Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Goth style advice for grown-up gentlemen

Today's reader question comes from a gentleman who asks, "When I first seen goth, I did not understand it. I have come to see my misperception of goth. The more I understand of it the more it appeals to me. I still don't completely understand gothic style. I want to implement gothic style into my daily life, but I'm 37 years old and I don't want to look like an old man trying to look young. I want to look natural. I'm hoping you will advise me."

I previously did a brief post, Grown-Up Goth Style Resources, in response to this email, but thought I would return to the query with a more in-depth reply.

There are many pitfalls for anyone wanting to dip their toe into the dark-hued waters of Goth fashion for the first time, and it's rare that anyone ever gets by without making a few mistakes they look back and cringe at in later life. The gentlemen among us do suffer from a lack of resources available to help guide them past such sartorial errors, but I shall do the best I can. ;-)

My first piece of advice for you would be to avoid like the plague certain stereotypical staples of beginner-Goth fashion - whilst bondage pants, cheap skull-patterned gloves and besmeared black lipstick are forgiveable and possibly even fetching in a slightly clueless way on the younger Gothling, on a grown man the overall effect would likely be somewhat startling.

Instead, ease into the style through simple pieces like black and jewel-toned dress shirts and elegant, but adult, accessories such as a smart jabot, darkly patterned tie, black fedora or even skull or coffin cufflinks. A well-cut black suit may feel dressy, depending on your job and lifestyle, but is a far better asset than a baggy Slipknot hoodie.

The good thing about such pieces is that they can be incorporated little by little into your daily style, rather than diving in headfirst and overwhelming yourself with a completely new look. This is also helpful because as well as allowing you to become gradually acclimatised to dressing with a darker flair, it keeps your style both workplace- and family-friendly.

Goth fashion is quite unique in that you don't have to be in your teens and twenties to look stunning and decadent; it is adaptable for any age group with just a little forethought. Victorian and historically-inspired styles have plenty to offer the male Gothling in search of a more 'adult' look. I personally am a sucker for any ensemble featuring a waistcoat and pocket watch, but that's just me. This said, if your tastes lie more with the hard-edged sub-styles such as Industrial, fear not. Sites like The Morbid Fashion showcase plenty of outfits and garments with a sleeker, more futuristic feel.

In fact, Zellain at The Morbid Fashion has a new project! You may have already heard about Subtle Goth TV (hint: the clue is in the name), which provides advice for those among you who prefer their dark style to be elegant, minimalist and, well, subtle. Here below is episode one; you can catch up with all the episodes so far at this link.

Luckily, the resources for gentlemen's Goth style finally seem to be on the increase, so I can cheerfully point you in the direction of well-dressed dandy The Sinister Sartorialist, and yes, this provided a good excuse for me to spend an hour or so this morning on Tumblr finding some suitably spooky outfits for the grown-up Goth gentleman. Here are my favourites:
I hope this is helpful to you! Any further advice from the gentlemen in the crowd?


Nightwind said...

I think you gave some good advice about the need to slowly incorporate Goth elements into the style that the person already has. If a certain look works for you, why change it? Just let it evolve to a darker aesthetic over time.

Tenebris In Lux said...

Thank you thank you thank you! While I may not be an adult male Gothy, I definitely love to dabble with a lot of these themes. *hugs* *bookmarks*

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