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Gothic Costume Analysis

Written by: bethm04

Gothic clothing might seem like a modern trend, but in fact, it dates clear back to 13th century England with the style remaining popular up until the 15th century. It was a sign of wealth, mystery, and romance. Nowadays, goth clothing is used to express individuality and creativity along with the aforementioned traits of romance and mystery. Are you looking to dabble in the goth style, but don't know where to start? We've created a style guide and wardrobe analysis to provide you with some inspiration to get you off on the right foot.

The Gothic Color Palette

The gothic color palette is very simple and yet so effective. It mostly consists of all black, but can also include some other deep dark hues like rich burgundies and maroons. The limited color palette makes it rather fool proof to mix and match wardrobe pieces. Choosing to dress in this darker vibe will give you an air of mystery and romance.

Let's dive deeper and begin by examining pops of color in goth style. Adding a pop of red to your outfit adds intrigue and interest all while staying true to the gothic look. Take, for instance, this gothic red corset dress. This outfit would be fine in all black, but the touch of red calls attention to the waistline in a dramatic and romantic way. It's sure to stand out when worn for a night out on the town. Similarly, this burgundy hooded cloak adds an undeniable flair of mystery and excitement and would certainly catch many eyes.


Now that we've examined options for pops of color, let's turn our attention to the classic and iconic all black look. A sleek black wardrobe has been the tried and true ensemble for gothic apparel since 13th century England; this is perhaps what the goth style is most known for. This black dress is a power statement. The gothic crucifix detailing is also a lovely nod back to the early England gothic style.


Ideal Gothic Fabric Choices

When it comes to a gothic wardrobe, there are certainly preferred fabric choices-silk, linen, cotton, and lace. Each fabric choice has the ability to provide a different layer to the chosen look, not only in appearance, but also in mood and feeling. Let's break down each of these in more detail starting with silk.

Choose silk for your fabric base if you're wanting a sleek romantic look. Throw on a silhouette hugging skirt like this to emphasize your curves in all the right ways. Silk should absolutely be incorporated into your look for a romantic, mysterious, sleek and sexy flair. Do however, keep in mind in mind that silk should be dry cleaned. If you're spending the money to invest in quality silk pieces, then you'll want to be certain to properly care for them.


Linen is considered a fairly luxe fabric. It can be a bit stiffer to the touch and have a natural effortless wrinkle to it. When it comes to linen, it's perfect for adding texture and structure to a look. Let's say you want to add ruffles and layers to your outfit, linen holds its shape well and can add just the right amount of volume to your sleeves or goth skirt. Similarly to silk though, linen also requires dry cleaning. Trying to wash it yourself could prove disastrous.

Cotton is a relatively basic staple. It's the ideal building block for creating a gothic outfit worth remembering. Take a look at this cotton, all black, gothic skirt. It's simple enough with the perfect little detailing. It's easy to build onto of this piece with a flowing top or even a corset. Cotton is also a less expensive option if you're trying to stick to a budget. As an added bonus, cotton items require less intensive cleaning and maintenance.


Last but certainly not least, let's examine lace as a fabric choice. Lace is without a doubt, the most intricate and unique of all the previous fabric options. When thinking of lace, what comes to mind? We'd venture to guess the word romantic. This is no surprise considering lace is commonly associated with wedding dresses. Rather than the traditional white, however, black lace adds a dark and almost forbidden feel to the romance. Take for example this gothic skirt look at the intricate and beautiful lace used throughout this look. The sheer aspect of the lace allows for a beautiful silhouette to show through.


As previously mentioned, combining various fabric choices creates the ideal gothic look. The simple silk body of this dress is elevated by both the lace detailing in the neckline and the delicate ribbon tied around the waist. Looking to add glamour and sex appeal to your gothic wardrobe? Pay attention to the details like touches of lace and the shimmer of a soft silk.


It's All In The Details

Finish off your goth outfit with the right accessory. Popular accessories often include, gloves, bags, necklaces, rings and so much more. We've selected a few of our favorites to give you some ideas.

We previously discussed fabric choices up above, but we'd like to add an honorable mention to the list-velvet. Add a touch of velvet to your outfit for a soft romantic feel. This velvet simple pearl choker pays homage to the 13th century gothic style origins.


Try these earrings for adding a tiny lace detail to your look.


For another fun lace addition, try incorporating a fun ring and braces combination like this. This striking piece of jewelry will undoubtably call attention to your look in a very positive way. Now finish off your look with a sleek bag. We've chosen this bag which adds the perfect pop of red.



The gothic look, is all about self expression and taking creative liberties. Use the above guide as a basis for creating your wardrobe, but overall, make it your own. Choose originality and your beauty, creativity and sex appeal will shine through. We hope this guide has inspired your to unleash your inner gothic beauty.