Let’s talk about pastel goth.
It’s one of the fashion styles that I really love and get inspired by!
Please keep in mind these are my observations and opinions and I’m in no way a “master of pastel goth”. I just like the look of it!
I also like “classic goth”, but since I’m personally a fan of pastel shades and all things girly, this new fashion style is the perfect mix! Think creepy-cute. Use creepy things in cute colours or mixed with cute things.
First; let’s talk about what pastel goth keeps from it’s classic goth roots:
* the attitude
– Goths tend to be a bit snarky and sarcastic, but don’t be mean and don’t change to fit in!
* religious and pagan symbols
– Seeing goths with (inverted) crosses, ankhs or pentacles is not a strange thing. So pastel goth adopts this particular trait from it’s mother style. Religion and its symbolism ties in to the mystical, it’s connected to beautiful art and architecture and carries a certain weight of mystery and age.
* skulls / skeletons
-Skulls and bones represent death or mortality, they urge grounding and thought.
* bats / ravens / spiders
-These animals are clever and generally disliked. They have a certain beauty in their shape or movement. Goths tend to relate to them and use their imagery to creep out the people that look down on them. (bats are associated with the beauty of night, ravens fiercely defend each other and spiders are super useful creatures!)
* spikes and studs
– add a tougher touch to the pastel goths though they are more rare in the original Goths and is more so from Goth’s cousin: punk.
* heavy foot wear
– platforms are associated with Goths since they add height and drama, they’re outside the norm and you can hardly finish a dark, corseted look with loafers, can you?
* eye balls and general creepy things
– Goths find beauty in dark things and humour in things that are generally regarded as creepy, gross or disgusting.
– Apart from it being a geometrically pleasing shape, it’s connected to a deeper meaning of life. Just like skulls it’s connected to death and brings you to think about mortality.
* ouija boards
– This brings us back to the religious and pagan symbols, just a whole new degree of scary. Ouija boards are used to summon and communicate with ghosts. This heavy occult reference is a way to add otherworldly deepness (creepness!!) and mystique. It also refers to mortality and death.
* dark make up
– This one actually had me a little stumped. like I said before, these are my views, but apart from it being “matching dark”, I don’t really know of a reason, so I researched a bit and found this beautiful text by “Veracious and Goth” that I thought was definitely worth sharing:
– are not only considered among the prettiest of flowers, but they also have a nasty sting to them if you don’t look out. Roses are also common at a funeral, which ties in with the mortality theme I talked about before (skulls and coffins)
* horns / demons
– Demonic imagery is in my opinion a 2-part. I believe it started from gothic literature, where these were often characters and on the other part, they (just like angels) refer to the afterlife. as I established before, I believe mortality to be a very important topic.
Now, let’s talk about what is different about pastel goth:
in my opinion, only fashion and symbolism overlap. The outlooks and points of origin are very different. where goths are serious and considering, contemplative and morose, pastel goths are far more child-like. Instead of looking inward to humanity (as goth does), it looks outwards.
* holographic material
– where goth heavily references the past (mostly Victorian era), pastel goth adopts more of a futuristic outlook. Holographic and transparant materials are very popular to express this.
– not only does pastel goth expand it’s views to the future, it looks outside this planet. the main question being “what more is there for us?”
– pastel goth is more child like and is happy to adopt mythical beings that are “pretty” and pastel colours. And unlike demons, mermaids pair great with glitter.
* 90’s references (goth and spice girls TOTALLY mix)
– as a more child-like fashion, lots of references to the last true child era are used. The 90’s generation are the last children that grew up without an overwhelming offer in multimedia and they didn’t have wi-fi problems as main issue. so imagery of spice girls, barbie and polly pocket contrast the skulls, bats and crosses.
* snarky text prints
– where classic goths are snarky and sarcastic, pastel goths love being far more open and “ironic” about it by putting sarcastic (sometimes even plain mean) slogans on shirts. This is one of my least favourite parts of the fashion since I don’t think mean things are funny.
* pastel colours
– This one’s obvious. as a more childlike and louder fashion, pastel colours take over. these are mixed with blacks to keep the balance (don’t want to tip into fairy kei or popkei there!) and origin from their fashion clear.
* beanies (also arguably classic goth, depending on style)
– these hats are very popular to add a contrast colour to the hair. not a must, per se. you can also use bows, hair clips or other hair accessories. but these hats are an easy way to soften the look as well. often adorned with a sarcastic word or spikes to keep it from getting too soft.
* pastel coloured wig / hair
– with the influx of easily accessible wigs, it’s an assumption that pastel hair is key (be it a wig or that hair-chalk method). Many blogs claim it is what you absolutely NEED to pull of this look. It is an easy way to make your outfit look really finished, but I don’t think this is a must. I think black, goth-ey hair is a great fit as well. You can always add a few pastel clip-in extensions or use cute accessories if you think a wig is just too much.
* less netting and lace, more softer fabrics
– to add to the childish appeal, softer fabrics are used. mainly oversized sweaters, beanies and legwarmers. fishnets and lace are far more rare.
Have you heard of pastel goth? would you wear it? what do you think about it?
If you like to dip into the pastel goth world, here’s some MadModesty items to get you started: