Stereotype Technology: Romantigoth!

Snarklings across various social media sites have requested Stereotype Technology posts that focus on specific substyles of goth fashion, with helpful hints for searching out the corresponding wardrobe pieces. Never one to shy from window shopping for goth clothing, the Lady of the Manners decided to start with the style she favored back in the 90s: Romantigoth!

Romantigoth is different from vampire goth fashion or Victorian goth fashion; it’s a subtle distinction, but it’s there. All three styles would be good for midnight picnics or visiting the Addams Family, but the Victorian side is more prim and funereal, while vampire goth has an undercurrent of “Yes, I have a fabulous velvet-lined coffin hiding in the depths of my ancestral castle”.

THE style icon for the feminine side of romantigoth fashion is, of course, Stevie Nicks. Flowing skirts and blouses worn with long vests, frock coats, or dusters, all in lace, chiffon, and velvet are the things to look for. Search keywords that are particularly helpful are:

  • Tiered or broomstick skirt.
  • Boho, peasant, or g*p*y. (The Lady of the Manners hates that a racial slur is still used to describe garments that are supposed to evoke a romantic, “free-spirited” style, but it doesn’t look like the term is going away. The Lady of the Manners completely understands and is supportive if you don’t want to use that search keyword.)
  • Pirate, because a lot of sellers think a ruffled blouse or full skirt are costume pieces.
  • Poet.
  • And of course, “Stevie Nicks”. :: grin ::

Almost all of the items shown in this post are vintage, and the listings may not still be active. But even if someone else has beaten you to the item in question, they’ll still give you an idea of the sorts of goodies you’re looking for.

Black and silver tiered skirt.

Tiered velvet and floral skirt.

25 yard cotton skirt, for your extreme flouncing needs!

Ivory ruffle blouse.

Black sheer ruffled blouse.

The Lady of the Manners has this exact black chiffon poet blouse hanging in her closet.

Black velvet and brocade vest.

Rayon “duster” vest — with pockets!

DKNY long velvet vest

Velvet granny boots. Because we didn’t care that we were probably going to ruin them by scurrying through the graveyard in the middle of the night, they were velvet granny boots.

On the more masculine side of the gender spectrum, the hard fact of goth fashion still holds true for romantigoth: there’s just not a lot of variety, and it’s very annoying. In fact, the main difference between masculine romantigoth and … almost any other masculine goth styles is that romantigoth isn’t as buttoned up. Literally. High collars, cravats, jabots, and ties are not common sights in romantigoth.

ETERNAL men’s poet shirt. Yes, romantigoths of every gender wore ruffled, flowing shirts. As you can imagine, this led to some confusion amongst roommates during laundry day.

Banded collar dress shirt. The usual goth boy (boi, man, or masculine -type creature) wardrobe included three of these: one black, one white, and one in whatever their preferred jewel tone was.

Velvet pants. The Lady of the Manners is still a little agog that velvet pants from Hot Topic can honestly be labeled as “vintage”, but the Lady of the Manners also still occasionally feels that the 90s are only 10 years in the past.

Time to raid the formalwear section! Vests, frock coats, and tail coats, oh my!

Velvet vest. A romantigoth with aspirations to dandyism would have three or four in different colors. How fancy!

Frock coat. If you’re very lucky, you can find these at thrift stores.

Tail coat. These are harder to find at thrift stores, but they have been known to turn up!

Dr. Martens boots were a staple.

If you wanted to talk super, super fancy, every romantigoth (no matter their gender) desperately wanted to get their hands on an antique wool Knights of Columbus/Knights of the Templar/Masonic coat. The Lady of the Manners knows of at least one couple who had a reasonably amicable break-up until it came time to decide who owned the coat. (And the Bela Lugosi’s Dead glow-in-the-dark picture disc.)

And finally, the accessory everyone had, and yes, the Lady of the Manners still collects them: the silver ankh necklace.

Are there key romantigoth wardrobe items the Lady of the Manners forgot? Do you have photos of your outfits that you want to share? The comments are open!”

7 Responses to “Stereotype Technology: Romantigoth!”

  1. Squirrel Says:

    Smaller yardage belly dance skirts are much more practical however the longer yardage can be pulled and tucked up into interesting ways

  2. Mary Mourning Says:

    I used to wear this style in the 90s all the time. It was great for work. Actually, I still wear this style often! <3

  3. vivien Says:

    Oh wow 25 yards!!!! I was shocked by how affordable it is. You are an enabler!!! A fabulous enabler!

  4. Rain San Martin Says:

    I love how practical your style suggestions are. I myself am somewhere in between Romantic Gothic and Steampunk Gothic (steampunk without the goggles or gears, I like to call this “Antique Gothic”). I feel the term “Vintage Gothic” also covers a lot of this ground.

  5. Amethyst Oak Says:

    I wish we had a reasonable thrift store in town! Unfortunately the only one is full of pantsuits and men’s winter jackets, as no one gives these items (or any for that matter) away, as they are so lovely!

  6. Trystan Says:

    And if you’re searching for this on eBay or Etsy, you’re probably finding all of my old wardrobe 😉 I recognize 75% of this post as exact items I owned, including That Coat. Then I got all CorpGoth, at least partly because those skirts get caught up & torn in rolling office chairs.

  7. Gene Wirchenko Says:

    I can see it now: “The whole NINE yards? Hmph! Dilettante!”

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