16 Different Types of Goth Styles You Need to Know About

Originating in the late 1970s, the Goth subculture draws its name from the ancient Germanic tribe and the word “Gothic,” which refers to a style of architecture and literature associated with the macabre and melancholic.

In the United Kingdom, the Goth subculture emerged as a retort to the dominating punk movement, with pioneers such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and Bauhaus paving the way for this intriguingly dark and mysterious movement.

Gothic music has also undergone its evolution, with various subgenres such as Deathrock, Darkwave, and Industrial, taking on their unique identities within this enigmatic subculture. Delve into the world of Goth and embrace its alluring mysteries.

What is a Goth?

Goth is a lifestyle and culture that began in the past due to the Nineteen Seventies. People who discover themselves as Goths enjoy things that are dark and moody. They frequently wear black garb and makeup and prefer a similar style track. This music often discusses death, love, and scary or eerie things.

Goth culture encompasses more than mere fashion and music. It represents a way of life that enables individuals to freely express their unique identity and break free from societal conventions. Goths often forge intense bonds with others who share similar interests.

In Short
Goth is a subculture that combines art, music, fashion, and spirituality in a meaningful way for its members. It is often misunderstood but holds great importance to those who participate.

How Many Different Kinds of Goths Exist?

We can distinguish two primary aspects of the Goth subculture: music and fashion.

The music aspect encompasses genres like gothic rock, post-punk, and dark wave, evoking a sense of introspection and haunting melodies.

On the other hand, the fashion aspect revolves around distinct clothing choices, encompassing black attire, lace, leather, and corsets. Although interconnected, these two aspects represent separate dimensions within the Goth subculture.

Different Types of Gothic Styles in Detail

There are various types of Gothic styles, each with its own unique style and cultural elements. Here is an overview of some of the most common types:

Traditional Goths

The original wave of the gothic subculture that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the UK is commonly referred to as Traditional Goth or Old-School Goth. It was inspired by horror movies, literature, and music, and its dark and moody aesthetic continues to influence the subculture today.

Traditional goth music is characterized by its melancholic and atmospheric sound, often featuring heavy use of synthesizers and drum machines. Meanwhile, conventional goth fashion typically involves a lot of black clothing, with a romantic and Victorian-inspired look that includes frilly shirts, corsets, long flowing dresses, lace, and leather. Heavy black makeup is also a common feature.

Beyond fashion and music, traditional goths often share an interest in poetry, art, and literature, including works by Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, and H.P. Lovecraft. They enjoy discussing philosophical topics such as the meaning of life, death, and the afterlife.

While the traditional goth scene has diversified over the years, it remains an influential and enduring subculture with a unique blend of music, fashion, and culture that many still appreciate and identify with today.

Traditional Goth Lolita Dress

Classic and traditional gothic style dress with drawstring closure. Perfect for Halloween parties, fancy events, and Lolita-inspired looks.

Romantic Goths

Romantic Goth is a subculture within the larger goth community that emphasizes a refined, elegant, and ethereal aesthetic. The Romantic Goth style is known for its romanticized, Victorian-inspired fashion sense that features flowing dresses, corsets, lace, and feminine accents, often in black with a softer quality than traditional Goth. Intricate details like embroidery, beading, and lacework are commonly incorporated into the style, while dramatic makeup and hairstyles with loose curls, braids, or elaborate updos complete the look.

The Romantic Goth culture highlights art, poetry, and literature, with a strong focus on romanticism, emphasizing emotions, individualism, and nature’s beauty. Romantic Goths are often drawn to romantic authors such as Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, and William Wordsworth. They express their romanticism through their preference for gothic and darkwave bands with a more melodic and romantic sound.

Romantic Gothic Dress

The vintage gothic dress features loose long sleeves that provide coverage for your arms, while its retro swing design and high-waist style create a tall and slender appearance. Made in black, this gothic dress is a fashionable choice for any stylish lady seeking a timeless look.

The Romantic Goth subculture celebrates beauty, romance, and individual expression, contrasting the more traditional, darker, and aggressive themes found in other goth subcultures.

Cyber Goths

Cyber Goths is a subculture that emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s, blending elements of industrial music, rave culture, and cyberpunk aesthetics. They sport a futuristic and cybernetic look, with clothing incorporating neon colors, PVC, vinyl, latex, and complex hairstyles involving synthetic hair extensions, dreadlocks, and cyber lox. They often accessorize with goggles, gas masks, and other industrial-inspired elements and occasionally incorporate LED lights into their outfits.

Cyber Goths enjoy electronic music, with a strong emphasis on industrial, EBM, and trance. They frequently convene at nightclubs or festivals that cater to the rave and industrial music scenes. The Cyber Goth subculture has given rise to new dance styles like “cyber-dancing,” which combines elements of industrial and rave dance.

Cyber Goth Mask

This cyber gothic mask is made of PU and fake suede fabric, featuring front center rivet decoration and drawstrings on both sides. It’s suitable for various occasions such as Christmas parties, Halloween events, Gothic cosplay, and more, adding a unique and captivating touch to your style.

The Cyber Goth subculture celebrates technology, dance, and individualism, with a distinct fashion sense and a love for electronic music.

Victorian Goths

The Victorian Goth subculture is a subset within the larger gothic community that is distinguished by its strong passion for the Victorian era. They enthusiastically embrace the fashion, architecture, and literature of that time period and often wear elegant corseted dresses and tailored suits adorned with intricate details like lace and ruffles.

Additionally, they appreciate the Victorian era’s art, music, and literature and frequently attend steampunk and Victorian-themed events to celebrate their interests. Ultimately, the Victorian Goth subculture represents a love for the romantic and ornate style of the past, with a contemporary gothic twist.

Victorian Gothic Shirt

This Victorian lace Lolita shirt features a stand-up collar, flared long sleeves, and a removable tie. The button closure adds a classic touch. Suitable for various occasions, such as role-playing parties, Halloween events, or casual wear.

Ethereal Goths

The Ethereal Goth subculture is a dreamy and fanciful group within the gothic community. They often incorporate flowing fabrics and pastel colors into their outfits, with a preference for long, ethereal dresses, light shawls, and delicate accessories.

Ethereal Goths draw inspiration from fairy tales, mythology, and nature and may include floral or nature-inspired prints in their fashion choices. Overall, the Ethereal Goth subculture represents a love for gothic fashion’s delicate and whimsical side.

Vampire Goths

Vampire Goths are a subculture within the larger gothic community that is fixated on vampire culture and mythology. They express this fascination by incorporating vampire-inspired clothing and accessories into their outfits, such as fangs, capes, dark reds and purples, and luxuriant fabrics like velvet.

They also profoundly appreciate vampire literature and films and may participate in events and activities celebrating the vampire theme. Overall, the Vampire Goth subculture embodies a fascination with vampire mythology’s dark, mysterious, and immortal aspects.

Dripping Blood Vampire Necklace

The stretchy elastic ensures a comfortable fit, and a dangling pearl adds an elegant touch. Perfect for any occasion, this necklace is bound to attract compliments.

Glam Goths

Glam goths are a type of Goth that blends elements of glam rock and goth culture. They often incorporate glitter, sequins, and other shiny details into their outfits, as well as heavy makeup and bright hair colors. They may also wear platform shoes, leather jackets, and other punk-inspired clothing.

Hippie Goths

Hippie Goth is a type of goth that incorporates dark symbols and imagery from the occult and pagan religions. They have a connection to the natural environment and dark spirituality. Their fashion style is often dark and includes flowing fabrics and unconventional clothing.

Deathrock Goth

What distinguishes Deathrock Goth from other subcultures is its strong commitment to the DIY ethos. Bands in this subculture often produce their albums and organize their shows, giving them complete creative control over their music and image. This has allowed for a wide variety of sounds and aesthetics within Deathrock Goth while also contributing to its reputation for raw, unpolished energy.

Along with its focus on DIY, Deathrock Goth is also known for its theatricality, with some bands incorporating performance art elements into their live shows. This has helped to create a visually and sonically unique subculture emphasizing authenticity and individuality.

Steampunk Goth

Steampunk Goth is a subculture that combines Victorian-era elegance and sophistication with science fiction and fantasy. This imaginative and unique style celebrates creativity, innovation, and individuality. Steampunk Goths often wear Victorian-inspired clothing, including corsets and top hats, with a sci-fi twist. They stick to a color palette of browns, blacks, and brass accents and embrace DIY culture by creating their clothing and accessories.

Beyond its fashion, Steampunk Goth is a way of life that values imagination, creativity, and innovation. This subculture incorporates science fiction and fantasy elements, such as airships, clockwork machinery, and futuristic technology.

Steampunk Goths encourage the exploration of individual interests and expression in unconventional ways. With its fusion of history and imagination, Steampunk Goth is an intriguing subculture that embraces unique and unconventional expressions of self.

Nu Goth

Nu Goth is a subculture that emerged in the early 2010s, blending traditional goth culture with modern fashion trends. Nu Goths are known for their minimalist style, focusing on dark, monochromatic colors like black and gray and contemporary designs. In contrast to traditional goth culture, which embraces ornate clothing and accessories, Nu Goth emphasizes simplicity and clean lines.

The music associated with Nu Goth often combines dark, moody melodies with electronic beats, and the subculture is often related to underground music scenes. Nu Goth also incorporates elements of witchcraft and mysticism, using symbols like the pentagram or ouroboros to express unique beliefs and values.

Bubble Goth

Bubble Goth is a subculture that emerged in the early 2010s, blending pop music with goth aesthetics. It’s characterized by bright pastel colors and traditional goth themes emphasizing positivity and self-expression. The music is upbeat, with lyrics exploring themes of sadness and isolation. The founder is Finnish pop artist Kerli, and the subculture encourages the use of technology in fashion and culture.

Pastel Goth

Pastel Goth is not solely a fashion movement but rather an all-encompassing subculture that values positivity and self-expression. The community seeks to instill self-acceptance and individuality among its members while celebrating their uniqueness. Many Pastel Goths leverage modern technology and social media to exhibit their style and integrate digital art and photography into their fashion and culture.

Cabaret Goth

Cabaret Goth is a subculture within the larger goth community that draws its inspiration from the theatrical and musical traditions of cabaret. It is a fusion of goth culture’s dark and macabre aesthetics with the glitz and drama of cabaret performance.

Cabaret Goths often dress in elaborate and theatrical costumes, featuring top hats, corsets, feather boas, and other accessories reminiscent of the cabaret scene. Makeup is often heavily applied to create dramatic and alluring looks that evoke the smoky and sensual atmosphere of the lounge.

Fetish Goth

Fetish Goth is a subculture that blends goth fashion with fetish wear and accessories to create a provocative, boundary-pushing style. Leather, PVC, and latex clothing, as well as bondage-inspired accessories like collars, cuffs, and corsets, are commonly worn by Fetish Goths.

But Fetish Goth is more than just a fashion trend; it’s a community that celebrates alternative lifestyles and sexualities. Many Fetish Goths identify as part of the BDSM community and participate in fetish events and activities. This subculture is about embracing individuality and exploring sexuality in a safe and accepting space.

Geek Goth

Geek Goth is a style that values intelligence, creativity, and a love of the unconventional. Members of this subculture often take inspiration from their favorite characters, incorporating their signature colors, patterns, and designs into their clothing and accessories.

Geek Goth fashion can range from subtle nods to geek culture to full-on cosplay-inspired outfits. Some standard features of the style include dark, dramatic makeup, dark or bold hair colors, and a preference for black clothing. However, Geek Goths also incorporate bright colors and bold patterns into their outfits, often inspired by sci-fi or fantasy imagery.

Bohemian Goth

Bohemian Goth is a subculture combining bohemian fashion elements with the darker, more macabre aesthetic of goth culture. This style emphasizes natural fabrics and flowing, loose-fitting clothing in dark, earthy tones such as black, brown, and deep reds.

Bohemian Goths may wear long skirts or loose-fitting pants paired with loose, flowing tops or layered tops and often accessorize with items like long scarves, leather boots, and statement jewelry made of natural materials like feathers, stones, and crystals.

The makeup and hair of Bohemian Goths also reflect the style’s fusion of bohemian and goth elements. Makeup is often natural-looking, emphasizing bold lip colors or smoky eyes. Hair is worn long and loose or in natural-looking braids or waves.

Frequently Asked Questions About Goth Styles

How is goth different from other subcultures?

Goth subculture has a unique style, music, attitude, and passion for literature and art. Gothic fashion features black clothing, bold accessories, and heavy makeup. The music is usually moody and delves into dark themes like death. The goth attitude is darker and introspective.

What kind of music is associated with Goth?

Goth rock is an alternative rock subgenre that draws inspiration from post-punk, glam rock, and hard rock, and is closely associated with the goth subculture. It features danceable percussion, powerful bass lines, distorted guitar riffs, theatrical vocals, somber scales, and haunting sound effects like reverb and delay. Together, these elements create the unique style and mood of goth rock music.

What does Goth look like?

Goth fashion uses dark colors like black, purple, and red. It includes leather, velvet, and lace, with corsets, black boots, and fishnet stockings. Victorian styles with long flowing dresses and high-necked blouses are also popular.

How can someone get involved in the Goth community?

To join the Goth community, research the culture, music, and fashion. Connect online, attend local events, and visit Goth-friendly establishments. Express your style, support artists, and engage in creative outlets. Be respectful, open-minded, and participate in charitable activities. Embrace individuality and connect with like-minded individuals who appreciate dark aesthetics.

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