Natalie Westling in ‘Mourning Glory’ by Inez & Vinoodh for W Magazine, September 2015

I mean…the title says it all, doesn’t it? I’ve never been comfortable calling myself “goth,” and I think this mostly has to do with the fact that I didn’t listen to The Cure in high school (it was Iron Maiden and King Diamond for me) I’m lukewarm about Nick Cave (but I guess I am coming around to him) and I have never once made myself up to look like Siouxsie Sioux.

I’ve written about this before and it’s no big deal, but I just don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression, like I’m some sort of dyed-in-the-wool, old-school Goth Kid. I like cats and darkness. That’s about it. Oh yeah. And black clothes!

So I guess the title of this post should have been How To Wear Black Clothes In The Summertime When You’re A Goth Fraud And Summer Is Almost Over But Summer Is Never Really Over In Florida And Oh Yeah I Guess I Like Nick Cave Now.

With the exception of the first one (which I just created two minutes ago, as an update to this post–and I will probably do the same next year!) Many of these are older ensembles I created, but honestly, looking at them all, I feel like I could have put these together yesterday. They all feel pretty timeless to me! No details are included for these particular ones because as they are from a few years ago, the information is no longer available. Otherwise, I have linked to more details! As always, if there’s anything you want to know more about, drop me a line or leave a comment, and I will try to recall it for you!

click for details


Look One

Look Two

Look Three

Look Four

Look Five

Look Six

Look Seven

Look Eight

Look Nine

Look Ten

Solstice Lilac says

Thank you, this is the eye candy I needed on the first of September, housebound, eager for fall to arrive but readying myself for another dry, dead-plants, gritty week of 95-F temperatures, and missing the days when I bothered to get dressed. Naturally I gravitated first to the dress in Look Four... pull it over my head and that's it, dressed. But I think the dress in the last one is the dress I really want to be wearing. And all the jewelry. I remember wearing jewelry. And perfume. And shoes of any kind. SIGH. Thank you, with love, from the dog days of quarantine summer 2020...

S. Elizabeth says

Oh my lord, when was the last time I wore shoes?? I don't even rememeber!

Harlow Skalwold says

Omg lady. Goth is lifestyle and attitude, not the music you listen to. You are so goth. At least as goth as me. I consider myself proudly part goth, and part whatever the hell I'm into this year...

S. Elizabeth says

I read something recently that I really just loved in Leila Taylor's Darkly: Black History and the Gothic Soul.

"It may use horror, death, melancholy, and the macabre in its methodology, but the gothic (and goth) is above all else romanticism. Both the gothic and the romantic have the issue of being nebulous things to define, but they both “privilege the imagination” over reason, and resist bourgeois social norms for what is internal and emotional. The Gothic is an anathema To order and rationality, forgoing restraint for access. It will always choose the fanciful over the pragmatic, the numinous over the tangible...”

If that’s goth, well, then that’s me 1000%! But this quote is taken out of context, and I think it would be irresponsible to ignore it and not share the rest of it. She goes on to say that (as a Black person who identifies as goth) "if you are black, to willingly succumb to a life of whimsy is foolish at the least and dangerous at the worst. Colonialism comes with vigilance, with the exhausting strain of disaster preparedness, and this frivolous pursuit is a belly exposing vulnerability."

Harlow Skalwold says

Well, I would like to tell this author that I think it is unfair and potentially damaging to tell anyone that their interests are merely frivolous and they must spend every waking hour on high alert. The mental health implications of that are just mind boggling. Apparently I cannot say it often enough - you can have interests in multiple things, multiple causes, multiple fears. And new problems arise all the time. It does not mean any one is less important than the other. And if you do not allow yourself a release, and some relief, and some self care while you're at it, you are not going to be able to give your all to anything as your mental health degrades. Since when does being goth mean that you don't care about anything else? Also, how does pragmatism come into this??

Harlow Skalwold says

Okay, you followed an out of context quote with an out of context quote! Thank you for sending me the rest, I feel a bit better about life now.

HeavyMetalJess says

I think look 9 iscalling to me the most, but I can't ignore my love of ye ol' Mortiis in look 5!

S. Elizabeth says

I have a million tee shirts and yet I think I really need that one!

idolon says

Thanks for a lovely collection! Goth for me has always been more a state of mind than a "look", but that being said - do you recall any details on the shirt in Look 6 or the dress in Look 9?

S. Elizabeth says

Well, ok! I am not sure what version of this you saw because I swapped out the shirt in six when a friend reminded me that the guy who runs that site is a neo-Nazi, blech! That shirt was from Actual Pain. The Mortiis shirt that is there now is from Mortiis' official site

And I can't be *totally* sure, but I think the tank/dress/whatever that is in look nine is from Ann Demeulemeester!

idolon says

Ok, thanks for the warning re: Actual Pain, yuck!

Cristin says

How I want all of these outfits!!!

And I relate-- never listened to a lot of goth music, but if we're talking strolls through cemeteries and long bouts of melancholy and a penchant for black lace, then yes. I was actually musing the other day about how cultural identities and groups (at least in America) are related to the music one listens to....probably more so than one's job or career. Religion is probably the strongest unifying identity, and then music after. A testament to the power of music-- but also the disruptive power inherent in the new wave of art being created. Music is "falling out of genre" more and more these days...which I think is a good thing. We shall see where we are post-covid...

S. Elizabeth says

Yes, this is a great point! And HA--take that, goths! I love the new Miley Cyrus song!

theodora says

You have the best taste as always, I would wear every single one of those outfits. And you are totally goth and always will be. Its a state of mind ;) as many people have said already. I wear a lot more than just black nowadays but I always will be goth at heart and inclined towards spooky things. I don't try to 'be' anything its just the way I think ;)

S. Elizabeth says

It's interesting, I am coming out of my "all black everything" phase, as well!

Kitten Maven says

ooo Look #10 tell me all about all of that~!!!

S. Elizabeth says

That's definitely one of the ensembles where the details were lost, however, I do recall quite a few of them! The pendant is the Watchful Eye from Chase & Scout, the shoes are probably Jeffrey Campbell, the sunnies are from Valley Eyewear, the perfume is from Heretic, the lipstick is KvD and the compact is Anna Sui. Undies are probably from Journelle. I wish I could tell you about the dress, the hat, and the handbag but I don't remember. I can tell you that I find a lot of stuff like this at so you may find something similar!

Anita says

I love Goth in hs but was too self conscious to embrace it. I am finding myself at 65

S. Elizabeth says

I love that you are keeping yourself open to change--that's fabulous!

Theodora says

As always you have the best taste 👌

S. Elizabeth says

As always, you are just the sweetest!

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