique forms of self-expression. Gothic fashion style centers around black clothing, edgy styling, and plenty of heavy dark makeup. 

Goth is all about an appreciation for the darker things in life. It’s a unique style influenced by cultural touchstones like Victorian mourning and 18th-century Gothic literature. 

Gothic fashion style as we know it today started in the 1980s with edgy musicians like Robert Smith of The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Goth fashion has since evolved into a fun, edgy, and fashion-forward way to celebrate this unique subculture. 

Whether you’re new to gothic fashion or a veteran goth looking for some outfit inspiration, we have what you need. 

Here are 20 tips for incorporating gothic fashion style into your wardrobe.  

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All-Black Everything

goth fashion style black clothes

First things first. You need a lot of black clothing to embody a gothic fashion style. A solid collection of black wardrobe basics is the foundation of any goth-centric style.

Build up your gothic wardrobe with versatile tees, tanks, pants, and shoes that are all black. Wearing all-black automatically gives your outfit an edge, and it’s a color that looks flattering on everybody.   

You’ll find perfect black clothing options by shopping these ethical goth clothing brands

Vegan Leather Jackets

goth fashion style leather jacket

A vegan leather jacket is the perfect piece of outerwear for goths. 

You can easily pull your look together by throwing on a black faux leather jacket over a vintage band tee, black tulle dress, or velvet jumpsuit. Invest in a vegan leather jacket that is high-quality, well-tailored, and timeless. 

Check out our selection of the best vegan leather jackets

Tulle Skirts

gothic fashion style tulle skirt

Wear a fun tulle skirt to add a softer feel to your goth look. 

A voluminous tulle skirt adds an element of surprise to any all-black outfit, so don’t be afraid to bring out your girly side. Wear a black tulle skirt with a black sequin top or faux leather jacket for an edgy, sexy look. 

Explore our favorite midi skirt brands for inspiration. 

Rugged Combat Boots

gothic fashion style combat boots

Combat boots are a mainstay of goth fashion. You can wear a pair of tough-looking combat boots with just about anything, from casual jeans to elaborate dresses. 

Invest in a high-quality pair of vegan leather combat boots. Combat boots are timeless, versatile, and effortlessly cool. 

Shop our selection of sustainably-made vegan leather boots that won’t break the bank. 

Platform Shoes

gothic fashion style platforms

Dress up your gothic outfit with a pair of sky-high platforms. 

You can wear platform boots, sandals, and lace-ups to create an edgy, intimidating silhouette. It’s hard not to feel powerful and confident when you’re wearing chunky heels and an all-black outfit. 

Plenty of sustainable boot brands and ethical shoe companies offer platform styles. 

Victorian-Inspired Elements

gothic fashion style victorian

Goth fashion style draws a lot of inspiration from the Victorian era. Victorian mourning practices directly influence the goth love of corsets, lace, and all-black outfits. 

Dive into gothic fashion head-first by incorporating vintage elements into your outfit. The more ruffles, corsets, and velvet, the better. 

Check out these Victorian-inspired goth brands that are excellent, sustainable alternatives to Killstar.  

Fishnet Stockings

gothic fashion style fishnets

Wear fishnet stockings if you want to add texture to your goth outfit. 

Fishnet stockings look great with combat boots, ripped jeans, and a black leather jacket. They also work under a black velvet dress or high-waisted cut-off shorts. Go with classic black fishnets, or draw the eye to your legs with brightly-colored ones. 

Shop our selection of ethical hosiery for the best eco-friendly fishnets. 

Dark Imagery

gothic fashion style dark imagery

Goth allows you to embrace your dark side. Incorporate dark imagery like skulls, coffins, and occult-themed motifs. 

Dark gothic imagery doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Plenty of cute, girly patterns feature cartoon-rendered skulls, ghosts, and other goth-inspired imagery. 

Dark Floral Prints

gothic fashion style florals

Incorporating dark floral prints is a great way to add a more feminine feel to your gothic style. 

A black dress with dark red roses and bold greenery looks great with platform sandals, fishnets, and dark eye makeup. If you want a more ethereal vibe, wear dark florals on a sheer top or a flowy midi skirt. 

Plenty of our favorite boho clothing brands carry dark floral prints. 

Pastel Goth Elements

gothic fashion style pastel goth

pastel gothic fashion style

If you love the goth mentality but like dressing with a softer, more girly vibe, the pastel goth style might be for you. 

Pastel goth incorporates more feminine elements into a goth outfit. Add pops of pastel pink or purple into your all-black ensemble, or wear cute kawaii-inspired jewelry. Don’t be afraid to pair “tougher” goth staples with fun, girly aesthetics. 

Peter Pan collars, bows, and delicate fabrics like tulle are also great pastel goth options. 

Check out these 15 Hot Topic alternatives for cute pastel goth options. 

Draped and Layered Fabrics

layered gothic fashion style

Gothic fashion style gives people the freedom to experiment with layering and draping different types of fabric. 

Don’t be afraid to venture out from your usual silhouettes with oversized jumpers, voluminous skirts, and waist-cinching corsets. 

For more tips and tricks, check out our guide to wearing oversized clothes

Choker Necklaces

gothic fashion style chokers

Choker necklaces are the stars of gothic fashion. They easily add a sexy edge to any outfit. 

From leather collars to retro 90s “tattoo” chokers, this necklace style is synonymous with gothic fashion style. They look great with any outfit, like black dresses, graphic goth tees, or a dark hoodie. 

Don’t miss our favorite sustainable necklace brands

A Little Black Dress

black dress gothic fashion style

A little black dress is a must-have for any goth fashionista. It’s a versatile, timeless piece that looks great on all body types. 

A black dress opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to goth styling. Layer it with a corset, loose black cardigan, or a faux leather jacket. You can also accessorize with platform combat boots and fishnets for a more serious goth edge. 

Explore our favorite black dresses that are affordable and sustainable. 


gothic fashion style corsets

Corsets are a versatile cornerstone of goth fashion. They can be dressed up or down and come in different styles. 

Wear a black corset over a velvet mini dress or dark floral maxi for a dramatic, Victorian-inspired look. If you want an edgier, sexier vibe, try wearing a black lace-up corset over a body-hugging jumpsuit or shiny black leggings. 

Check out the best affordable corset brands for more outfit inspiration. 

Embrace Velvet and Lace

gothic fashion style velvet lace

The Victorian era heavily influences Gothic fashion, so embrace velvet and lace as much as possible. 

Wear a black velvet dress with sheer lace stockings and platform sandals for a chic goth evening look. You can also wear lace-trimmed skirts, tops, and cardigans for a casual vibe. 

In addition to black, look for lace and velvet fabrics in darker hues like deep burgundy, royal blue, and dark purple. 

Try Sheer Black Fabric

gothic fashion style sheer black

Wearing sheer black fabric is a sexy way to add some spice to your gothic fashion style. 

The peek-a-boo element of sheer black fabric elevates an average goth look into something elegant and compelling. Wear a black dress with sheer sleeves or a short faux leather skirt and barely-there black stockings. 

Sheer black fabric is easy to find when you shop our selection of the best alternative clothing brands

Black Cargo Pants

gothic fashion style cargo pants

Cargo pants are a fun way to modernize your goth style. 

Look for baggy cargo pants with stand-out hardware elements like silver zippers, chains, and patches. Cargo pants look amazing with a goth band tee or an all-black top. 

Check out our selection of affordable cargo pants

Daring Silhouettes and Cuts

gothic fashion style daring

gothic fashion style cutouts

Goth fashion is edgy and daring, so experiment with fun silhouettes and clever cut-outs when planning your outfits. 

Find surprising ways to show off your tattoos or a favorite part of your body with lace-up black pants, sheer black dresses, and gender-bending corset looks. 

Fun Graphic Tees

gothic fashion style graphic tees

Gothic fashion style doesn’t have to be all formal all the time. Goths need chill outfits too!

Wear a relaxed graphic tee with dark imagery like skulls, roses, and horror-themed designs. You can also pair black jeans with your favorite band tee for a casual, everyday look that is still edgy and cool. 

You can find plenty of sustainably-sourced goth tees on second-hand clothing apps or at your local thrift store. 

Dark Lipstick

gothic fashion style dark lipstick

No goth look is complete without dark lipstick and heavy eye makeup. Dark eyeshadow, heavy eyeliner, and dark lipstick are essential for the ultimate gothic fashion vibe. 

Even if you’re not into wearing a lot of makeup, throwing on some dark red lipstick or darkening your brows can pull your whole look together. 

Find more inspiration with our guide to the best goth girl aesthetic outfits

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About the Author: Liz Flynn

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