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Sunday, 16 March 2014

5 tips for Low effort Trad Goth Style

Victorian goth and cyber goth are often viewed as the more high maintenance looks due to the masses of fabric/accessories or heavy makeup, but the original style of the eighties is in my opinion equally hard work. Having tried to do the dramatic hair, make up and clothing on a daily basis (bearing in mind this was originally a club style, not really an everyday one), I can tell you that it's a complete nightmare.

Lots of generic tips for making your life easier do apply to us all (lay out what you're wearing the night before, use one versatile everyday bag all the time instead of switching between several), and I'd certainly recommend evaluating how much time you're willing to devote to dressing up. However, there are ways to make life easier for yourself when you're in a rush and don't have time to perfect your deathhawk or pick which pair of winklepickers suit your outfit best -

Eyes OR lips

I've never really agreed with the fashion 'rule' of picking lips or eyes to focus on - particularly for going out - but for reducing the amount of effort necessary to look fabulous, choosing between wearing lipstick or eye make up can be useful ( lipstick feels pointless when I'm going out for a meal, and eye make up takes so much time in the mornings). Hell, Siouxsie Sioux, Ancient Goddess from beyond the stars deemed it worthy of gracing her face, so it's good enough for the likes of us. Feel free to go as dramatic as you wish for your choice, however!

Less hair, less fuss

Teasing takes a lot of time. Even with the new faux side cut I learned how to do from a Kazlovesbats' video (way quicker than my usual), it's decidedly more effort than my usual rolling out of bed and yanking a brush through it. If you don't want to give up your teased hair for accessories, hats or other styles (though these are also valid choices), cutting down on the amount you have to tease may be the answer. Side cuts (fake or real), hawks and shorter haircuts are less effort to style, and save you precious time in bed in the morning (I also regularly wear the style you see here, which is suitably gothy and unbelievably low effort). Speaking of having time in the morning...

Crimp the night before

I've always sworn by the adage my mother taught me - 'five minutes at night is ten in the morning'. Getting ready before bed when you don't have to rush can stop stress the next morning. For those goths who are inseperable from their crimping irons, putting in many small braids the night before can be very useful (and are also a good way to get the crimped look if you don't want to make the investment in crimping irons yet) - and as a bonus don't damage your hair as much.

Go easy on the ripped tights

Ripped tights are an easy way to take an outfit from plain to Patricia Morrison, but on the other hand they're a nightmare to get on if you slept through your alarm and are in a rush - this also applies to layering tights and other clothing items. Decorated leggings can be a good alternative for the lazy.

Put the effort into one stand out piece

This is possibly the best piece of advice I can give you; putting the effort into one standout piece of clothing (usually a patched-up jacket, coat or a vest, but it could also be a bag or other item) that you can just throw on when you don't want to make an effort and still look GAF is always worth it. Not only that, but the DIY and effort you put into it will make it a far more personal item that means far more to you as a result.

Thanks for reading!



  1. You are right, it is hard to pull off! Most of all just getting the look right, looking like you are really from the 80s, being punky enough, not just looking like someone trying to dress up as it. I can't really pull it off well, I am too Victorian at heart. This is great advice, though!

    I kind of want to get a crimper and see what it can do to my new bob cut hair. I had one as a kid and it was fun. I have done overnight crimped hair with plaits when I had long hair, but my hair is too short to do that now.

    1. Getting the balance right is definitely hard, lest you look over the top and costume-y. Conversely, I just can't do Victorian, so hats off to you.

      A bob would be very interesting to play with - Siouxsie Sioux certainly rocked hers.

  2. Good tips. I'm a proponent of less hair, less fuss: my hair is shorter than my boyfriend's. :)

    1. I'm always quite surprised after getting a hair cut how much easier it is to backcomb.

  3. definitely a fan of less hair. also more "permanent" styling options, like haircuts, hair color, tattoos, piercing. and a statement piece for sure. and boots.

    1. Permanent styling is definitely good for styling on the fly; no effort needed at all. I should have mentioned boots!

  4. Useful tips :) I especially agree with you on the make-up point. It's a lot quicker to just add some eyeliner and mascara and something like bright red, purple or black lipstick to make a statement than spend forever doing very exacting Siouxsie-esque eyes. I'd also say to swap boots with lots of straps and buckles for ones that are quicker to put on. I love my coffin-buckle winkle-pickers, but I hate doing up the coffin-buckles when I'm in a rush!

    1. I love big eyes, but it's definitely easier to tone down. I'll add in the boots one!


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