As the icy touch of Jack Frost begins to make the mornings glisten and the nights draw in fighting with the daylight for time, this is the moment where goth truly comes into its own. Winter not only echoes the gothic ethos in its darker days and longer nights, bleak and seemingly devoid of life – but also in the fact that its desolate beauty is merely a cloak, a time of hibernation for regeneration to occur, the darkness before the light, a time of magic, a time which is sometimes misunderstood and ignored by many.
Our clothing too sits most comfortably in snow filled surrounds and misty mornings. The velvets, trims and heavy brocades all serve as shelter from the winter elements and are positively out of place (not to mention highly impractical) in hotter climes. The essential piece of winter wardrobe for the gothically inclined has to be a good winter coat. While a standard leather trechcoat serves the purpose and has been a staple for more years than I care to remember – there are so many gothic fashion labels nowadays that have really stepped up in this regard. One of the first was Shrine of Hollywood with its floor-length fur trimmed opulent tapestry coat – and these are still an aspiration to own. But slightly cheaper options which are also more widely available in the UK and Europe are that from Hell Bunny and Dracula Clothing.
The next key to winter dressing is layers! A secondary jacket of lighter fabric can be worn beneath the coat. A fitted military style or softer velvet romantic style, depending on your leanings. Punk Rave do and amazing array of these sorts of offerings and also delve a bit more into the post apocalyptic or modern witch look. Then beneath all that how about a flowing velvet dress with luxurious lace edging from the likes of Sinister Clothing. For our male counterparts, what looks better peeking through a long swishing coat as they walk past than a pair of black stretch skinny jeans?
And let’s not forget the accessories! Gloves, hats, hoods, scarves, boots, tights and of course jewellery – brooches especially are perfect for pinning to those hats, scarves and coats. The key to the perfect goth winter look is more is more! Head to toe in rich heavy dark fabrics, layer upon layer, interspersed with as much silver jewellery as you can manage. I quite like to use my accessories as the splash of colour, so with my black coat I have a number of scarves, gloves and tights – red, purple, green – which help add variety without having to fork out for or have space to store numerous large outer coats.
On a more practical note, boot choice is important here. While stiletto heels and winkle-pickers aren’t the best choice for icy streets or snowy paths, heeled boots can still be worn with caution especially if fitted with traction soles – so a visit to your local cobbler should do the trick. Also remember black clothing and dark nights don’t make very good pairings for safety especially if, like me, you live in a rural area with beautiful but dangerous winding country lanes! While I would never suggest a high vis jacket (Visigoth anyone? 😉 carrying a mini flashlight works well and saves the horror of reflective clothing.