There are many goth types that have materialized over the last 50 years. The punk and goth style generally emerged out of the 1970s, but with any talk of cultures and subcultures, there is so much overlap and different categorizations of the music, art, and fashion of different regions and people. So punk begat post-punk, grunge, and so much more. And goth begat music and fashion that evolved into pastel goth, emo, and many others. And yes, something called nu goth.
Among other reasons, there was an interest in deeming something outside of or a subset of goth style, primarily in the 1990s and into the new millennium. This nu-goth is a new type of goth that for many was more modern and took elements of other styles. But what is it exactly?
What is Nu Goth?
The term “nu-goth” was coined by British journalist Dan Savage in the late 1990s to describe a new wave of goth bands who were inspired by industrial music rather than punk or post-punk. These bands included Rosetta Stone, Penumbra and Dope Stars Inc., all of whom had an influence on the first wave of nu-goth bands to emerge in more recent years such as Cold Cave and The Last Shadow Puppets.
Nu-goth fashion and imagery focuses a lot on the romanticization of witches, paganism, and the occult. It’s a modernization in certain ways, while emphasizing some aspects of the traditional goth aesthetic. Some nu-goths tend to favor bright colors like pink, purple, or orange instead of the traditional black clothes associated with traditional goths, which aligns them closely with the pastel goth scene. They also wear more modern styles such as skinny jeans and heels rather than gothy combat boots that have been popular among other goths for decades.
Nu-goth music often combines elements of electronica with guitars and drum beats that are reminiscent of industrial rock bands such as Nine Inch Nails or Ministry. Nu-goth singers tend to have high pitched voices similar to those of punk singers but often add electronic effects such as Auto Tune to make different sounds.
There is a strong connection to the trad goth scene that originated in the UK and Celtic goth aesthetic of the 1980s and 90s, but nu-goth fashion and style has clearly became its own thing since. Also the mix of sleek, modern clothes and witch/pagan imagery visually ties them with pastel goth clothing as well as many other subcultures that emphasize occult clothing and symbology.
Nu Goth Fashion Brands and Stores
The goth clothing industry is a growing one, with many brands focusing on creating clothes that reflect all the different interests of each and every culture and subculture. When it comes to goths, that means catering to all the subcultures of the subcultures, which means nu goths, pastel goths, lolita goths, hippie goths, and so on.
While many of the nu goth fashion clothes, brands, and stores below are good places to start, they are generally good places to look for all types of related goth clothes that mix well with the nu-goth style.
Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. You can buy anything from vintage clothes to handmade jewelry. That certainly can mean a lot of modern nu goth fashion looks. If you’re looking for something specific, like a pair of goth or punk boots or a nice piece of goth jewelry (or even something a little racy like some goth lingerie), you can search through thousands of items. You can also sort your results by price, popularity, seller ratings, and even categories.
Find at Etsy »
Killstar is a fashion and life style brand established in 2010 in the United Kingdom. Their motto is “In Goth we trust” while they offer a large collection of goth clothing and accessories, including nu goth, pastel goth, and corporate goth clothing. They claim that their products have a “twist of darkness, channeling emotion and raw energy into every stitch”. They have a wide range of goth clothes, with items ranging from casual wear to formal wear. They have a strong social media following and have become a major brand in the goth niche. They have a lot of goths decor, which can fit many who also want to add a gothic touch to their homes.
TragicBeautiful.com is an online store that sells gothic and occult clothing and accessories, including items from Killstar, PunkRave, RazorBlade, and other major brands. They also sell custom made products.
Nu Goth Fashion Ideas
Moon and Rose Top and Skirt
This pentagram top and accompanying skirt speaks to the nu goth aesthetic, which is paganism and occult inspirations mixed with a modern sensibility. You can add some occult jewelry or something brighter and consider it rave wear for a night out.
Over the Rainbow Knit Sweater from Killstar
Channel a bit of 90s grunge paired with a nu-goth style with this soft-knit sweater, perfect for layering – or wear as a statement piece. The rainbow design and extra long length mean it can easily be dressed up or down.
Goth Barbed Wire Leggings
Pentagram Halter Top
This comfy and flattering look speaks to those who want to flash a bit of the elegant while proudly displaying a nu-goth pentagram design.
Satanic Baphomet Shirt
Rock on. Nu-goth men rejoice, for Baphomet is here. Be comfortable while rocking this oversized shirt.
Photo by Erik Mclean
Last Updated on July 9, 2022.