Vintage Looks To Create A Goth Style

Goth Looks

Goths Who Love Vintage

The mid 1900s proved to be a fashion revolution. Within a period of 20 years, there were several shifts inspired by some of the most well-known designers in the modern day.

These iconic styles provide the backbone for vintage clothing wearers and remain popular with many, including a number of subcultures in society, one of which being the gothic community.

For a culture deemed to be all dark and no glory, the gothic community takes inspiration from history and develops fashion ideas related to them.

Here is a guide through the decades with tips of how to use vintage clothing to create a goth style.

Using 1930s Vintage To Create A Goth Style

1930s Goth Look

The 1930s brought back attention to the shoulders. Many of the dresses featured sleeves to exaggerate the shoulders which gave the impression of a petite, feminine silhouette.

Gowns were extended to the floor, with open backs a common theme throughout. This created a very long, lean look. The swishy bias cut gowns cast captivating silhouettes across the floor further complimented the figure.

Prints were popular during the 1930s, specifically those that revived the theme of medieval romance.

To create 1930s vintage goth, wear true vintage or vintage style dresses as described above but keep the colours with a darker tone. The feminine style at the time encouraged lighter clothes but as a goth, dark represents going against the norm.

Capes were also common during this period so be sure to add one of those to your wardrobe.

In terms of vintage hair long curls look great and keep the colour dark. Lots of volume is also key to creating the alternative 1930s hair style.

Wear pump shoes to complete the look.

Other Goth Looks

Using 1940s Vintage To Create A Goth Style

In the 1940s, due to war time rationing, fashion moved away from the glitz and glamour of the previous decade. War time meant that designers were asked to be resourceful with their fabrics and materials.

Because of this change, less focus was spent on creating flattering silhouettes and concentration was shifted to making practical simplistic designs.

This also brought pants and trousers into fashion. Women working during the war time would wear cotton jeans and overalls daily, so it made sense for fashion designers to tap into this market. They quickly became must-have items.

In terms of dresses, to keep with the simplistic theme, stylists created more laid back and casual designs sometimes with a masculine edge. The shoulders were still broad but unlike the 1930s, the length was shortened to just below the knee.

1940s clothes would show patriotic colours, full of red, white and blue, where other smart wear like suits kept to more traditional colour schemes. Again, there was emphasis on the shoulders and hemlines were placed just below the knee area.

So, to create the 1940s vintage gothic look, wear printed items with dark jeans and go for a more casual look or wear shoulder dresses with darker reds and blues.


Goth Items

Hair was also worn pulled back, often with bandanas, scarves, or barrettes. Turbans were popular also, especially with the glamorous Hollywood starlets.

Gloves became an important staple of the decade's wardrobe. This is music to the ears for alternative fashion. Women wore short or elbow length gloves during the day and kept longer lengths during the evening.

1940s shoes were often toeless, sling back, rounded toe, wedges, alligator and cork platforms. These can be found at an alternative clothes store by searching for vintage clothing.

Goth Dress

Using 1950s Vintage To Create A Goth Style

Post-war fashion in the fifties returned to a more femenine silhouette in easy care fabrics to celebrate freedom and leisure time.

The most prominent look was created by Christian Dior; he came up with the his New Look in 1947. In particularly, skirts were very full, revolutionising the way they were previously worn.

Every other clothing item followed his lead, seeing everything from shirt buttons to waistlines risen to above what was previously considered ‘normal’.

Evening wear also has a dramatic change. The shoulder shaping that waas once idolised made way for strapless garments.  This included both short and long dresses.

To dress gothic with 1950s inspired fashion, add some of the items below to your wardrobe. Pin up dresses were also popular in this period so be sure to experiment with long black wiggle styles. 

Other Goth Styles

Again when styling your hair, make sure you are using a lot of curls. In the 1950s, straight hair was not an option. Hair was sometimes tied back into a ponytail and circled with a chiffon scarf.

The revival of crinoline petticoats provided a more traditional style for evenings. Gloves were worn both long and short. Lucite purses were all the rage, taking advantage of innovations in new materials.

Gothic Dress

Thank you to Sophie Garrod from The Black Ravens for her contribution.

To read my own take on this subject, you can click here.

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