Hello Snarklings. Things are weird right now. “Weird”, in this case, meaning unsettling, upsetting, and honestly? Terrifying for everyone right now. There’s no sugar-coating that truth, and the Lady of the Manners won’t do you the disservice of even trying. Things are scary, and we need to support each other as much as we can without draining ourselves.
What the Lady of the Manners can do right now is offer distractions. In this new reality where many of us are living in our pajamas and other “comfy” clothes, the Lady of the Manners went straight to Gothic Romance loungewear. Why wear leggings and t-shirts when you can swoop around in ruffled nightgowns and billowing caftans? (There is nothing wrong with leggings and t-shirts. In fact, the Lady of the Manners is wearing leggings and a Bauhaus shirt as she is writing this article.)
The Lady of the Manners feels that Gothic Romance loungewear, including ruffled nightgowns, are for all genders. Beautiful, comfortable, dramatic clothing should belong to everyone, to hell with societal norms and expectations. Besides, if ruffled shirts are good enough for pirates, vampires, and brooding characters based on Lord Byron, they’re good enough for any other masculine type.
With that statement, permit the Lady of the Manners to show off the nocturnal fruits of her window shopping! As many of these links are from Poshmark, eBay, and Etsy, the specific items may no longer be available, but they’ll give you an idea of the types of garments to look for.
Ruffled nightgowns, the cornerstone of a Gothic Romance wardrobe:
The brand The 1 for U makes incredible cotton nightgowns for shockingly reasonable prices. The Lady of the Manners has several different styles from this company, and they’re all pretty, sturdy, and easy to care for. Plus they’re 100% cotton, which means they won’t make you overheat when sweltering weather descends.
When browsing Poshmark, eBay, Etsy, and other 2nd hand clothing resellers, the Lady of the Manners has had success with the following keywords:
- Ruffle or ruffled nightgown
- Modest nightgown
- Victorian nightgown
- Prairie nightgown
VTG Barade Nightgown Ruffle Prairie Bride Satin (Those of you who follow the Lady of the Manners on Twitter may remember her posting about coming across this listing and misreading it as “Prairie Bride Satan”.)
Caftans! (Also called kaftans!) Lounge on a pile of pillows and dream of having a butler bring you a tray of tasty snacks and drinks. In addition to using the keyword “caftan”, search for:
- Beach cover up
- Maxi dress
Dressing gowns! Another foundation piece of the Gothic Romance wardrobe. In fact, Back In The Day [tm], gothy types scoured thrift and vintage stores for dressing gowns to use in their everyday wardrobe. Many were the goths who would flounce into Ye Olde Goth Club adorned in leggings and a tank top with a dressing gown or peignoir over it, cinched with a wide belt. Useful keywords to find these sorts of things:
- Velvet robe
- Brocade robe
- Chiffon robe
- Sheer robe
- Bridal robe (Especially good if you want flowing white ruffles for that ghostly aesthetic!)
- Burlesque robe (Be warned, anything using the “burlesque” description will probably be toward the upper end of prices.)
- Smoking jacket
Poet shirts! Long poet shirts were all the rage for sleepwear in the 90s, especially from companies like Victoria’s Secret and, strangely, from Frederick’s of Hollywood. Savvy goths snapped them up from wherever they could find them to wear as sleepwear, daywear, clubwear ”¦ whatever we wanted, really. A billowy poet shirt over velvet leggings was practically a goth uniform in the 90s, and the Lady of the Manners would dearly love to see that come back. Useful keywords to search:
- Poet shirt
- Poet blouse
- Pirate shirt
- Pirate blouse
- Ruffled sleep shirt
- Victoria’s Secret sleep shirt
In this era of social distancing, creating your own goth and industrial playlists to listen to is good, but doesn’t provide the same sense of community. But many clever DJs and club owners have turned to creating virtual club nights via Twitch channels, Zoom “meetings”, IG Live, FB events, and so on, and also include PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, and other payment options for people to tip the hardworking creatures of the night who help provide the backbone (or backbeat) of our community. Here are some of the links the Lady of the Manners has collected:
Be sure to check whatever social media presence your favorite local clubs and DJs have to see if they’re also hosting virtual events!
Finally, another distraction: the Lady of the Manners has begun writing “Today’s advice from your Goth Auntie” tweets Monday – Friday. Some of it may be helpful, some of it is spooky silly, and all of it is in the spirit of support and kindness. https://twitter.com/CupcakeGoth
With that, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to toss her latest batch of ruffled nightgowns in the washer, then pick out a comfort movie to watch this evening. Stay safe and stay kind.