Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reader Question: Goth Menswear (and Fan Art)

Hey was wondering if you could help me out, do you have any style tips or know any good sites that do men's goth wear? I spend a lot of time in charity shops and even volunteer at one so about 75% of my clothing is second hand and I have no problem finding clothes that can be turned goth but I never find anything for men! Any ideas? 

PS: Love the blog, whenever I'm feeling out of sorts your blog takes me right back to my mental graveyard.
PS: PS: I found this during a clear out it's an old picture I drew of you.

Thanks for writing in, Alex! And thank you even more for this drawing, it's so cute! Ah! I'm really flattered and pretty speechless about it, so just imagine me flailing my hands in gratitude.

Moving on to a little discussion about goth menswear. 

Now, I'm not a man and beyond a certain, ahem, fascination with men in suits, I don't know a lot about menswear. What I do know is that there are a few different types of looks you can look into so I'll start with that. This is by no means a comprehensive directory of men's fashion in Goth (I won't even begin to try and explain how one goes about achieving a rivethead or cybergoth look, there are some things I'm just not equipped for), but it should give you some idea:


The most basic Goth menswear is pretty casual. Sticking with basics of jeans (black, gray, or darkwash) and black t-shirts, you can then embellish with interesting modded jackets, vests, wallets, shoes/boots, band shirts, etc. you'll make the look more Goth. The best place to find these kinds of accents (particularly band shirts), in my opinion, is humble eBay, but there are also some wonderful graphic tees on sites like Spiral Direct or Kinky Angel that you might like. As always, for boots look for respected companies like Demonia, Dr. Martens, and New Rocks but don't turn down study combat boots, black dress shoes, or canvas sneakers in a thrift store.

TradGoth and Deathrock

To embrace an edgier tradgoth or deathrock style you're going to want to add a lot of DIY touches to your look. So, yes, start with the basis of jeans or trousers and a band shirt, but add more customized details. Band patches or pins, bits of lace or fishnet, chains, studs, etc. will all add a darker vibe to an otherwise ordinary outfit. Again, for patches and pins eBay is a good bet, but also Etsy can yield some interesting fonds. Be sure to check out makeup and hair tutorials on youtube to complete your look. 

RomantiGoth and Victorian Goth

For this look think Dave Vanian's vampire phase: poet shirts, jeans/trousers, velvet and lace touches at your sleeves or collar. While they can be quite expensive, I recommend Gallery Serpentine for beautiful, elaborate jackets and vests (and remember, if you're basing your wardrobe mostly on thrifted finds it's easier to justify the cost of one or two more expensive pieces.) If you have a more Victorian aesthetic consider looking to style examples like the young count from Bram Stoker's Dracula. You'll want more historically accurate clothing here, in black with touches of color, and for that I recommend Gentleman's Emporium.


Lastly, Corpgoth, which is pretty much general officewear with a fancier twist. Think: suits, trousers, jackets, button-ups, scarves, fancy shoes, etc. with gothic details in the tie, wrist cuffs, etc. For inspiration look to Tumblr user Sinister Sartorialist, who I've been a fan of for ages and who has happily provided a guide to finding menswear and building a lovely wardrobe.

Now, your personal style probably isn't going to fit into just *one* of these categories. You'll probably blend a few elements together, or switch between them on a day to day basis. The thing about asking for advice for a "Goth" look is that there isn't really one look, and your personal tastes impact it a lot. In general I'd say in thrift stores you're going to want to look for well-fitted dark jeans, suits/suit jackets, graphic t-shirts (if you can find them), leather jackets, old ties, and button-up shirts. Of course, if you live somewhere where there aren't a lot of alternative types you're going to have a harder time finding Goth-appropriate clothing, but don't underestimate the effect a bottle of black clothing dye or some DIY accents can have on something you found in the 99 cent bin.

Readers, do you have any suggestions for Alex for where to find Goth men's clothing? 


  1. This is really great advice and well written! I always wondered what I would advise people on men's wear, this is really well put!

    1. Thank you very much! I'm glad you found it helpful.

  2. Not trying to sound silly, but I never knew it was called Corpgoth. Thought it was hot, but now I have a name for it. Thanks, Mary Rose

  3. Never underestimate the suit vest. Dark brocades for a more romantic vampire look.

    More pockets to hang chains from, add patches with band logos to the back, and it adds layers of interest.

  4. nu-goth ninja-goth styles look awesome on men

  5. Excellent advice! There's certainly a lot to be said for blending different styles together. Learning some basic sewing skills is always good idea too.

    And by "Dave Vanian's vampire phase" don't you mean his entire life?

  6. There's an online shop called Crazy In Love. Started out in Spain but has got UK stores online now as well, and possibly US. Shipping isn't that expensive and they have clothes at all ends of the price spectrum. I love them! And they have stuff that's not the usual that you see at The Gothic Shop and Kates Clothing - far more individual.

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