It's a word that embodies much of the scene, darklings.
Whether you're turning old shirts into club-wear or buying yourself some platform boots on the interwebz, fashion tends to be a driving force in the gothic and industrial subcultures.
Since I have become more active in the club-scene, I've suddenly become aware of the paucity of appropriate fashion in my own closet. Certainly, my tolerant fellow dark-siders wouldn't judge me too harshly if I just showed up in a black t-shirt and black pants... But, part of the point of our little subculture is self-expression - often most apparent through our fashion choices. And if I can't look the way I really want when I'm in the crowd that will tolerate -- nay, even appreciate it -- well, when the hell am I supposed to dress up?
So, I've begun working on my fashion collection.
And let me tell you, kiddies, goth fashion can be god-damned expensive to buy online.
So what's a broke little gothling to do? Well, the beauty of our punk origins means that we don't have to buy in to fit in. That's right, children! Fight the Man! Fuck the System! Anarchy in the motherfucking U.K.!!
Wait... what was I talking about again? Oh, yeah... Fashion on the cheap.
Below, I'm posting an image of what I wore to the Meat vs. Death Guild night at the end of May and the total buy-in cost of each item. Let's start at the top, shall we?
- Bad-ass Welding Goggles - $12+shipping from Amazon.
- Spiked Collar - $12 after tax, from a pet store. That's right. I'm wearing a dog-collar. Bought it that day on the way home from work.
- Sleeveless Shirt- This button-up dress shirt ran me about $25 two years ago. But sweat stains had ruined it in the interim - so I couldn't wear it to work anymore. So I slashed the sleeves off (clipping off the sweat stains with them) and left the edges rough and un-hemmed. If you don't have a shirt you're willing to butcher, go to your local Goodwill or other second-hand store and pay $5-$10 for something you are willing to butcher.
- Arm Wrap - Literally a long strip of "throw-away" scrap cloth from something I had tailored for me years ago. I just tied a knot around my hand, wrapped the remainder around my arm and up again, and then knotted it again (I recommend knotting as just tucking it tends to result in it coming loose while dancing). If you want to make your own without having spare scrap cloth lying around, a yard of fabric will cost you a few bucks at a fabric store (I recommend something light, that breathes - mostly-cotton blends or muslin).
- Suspenders - You can't see them very well. But trust me, they're awesome. Cost me $12-$15 at Macy's about a year ago (remember children, sales are your friend!!)
- Pants - A pair of Dickie's I bought at Target for $20 - again, a year or more ago. Also the type of thing you can often find at a second-hand shop in a pinch.
- Go to your local Goodwill.
- Buy a shirt with tight sleeves in an appropriate color - maybe even too small for you to wear usually (guys, this might mean that you need to fish around in the girls' departments).
- Go home, and cut the sleeves off half way. Then, with a razor blade or scissors, slice a small hole in the seam near the "hand" end of the sleeve for your thumb.
- Hem or not, according to your ability or interest.
- BAM! Instant finger-less gloves.
- If you want to go really crazy, add accessories - safety pins up the back are easy and cheap, or, if you have the chain from an old chain-wallet (or any chain of a similar gauge), you can attach something like that with some well placed holes and some key-rings. Or, with a piece of ribbon, you can cut a few holes and "lace-up" your new gloves.
Any of you gothlings out there have some tips of your own for cheap/fast/easy-to-make fashion? Let me and your fellow dark-siders know in the comment section.
I also found a site called Antimony & Lace... it's a bit dated since they last changed it, but there are some interesting articles on how to sew or mod your own low-cost goth fashion. Check out the "Project" and "Articles" sections for some great info.
And gaze, again, upon the awesome handsome-ness that is me before you go.
-- Mr. M.