traditional goth

Traditional Gothic Style is Always in Fashion

All you need to know about Traditional Gothic Subculture

As the staple gothic style, traditional goth is the most recognizable and arguably easiest of the gothic styles to achieve. Often the first subculture that a baby goth dips their toe into, this alternative fashion style is well-known for being welcoming, broad, and familiarly beautiful. With a rich history and a dedicated community, traditional goth style is one everyone can respect.

First Seen: 1970s, 1980s

Music Style: Goth Rock bands from 80s, Deathrock, Coldwave

Famous Brands: The Cure, Bauhaus, The Cult, The Sisters of Mercy

Favourite Colour: Black

Fashion Styles: Leather jackets, fishnets, short/low waisted skirts, flat black hats, informal dresses

Hair and Make Up Styles: Big hair, stark makeup, pale skin 

What is the history of the Traditional Goth culture?

While it has evolved over the years, Trad Goth began with the new wave of Gothic music that was born in the 1970’s and 1980’s. While there is some debate as to the location origin of the style, in truth there is no real way to tell; with the music scene growing quickly around the globe, many countries saw a rise in this expressive style at around the same time, and with the same influences.

Valuing artistic expression in many ways, celebrating the macabre, and embracing surrealism, Trad Goth culture rose in popularity thanks to the freedom it offered. Traditional Goth is a welcoming subculture, with everyone from all backgrounds included equally in the scene.

What is the Trad Goth style?

While there is freedom in the way Trad Goth’s dress to express themselves, there are some key elements that are pretty instantly recognizable. These include:

  • Black clothing and accessories
  • Dramatic makeup such as Black eyeliner and heavy contour
  • Cross motifs
  • Leather jackets
  • Androgenous unisex styling
  • Felted coats
  • Footwear such as Platform boots, Combat boots, Black Mary Janes, Victorian footwear
  • Stockings and gloves
  • Layering
  • Over-the-top dramatic style
traditional gothic style

With a flair for dramatics and a strong love of unisex styling, the Trad Goth fashion look is easy to achieve and makes for an awesome wearable art. While not all Trad Goths wear black or like to experiment so freely with their style, all are welcome.

Finding your own Traditional Goth style consists of experimenting with goth clothing, and you can find lots of options on Punk Rave.

What type of music is popular for the Traditional Goth culture?

Having been created under the heavy influence of bands such as Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Flesh For Lulu, and many more, Traditional Goth music is a very important part of the culture. There are many different genres of music that fall under the Trad Goth umbrella, including:

  • Deathrock
  • Goth Rock
  • DarkWave
  • ColdWave
  • Dark Cabaret
Siouxsie and the Banshees

This music is strong and dramatic; made of thematic albums that capture the mood, values and aesthetics of the style in a haunting and captivating way.

Where would I see some Trad Goth representation in media?

You can find examples of Trad Goth culture in a wide variety of places, with the most notable in recent times including Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comic . For some film recommendations, check out the 1983 film The Hunger, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Susperia (1977) , and many more!

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