This is my first post. Wish me luck! I'm going to begin by saying that I use the word 'goth' in a broad sense. There are several categories that are similar and several sub-categories such as cyber-goth, romantic-goth, punk-goth, etc. So try not to get confused by my terminology. Here I will explain a few techniques for beginner goths to have 'gothy' clothing without the pocketfuls of cash that one would need from sites like vampirefreaks.com.
Many people wonder, "Where do I start? I know I want to try this out, but where do I begin?" That's the problem that people stumble into. They put on plain black T-shirts and jeans, and hope to get somewhere. The first thing that one must consider is this: perception. The way you wish to be seen by others should be reflected in your clothing. As I said before, there are many types of the alternative fashions and you need to find one that fits you. It might be a mix of everything. I, myself, tend to mix romantic and punk gothic clothing. I will wear a short, spunky skirt with a slightly longer flowing skirt under it and an even longer lace skirt under that. Then I'll put on a black shirt of sorts and ripped leggings or long socks with fishnets. I have a picture here of myself in my typical fashion (photo copyrighted to H. J. Withers, my lovely photographer.) I don't often wear the sweaters if the weather is nice. However, you can get the gist. I bought both skirts from Kohl's, the sweater was a hand-me-down from my mother, the socks are from target, the fishnets are from walmart, the gloves are from claire's, the boots are from a thrift store also, the necklace was from a garage sale, and the tank top was from a school sewing project where I sewed part of a skirt onto the tank top for decoration (both the skirt and the tank top for the project were from a thrift store.)
This look might not work for everyone, especially with male goths and the social pressures placed upon them to not wear skirts. While some still do it, there's many more options aside from this. I've seen guys wearing long sleeved, ripped shirts with fishnets under them. I've also seen guys wearing fishnet arm warmers, band T-shirts, and skinny jeans. Skinny jeans can also be replaced by loose blue jeans as well, but it might not add quite the same effect. Another thing that many male goths may wish for is tripp pants. These are expensive and, while I highly recommend buying a pair, not everyone can dig up the cash for this.
Females may wish to buy tripp pants as well, but other fashions are out there too. The typical, skinny jeans, combat boots, and black T-shirts is an easy look to pull off. There may be those looking for a more extreme look, however. Some people even wear skirts over their jeans. Gloves and other hand accessories look good with the female goth. These can be made easily if you know how to sew (tutorials can be found on bemygoth.com). Otherwise, you can buy nice gloves or arm warmers from your local Clair's store at decent prices. I believe mine were only five dollars. I've come across fishnet gloves from Clair's and Ragstock for only a dollar per pair. Jewelry is also good, don't be afraid to wear lots of it either. It makes one look exotic and mysterious.
While many of these may be good options for some of you, you may not have the luxury to go shopping. For those sorts, stuck with whatever your mom decided you would wear, you could modify your clothing. Make sure your parents won't get angry with you or you should be ready to face any repercussions, as some parents believe that you are 'ruining' your clothing. If they believe this, try to explain that your clothing is still in a condition for you to wear it and you might wear it more often now since you like it better this way. If they don't like the alternative look, then that's a different situation. Anyways, I digress. If you need some ideas for modifying clothing, here they are:
Jeans: you could rip these (obviously) in many ways. You can create horizontal rips in rows and fray them out. You could also use sand paper to create the effect commonly seen in store jeans where there are still thread attached in horizontal rows, creating a patch of jeans that looks worn out. Another thing that I have done myself, is a horizontal rip going down each leg with safety pins holding it together. Ripping random holes out of your jeans is another thing to experiment with. If you don't like typical blue jeans, ask your parents if you can dye them black, if not, then dark blue. You could even go with many other alternative colors if you can get your hands on the dye.
T-shirts: Sometimes T-shirts get boring, these can be ripped into tank tops or can have other things sewn onto them; things such as patches, ribbons, lace, or fishnet material if you're willing to work with it. Ripping holes or cutting slits into T-shirts and wearing another color under it can look nice. I've done it with a black T-shirt where I cut a long slit across the belly and created an X and added safety pins to the slits. I wear a red or white shirt under it and I have gotten many compliments on it.
For now, this is all I can think of. If you have any questions, e-mail me at XelixHeart@yahoo.com. The world never sleeps. So I will never sleep. I look forward to your responses. Thanks for reading! I hope this helped!