Goth Wardrobe on a Budget
Keeping on top of the latest trends can be difficult no matter which fashion circle you align yourself with, and for most people, this is either due to time or financial constraints. In alternative communities, however, there is the added pressure of wearing clothing that fits certain criteria (namely high-end alternative brands), otherwise, we risk being called ''posers'' by a small handful of gatekeepers who want to keep the community as exclusive as possible.
Recently I have found myself being met with queries from people both in real life or online, about where I shop for my clothes. For the most part, they are shocked when I give them the answer!
I am here to let you in on some of my top tips for shopping Goth on a budget which will include where to look for alternative style clothing (some of my favourite pieces were found in places you probably wouldn't expect!), and also how to turn simple items into amazing Gothic pieces that may become wardrobe staples that can change a basic look dramatically.
Of course, while I love a bargain, I'm not saying that you should turn your back completely on major clothing brands that solely target the Goth and other alternative subcultures. I have a lot of Gothic branded clothes in my wardrobe, and I find that having these brands around helps to ignite some creativity when it comes to DIY projects. However, I am also very aware of the cost of buying from these stores, which can make it difficult to make regular purchases or cheeky impulse buys.
''The Normal Shops''
For some, this will seem like the beginning of a horror story. The ''Normal'' shops!? Is she crazy!? The answer is no, I'm not. Well, not when it comes to this anyway.
The problem is most people are afraid to step out of their comfort zone and so they miss out on the gold mine that can be hidden within the average fashion store. Most stores will carry at least one thing that you will like and for a price that will suit your budget.
The vast majority of my wardrobe has come from high street stores, which I have then gone on to style in a manner that suits my alternative preferences. I always find that H&M and Primark will carry a good variety of clothing styles, which makes my search much easier.
Hit the High Street
Setting foot in these ''normal'' stores can be daunting at first, and it's easy to feel out of place or that we perhaps don't belong within these kinds of settings. But try to push that thought out of your mind, even if those around you begin to stare - you are there for the exact same reason everyone else is.
It can also be quite overwhelming to be surrounded by a vast array of styles and colours that we have become so unaccustomed to over the years, which makes it easy to miss out on some amazing items.
While it's easy to subconsciously be drawn to the black sections of clothes as we try to claw our way back to our recently abandoned comfort zone, it is okay to look at things that aren't dark colours. Remember, if you find a white shirt or dress that you fall in love with but can't stand the colour, you can always take it home and dye it to suit your need, so do try to give everything a chance before making dismissals. It can also be helpful to imagine how the clothes would look if they were styled with your usual accessories, or paired with other items as this will help your trip go a lot smoother and more enjoyable.
Besides being open-minded, you are pretty much going to be shopping as you usually would. Keeping an eye out for lots of lace, bell sleeves and bat-wings, studs and spikes, ruffles, velvet and pleather/leather depending on your personal preferences.
Tip: You should also keep in mind that these stores often offer Halloween ranges that you should definitely look out for when the time comes. These are often spiderweb lace dresses or vampire fang tops that make great everyday wear for us spooky folk.
If you are open to rummaging through lots of—let's say quirky—items to find what you are looking for, then searching thrift stores might be right up your street. These stores can be very hectic and seem to have no apparent order for the most part, but sometimes that's what makes finding things so much fun. Plus, if you have the patience for it, you could walk away with an amazing bargain!
Online shopping is how most of us buy everything now. It's easy, it's convenient and we can do it all while catching up on our favourite shows from the comfort of our own home. Though it does have its downsides, it is still much preferred to trekking around various different stores in the hopes of finding what we are looking for.
eBay, Amazon and Wish.com are the top of my go-to list as they are great for finding alternative clothing at rock bottom prices, especially if you don't mind the waiting time. Of course, eBay has the added perk of allowing you to bid on high-end items in the hopes of getting a great deal but generally, the prices from individual eBay stores are pretty hard to beat.
Make Use of Sales
Even on a tight budget, you can still make use of the sales that Goth brands have to offer. There is almost always a sale on for different companies due to season change or new ranges about to be released, so make the most of the reductions. One of these being Blue Banana, which is a great site for finding well known branded clothing at a reduced cost and the layout of the site makes it easy for you to strictly search within your price range.
D.I.Y. :Make it Personal
If you are rather creative, then there are many available options for you to DIY your new or even old clothes. Simply adding studs, spikes, skulls or lace can add a more Gothic vibe to your outfits at a very low cost.
Most of these supplies can be found at your local art store; however, there are lots of companies online, such as the previously mentioned Wish.com, that have an extensive range of embellishments and materials available for you to purchase.
DIY is also perfect for adding your own personal ''stamp'' to what you wear, and it allows your individuality to shine through but don't worry if you aren't naturally creative or able to perform your own little DIY projects. There are other options for you, such as adding more accessories to your chosen outfit. Large, bold necklaces or chunky spiked belts are an easy way for you to make a lasting impression.
Where does the majority of your wardrobe come from?
If you are ever feeling unsure of yourself when it comes to where you shop, just remember that there weren't always these Goth stores that we have today. In the beginning, it was all down to creativity and making the most of what was available. It doesn't make you any less alternative to shop elsewhere.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below, and if there is any specific article requests that you have for me then feel free to let me know.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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