13 different gothic fashion styles explained

13 different gothic fashion styles explained


Gothicism is a counter-culture movement that appeared between the late 1970s and the early 1980s, after the punk and post-punk musical movements. We already explained the origin of the movement, its characteristics and foundations in the blog article Gothic movement; origins, influences and foundations.


Gothic fashion is only one element of the Gothic movement. However, it deserves a full article because it is extremely broad, complex and diversified. We will see here 13 different styles that are part of Gothic fashion. Obviously, far from us the idea of reducing each gothic to a well-defined type since everyone creates his own outfit and his own style by integrating the assets and characteristics that he likes, leaving room for their creativity. We try here to vulgarize the different categories of goth to improve common understanding.


First, you should know that certain aspects of Gothic fashion extend practically to all Gothic styles. For example, the predominant use of black color, whether in clothing or makeup. The chains, the leather, the nails and rivets, the piercings and the fishnet are also used in a preponderant way. The jewels are rather silver than gold, the clothes are often torn or unstructured and the shoes take a predominant place in the overall outfit. Also, in general, all Gothic adopt a form of artistic research in their aesthetics, which is against the stereotypes of the perfect body and look according to society. It can be said that all Goths have a desire to stand out in a society considered too conformist.


Several judgments and interpretations are affixed by the mass towards the followers of the Gothic fashion. Indeed, people tend to associate Gothic with metal music, Satanism, occultism, fascism, death, macabre, violence, witchcraft, mysticism and unbridled sexual practices such as sado-masochism and fetishism. Although this may be true for some individuals, it would be reductive to believe that all Gothics are fervent of all these elements. So, let's look at some of the existing Gothic types.


Cyber Goth

Combined with the typical use of black, Cyber Goths incorporate elements of bright, neon and fluorescent colors to their look. The style and accessories are inspired by a futuristic aestheticism. We often find colorful synthetic dreadlocks hairstyles dotted with all kinds of funky items. Cyber Goths love platform shoes and boots, accessories such as medical-style gas masks, vintage aviator-style goggles and they display a very extravagant make-up. Cyber Goths are somehow the most esthetically remote from the general Gothic movement. They also get apart with their musical choices since they are particularly fond of techno and dance music.

Cyber goth

Image source: Pinterest.



Emo Goth

Although Emo and Goth are two different styles, Emo fashion is a direct derivative of Gothic fashion, which is why we approach it here. Both come from a punk influence. The main characteristics of Emo are black or bright color hair with long bangs, dark nail polish, eyeliner and interest marked for melancholy, skulls, bats, riveted accessories, Converse type shoes and piercings.


Image source: Pinterest


Geek Goth

Geek Goths are Gothic individuals that are fanatic of video games, cosplay, science fiction and comic books. Aside from the frequent wearing of glasses, the Geek Goths are not easy to identify since they wear clothes from all gothic types and carry few accessories. This genre refers to the mix of gothic and geek interests rather than the clothing style itself.

Geek goth

Image source: Pinterest



Style originating from the mix of 50s Rockabilly and Gothic trend. There is a marked use of retro clothing and accessories, tattoos, pencil skirts, A-line dresses, striped or polka dot patterns, loops, square fringes, bright red lipstick and leather jackets.


Image source: Pinterest


Fetish Goth

Leather, PVC, tattoos, piercings, corsets, stilettos and BDSM accessories are an integral part of this style. We can find several types of fetish goth according to the object of their individual obsession. Sexuality is much more part of their aesthetics than for other types of goths. Among their favorite accessories are chains, whips and hangers.

Fetish Goth

Image source: VampireFreaks.com 


Hippy Goth

Followers of this style advocate respect for the environment and wildlife, vegetarianism, a bohemian and libertarian lifestyle, ecology, environmental activism, world peace, freedom of expression, mythology and magic. On the aesthetic side, they mix, as we can imagine, the characteristics of goth and hippy movements by loose clothing, headbands, round smoked glasses, velvet and hats.

Hippy goth

Image source: Pinterest


Lolita Goth

Born and popularized in Japan, this trend is a mix of Victorian Goth and Romantic Goth that is made for a younger audience. It is inspired by Lolita fashion adding a dark touch to it to make it a Gothic style. Lolita Goths often have large umbrellas, dolls and stuffed animals, puffed dresses and tights.

Lolita goth

Image source: Exclusivegeek



Also known as Industrial Goth, this style is largely inspired by the punk movement, even though most fans of this style tend to avoid being labeled as Gothics. It integrates trench coats, ripped jeans, straps, leather, Dr. Martens style boots, big buckle belts, heavy use of monochrome black, studs, rivets, chains, with a certain military aspect. 


Image source: Pinterest


Romantic Goth

This type is advocated by partisans of themes related to love, death and everything in between. They are fond of accessories with red or black roses, cemeteries, full moons and skulls. They are dreamers and emotional people. In addition to the typical black color, they also incorporate red wine and purple colors to their outfit. Women wear elegant dresses, lace gloves, veils and smoky-eyes makeup. Romantic Goths usually show calm, taciturn and creative personalities.

Romantic goth

Image source: Mariaamanda


Steampunk Goth

A blend of Cyber Goth and Victorian Goth, Steampunk Gothism refers to a genre sporting a sort of Victorian science fiction. It shows a lot of creativity and uses a lot of accessories often created from scratch. Bronze and copper colors, corsets, aviator style sunglasses, hats, suspenders, gloves, bracelets and dresses or trousers are used.

Steampunk goth

Image source: Pinterest


Traditional Goth

Also called Trad Goth. The followers of this style were the first of the movement and continue, despite themselves, to be the representatives of the current as such. Dressed in black, they advocate clothing made of nets, leather coats, trench coats, chains, skulls, long frizzy black hair and substantial makeup. They often incorporate items inspired by punk culture and adapt them in their own way.

Traditional goth

Source: Pinterest


Vampire Goth

Easy to spot, the Vampire Goth is obviously a style inspired by vampirism. They show pale skin, black capes, smoked glasses during their daytime outings and advocate accessories representing skulls and bats. They love vampire literature and cinema such as Anne Rice's books and Dracula's movies.

Vampire goth

Image source: Pinterest


Victorian Goth

The long dresses of the Victorian era and all that surrounds this period, such as the manners of high society, luxury, the ritual of tea, theater and literature, are advocated here. It features jewelry representing class and distinction, ball gown, long hair and a sober and classic makeup.

Victorian goth

Image source: Goth Types Wiki




Did you know that there exist more than 170 Gothic styles? We saw 13 of them here and we could have explained many others as popular like tribal goth, fairy goth, cabaret goth, corp goth, perky goth, baby bat, mopey goth or glam goth. Fans of Gothic do not hesitate to amalgamate and combine all these styles to display a look that is their own and that reflects their individual personality while claiming their refusal to fit into the mass. I hope that this article has been helpful to demystify a little the different tendencies of this very rich counter-cultural movement!



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Sources :

Le mouvement gothique  

Mode gothique Wikipedia

Gothic Society