What is modern goth style? A goth’s guide to undated dark fashion


Eve Allden shares her favourite modern Goth clothing brands, makeup brands, MG subcultures and modern gothic style staples…

I’ve grown up obsessed with alternative style, and looks that think outside the box. One style that I’ve always drawn inspiration from is the gothic style – a term so broad, yet so distinctive. However, now that we’re in the 21st Century, can gothic fashion adapt to modern life without being mainstream? Thankfully, the answer is an emphatic yes!


Modern Gothic is a cleaner look than traditional gothic. MG’s key style element appears to be polarity; that’s to say, light versus dark. It’s still edgy and eye-catching and has the same ghostly eeriness without being as extreme or ‘fringe’ as Goth fashion once was – and it’s more stark in its detailing, too.

Gothic style has evolved because our world is changing, and mainstream culture has embraced many style elements that were once seen as ‘otherly’. Body modifications are increasingly seen as acceptable and cool, music is more accessible, and alternative style is no longer fringe. There’s been a significant development in the quality of the music and fashion industries, too.


If you’re happy rocking the spectacular Robert Smith or Patricia Morrison look (all hail backcombing), then keep at it! If however, you’re looking for a dark style that’s more modern than traditional, perhaps my own fashion forays over the years will help.

How to put it all into practice? Let’s kick off with a few style staples for a modern gothic feel.


Modern Gothic fashion staples

Wear black.

The most classic & timeless of all Goth staples, black is the colour of the night, the raven, and your dark, dark soul.

Body modifications.

These aren’t a necessity, but body modifications such as tattoos and piercings have always been popular with alternative subcultures, and Goths are no different.

Mystical/occult symbols.

Want to make your own pentacle earrings? One thing about occult symbols is that they all have meaning, and some are linked to faith, so be aware of what you wear. Some of my personal favourites include the ankh symbol (as worn by Death in the Sandman comics) and pentagrams.

You can also create your own personal occult symbols to wear. Here’s how to make a magical sigil for all you witches, pagans and spellcrafters out there…

Ethereal/supernatural accessories

As with mystical symbols, you can take a page out of the New Age movement and occult tradition. Accessorise with crystals (see how to look after your crystals), or channel your inner witch with long, flowing fabrics and hoods. Feel the otherworldliness.

Footwear: DMs and New Rocks

Especially handy during those cold winter months, Dr Martens and New Rock boots always look good and are really easy to incorporate into any outfit. You can also get goth vegan boots and shoes if you prefer.  The hardest part will be choosing your favourite pair!

Fishnet tights

Anything fishnet-y was especially popular with the Trad Goths of the 80s, but they still retain their badassery. Fishnets, whale nets… They can be worn day or night, dressed up or dressed down. See Mookychick’s article on how to wear fishnet tights with literally everything.


My favourite modern Goth clothing brands:

Drop Dead

Founded by Oli Sykes of the metal band Bring Me The Horizon, this is one of the more popular alternative brands out there. While not always strictly Goth, it has some pieces that nod towards the style, and it is inspired by tattoo art and modern culture.


Very modern gothic fashion with eye-catching, statement pieces, describing themselves as a “Clothing & Lifestyle company with a twist of darkness, channeling emotional power and raw energy into every thread.”


“Fabricated discord since 2003”. Disturbia boasts some very beautiful, clean & dark designs, with occult symbols a-plenty. A grand brand for lovers of the monochrome.

Heavy Red

American company with a very Victoriana, fairytale feel to them. They also specialise in corsets and identify as a brand who are “Couture noir fashion that redefines goth”.

Sisters Of The Black Moon

One of the more high-end brands on the gothic spectrum, SOTBM have some beautiful pieces that are made to order. The style is very simple, modern, and easy to wear.

Kate’s Clothing

Not a brand, but a gothic style outlet housing many brands that is based in the UK. If you’re not sure where to start, hobble on over to katesclothing.co.uk – with so much to choose from, you’re bound to find something that calls out to you.

Modern Gothic make-up brands to check out:


Like the plumage of a gothic peacock, their range of colour cosmetics has something to suit everyone. They have a beautifully wide range of colours for their foundations, too, including a pure white one for all you ghostly types. What is more, they sell products which raise money for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

Lunatick Cosmetic Labs

Really cool and quirky products, including eye shadow palettes which are shaped like coffins! They’ve got amazing and unusual colours, and “all products are individually hand-crafted with care with  100% vegan, talc fee and cruelty free formulae”.

Modern Goth subcultures?

Every genre has its subgenres. Some modern Goth subcultures include:

The possibilities to find a style that suits you are endless!

PHOTOS: If you are in these photos or took them please contact us – we would love to give you full accreditation or can remove them if that better fits your dark desires.