Over the last few weeks I have seen online more and more talk about classism and how it heavily affects those with little to no money. Almost all fashion these days can easily be considered ‘fast fashion’ since most clothing is now made in developing countries. The only way you are going to completely avoid it is if you buy used clothing or something handmade, and that isn’t as easy as some would make you believe.
Last week I went into town and visited the three charity shops there. I found nothing because they were all majorly picked over. Resellers actively go to these shops, and one of them has even opened their own local shop selling these clothes for way more cash. I’m not even joking. This type of thing is happening everywhere, so where the heck are ‘dark alternative’ type people supposed to find affordable clothing or accessories? On Poshmark and other related used product websites? Again many of the used products on those type of sites are very overpriced and not affordable for a whole chunk of people.
As you know I do a whole lot of DIY type projects and I frequently upcycle clothes that I find on clearance at my local New Look store. In the past I also bought a whole lot of clearance items off of Killstar for projects. Within the last year I have completely stopped buying anything from them because the quality of their items has jumped off of a cliff. In fact the quality of most ‘dark alternative’ type clothing is in the gutter right now; charging lots of money for items that you can find on Shein or Temu for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately this happens so frequently on Etsy that you have to do constant reverse image searches so that you don’t get ripped off.
Since all of this is the case why the hell should ‘dark alternative’ type people be shamed for buying what they can afford? It is often said that you can dress any way you want to if you are goth, but this is often paired with a wagging finger telling you where you should or should not shop. In a perfect world it would be great if fast fashion didn’t exist, but the world isn’t perfect and people have to buy clothing and accessories from somewhere. Yes, it is easy to do certain DIY type projects but you need supplies to do so and it can get very expensive gathering them together. The only people who shop on Shein and Temu who deserve any sort of derision are those who constantly make huge orders of things that they will more than likely almost never use. That is their business and they can do what they like, but it really comes across as being extremely wasteful.
My advice? Only buy things that you know you will either wear or turn into DIY type projects. Recently I browsed Temu for the first time and I actually found some very cool patches and badges. To my surprise I was also able to find and buy different Halloween themed ribbons and fabrics for fairly cheap. Where I live Halloween isn’t celebrated as heavily as in the US so I can’t find the same items in a store near me.
If any goth or ‘dark alternative’, uber goober gives you crap for shopping on Shein and Temu tell them to mind their own business; if you are happy that is all that really counts.
I have finally conquered the back of the spooky jacket and it is now done. I could fit another patch below Vampira but I like it as is for now. Next I have the front of the jacket to figure out, and that is always the most difficult side to deal with when it comes to these kind of DIY projects. Per usual I found all of these patches on Etsy.
This week I have been on a bit of a DIY binge. I finally gathered my courage and started sewing patches onto this jacket. Why was I scared? The fabric of the jacket stretches; it is more difficult to sew cloth patches onto it for this reason. With some help from a box of safety pins I came out of the other side very happy with how it has turned out so far.
This is going to be purely a spooky themed jacket. Because of the black and white striped nature of the jacket I will not allow the colour green anywhere near it; the whole Beetlejuice shtick is very played out and I am not a huge fan of Tim Burton. Most of the patches will be black and white, with maybe a few other colours included. I plan to sew all of the patches on with purple thread because I love the colour and the contrast.
I buy everything myself and all of these patches came from stores on Etsy. It is the best website to find whatever kind of patches you want.
Sometimes it takes a while to choose a really good patch placement and sometimes you get lucky. For whatever reason the patch gods have looked down upon me today and guided my hands. I like things to be in balance when I do patch work because I feel that a jacket is more put together when this is done. Others like to do the opposite and that is okay. You’ll find that the more you do DIY projects the more you will get into your own creative flow.
These are all sew on patches. I have never ironed on a patch in my life because it is more easy to remove them if you want to use them again. Plus, my days of going into pits are long gone so I don’t have to worry about them being ripped off.
I bought all of these patches off of Etsy. There are tons of artists on there making very cool spooky patches. Shipping is very expensive right now unless you are buying from sellers in your own country; then it is usually cheaper.
This is a themed spooky jacket that is going to be mainly black and white. Tim Burton’s films and the colour green are not allowed on it because I’m not really a huge fan. I like Sleepy Hollow and Edward Scissorhands but I wouldn’t ever base my identity on them. It’s just not for me. I love Hammer Films and gothic horror in general. Christopher Lee will always be my favourite Dracula because he can be quite feral at times; he forgets his manners and will sip on his guests. No colour green because green with stripes is a very overplayed look and people associate that with Beettlejuice and Burton. I will be using purple thread because I think that will make a nice contrast. I will share more news on this project as I go along.
A bunch of patches have come in since the last post. My favourite being the large Boris Karloff as the Mummy patch. I have a bit of a soft spot for the Mummy; he isn’t given the same respect or attention as Dracula or Frankenstein’s monster. If the Mummy were a child going to a monster type academy they would probably be picked last all of the time during games. He is going on the back of the striped jacket for all of those reasons and more. I’m not sure which others are going on yet because I am waiting for more to arrive.
Where did I get these patches? Etsy. There are so many patch sellers that you will more than likely find the exact kind you want on there. I have noticed that there are a few unscrupulous sellers right now overcharging for their spooky patches because of ‘goth’ being a current fashion trend. So, if some seem too expensive to you it’s probably because they are overpriced. I will update further on this once more arrive.
I’m back from the dead! I just needed some away from the internet time and I am doing much better. Hooray! I was going to finish this post a week ago but I caught a head cold and had absolutely no energy. I’m just about over it and feel, much, much better. Off we go!
As the title of this post states I am starting work on yet another jacket. When I go onto the ‘high street’ of my town I always browse the New Look store’s clearance section. I always come out with something because I live in a very conservative area. Anything too ‘out there’ for the local normies goes on clearance, and the prices are cheaper than the local thrift stores. It’s a win win for me because it means I don’t have to pay a lot of money to find a piece of clothing to do some fun DIY type work on. I would say that the quality of their stock is better than Shein, so if you are a weirdo with a budget in the UK you ought to head over there.
Since it is a black and white striped jacket people will assume that I am going to ‘Beetlejuice’ it. I think that type of look is very overplayed and I am not a big Tim Burton fan. Because of all of this I am not allowing any green on this jacket. The patches that I will be using will be mostly black & white. There will be some purple, red, blue,etc…but no green. When it comes to DIY battle jackets you should always put what YOU love on it; not what others tell you that you should have on it.
So far the only work I have done to it is place some purple studs right beneath the pocket openings. Since it is an unlined summer type blazer I might not place any more studs on it. When you stud a piece of clothing you make it heavier so that would go against the purpose of this blazer; a lighter summer type garment. I may feel differently down the road but that is my headspace right now.
I am waiting for a bunch of patches to arrive. This is going to be a ‘spooky’ jacket: horror films, TV shows, sayings and maybe some bands. When more get here I will show them to you all because they are peachy-keen! Okay, I’m going to cheat and share one below that is defitely going on it. It is a thing of beauty!
I use Etsy quite a bit and have gotten most of my accessories from there so I find this a bit troubling. They are literally having issues paying the sellers due to having money tied up in Silicon Valley Bank; a bank that has just gone under. I’m not buying anything more from there until they have this figured out and can pay creators what they are owed. I will give updates if I see anything further about this. EDIT: Apparently the FDIC is covering the money that businesses have in this bank so that said companies have access to that cash. This means Etsy can pay the money they owe sellers. At least in theory they can, which is a good thing. Nobody knows exactly how all of this is going to pan out so stay tuned.
For whatever reason there are tons of people right now asking the same basic questions about the goth subculture. Who am I kidding, we know exactly why so many questions are being asked right now; being ‘goth’ is a huge trend train that lots of people who have no clue about the actual subculture want to jump on. All of these questions are ones that I have seen asked online over and over and over again. So they are real, not anything I have made up. All aboard!
Am I goth if I wear the colour black?
No, because the goth subculture doesn’t own the colour. Plenty of people outside of the subculture also wear black, such as metalheads, priests, nuns, etc… Go forth and wear all of the black you want, nobody should be stopping you for doing so. However, it doesn’t magically transport you into the goth subculture or make you a member of it. It’s a music based subculture, not one based upon the colour of clothes that you wear.
What clothes do I have to buy and what music do I have to listen to in order to be a Victorian/vampire/trad/cyber/mall goth?
This is the one question that really gets my knickers in a twist. Those ‘goth types’ were started as a joke in the 90’s, making fun of the stereotypes found in goth clubs. That is all it was meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be a roadmap as to how to belong to the subculture. There are some self described ‘elder goths’ who have actually argued with me about this, saying that people used to take it seriously back in the day. No they did not. In the area that I lived during the 90’s somebody even made stickers based on the stereotypes and I found some in a vending machine in a Pizza Hut in San Francisco in 1998. I only remember that because I was the assistant manager of a Spirit Halloween store during that time and would always get pizza for lunch. If you want to tick all of the boxes off to become a certain stereotype within the subculture nobody is going to stop you but you will get a massive amount of eye rolling. Instead of wanting to be a stereotype just be yourself. Announcing to the world that you want to be a certain type of goth is never a great look.
Do I have to listen to only goth music to be a goth?
Of course not. The only group of people in the goth community who have ever believed that are the uber goobers, who have always been boring as hell. I listen to goth, metal, thrash, punk, disco, 70’s/80’s soul, old school rap/hip-hop, classical, new wave, blues,etc… I have always been into multiple forms of music and I have no shame in admitting it. Goth music has many styles, such as deathrock, goth rock, darkwave, ethereal and cold wave. If you try out each style and don’t like any of them you are more than likely just darkly inclined and there is nothing wrong with that. If this pisses you off then you should be asking yourself why is being goth so important to you and as to why you want that label so much in the first place.
Do I have to buy clothes from expensive online dark alternative stores to be a goth?
The answer to that is a huge no! There are a bunch of younger people running around right now looking like wannabe witches and slamming onto the gates guarding the goth community wanting in even though they don’t listen to the music. It is a music based subculture not one that is totally based on how you look. The people saying otherwise are straight up liars. If you are starting out just buy black basic clothes from a regular store, or even a thrift store, and get some accessories off of Etsy to jazz them up. Some regular stores, such as New Look in the UK, are known for carrying some goth friendly clothes. Every single time I go to the one near me I walk out with something.
Do I have to buy clothes from thrift stores in order to be a goth?
One of the main ways I used to get clothes back in the 80’s/90’s was by going to thrift stores. I lived in an area that had a lot of good ones so I was very lucky. Where I live now the thrift stores are hard to get to and are very overpriced so I just avoid them. If there are no thrift stores near you, or if they suck where you live, don’t worry about it.
Do I have to learn DIY skills to be a goth?
I have been doing DIY type clothing projects for decades and I am completely self taught. I learned to hand sew back in the 80’s and I can hem, dart, add buttons,etc…I have always upcycled clothing. I have even bought Killstar items on clearance in the past and made them look completely different. I can also do stud work and paint on leather/pleather which is a very easy thing to learn. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube showing you how to do all of these kinds of projects. By learning DIY skills you can curate your own style so that you don’t look exactly the same as everybody else, plus it’s a lot of fun!
Do I have to be skinny and white to be a goth?
This question always breaks my heart. White skinny women and men have always been the go to for the goth aesthetic look that some directors, subculture magazines and others have been pushing since the 80’s. I would say it has only been within the last five years that you see people of colour being more visually represented within the subculture. It should have happened way sooner than that. You do not need to be white or skinny to be a goth. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Why is metal music not considered goth?
Metal music has historically never been considered goth. One of the main reasons being that metalheads, back in the 80’s, used to threaten and beat the crap out of punks and anybody else who looked ‘alternative’. That includes goths. I personally never got jumped, BUT a whole lot of male metalheads used to give me crap all of the time. Also, the music developed totally separately from it. Goth music developed out of punk, while metal developed out of 60’s rock and psychedelic music. You can, of course, like metal music and goth music at the same time. I have always loved the hell out of early Danzig and even saw them play in 1992.
When and how do I become an elder goth?
An elder goth is considered to be somebody who has been into the music for decades and still supports the subculture in one way or another. I started getting into the music in 1986 and have always been a goth-punk weirdo so I am considered to be an elder goth. I have seen some people around my age who just got into wearing black clothing who claim they are elder goths. Yes, I have personally seen that happen online and I find it really annoying and fake. You can dress in expensive clothing and wear a ton of make-up but just because you are older doesn’t mean you are an elder goth. It takes a decade or two, not a credit card, to be considered one.
How do I become a goth influencer?
This question does my head in. Seriously. Younger people see ‘goth’ influencers online getting a bunch of free swag and want exactly the same. For them it is not about the music, instead it is about curating an image; one in which they think will make them more ‘goth’. Nothing can be further from the truth. I call this the Kardashianization of the goth subculture and it is just gross. Not all goths with a YouTube, or other social media platform, push clothing, but so many do that it just becomes a blurry mess of pentacles, platform boots and loads of over the top make-up. They give the impression that all goths dress to the nines every single day, when in fact we don’t. I’m laying around in my Star Wars pyjamas right now typing this.
Do I have to dye my hair, or get tattoos and piercings to be considered goth?
Sometimes it trips me out just how ‘in’ it is these days to get tattoos, piercings and bright hair colours. All three have become totally mainstreamed so you won’t really look ‘different’ doing so. You don’t have to do any of this to be goth because it is just window dressing. These days if you see somebody dressed in all black with green hair walking down the street chances are you won’t have anything in common with them because they are just following a trend. It’s sad but it’s the truth.
Well, that is it for now. Whomever you are I hope this helps you on your journey into the goth subculture or at least points you in the right direction. Always be you, not a stereotype that you think people want to see.
You have read that correctly, I have finally started working on the Glenn Danzig themed jacket! This will entail including patches from the Misfits, Samhain, Danzig and other related spooky stuff. The funny thing is that all of this is happening around the same time that I finally got my eyes tested and found out that I need reading glasses. It was getting difficult to thread a needle so that really needed to happen.
Without glasses I managed to sew on the Samhain death dealer patch. I used red thread to make it pop a little. I have decided not to tire the hell out of my eyes any further and just wait for my glasses to arrive before I start on another patch. So, I will be back at it next week. While I was waiting for the last patches to arrive I started yet another project.
I bought the above Misfits hoodie from Hot Topic’s website about a month ago. I only order from the site once a year because they charge way too much money for shipping. I’m just going to slowly sew more patches to it and perhaps add some spikes.
All of the patches shown in this post I bought from Etsy.
As I have previously stated before on this blog I do not accept anything for free for reviewing products. I have always felt that it is really disingenuous to accept free swag and then brag about it online. That is what so many younger content creators are doing within the online goth/punk communities these days and I find it really boring and trite. This is all to say that I bought every single item that you see contained in this post.
Have you never seen these Samhain shirt designs before? Me neither, and that is why I had to get them. Out of Glenn Danzig’s three different bands Samhain is the one that doesn’t have the insane level of gear that the other two have, so it is difficult to find items of the band that are out of the ordinary. This seller on Etsy has designs that I have never seen before so I am assuming that they came up with them themselves. I mean some of the elements of the designs I am familiar with, but I have never seen them quite like this before. They cost me about £18.00 each and for the price they are really good looking. The red is a little orange in places but you can’t notice that unless you are looking up close. All in all I am very happy with this purchase.
I have been buying a lot of patches lately. Some are going to be for the Glenn Danzig themed jacket while some others will be used in projects in the future. I especially love the hand-painted severed heads Misfits patch. It’s such a work of beauty that I had to order more patches from her. If you are into Glenn Danzig at all, or like spooky imagery, you will spend money at her shop.
If a band that you like has little to no merchandise Etsy is a great place to find gear. Make no mistake, you should always look on Bandcamp first but Etsy is there for you if you happen to like bands that broke up decades ago. The only thing I would make sure to do is read the reviews of the products, because there are people on there selling substandard gear out of China. In fact there are whole stores on there that do that. When in doubt do an easy reverse image search, because that will tell you if multiple stores are selling the exact same item.