Saturday, January 9, 2016

On Self-Imposed Style Rules


As part of a larger overall post on how I've grown as a Goth I started musing about style rules I used to give myself that I no longer find applicable. Basically, at some point I decided I can't wear X, or I won't buy Y. And I stuck to these totally artificial rules. As I was talking to my older brother, who is a big fan of the Myers-Briggs personality types, he blamed this on me being an INTJ. But I can't be the only one who has ever done this...right?

Source.
Some rules obviously come from society-beauty standards, i.e. I tend not to wear a heavy eye and a heavy lip in the same makeup look or, as a plus-sized person, I tend to stay away from shorter skirts. But honestly, I'm not about that. If I want to be part of an alternative style (and after nine years, I'd say I do) I can feel comfortable ditching those.

For me, one of the big things I've been falling in love with lately is gold. Gold in decor, gold in jewelry, whatever! My past post about Gothic Gold decor (and the corresponding Pinterest board) are testament enough to that. Something about it really appeals to my witchy side.

But for the longest time, I didn't think I could wear gold! For whatever reason, I thought I'd have to just stick with silver. Maybe it's because I never saw any other Goths wearing gold or that I associated it with Steampunk or maybe I just didn't like the way that mixing your metallics looks, but anyway. It's a stupid rule. And I'm ditching it. Hence, this post about gothic gold looks.

Some honorable mentions of stupid style rules: dressing for "your shape," dressing to "slim down," dressing for your seasonal coloring, not wearing white after labor day, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Gross.

So, basically, I've decided to say "fuck it" to most of these self-imposed style rules that I picked up somewhere along the way. I'm looking for some beautiful black and gold jewelry now to add to my collection. I'm looking into skirts that fall above the knee. Currently I'm looking at this beautiful little gold bat necklace from Etsy. Or maybe this gorgeous black and gold ouija planchette pendant (no, they're not trendy anymore. Yes, I still love them.)

Am I the only one who did this to themselves? What fashion rules do you have for yourself, or what ones did you internalize from elsewhere? What ones did you used to have that you no longer enforce?

20 comments:

  1. Amen! I used to say I would only wear tall boots with short skirts, I would never wear pointy shoes or wear white. Yep, broke all those self imposed rules and glad I did ;)

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  3. I love this post! I'm with you on the gold... At some point I disliked yellow gold but over the last few years I've noticed that good is actually a nice contrasting color with black (um, yeah. It took me a while) so now if I see something and I like it; I like it. I don't mess around saying, "I like it but it's gold" which in the past meant it was off limits.

    I've been letting my hair grow out over the last few years because I also had this ridiculous belief that one can't grow her hair really long late in life so I thought, "better grow that hair now that I'm in my early 40s or else..." What in the world! Plus, goth girls break the rules all the time!

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  4. for whatever reasons all the gold styles looked like old-people jewelry. Now there's some cool stuff for gold, do I started wearing it. That bat necklace is awesome!

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  5. I have some rules, like never ever wearing coloured shoes, not wearing lipstick, not wearing gold anything, but not because society or goth peer preassure made me so, but simply I wouldn't feel beautiful if I had to wear any of those things. But I can still find it perfect on others. That gold bat will look awesome on You!
    I'm an INTJ too! High five and worls domination!

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    1. I'm an INFJ... Almost in the club :p

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    2. INFJ here too, but I guess I bounce been F and T quite a bit.

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  6. I have some style rules, because why not? If sticking to them makes me feel comfortable in my clothes, then why should I ditch them? Dressing in alternative fashion is, of course, about expanding one's mindset, but also about finding comfort in what we decide to wear (expression of interests via clothing and so on). And rules are about it - about showing off what I like, not about narrowing my views.
    My main rule is not to wear more than one non-black piece at the same time. It can look good on others, but I myself feel like I escaped from circus when I do this. Also when I'm showing off legs I wear high necklines and vice versa, low-cut blouses with covered legs. I'm also on board with this 'I used to dislike gold, but now I could bathe in it'. I found out it matches my complexion better than silver - this discovery destroyed my world and I built myself a new one. With gold.

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    1. I like the *escaped from the circus look* (respectfully intended). I mean, if I'm going to wear colors and pattern I feel as though I should overdo it. I also tell folks I'm most comfortable the more cartoon-character-goth that I look :D

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  7. I have some style rules, but they're more about things I have come to discover just don't look right on me

    No pastels. Pastels of any type just bring out the blotchiness of my skin-tone. I have very translucent skin, so as well as blushing easily, the red shows through :P Even with a heap of foundation on, my ears will end up looking pink, or my arms blotchy or whatever. And as much as I love purple, definitely no pastel purple. I look /orange/ and blotchy if I wear lavender. Purple lipstick makes my teeth look yellow, so I never show my teeth while wearing purple lipstick in pictures :P

    No more than one accent colour at a time. I usually wear all black, but with either my hair or a few details providing a contrast. Wearing too many colours at once just seems cluttered on me, especially as my personal style favours really elaborate clothes and lots of layers in the first place. Very occasionally I will wear purple with my dyed blue-green hair, and I've had my hair multiple colours at once, but that's really it.

    No warm-toned colours, again because they just don't suit me. Even when I wear red, it tends to be cool reds rather than warm reds. I think this is because I have naturally pale skin with a cool undertone, grey eyes and even my natural, un-dyed hair, which very dark brown, is not a rich warm brown, but a cool ashen brown (currently it's green...).

    Rules like "don't wear heavy eye and lip make-up at once" seem fairly arbitrary. I think how you want to accent your face should be a personal thing, and a lot of it should be thinking about your face shape. I have quite a broad, rectangular face; if I only do my eyes, it just emphasises the horizontality - if I do my lips too, it makes my face look longer, especially if I use a dark colour, etc.

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    1. I'm totally with you on pastels - they look horrible on my pale with random blushing complexion as well. And I've yet to find a pastel shade that doesn't completely clash with my auburn hair.

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  8. "Leggings are not pants." Then again, if I had a fabulously toned 20-year-old butt, I might break that rule. ;)

    I don't wear much eye makeup because I feel it accentuates my wrinkles. And I don't wear striped tights because I feel my butt is too big. Those are silly rules that I should abandon.

    Other rules I've established after learning what does and doesn't work for me. I wear black plus only one other color because it feels chaotic to wear two colors. I wear cool colors almost exclusively (plus orange in October). I wear mostly knit shirts because non-stretch shirts feel confining.

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  9. I love purple but avoid wearing it as it clashes with my naturally red hair. Badly. Recently I have started buying clothing that has purple embellishments, like Banned's bat shoes and cardigan. For the same reason I don't wear gold - it just doesn't look good against my pale freckly skin - though I do adore that bat pendant.

    Goth Gardner - I'm also over 40 and keep being told that long hair is for young folk (mainly by my mother). Stuff that rule - I'll keep my shiny, bouncing locks thanks!

    It's a personal thing, but I don't like wearing clothing with occult symbols. It weirds me out - a lot. No issue with other people wearing it, and there's some cute stuff about, but it is just not for me.

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    1. I have no idea where I got the long hair propaganda because I work with some fabulous older hippies who rock their hair into their 70s.

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  10. For a long time I wouldn't wear anything too short or too revealing, not because of any self-esteem issues on my part, but because I was worried people would perceive me as a hooker :-P Then I thought - 'I'm a Goth, I don't care what people think'. So fuck it, I'll wear what I want. Let people call me a hooker, I'll still be more than they can afford ;-P

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  11. When I was a teen I would dress with jeans and T-shirts only . I didn't wear tight blouses, skirts and dresses because I disliked my belly and my legs. Now I wear all the above and I look pretty good in them. But I always wear my hair down, even when I exercise! And I never wear strapless clothes, short shorts, T- shirts with insulting logos and occult symbols.

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  12. I don't feel like I have too many style rules - if I like it (and ca afford it!) I'll wear it. That being said, I typically don't wear strapless items, most pastels or neon colors, or anything red. Some of these things are fine if they're accents, but I just don't think they look or feel good on me.

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  13. I hear ya, EDG! I too wore only Silver for YEARS! It was the eventual visual influence of my part-time love for both HipHop and Arabic music that eventually brought Gorgeous Gold into my life several years ago, and it's now my preferred metal tone. I am however still attempting to "dress for my shape" and I do think the eyes OR lips thing is a good rule as long as you don't marry it! ;-)
    Thanks for the blog, I'm gonna follow.
    Alli Wyne X

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  14. Hello! Fellow INTJ here. I have many rules like this.
    It might be very OCD of me, but I always use whatever is on top of the pile on the left in the closet (newly washed go in the bottom right, ofc). If the top I grab is baggy or longer than my butt, I wear pants, if it isn't, I wear a skirt. Socks for pants and stockings for skirts. Dresses only for special occasions.
    As for when buying clothes; never gold, no religious symbols, no velvet (I just don't like it), and just in general be that perfect middleground between simple and fancy.
    Being this way doesn't bother me at all though, so I'm going to continue this way!

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