Of Fashion Choices and of Feeling Like A Fake

Hello Snarklings! Eventually the Lady of the Manners will get her bewildering array of projects under some sort of control and get back to writing new lessons for Gothic Charm School in a more frequent, regularly-scheduled fashion. Eventually. But let’s not dwell on the months that have passed since the last post, let’s jump into questions from readers! For this installment of Gothic Charm School, the Lady of the Manners decided to feature letters from readers that have questions and qualms about how they present themselves. The first letter is from Mistet Dreamer, with a question about proper attire:


I am fourteen years of age-soon to be fifteen but that has naught to do with my inquiry hahaha. I’m here to ask you about something that has been bothering me slightly…but at the same time, itching my brain with all sorts of scattering thinking bugs. My Big Sister ((she’s not blood related at all but we’re as close as sisters…she’s younger than I am by a few months but more mature than I am, i assure you haha)) always manages to dress in lovely skirts and dresses, boots,etc. And I’m less of the feminine sort as I wear waistcoats and ties,trousers, and such. The problem is that an Elder Goth brought it to my attention, at a tea party no less, that it was very UN lady like to wear such things and that I should dress ‘prettier’ like Big Sister. I simply dismissed it with a chuckle and a smile but it still hurt. Was she right? Should I be wearing gowns instead of suits and ribbons instead of ties? Being the EVER fashionable lady that you are I seek your opinion and advice on the matter.

Ever thankful,
Mistet Dreamer

Oh dear. When the Lady of the Manners first read your letter, she had to set her tea cup down so she didn’t start sloshing tea everywhere as she waved her hands in frustration during her ranting. First things first, let’s take a look at the definition for “ladylike”: Adjective – behaving or dressing in a way considered appropriate for or typical of a well-bred, decorous woman or girl.
Of an activity or occupation considered suitable for such a woman or girl.

How odd, there doesn’t seem to be a word in there about ladylike dictating a particular fashion, or that dressing “prettier” is more ladylike than wearing such garments as a waistcoat, tie, and trousers. Now yes, the Lady of the Manners admits she’s being pedantic about this, what with pulling out a dictionary definition and all, and that “everyone knows” that ladylike when applied to clothing means dressing like a LADY: dainty gowns and dresses, with an emphasis on the traditional trappings of femininity. Heaven knows the Lady of the Manners’ preferred mode of dress falls under such a heading, what with the petticoats, the full skirts, and the makeup. But! There is no rule or mandate (from Above, Below, or from the nonexistent Goth Cabal) that dictates that if you consider yourself female and are in the Goth subculture, you must dress in an overtly feminine, ladylike way, and the idea that there would be such a rule or mandate is preposterous.

Just like the majority of Goth fashion, ladylike fashion can be expensive and time-consuming. And not just time-consuming in the getting all dressed up in frills and corsetry and makeup aspect, but time-consuming in the finding of those sorts of clothes. If you don’t want to spend the (often considerable) amounts of money to accumulate a “prettier” wardrobe, then you have to spend the time in finding budget-friendly versions, be it by hours spent sewing, browsing thrift stores, or bargain-hunting online. Some people don’t want to spend their time doing that or putting on all the clothing and cosmetics, and that’s fine. Yes, the Lady of the Manners has joked that when she eventually becomes Vampire Witch Queen of the Universe, there will be a lovely — but strict! — dress code, but that jokingly-threatened dress code is not going to enforce gender stereotypes.

If you are happy in your waistcoats, trousers, and ties, then don’t let anyone make you feel that you need to change your sartorial ways. This applies to anyone else and their wardrobe choices! Are you happy in tattered layers of fishnet and vinyl? Or in flowing asymmetrical layers of chiffon and jersey knit? Or in ::gasp:: jeans and a t-shirt? Then good. The only caveat being, of course, that if there is a specific dress code for an event, do your best to comply with it. (School and workplace dress codes are an entirely different matter, in that not obeying those can lead to being reprimanded, written up, and other such unpleasant things.)

Now, does your being happy with your attire mean that you will be free from well-intentioned –and not-so-well-intentioned– commentary? Gracious, no. Because people are people, there will always be someone who feels they can and should comment on your appearance, whether they feel they’re giving you helpful advice or because they feel they’re allowed to pass judgement on what everyone else is wearing. And you know what? No one the Lady of the Manners has ever met has been exempt from those impulses, not even herself. The important thing is that while you may not approve or understand of another person’s sartorial self-expression, you shouldn’t voice those comments. Telling someone that their boots have come unlaced, a zipper is undone, or commenting on other such clothing issues? That’s fine. Telling someone that you think they should dress more ladylike (or masculine, or deathrock, or trad goth, or industrial, or anything, you get the idea) is not okay.

There have been times when the Lady of the Manners has exchanged blank looks with someone she has walked past, each of us obviously thinking, “You chose to wear that? Ohhh-kaaay”. And while the Lady of the Manners is baffled by what some people think looks good, the Lady of the Manners also tries very hard to remember that her aesthetic principles are not everyone else’s, and that other people are just as baffled by her choices. (Sequined Ugg boots, though. Why? Whyyyyyy?)

To sum up, Mistet Dreamer, the Elder Goth who informed you that you should dress “prettier” and “more ladylike” was in the wrong, not you. If you cross paths with that Elder Goth again and they repeat their comments, smile your best winning smile at them, say “Thank you for your opinion”, and ignore them. Don’t bother arguing with them, just acknowledge that you heard them, and feel secure in the knowledge that you have adorned yourself in the way you prefer.

The next question is from Krista, who is having a bit of a crisis of confidence:

Hello there,

Lady, I was wondering if you could help me. I’m having a terrible identity crisis. I want to dress Goth, but I have no idea which part of the fashion appeals to me most. I sort of want to enmesh Victorian Goth and Deathrock fashion? I love elegant lace, but I also love that edgy/destroyed look of clothing. I also really don’t have the means to buy beautiful clothes online (struggling college sophomore), and I know that I am very late in entering the subculture.

I’m slowly dipping my toes into the pool of Goth, but I feel like my outfits look silly, my music taste isn’t accurate, my makeup isn’t extravagant or “good” enough. In short, I sort of feel like a fake, trying to find my way, and stumbling a lot! I feel like I just haven’t evolved into that “ideal Goth” that I want to be.

I do understand Goth is so much more than clothes, or music, or makeup and hair, but I honestly just feel quite lost.

Many thanks,


Darling gothy creature, the Lady of the Manners is going to let you in on a little secret that shouldn’t BE a secret in the first place: you don’t have to stick with A Goth fashion, no more than you have to listen solely to one subgenre of Goth music. (Nor do you have to listen to nothing but Goth music!) You want to mix up Victorian Goth and Deathrock? Go for it! (The Lady of the Manners is also fascinated with the blending of those two fashion styles.) You want to wear flouncy frills and elegant draperies of lace one day, but long for shredded fishnets, black shorts, and a razor-sharp black blazer the next? That’s fine. While picking one fashion style and sticking with it can certainly make life easier (in terms of finding clothes, DIY projects, and getting dressed in the morning), there is no one True Goth Uniform. No, you don’t even have to wear all black. Just wear what appeals to you, and do your best to feel and project confidence. (The Lady of the Manners says “do your best” because she is sadly aware that all the well-intentioned pep-talks in the universe won’t be enough to help some people in their battles against insecurity and anxiety.)

You say that you sort of feel like a fake, and that you haven’t evolved into the “ideal Goth” that you want to be. You said you’re “slowly dipping your toes into the pool of Goth”, so of course you haven’t evolved into the vision you have enshrined in your head. Precious Snarkling, give yourself time! No one sprang forth with a fully-evolved Goth style and music library; no, not even Her Royal Highness Siouxsie Sioux. Yes, there are people who have completely transformed themselves overnight into spooky creatures of darkness; those overnight transformations often are accompanied by that faint, indefinable air of someone trying on a costume, not really settling into who they want to be. The Lady of the Manners realizes that some people think she’s being ridiculous in saying this, and is hopelessly out-of-step and uncool in addition. But the Lady of the Manners really does believe that if Goth is something that calls to you, if it’s not just a phase (but remember, there’s nothing really wrong if it IS a phase), then of course it is going to take some time to figure out which parts of it work for you and which don’t. Stop fretting that you haven’t achieved your ideal version of Goth, and enjoy the meandering journey to getting there.

There’s another side to the “feeling like a fake” dilemma. Everyone in the Goth subculture, and the Lady of the Manners really does mean everyone, has times where they feel like they aren’t “Goth enough”, that they aren’t the fabulous elegant monster they long to be. That at some point they wail in despair that their hair isn’t big enough, they aren’t wearing enough eyeliner, their clothes aren’t fancy or shredded enough, they haven’t read every single thing connected to Goth and Gothic history and literature, that they don’t have all the Goth music or aren’t as wildly enthusiastic about all the classic Goth bands … and so on, and so on. Every Goth has been visited by at least one of those sorts of creeping fears and uncertainties.

So, how does one deal with those unwanted, vexing, upsetting notions? By laughing at them, for one, because trying to be 100% Uber-Spooky Goth all the time is … pointless. And impossible. Just stop and try to imagine someone being a mysterious Goth creature while, say, brushing their teeth. Toothpaste spatters on black velvet would be a tragedy, for one thing.

Now, the Lady of the Manners, and many other Eldergoths who are at peace with who they are and what they like, is all for embracing her cliches. The Lady of the Manners delights in spending an evening sitting on her burgundy brocade couch, a classic vampire movie on in the background, adding black lace trim and safety pins to the latest black velvet blazer she’s found at the thrift store, with flickering candles and a glass of absinthe sitting on the side table. The Lady of the Manners is also able to acknowledge what a complete and utter cliche such an evening is, and will happily laugh at herself and her interests, because if you can’t laugh good-naturedly at yourself, you probably shouldn’t be laughing at anyone or anything else. Revel in your stereotypical Goth interests, but also know they don’t have to be the only things that define you.

The Lady of the Manners has often said that no one is Perfectly Goth all the time, 24/7, because everyone has interests outside of our dark little corner of a subculture, and trying to act like they don’t is a silly, pointless affectation. If someone is going to look down their nose (probably daubed with white foundation and powder) at you for daring to like something that isn’t quintessentially gothy, reassure yourself that they are the ones who are in the wrong.

To sum up, you are not a fake, and becoming the fabulous gothy creature you aspire to be will take time. Everyone in this subculture has gone through the sometimes awkward learning about Goth stage. (Which is different than being a babybat! A babybat is a Goth who is not old enough to go to nightclubs and buy alcohol, and has nothing to do with one’s Level of Gothness.) Take lots of photos during your fledgeling Goth era! Save your journals, art, and poetry! For one thing, some of it may be better than you suspect. But most importantly, a fun (and vital!) thing for Goths to do is to look back at the mementos of their hilarious-in-retrospect gothy selves and think about how they’ve evolved. It’s called Growing and Having a Sense of Self, something that everyone should do.

With that, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to dive back into the monstrous pile of Gothic Charm School correspondence that has been ominously growing, and swears she won’t spend all of her time over on Tumblr. Honest.

22 Responses to “Of Fashion Choices and of Feeling Like A Fake”

  1. Ran Says:

    So happy you’re back:) It’s so much fun reading your articles and you’ve really helped me finding my way with goth, even though I don’t feel I’m quite there yet.
    I hope your posts will be a little more frequent; they make my day:D

  2. Nicole Says:

    In regards to the first letter, I would just like to inform Mistet Dreamer that she should look up author Gail Carriger’s steampunky “Parasol Protectorate” series, as she will find a fashion role model in secondary character Madame Lefoux. (see the website I listed above – it is not mine, but a good link.)

    Madame Lefoux is an inventor and haberdasher, and while it causes a kerfuffle amongst proper London society that she dresses in male fashion, she is infinitely chic, and as the main narrator often remarks that Lefoux has an easier time being able to move and react when the inevitable action scene or fight takes place.

  3. Josie Says:

    I cannot thank you enough for this post. I have had a similar crisis and have been feeling like a poser and a fake simply because I can’t dress and be goth all the time. I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty because of it and am so happy to have read what I’ve just read. Although… Now as I am typing this I am starting to have that feeling return, oh dear…

  4. Violet Says:

    Lovely post, m’Lady.
    In regards to the second letter about mixing Victorian Goth and Deathrock fashions, I have a simple little DIY project that might help. I’ve bought a pair of denim shorts from a charity store, cut them to the desired length and then frayed and ‘distressed’ the raw edges. Then I’ve dyed them black (though any other colour will do) and sewn lace trim beneath the raw edges, so that about half of the width of the lace strip is showing, and half is hidden. I’m planning on creating another pair using dark wine red fabric dye and black lace. My local craft store stocks a variety of lace, some more ‘floral’ than others. There’s a particular roll of very fishnet-like lace that I’ve got my eye on.

  5. Asphodel Says:

    Mistet Dreamer, strut your lovely frocks and trousers like the queen of the world. If you’ve been confident enough to dress goth then you should love it just as much to be less feminane if you please. And Krista, enjoy learning and evolving! Its always a beautiful thing to be able to build your own gothy wardrobe and explore all the branches of goth. I’ve gone from typical mall goth to vampire goth and even emo goth. But I couldnt find “my” goth untill just last yr. And I still love evolving my fashion everyday!

  6. Luiza Says:

    Oh my, this is an old trap commonly used by the Gother Than Thou crowd…to say you HAVE to dress in this and that way. Screw that! Ladylike? I find piercing and wicked tattoos very feminine, although many people would see the same. Remember the androginous gals from the 1920’s? How pretty were they, with their short hair and discreet makeup? And as a feminist this gets me pretty angry: so many decades for equality and we still need to hear the old “skirts are for ladies, trousers are for boys”?
    Subcultures are there for people who DON’T want to be another one in the crowd. Dress the way you like. Be happy with your looks. And most important, be you.

  7. abi Says:

    i have also been having an identity chrisis . im not sure if i should be cyber goth or death rock someone help !

  8. Rachel Says:

    I just wanted to say hello to Mistet Dreamer, Kayla and Abi! So, hello ~(waves)~!!!!! Also, on that note, I hope that it won’t be frowned upon if I may throw in my opinions. As an umbrella statement: Listen to the Lady of the Manners, because trust me, SHE IS HIGHLY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND KNOWS WHAT SHE IS TALKING ABOUT.
    So, firstly, this is to Mistet Dreamer. My dear, I do know what you are going through, in a way. As a babybat, I started with Tripp pants, corsets, skirts; things of that nature, you see (yes, yes I know, I am quite the dork). I am quite sure that there were people who looked at me as if I were… ahem… rather disreputable due to the way I dressed; however, I am the only Goth in a generally small, opinionated town. One of my friends even questioned me about how me being Goth and expressing myself (as well as that girlyness) in that way was being girly. But! I digress. The ElderGoth who gave you such advice, condescending or well-meaning as it may or may not have been was I am sorry to say, in a bit of the wrong. There is no way, my dear, and I repeat for the sake of emphasis, NO WAY, that you cannot be ladylike in your own way, regardless of whatever you choose to wear.
    Now, on to Kayla! Hello, my dear! I would like to say that there is no need whatsoever for you to feel like a fake. If you do not feel like listening to typical Goth music, then listen to what you love! Personally, hardly any of the artists I listen to qualify as “Goth” music. When questioned about this, I respond with a “Meh… I like what I like.” The key is listening to, as I stated before, whatever makes you happy. If you want something dark, or something makes you dance, then by all means, go for it! As for your make up and outfits, mixing Death Rock and Victorian Goth? Squee~ How lovely! However! Do not worry about your outfits or make up looking “silly” or “Not good/ Goth enough.” I still have occasional difficulty with outfit planning and getting my make up to be just so and I am 23 years of age! Ah, well. But you know what I do? I EXPERIMENT LIKE A MAD SCIENTIST AND I HAVE FUN DOING SO!
    Last but certainly not least, hello to you, Abi! I saw your dilemma. Hmm, Death Rock or Cyber Goth, you say? Why not combine the 2? It sounds as if it would be quite cool and do-able. I am sure that you will ROCK IT!
    Now, to all three of you lovely ladies, this is my advice: be not afraid of what people may think or say, be not afraid to experiment and assert yourselves, be not afraid to experiment and last but not least, do whatever it is that makes your little black velvety hearts happy. Oh, yes and listen to the Lady of the Manners! I will quite cheesily close this with a quote from a favorite role model of mine:
    “Be yourself; don’t take anyone’s shit and don’t ever let them take you alive.” –Gerard Way
    I wish all of you the best of luck!
    Infinite x’s, o’s, & anatomical hearts,

  9. Rebecca Says:

    I understand the need to fill the boxes that would considered someone to be “Goth” but I do not think it is the best thing. Think of it this way, if everyone was interested in the exact same things, dressed exactly the same way; the subculture would become very quickly boring. Do not allow your creativity to be limited as this subculture has the foundations of art and creativity. Just enjoy being yourself and don’t worry about what other people are wearing or doing. Do not become a sheep, even if it is a marvellous black sheep hahaha 🙂

  10. Ghoulia Says:

    This is in response to Krista’s letter.

    Dearest Krista the Lady of the Manners is right. Don’t worry about feeling like a fake! Just do what makes you happy. Don’t worry about liking the “right bands” or wearing the “right clothes”. PLEASE PLEASE ignore any goth that would try to treat you badly for being yourself.

    I feel a bit sad for today’s upcoming goth kids. There’s too much pressure and wrong information out there that takes ALL THE FUN out of forming your own gothy style. Some of the best advice I can give you is the live on instinct. If you like something NEVER be ashamed of it. And, PLEASE don’t do that horrible thing where you make fun of something you love in order to appease others. It isn’t worth it. And, you’ll only end up hating yourself for mocking something that actually means a lot to you.

    Goth is a personal thing. So, don’t look to others to tell you how to dress, what to like, and what to listen to. Your inner aesthetic will be your guide. Over time you’ll continue to refine your style (by style I am talking about more than clothes). THAT is the fun in being of the gothic persuasion. 😉

    To baby bats:

    Here’s a secret. Adult goths look back with fond nostalgia in regards to their teen goth years. Many won’t admit it. But, come 15 to 20 years time they yearn to hear the bands that spoke to them at that age. No matter how much adult goths may gripe and roll their eyes about that one ookie spooky band they loved in teenage days of yore deep down they still love it. I know I do! I look at pictures of my teen goth self and smile. Those were good years! Focus on being happy and having fun. Don’t squander this time by worrying about fitting in or “doing it right”. You’ll miss out on the joys of being yourself.

  11. Ghoulia Says:

    (part 2)

    “Everyone in this subculture has gone through the sometimes awkward learning about Goth stage.”

    THIS is so true! Everyone goes through a stage where you’re learning about yourself. Honestly, everyone goth and non-goth go through a period like this. It’s just that ours is more noticeable because of our aesthetic preferences. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Being Goth means having to develop a thick skin. Often times you’ll get flack from mainstream society as well as other Goths. So, stick to your guns!

    Most importantly, don’t let ANYONE pigeon hole you into their idea of “what true goths do”. In my experience non-goths will do this as well. For example someone at your job may ask if you like, say, the Saw series. If you say no they respond, “Pfft, you’re not a real goth then! I was a goth back in High School. My goth friends and I loved the Saw series”. Don’t let that get to you. Put on your best indifferent air and say in a bored voice, “I suppose so”.

    Other Goths can be especially bad at this. The scenester variety of Goths love to judge a person’s worth by how “in the scene” they are. Upon meeting people like this they will ask you questions in order to gauge your “scene cred”. If they ask questions like, “how often do you go clubbing”, “do you know (insert “popular” goth scenester here)”, or “how is your local scene” answer honestly. If they sneer at you and treat you like you’re a poseur once again put on an indifferent air and IGNORE them. Do the same, if they treat you kindly. Anyone who judges someone’s worth on how often they go clubbing is complete jerk and doesn’t deserve your friendship.

    Don’t waste your time on such people. They’re not worth it. The key is to not let their opinions affect you. “Gother than thou” types love to control others. Your biggest weapon against people like this is to let them know how powerless they really are through IGNORING them and doing what you please. Nothing burns them up more than knowing that they can’t control or affect you. If they get upset about you using the label “Goth” to define yourself KEEP USING IT. Don’t throw a fit and don’t tell them off. Simply ignore them and keep calling yourself Goth. You’ll experience the joy of seeing their heads explode with anger and irritation.

    In short:

    1. Love yourself!
    Not feeling “goth enough” stems from not feeling comfortable in your own skin. Find the root of your insecurities and pluck them out! Once you fall in love with who you are the assessment of others won’t matter.

    2. Realize their words have no power.
    This comes with loving yourself. The wonderful part about being adult is knowing that it’s YOUR life, YOUR money, and YOUR right to do what you wish. After slaving away at work dealing with cantankerous co-workers and ill tempered clientele you’ll be DAMNED if you’ll let someone tell you how to live your life.

  12. Amber A. Says:

    So glad you’re back! 😀
    Goodness, me! Another post on fashion! While I do love your other posts, the fashion ones always make me giddy because I just LOVE reading about fashion.

    To Mistet Dreamer: my dear, if you love how you look and feel in trousers and waistcoats, more power to you! I’ve seen women who wear such fashions and I think they look fabulous! I also think they’re a smidge more practical than the ladies who wear corsetry and petticoats. Not that I’m knocking corsetry and petticoats, mind you, because they are fabulous too but it’s much harder to move about, especially in a hurry, in that sort of attire. I know, I’ve worn it before.

    To Krista: it is my humble opinion that if you love it and are comfortable in it, rock it! I’ve seen a marrying of deathrock and Victorian once before. The girl wearing it looked uniquely beautiful. Honestly, I never thought two such different things could look so natural together. But if one has the patience and persistent, one can make ANYTHING look fabulous.

    On the subject of fashion, there is nothing wrong with having a wide variety of things in one’s closet. Personally, I’ve been in love with Steampunk for a few years now and am looking to add that sort of clothing to my wardrobe.

  13. Sophia Ravenna Says:

    Dear Krista,

    I just wanted to address your concern that your makeup isn’t “good enough” with a little advice from someone who has been there.

    Set aside some time to give yourself a makeup play day (even better if you have a friend or two who is also into makeup, because sometimes friends have great ideas for alternate uses for products you have). Rather than stressing about getting your look right before you hit the club, have an afternoon or evening where you have no place to go and you can remove and restart as many times as possible.

    We’re lucky to live in a time with tons of inspiration on Pinterest, and how-tos on YouTube. You can choose to either follow a tutorial to master a specific look that appeals to you, or use this time to just experiment with what you have, try out some ideas, test your products to make sure you actually like them before you go out wearing a color that you start to hate as soon as you walk out the door.

    Do this as often as you can and soon enough you’ll go from “my makeup isn’t good enough!!!!” to getting compliments and requests for advice 😉

  14. Taylor Says:

    I am not exactly new to the Goth subculture for I have always been interest in its darker beauty, but when I lived with my greatgrands I couldn’t dread those vampire books I was dying to read because my my family was ways super religuious. Since I couldn’t explaian it to them I was secretly a Goth in my heart.
    Now I’m fourteen and live with my dad.He hasn’t said much about me being Goth, so I’m aloud to spread my bat wings, but my family is poor so I feel like a fake because all I have are a dresser half full of black shirts and my wounderful jeggings. But the aecoubd article really helped.

  15. Becky Says:

    I’ve been referred to on more than one occasion as a ‘style chameleon’, because of all the different ways I dress – from heavily industrial with big boots and lots of zips, clips and d-rings, to very feminine romantigoth in flowing velvet and lace dresses, sometimes old-school 80s trad goth, sometimes Victorian or Edwardian, very occasionally cyber, and quite often just in a plain old boring band t-shirt and jeans! It all depends upon my mood on any given day (and how much effort I’m willing to put in!). My wide array of different styles comes from the fact that I do something like 95% of my clothes shopping at second hand stores, that I love sewing and that I feel that limiting yourself to one particular subgenre can become quite dull after a while, no matter how wonderful your clothes are. Chop and change, experiment, learn how to get the most out of thrift shopping and have fun with it!

    As for the first letter – surely this Eldergoth lady has heard of Annie Lennox and Tilda Swinton? Both of them are incredibly beautiful and both have a well-known penchant for wearing gentlemen’s suits and ties in which they always look stunning, and they have inspired my own wardrobe choices on many occasions. I have a particular problem with gender constructs in society anyway – I do not dress or act in a particular way to present myself as feminine or masculine the only way I ever wish to present myself is as *ME*.

    This holds true for both of you, as long as you are secure in the knowledge that what you wear is true to yourself, then you cannot go wrong.

  16. Emerald Ravenscroft Says:

    Hi to everyone,
    In regards to the first letter do what makes you happy because in the long run it is what makes you happy that matters the most so if you prefer to break the girly mold then I say go for it, as long as you’re happy with your look then that’s all that really matters in it all.
    In regards to the second letter you need to project confidence in yourself and experiment with various things till you find what works for you and makes you happiest. Never ever feel like you’re a fake because in all reality Goth is what you make it and no one can ever take that away from you and just because what you’re doing doesn’t fit another’s definition of what Goth is doesn’t mean that you’re a fake or a poser it just means that what you see as Goth and what they see as Goth differ and you just need to do your own thing, heck I mean I haven’t had the funds to bring it into fruition but I myself have been envisioning a sort of metal head gothic look crossed with the sort of cowboy look to form what I have entitled based off of my favorite Pantera song the “Cowboy from Hell” look, but you just have to do you and find what makes you happy that’s my best advice for you and I hope this helps you.

  17. Taylor Says:

    I feel like Kristia in the “feeling fake” kinda way.
    Thanks for the help! 🙂

  18. Krista Says:

    You all are so lovely! The letter above was mine. And my! Looking back, I have changed a great deal in the past two months! Some days I dress like I crawled out of a Victorian funeral party, and others I just throw on some black clothes and feel just as nice. 🙂 I am working on (and having an absolute ball) putting together my own wardrobe and listening to whatever music suits my mood. :3

    I have tons of hobbies outside the subculture (I love anime and manga, am a cosplayer, and an avid video gamer!) Just as you all said, your hobbies define you, not whether or not you’re “allowed to be Goth”. I always joke about that “Secret Goth Cabal” and laugh at myself when I’m not feeling “uber Gothic vampire princess”, as I call it, because of course there is no such thing 😉

  19. Kassy Says:

    Omg I love this so much! My Mum might now really get the awesumeness of it yet but goth is the best thing ever for me! <\3 😀

  20. Francesca Says:

    I am so glad to have just read the second letter. I like all different types of music, from gothy (Emilie Autumn, the Cure, Etc.) to alternative (Fun., Imagine Dragons, etc.) and many other types. Also I like death rock and Victorian fashions.

  21. Annabel Lioncourt Says:

    Its always rough for me, I can’t afford a full out gothy wardrobe, but I love the literature, the aesthetics, the music, the film, the art, Victorianisms….and often on the days when I do wear a goth get up, full time goths call me a fake or a poseur.
    Not to mention, while the gothic literature, film and music is most of what I enjoy, I’ll take a Shakespeare over Poe now and again (though the latter is my favorite) or want to see a movie other than one of the “approved list of gothy films” for the millionth time, even if (most of) those are my favorites.

  22. Lady J Says:

    What a fantastic post!
    As someone who has struggled with the issues of femininity and gothiness figuring out that I wasn’t alone was a major step in accepting myself for who I am.
    What I’ve learned through my short years on this plane of existence is that those individuals that feel the need to call you out as somehow lacking are probably struggling with the same issues. Clothing is about self expression. Wear what YOU like, not what someone else says you should wear. When I see a woman in trousers, I don’t question her femininity, I praise her practicality and forwardness.
    However, the way that you carry yourself is the main thing. If you are uncomfortable in something, it will show and ruin even the best and most stylish of outfits. If you feel your best in trousers then you will shine in them.

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