Goth clothing is one of the most popular and resilient fashion trends of the last 50 years. It includes some of the most celebrated goth brands, stores, and outfits available in the world.
Traditionally the goth aesthetic is credited to the UK of the 1970s, where bands such as Bauhaus had a certain sound and wore certain clothes that appealed to the young at that time.
The term goth goes back much further. We often discuss gothic horror on Scary Studies. But it isn’t just about blackness and horror tropes. The goth aesthetic means a lot more to the popular culture. And when it comes to goth clothing, it can be a way of life.
What is Goth Clothing?
There are many elements that are common when discussing the goth aesthetic that influences the fashion. It typically incorporates dark and oftentimes androgynous clothing, references to death and dying, as well as bands and music that are eerie and macabre such as The Cure and Slipknot. Other common elements might be natural materials such as metal and leather, as well as certain Medieval or otherwise classic styles mixed with a modern dark flair.
In some ways goth clothing is “anti” clothing. That is, anti-establishment, anti-authority… anti many things in its various forms. It is a revolt and revolution of many things that pertain to the status quo in the culture that people see. And that can mean fashion.
Other words that are often thrown around are EMO and PUNK. In the 90s in the U.S. we saw GRUNGE, another related but not entirely same aesthetic. One could go on and on about the similarities and differences. And there are differences. With goth clothing it is a Venn diagram, where the terms overlap but they aren’t exactly the same thing. That is one of the things that makes popular culture so interesting. There are related but not exactly identical cultures living and breathing in the world around us. Not easily defined. And that’s not a bad thing.
In the 1970s where goth clothing originated, bands and singers like David Bowie and Joy Division pushed the boundaries of what was previously popular. Dark, angsty music and clothing with a visual flair got the attention of many people.
Over time clothing brands and stores caught up to the fashion that young people wanted to wear. Thus, we have a large selection of options for those who want to display their goth flags proudly.
Here are many of the most popular goth clothing brands and stores to choose from, as well as a lot of clothing ideas.
Goth Clothing Brands
Their motto: In Goth We Trust. Established in 2010 in the UK, Killstar is a fashion and lifestyle brand with a lot of goth clothing mixed with some fun plush and all kinds of weirdness. They boast that their products have “a twist of darkness, channeling emotional power and raw energy into every thread.”
They have a wide range of clothing and accessories and in some ways have become the largest brand in the goth market. They have millions of followers on social media and have become a growing brand. They also have a lot of goth decor, which can accommodate many who also want to decorate their home with a similar style.
Benefits to Killstar include a large inventory, a large selection for plus-size clothing, attire based on collections and themes, and special VIP promotions and discounts. Drawbacks to Killstar include a focus on the UK and US markets (which may not be ideal), and some people feel prices may be high for the quality of clothing as well as customer service can be unreliable.
Find at Amazon »
Punk Rave was founded in 2006 as a goth brand and online shop. Their main collection is inspired by gothic lolita, punk, and “visual kei” clothing that includes shirts, jackets, pants, and kinds of accessories. The brand includes both Punkrave and Pyon Pyon.
They have a relatively high selection of goth clothing, though possibly one of the most notable differences in Punk Rave is a certain amount of clothes that mix Japanese influences and the western underground fashion found in punk and goth styles.
Benefits to Punk Rave include a mostly good customer service record and not many bad experiences with clothes not fitting when delivered. Negatives might include a smaller selection and inventory than some other brands.
Find at Amazon »
Restyle concentrates on all the goth brand clothing “your black heart could ever want”… that’s their claim. They have a nice mix of goth dresses, corsets, bags, and an impressive collection of jewelry.
Since 2008 Restyle has been a reliable goth brand and online store.
Benefits to Restyle include pretty solid reviews of their customer service and the quality of products. While they are based in the UK, they have some nice and affordable worldwide delivery options. Drawbacks may be that the selection outside of their jewelry and accessory sections may seem something to be desired.
Find at Amazon »
Lip Service was founded by Drew Bernstein in 1985, so it has been around for quite some time. It is based in the U.S. They describe themselves as offering clothing for “punk, rock, metal, glam, grunge, techno, goth, cyber or fetish”… so basically all the sorts of goth brand fashion we’re talking about.
Lip Service makes a concerted effort to make clothes that are sustainable, which many people will appreciate. You can find many of their clothes on Etsy or their online store.
Benefits to Lip Service is that they are US-based which might benefit some, as well as their goals towards sustainable materials. Negatives might include a sometimes limited supply or selection, or at least it may vary compared to larger brands.
Find at their website »
If you’re looking specifically for shoes and boots, Demonia is often the first goth brand to come to mind. The leather goth boots pictured here are a great example, but there is so much more. The company has been around since 1993 and for many has become synonymous with goth shoes and footwear.
Benefits to Demonia includes a large selection, common sales that allow products at a discount, and ongoing new styles that are featured regularly in order to keep up with current goth fashion trends. Drawbacks may include issues with sizes and comfort that are sometimes reported and a mixed customer service record.
Find at Amazon »
Blackcraft Cult Clothing
Blackcraft Cult Clothing is a goth brand founded in 2012 in California. Their mantra involves morality outside organized religion, which is a common anti-establishment element of many goth brands and their mission statements.
They include a nice selection of pet and kids clothing, so if you’re going for that anti-religion family household, they are a great option that mixes well with other goth style needs.
Benefits to the Blackcraft goth brand include good values and a very large selection of shirts and hoodies for those looking to send a certain message. Downsides may include a sometimes spotty experience getting the correct order.
Find at Amazon »
Heavy Red began in 1999 and has been a major name in the market of “couture noir,” which means a focus on dresses and specifically dresses that align with the noir aesthetic. Noir is another term that is closely linked with gothic sensibilities while not being exactly the same.
What this means is that Heavy Red is a great goth brand if you’re looking for more “high end” dresses and goth clothing.
Benefits to Heavy Red are quality and a certain style that is difficult to match elsewhere. Downsides to the Heavy Red brand are the prices (they are pricey) and with some dresses and attire you may lose some comfort in the name of fashion.
Find at their website »
Goth Clothing Stores
Tragic Beautiful is an Australian-based online store that has been around since 2006. They carry Killstar, Punk Rave, and many other major goth brands. As they say on their website, they provide “a niche for the outsiders – those that go against the grain, wander off the path and live outside of the box.”
They provide everything from goth clothes to pillows, wall art, goth jewelry, to witchy things such as stones, candles, and jars. It’s a great place to start for all your goth needs.
Dark in Closet
Dark in Closet is a UK-based alternative clothing store with items under major categories such as goth, medieval, victorian, and steampunk. They also have sections for goth brands such as Punk Rave and others.
Many of their goth dresses and other outfits might be better described as cosplay. Which is maybe what some are looking for. But many people like to mix and match certain goth store items with DIY or vintage goth clothes, which can create a really great look.
Wicked Clothes is a bit different. It boasts “Goth meets dad jokes” with “a little funny and a little scary”… think less dresses and corsets and more t-shirts. But they are fun!
on Amazon »
Be Gone Velvet Cardigan and Atarexia Top
From Killstar, you have this velvet cardigan, Atarexia top, accompanied with your favorite choker necklace.
Be Gone Velvet Cardigan »
Atarexia Velvet Top »
Haunting Choker »
Rivet Head Mens Goth Outfit
From Lip Service and Dark in Closet, we have a goth shirt and pants outfit that will be perfect for a lot of men.
Rivet Head Work Shirt »
Daily Wear Long Rivet Trousers »
Crescent Faux Leather Minidress and Hat Outfit
From Restyle, here is a faux leather goth mini dress and accompanying hat that is, well, hot.
Crescent Faux Leather Mini Dress »
Moon Phases Hat »
Photo by Elyas Pasban on Unsplash
Photo by Tanya Dusett on Unsplash
Last Updated on January 3, 2023.
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