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Nov 3, 2010

"Good Goth!" The rise of the fashion subculture

Readers, as little as I know about fashion, I know even less about fashion subcultures.  But I would like to learn and I need your help.

I've always been intrigued by groups of people who like to dress in unusual ways and hang out together.  I know a lot of groups have found their inspiration in rock bands.  Since the last band I listened to was The Partridge Family, I'm way out of the loop.

I think Goth has to do with dressing like a corpse and eroticizing death.  Is that the basic gist of it? I hope I don't sound glib.

As with every Western fashion subculture, there exists its slightly kooky Japanese hybrid.  Hence Gothic Lolita:

Kind of Goth, kind of TGIF cocktail waitress.

As a child of the Seventies, my first exposure to fashion subcultures was the greaser.  There was a popular Broadway musical, Grease, which celebrated greaser culture.  (Who didn't perform a version in their high school or summer camp?)  And there was Fonzie on TV's Happy Days.

Real greasers were working class kids in the Fifties who liked to race cars, cut school, and smoke cigarettes.  They were called greasers because they put a lot of grease in their hair.  There was no mousse.

Of course today the greaser is little more than a nostalgic memory.  When you are child's Halloween costume, it's over.

Needless to say, the Japanese love the greaser too.

As I got older, I became aware of punks.  Punks wore black leather jackets like the greasers, but they also liked to put safety pins through their clothes and bodies and they could be violent.  I read a book by the late Malcolm McLaren, who managed the Sex Pistols, all about the early days of punk, but I forgot what it said.

Like the Goths, punks wore a lot of black and eye makeup, but in a more varied palette.   Where the goth is black and blurry-edged, the punk is metallic and sharp.  Ouch!

Here is the somewhat more wholesome Japanese version.  Is it me or are they always holding shopping bags?

Finally, there's Emo. I had never heard of Emo but I'd see the term used in ads on Ebay for things like used Lacoste tennis shirts.  I had to look it up.  Kind of adolescent skater-dude meets preppy-with-dirty-hair.

Of course there are other fashion trends: saggers, grunge, preppies, rappers -- but I'm not sure they constitute true fashion subcultures.  Or do they?  I don't know.

Readers, I fear I have done an injustice to fashion subcultures around the world.  I don't get out much and my musical tastes tend toward Your Hit Parade circa 1953 with a dash of late-era Lerner and Loewe.  I'm odd that way. 

In closing, forgiving friends, have you ever been a member of a fashion subculture?  What did your parents think? 

Do you long for the days when you could pull on a pair of Doc Martens, paint on some black eyeshadow, stick something sharp through your nose, and feel like you belonged?

Or perhaps you are a parent of a child in a fashion subculture.  Are you sweetly indulgent or openly hostile and given to rageful fits?

Have I missed any fashion subcultures of importance?  Can you tell us about them and what they represent? 

Please enlighten us sheltered city folk!


  1. Peter,

    My 13-yr-old teenage daughter (and 12-almost-13-yr-old daughter) have both informed me that "emo" means "goth" plus you "cut yourself, too." Ewwww....

    This was after they corrected me for saying "Emu". "Mama, it's NOT A FLIGHTLESS BIRD IN AUSTRALIA, it's EMO."


    1. Sorry but, Your daughters are wrong.
      Emo stands for “emotional” and not everyone who is in that style cuts themselves or is emotional.
      Anyone can cut themselves, and you shouldn’t be saying “eeew” over something like that. That’s the kind of attitude that makes them do it in the first place. They just need a friend. :)
      Goth…well is just Gothic, Victorian style clothing, finding beauty in dark things. People in the style tend to be very cultured actually. They like opera and classical music, I’ve even known a few that enjoy a little tea time.

    2. It's actually a music-based subculture and it "emoticore" (a hybrid of emotive and hardcore, I believe). And goth is a post-punk music derived subculture. And that is terrible stereotyping.

  2. For a great glimpse of biker/greaser/rockabilly fashion as reinvented in Japan, see:

    - Peter

  3. All of my knowledge of fashion subcultures comes from south park. I consider myself well informed (ha ha) and wish we lived in a steampunk world where everything is sepia toned. I'm off to work on my nanowrimo novel. thanks for the daily inspiration!

  4. Oh no, I forgot Steampunk! (What is that again..?)

  5. since I went to high school in Seattle in the 90's I have to protest that grunge is too a legitimate subculture! although I can't actually imagine it catching on any where other than the Pacific Northwest. we all wore our clothes too big and lots of flannel and if it didn't come from the thrift store it didn't count. the style reminds me of the depression that can only come with months of rainy days, of slightly gritty independent coffee houses, a tinge (but just a tinge) of rebellion and of course the music (isn't Eddie Vedder dreamy? ;) Now I'm feeling quite nostalgic....


  6. 'Emo' is short for 'emotional'. A big difference between the sub-cultures is probably the emotion. (this is a blatant stereotyping); Goths are 'sad', Punks are 'angry', Emos are 'whiny'. Also they all like very different music.
    Emo also lead to the 'Scene' look as well. But Scene was more of a Myspace thing I think they take photos with their camera held above their heads and with their hair in their eyes. Most Emos would not appreciate being called Scene.
    I tried to do 'Grunge' and 'Punk' in high school and discovered I didn't care enough to do anything but wear whatever I want to wear.
    Also a BIG part of these subcultures is the music scene, and I've never been really into musical elitism.
    Because I'm trendy I float at the edge of the new(ish) 'hipster' culture. You know those kids that wear the skinny jeans and the plaid shirts with the facial hair. They care about the environment and hang out in coffee shops to much and have ironic tattoos. But ultimately I am to lazy to put that much effort into 'being cool'...

    Next I'm kinda hoping for that 'asexual' style to become big. Where people dress in a way that makes it hard to tell their gender. I've heard it's big in Japan and I find the whole idea fascinating. With the influx of boys in skinny jeans and girls in 'boyfriend jeans' it just seems like the next step.

    P.S. Steampunk is when people dress like time travelers from Victorian times. I've heard it described as 'The Future as Imagined in the Past'. Specifically 'what if things were still steam powered'. It's fashion for nerdy people.

    1. Nerdy people? More like fashion for those who can appreciate the beautiful clothing we used to wear. Not like now, where girls walk around half naked with there tits and butt hanging out and boys with there butt hanging out of pants that look like they're about to fall to the ground.
      Granted, not all people dress that way...but a large majority does and it’s sad to see.
      I miss the way we used to look.

    2. *Their
      (oops, wrong “their”, sorry.) ovo;

    3. Loren- androgynous, not asexual.
      Anon- You're correct, they are not nerds. They are all geeks. And there are plenty of goths, scensters, emos, and steampunks
      who dress like two-bit harlots.

  7. And don't forget the subcultures *within* the subcultures. When I was in high school, I was deathrock/goth. Then in my last couple years in college we started seeing glitter-goths, mopey-goths, perky-goths, my-little-pony-goths, rivetheads, trad-goth, goes on and on, getting a tad bit ridiculous honestly.

    For some comic relief on the subect:

    1. and now theres pastel goth as well which mixes cute things in pastel colors with some "creepy things", that seems more like a hipster or grunge style with alot of pastel colors and odd patterns and whatnot like eyeballs with bows and ribbons and stuff, crosses and/or inverted crosses, text that looks like its dripping,etc.

  8. Not to nitpick but your Gothic Lolita picture is not Gothic Lolita.

    Mori Girl-meaning Forest Girl is a very interesting sub culture from Japan. It uses lots of layering, light understated colors, and light fabrics.

    Its not nearly flashy enough for me, but I am fond of it

  9. You're also forgeting the whole culture of street kids who are vegan eco-hippies who only shop at co-ops and whole foods with dreads and only listen to indie rock. This culture is generally anti big government and ride on tall bikes (bicycles built doubly high, usually they weld them themselves) and are babbling extra hard about freedom these days. The clothing sort of includes things from grunge influence to punk influence,I've seen some rockabilly styles in this culture. My biggest exposure to this culture was in Minneapolis, but there is quite a bit of it in Atlanta within the art community and in the people who frequent little 5 points...

    And I know it's been mentioned, but Rockabilly is HUGE in the south, but that culture has many subcultures as well... Gothabilly, psychobilly, etc, each with a little bit different music tastes and a little bit different style of dress.

  10. If you want to know more about goth and related styles, both as fashion subculture and as 'life-style', I can recommend this website:

    Nathan Strange is right: there are, in goth and without doubt in many other subcultures as well, a lot of sub-divisions and cross-overs.

    I used to do the 'romanti-goth' look years ago but listened to metal (in the Netherlands, there was a cross-over with gothic-metal music).
    I really liked the victorian inspired stuff I found on the net and practised wearing corsets for quite a while, but never went that far on a day-to-day basis. I did wear a lot of black and long skirts in velvet, satin and lace. I never wore trailing sleeves, I tried but those drove me crazy. (I started sewing back then, and posted some of those skirts here:

    I still like the look on others, but it doesn't feel like 'me' anymore.

  11. I am/ was a goth girl. I did the whole bondage pants thing, the fish nets when I would go out and of corse, the black leather trench coat. Now I am in grad school for chemistry and have learned that there is a time and place for everything. I go to work in grownup clothing, but when I go out I get back into my old gear. I love my Docs and my leather. My mother HATED the way I dressed. There is something nice about belonging to a subculture, like a little secret that you can share with some one. As for Emo... well lets just say I would offend people with my opinion.

    1. Defending My SubcultureMarch 23, 2012 at 2:54 AM

      What you describe isn't goth, it's just a slutty version of punk.

      Most Goths dress in modest, olden-day, Victorian clothing, see beauty in dark things, are fond of classical music, like literature and poetry and are smarter than the average person. No offense, but you're clearly not one of us.

    2. Person defending their subculture- you clearly don't know anything about "your" subculture if you think that all goths are like that.

    3. Excuse me, 'Defending My Subculture." While I am very happy to hear that you are a romantic Goth, a type of the subculture, I would like to enlighten you.

      There are a LOT of kinds of goth. Victorian type things fall under Romantic Goth, but also under Victorian and Vampiric Goth. Other types include but certainly are not limited to:

      Cyber Goth
      Traditional (Trad) Goth
      Cabaret Goth
      Medieval Goth
      Pastel Goth
      Corporate Goth (goth toned down for work)
      Fetish goth,
      and of course Negative or Ice goth.

      Please go google these things, as your horizons will be broadened C:

  12. Goth is the weird older sibling who got into coding and obscure metal/hardcore bands before anyone else, and who wears black to fade into the background.

    Emo is the whiny younger sibling who believes nothing is fair, and who wants to be seen, be noticed, be totally individual, just like all of their friends.

    I remember when emo was a genre, and announcing a track as 'emo' on the radio. I went away to France for a year, and when I came back it was a fully-fledged lifestyle choice. Bah.

  13. Something just made me want to say, "Edward Scissorhands," outloud.
    And I thought the first photo looked more like Adam Lambert and less like Marilyn Manson.

  14. I was too young for punk but loved 80s goth, which for me involved listening to lots of Bauhaus and other moody, gloomy UK bands, and dressing in black. My walls were covered in b/w pictures of doomed poets, German expressionist films, and other clichés dripping with angst... I could never go the whole hog though (never died my hair black nor did I wear lots of make-up) as even then, anything that involved being part of a subculture made me want to run a mile. None of my friends were goth, and when I went to gigs and concerts it was always on my own, of my own choice. I feel the same way about vintage today... love it, but keen to steer clear of any 'sub-culture' aspect to it.

    Steampunk is fab, like 80s goth but with a sense of humour... Whereas modern goth is horrible, a nasty caricature of what it once was.

  15. I enjoy all these fashion subcultures as a spectator . . . I admire the energy and the imagination involved. Are you contemplating put a goth spin on your houndstooth? I think it could work!

  16. I have a subscription to Gothic Beauty magazine. I get it for the same reason I subscribe to Harpers Bazaar-for the fashion. I find that the subcultures are much more interesting, clothing wise-adventurous, and unafraid to rage against the Old Navy/Apostrophe mentality. I love steampunk-watered down Victoriana, with a touch of metal! I dress like a farm girl most of the time, but for glam nights out, it is vintage 40's all the way for me. But, I do admire those that choose a genre, and see it all the way through, in their daily life. Home sewers are a subculture too, complete with sub-genres ranging from the "crafty" to the "technical purists". I think whatever you choose to wear, you should wear it proudly! We should all be able to express our individuality, without freaking out the unadventurous masses. ...

  17. I'm a 5%er, though I don't consider that a 'sub-culture' since it IS how I live... But as a female, I am required to wear clothes that covers 3/4ths of my body. So whereas I wear clothes that are current (sometimes), they don't look completely the same as other women's clothes do. I, personally, don't wear pants and I cover me head when I'm not in the house. And I'm not a child either. I've got a couple of decades under my belt....


  18. I've heard of Steampunk described as "goth that doesn't scare your parents" LOL. It's lovely to look at, for sure.

    I think ultimately most of these style subcultures are about advertising your identity. It makes it easy to pick out people you might like or have something in common with or just find interesting. This is especially convenient/important in high school, when you have the time and freedom (barring a few parental protests and school dress codes) to spend crafting your "look". I noticed it drop off considerably in university. Other things, like getting good grades or getting and keeping a job, become more important.

    I'm still not sure if anyone self-identifies as emo; but then I'm a little out of touch with the teen crowd right now.

  19. OH I had no idea what steampunk was either.... It's always good to read the comments.

  20. I want to be a goth sewist. You know, instead of sewing the fabric I just pin the pieces to myself. Think it'll catch on?

    Jeff in VA

  21. Steampunk is sort of a fantasy world where we live in our own time period, but under the assumption that the digital age never happened. We are all still living as though we still thrive on steam power - hence the name Steampunk. In this 'world' we have all the same things we do now, just created in a way that doesn't require computers - and with a lot more Victorian-ish, fancy, rigged, mechanical-looking clothing. It's pretty neat, actually, but not for the lazy, that's for sure. :)

  22. By the way, I'm waaaaay too old to really understand that stuff I just talked about. Don't even ask me how I know about it.

  23. I was a "punk," even travelled the world to see my favourite punk bands. I wore the fishnets, animal prints, exposed zippers, studded jackets and safety pinned patches. I wish I could still wear those clothes everyday and not have people treat me like I'm an idiot, so they'll only come out for special occasions (like when one of my fav band comes to town).

    Punk clothing in Canada is slightly different that punk in the States, both of which are widely different than that in the UK and Japan (oh, and the German ones are just scary). Within punk there are different ways to dress too, you can dress street punk (think 80's with studs, safety pins, bleach), '77 punk (think the Clash or Sex Pistols), hardcore, thrash, new wave, psychobilly (I tend to think of it being more off of punk than rockabilly), etc.

    Really it's like what Tanitisis said, the way you dress makes it easier to find friends with the same interests as you (in my case music and partying).

    As for my parents, my mom objected to the short skirts, esp. the ones that had zippers up the sides (bondage skirts), but that was really it.

  24. I discovered steampunk when looking for help on sewing a men's frock coat and found beautiful clothing. The joke is the aviator goggles - the easiest item for most people and those who want a quick costume. I think it is one of the easier sub-cultures to wear (at least for women) as not many react strongly to ruffled blouses, longer skirts or up-do hair styles. After finishing the Edwardian frock coat I really want to make one for myself - shouldn't every coat have a bit of swing as you turn to leave?

  25. I used to live in Japan. My hairdresser was located at the end of Takeshita Street which is the main drag in Harajuku. I'd exit the train and fight my way through throngs of goth-Lolitas and the tourists there to gawk at them every 6 weeks.
    I know it all looks bizarre to westerners, but if you had any idea how rigid their societal rules are, you'd understand. It didn't seem strange to me at all knowing a bit about the culture. It's one of the few ways for them to really rebel without stepping out of line. There is no rebellion there. They wouldn't even consider it.

  26. Wow, this post and the comments are SO educational! Here is New Zealand we have a thriving Steampunk culture in a small coastal town called Oamaru. Just google it. There's an annual festival, fashion parade, art exhibition and other things.

  27. What do I know about fashion? I live in a town populated by hippies who are wearing the clothes they inherited from their hippy parents. Yes, the same clothes. And they still haven't washed them. I'm going to San Francisco tomorrow for a holiday with people who wash.

  28. Carol, I do so hope you're not disappointed! ;)

  29. Sure, I was an '80s post-punk kid with the nose ring and the chain and the ratted out Exene hair and the combat boots and the little kilt and the eyeliner and the irony. My parents thought I was adorable.

    My husband (who I didn't meet until the nineties) was a huuuuge glam-goth guy (big hair, fishnet opera gloves, graveyard self portraits, platform boots) and I'm sure we would have totally mocked each other -- clashing subcultures!

  30. I was part of the goth clubbing scene for about 13 years. It wasn't about death per se, although 'dark' imagery is popular. Mostly it's middle-class kids using it as a nonpoliticised form of rebellion (as opposed to the more left-wing, anarchist punk) - and after a few years of that it becomes part of who you are rather than such a self-conscious 'statement'. After all, rebellion is fairly limited when it's about conformity to a subculture. The club scene is what you do on weekends and where you see your friends. Music also plays a big part in it.

    My parents were horrified - no so much about appearances than that I was clubbing at the age of 15.

  31. In high school I was a punk kid. All my friends were. Most of my guy friends had mohawks at some point. We wore safety pins on everything, leather jackets, Chuck Taylor sneakers and generally looked a lot like the Ramones. Sure, I wear job appropriate clothes, but mostly black. Now that I'm a cook again, I can be a little more free with my wardrobe. I don't think I've changed all that much. I've grown up, but I think I'm still the same person.

  32. I think I pretty much went through very small phases of all of the above, mainly because I had no income and my parents wouldn't really allow me much leeway. I did a little punk, a little goth, a little raver even (you can see a really nice photo here:
    If you really want to do your research you should check out "A Field Guise to the Urban Hipster". It is pre-Steampunk and a bit tongue-in-cheek, but oh well!

  33. In my teens I was a metal chick. doc martens, band t shirts, leather biker jacket and OH so tight black jeans. sometimes the boots would be swapped for high top baseball boots.
    even the metal thing was 2 tiered.Glam metal look for those who were into the Poison, Guns n Roses type bands, usually a watered down , floaty scarf wearing, fluffy haired version of the heavy metal kids.


  34. I love stuff about subculture,so this was an interesting read. Im a rockabilly so I suppose im in your '50s greaser' part - well sort of! - although I think the rockabilly menfolk may be somewhat offended at your suggestion that its just for halloweeen!! I think you will find that Rockabilly is such a HUGE subculture that a lot of people (especially in the US) are in to :)
    I have dressed this way for about 5 years now, have my hair in 50s styles, dress in 50s and 50s style clothes, listen to 50s music and go to weekenders and 50s themed events. I just love the whole thing, the look, the cars, and to be honest - its more interesting than the majority of what modern day life offers!

  35. I'm a total steampunk. I usually describe it to people as Victorian with gadgets, Victorian plus modern or Victorian on steroids. I like it because it means I can dress in crazy bustled gowns and no one cares. :) While I don't do steampunk 24/7 (although I have some friends that do), my group of friends and I do go out to the local goth club dressed in our steamy attire quite frequently.

  36. I was an 80s punk wanna-be. Tough to be authentic punk when you live on a farm in western MN.

  37. I'm into sort of fringe fashion from the 30's and 40's with a healthy dose of refashioning and green fabrics. What does that make me? A Depressant? I think the commenter who said that clothing can be used to "pick out" like-minded people is correct. I also use it as a way to maintain my separate identity since I'm a white English-speaking immigrant in a white, English-speaking country. Fashion sub-cultures are all about forging an identity outside the mainstream, for whatever reason.

  38. I'm a Steampunker, my teen son is 'Scene' which is post-emo. And they say it like that- "oh, she is so Scene"...kind of glam/emo crash.
    They don't cut themselves and wear white.

  39. Oh, hey. Old post is old but I just wanted to pop in to say I used to be very into gothic lolita. Including a pilgrimage to Tokyo for shopping. I moderate one of the largest lolita forums on the internet. I agree that fashion is a way to sort out like-minded folks. This is especially important for young people who are unable to live in places of choice or participate in cultural happenings as they desire. My favorite thing about Gothic Lolita is that it is a true mix of DIY and designer fashion. People share their sewing techniques and still spend $300 on a pair of shoes/$150 on a blouse from a lolita designer.

  40. Oh, to add. The main two gothic lolita magazines always include patterns along with photoshoots of the popular clothing brands. It is a DIY dream; we share the sewing experience with the designers. I think Cathy could use a lolita outfit.


  41. "Emo" kids don't all cut themselves. That's just a stereotype.

  42. Um so so many people think that emo is same as goth;" they have both informed me that "emo" means "goth" " as said in the first comment.. Which is, should you ask ANY goth, totally ridiculous and so wrong. Many young teens want to be "emos", but goht is definitely something else.
    also this "Goth is the weird older sibling who got into coding and obscure metal/hardcore bands before anyone else, and who wears black to fade into the background." comment made me wonder if I should cry or laugh; someone who OBVIOSLY has NO idea about what she's talking about comes with this metal stereotype. It is true that many goths listen to heavy musik, but the "real" Goth musik is gothic rock and it evolved from punk. Most goths also don’t want to fade into the background, but rather look different from the dull masses.. but that’s not a 100% fact to be said about all goths. Furthermore, most goths are very nice people and don’t just sit home being "sad"!
    I hope some people reads this comment, the sterotypisied satanist goth who lives alone in some dark room and wants to cut himself is.. not the truth :)

  43. wow- these comments are all kinds of stereotyping. Sad.

  44. I would have to imagine that any kind of generalized discussion about various subcultures would rely heavily on stereotypes. They came to exist for a reason...

  45. Hi-I have a seamstress for more than 40 years.
    I have been asked by a group of "Goth" guys to make "skirts" for them. I was wondering if you knew where to purchase patterns or do I have to create my own. I like to see guys sewing. I do not think its a female thing. Some of the best sewers I know have been men.

  46. Hi, Sue. Go to and do a search (click "all items") under "Goth Sewing Pattern." You'll find a lot there.

  47. I was never a true Goth because it was only a phase for me; within a year of being labelled gothic, I had switched my corsets and long black skirts for skinny jeans and hoodies. My emo stage was too a phase, and it lasted for only a couple of years.

    Fashion subcultures for me, are when people begin dressing in a style that suits the music they listen to. A lot of the subculture is also wanting to feel different. Whilst I no longer belong to any particular style, I still feel the same about looking different; I dress quite conservatively and old-fashioned, but mix it up with lots of piercings and bright hair. Although I certainly would never be labelled as gothic anymore, I respect the subculture.

    A lot of people complain about the subcultures in saying that by dressing the same, they are no longer different. I disagree with this. There are so many people in the world that it is virtually impossible to make oneself entirely individual, and if dressing the same as your friends makes you feel good, then so be it. Fashion is about expressing yourself. Whatever style people go for, whether it be 'chavvy', 'scene', or just plain the same as everyone else, it is just fashion and I think it is great.

  48. Goth is more than just a 'fashion subculture', it's simply a 'subculture'. There is way more to goth than clothes, most of it's about lifestyle, interests and personality. You can dress however you want and still be a goth, although most goths like me wear olden day inspired and Victorian style clothing and see beauty in the darker side of life.

    I noticed someone wrote about goth having something to do with bondage clothing and sluttiness. That is NOT true. Clearly some people have no idea what they're talking about.

    1. If by "most goths like me" you mean "most Victorian goths", then carry on. If you mean that most "real goths, like you, because you are a real goth", then stop adding more incorrect stereotypes. And there's this funny thing called slut goth, and another funny thing called fetish goth, both are legitimate subsets of the subculture. Weird huh?

  49. I'd say you're definition of the Gothic subculture is a bit off. Not exactly dressing like corpses, or eroticizing death, either. As for the clothing style, there are quite a few subgenres within the subgenre, such as Victorian goth, which are more like the kind in your photo, which tends to be the preferred look among the more intelligence types that are interested in History as well as Anthropology and other cultured type of interests. The clothing is usually styled after the Victorian era, or similar times and then changed to fit the aesthetic the person likes. A lot of them make their own clothing as well. It takes a lot of work to get ready to leave the house, let alone create these intricate clothing items like corsets and petticoats. This type can usually be used interchangeably with "Romantic Goth", which is exactly as it founds, romantic style of clothing, corsets, bustles, even with the males having Victorian long coats and such, a more romantic time. Not to stereotype too much, but they also tend to love books. But who doesn't?
    There are other subgenres as well, like the industrial goth types, which tend to use neon colors and have fake hair extensions with matching colors of their clothing, they copy some Japanese designs as well like the crazy leg warmer dealies and such.
    There's also the mall goth type, this is pretty easy to spot and understand, usually shop at hot topic and take way less time getting ready than the above. Usually the less liked of the group since they don't tend to adhere to the same sort of way of thinking as most other goth types, which is peaceful, romantic, and intelligence mixed in with the elegance of darkness type of thinking. But the whole genre altogether, what brings them together, is their love of the beauty within darkness. It's about questioning the norm and looking into the unknown for yourself and finding your own truth. Death might be romanticized, or even a large interest, but usually it's not an erotic thing, at least most of the time. But that's an individual thing as well. But the reason it is an interest is because goths tend to have an interest in the unknown, and trying to figure out the mysteries of life.

  50. Cont...

    Steampunk is also a good one you didn't mention, I'd probably list it with the gothic subculture and not punk though, I believe the "punk" of it comes from cyberpunk, the William Gibson genre of gritty future-technology laced futures where corporations rule everything and digital ports in human brains and such, Steam punk is just the steam-machine version of the digital cyberpunks. Not to be confused with cybergoth, which is the same as industrial goth really.

    It really does start to get pretty complex after a while since there are so many different subgenres. But these are not just fashion subcultures usually. I know with Japanese fashion, some of these people switch to extremes very easily, like the guy from Malice Mizer who turned into a pretty pop band guy... but for most people who tend to get interested in darker subcultures, it's because they can relate their personality to the aesthetics. The outside matching the inside, sort of thing. At least with the more complex subgenres within the subculture, since they take a great deal of money and time to perfect.

    Well, as for the others, I think punk has a very divisions as well, but most people are familiar with this genre more commonly than others.
    The whole emo thing, I'm not sure if it really exists anymore since the whole hipster movement, which I still think those "scene" kids, emo, hipsters, are all basically the same thing to an extent, while emo copies mall goths, usually cheaply, hipsters have a sort of mod thing going on. But it's not really a fashion more than an egotism thing, from what I've heard and seen. Anyone can call themselves hipster as long as they try to say they liked something before everyone else did, and always talk down to people around them when they bring up a topic that might be more obscure than they understand. Not much to really look into on this front, and the fashion in not very interesting.

    Also, your Gothic Lolita are a little off as well, the ones in your photos are more plain goth than Lolita. Lolitas usually don't wear clothing higher than knee length, it's like a taboo. And it's always intricate laces and layers, less skin, too. Like a Doll look.

    1. Nice description, but Victorian goths tend to dress historically accurate, whereas romantigoth is more of a loose interpretation. Also, Cyber goth is the one you were describing, not industrial goth. And the "punk" part of steampunk was just thrown on - it has absolutely no relation to cyberpunk. Also, industrial goth is more of the antithesis of cybergoth. And emo was a movement in it's own right, it was taken over by the scene movement. Then the hipsters came and bored them all to death with talks of bands that "you probably have never heard of them- they're really obscure". The gothic lolita on the left of the picture is indeed a lolita, but the one on the right looks more visual kei.

    2. I'm very happy this comment exists, all the other ones are very aggravating.


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