Thursday, March 23, 2017

Inspirational sites and why I dislike how-to guides

I remember when I came back to goth and would scour the Internet for inspiration. I came across many "How To Guides' or many lists on "what every goth should have in their wardrobe" sort of articles and videos. I remember remarking on the sheer volume alone of these posts and wondered why so many people even bother publishing such content. This is a personal preference but wouldn't a how to guide or even educating people on how to build a basic goth wardrobe kinda counterproductive? Isn't the point of goth to be individuals and not some carbon copy of someone else's point of view? Isn't it illogical to point out that a good starting point for any goth wardrobe is black jeans, a t-shirt, and boots? I mean... well...yeah...DUH!

I get it to a certain extent. This can come in handy for any new comer. For an Elder Goth like me, whom I like to think I have a pretty good knowledge on the subculture and knows how to dress goth, well, I used some of the advice for inspiration. I didn't bother so much with the how to guides, mind you but I love looking at people's outfits. I still do to this day. I admit, I even love clothing hauls on Youtube because I like seeing shit other people got! I like seeing how other's mix-match their clothes, what accessories they use and how. Sometimes, I get inspired to do my own thing. Sometimes, I may think something looks cool but decide it isn't for me. I never used these as means to mirror what these people were wearing, I just used it for my OWN ideas. There are many youtubers or bloggers that I simply ADORE but I wouldn't want to dress like they do. That's just me.

There are a few downsides to these guides/outfit posts unfortunately:

Some of us are afraid that looking goth is the only part of being goth. I admit, sometimes, I am afraid of this happening too but I think if people are genuinely interested in something, it tends to stick around. Or if they are like me it goes away but comes back! For me personally, when I was a teenager, I was labeled a Goth without knowing exactly what a Goth was. I got curious and decided to participate in the subculture for the hell of it and I got hooked!

It can be over-done. How many how to guides and wardrobe essential articles do we need? How many more subsets do we need? (Nu-Goth, Pastel Goth, etc.) No wonder some of us are afraid that goth is becoming simply a fashion without anything else to supplement it. In my opinion, if it means anything, it kinda takes away from the fun experimental years. You know, like some of us had a Mall Goth phase? I used to do my makeup like The Crow and even used Halloween makeup! I laugh at it now and to be honest, I have some pretty fond memories, embarrassing, yes, but they are fond memories nonetheless. In fact, I sometimes even regret throwing away the old photographs! I like to think that by experimenting with clothes, I learned about what worked for me and what didn't. Back when I was younger, I went out to clubs and saw what other people were wearing. I got my inspiration from there - which leads to, outfit posts can be a great source for those who are not as fortunate as I was to grow up in the city!

When I came back to goth in my early thirties, I made a few embarrassing mistakes. What looked good on my twenty year old self (before baby weight no less) did not necessarily look good in my thirty year old post baby body. I also work in an office. I want people to take me seriously. It is kinda hard for people to do so when I look like a 16 year old! I wanted something office friendly but showed my Goth side. I don't work in a conservative environment and the first blog that really spoke to me was Meagan's, from Coffin Kitsch. She helped me in those early years because a lot of her clothing is so beautiful and elegant. She reflects a lot on the style I wanted to portray at that time. She was a lifesaver and a huge inspiration for me. I was used to super toned down corporate (black dress pants, nice top, pointy boots was my go to look) and now I had a chance to up it a little. Meagan's blog helped me "up" it without risking any workplace infractions. Don't get me wrong, there were other corp goth blogs around at that time but personally, while they were inspirational, I found them too conservative for my office environment.

I think the Internet can be a good thing - to a certain point. As much as I make fun of Health, Pastel, Nu Goth, I think perhaps, I shouldn't be so closed minded about these styles and just take a peek at what they are wearing. Perhaps I can do something fun and creative on my own by taking their inspiration?

I am by no means trying to imply that Goth is simply a style. We have a very rich heritage that I whole heatedly embrace. I love the music, I love visiting cemeteries and I love to read. I think it is equally important to participate in the movement as well as to dress the part - something, thanks to my chronic migraines, I have not had the chance to do much of in the past. I am hopeful this will soon change!

I guess what I am trying to say, just like when I came back to Goth in my early thirties, I will soon be in the process of rebuilding my wardrobe all thanks to my weight loss goals! Luckily for me, many items can be altered to fit my new body size but I do plan on buying AND DIYing some new items too. Some of the fashion sites (re: nu-goth) that I often scoffed at are inspiring me to push myself a little further and to be more creative with my own personal style. Perhaps I can find some inspiration there? I think we should be using these as inspiration rather the be-all end-all Uber Goth look and do what everyone else is doing. Thanks but no thanks, I don't need anymore advice on how to create a fishnet shirt out of an old pair of tights and I don't want Siouxsie makeup either. Show me YOUR style! What makes YOU goth?

12 comments:

  1. I've always thought of Goth as being an aspect of my personality as opposed to being limited to my taste in clothes or music (especially because those things can evolve over time). Style is subjective and there's definitely no "one size fits all" approach to breaking into the scene. I think just looking at people's Instagram or Lookbook accounts can give a person enough insight into dressing Goth. You can pick and choose what you like and what applies to your lifestyle. My phone is packed with saved images I use for inspiration, and that's not limited to fashion alone!

    The how to articles that irk me the most these days are people who don't know what they're doing - like improperly applying makeup - or pushing self soothing crap. Bloglovin appears to believe that I'm very interested in learning how to "be kinder to myself." I've seen these posts everywhere! I think it's high time someone wrote a post called "how to put on your big kid pants and deal with reality."

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  2. Come to think of it, I don't have a trademark "me" thing in my style. Except that I have a lot of cat items, does that count? I like skirts and lace, but sometimes I'm in the mood for trousers, rivets and chains, and more often than not the weather dictates what I can wear (sleeves in summer? only if I have a death wish). Accordingly, I don't have a trademark piece of jewellery, makeup or hairstyle that goes with everything.

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    1. I never had a trademark me thing either. When I came back to goth, I was shocked to find out there were so many subsets. In my time, there was just Goth. None of this pastel, Cyber, etc bullshit. I like ALL styles and mix-match my own. I guess I am looking for inspiration now that I plan on updating my wardrobe soon.

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  3. Creativity is so important! Have fun!

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  4. I, too, stumble upon posts about goth wardrobe essentials from time to time, only to discover every time none of these work for me. I post outfit posts in hope somebody looking for some guidelines for how to dress goth without looking silly and overdone will get inspired. I wouldn't want anybody to blatantly copy me, because that's just sad, my style comes from my experiences and interests and everyone is different.
    As for how-to's... I share your view there are too much tutorials on the same topics, but I've been personally asked how do I make a top out of tights (I replied with 'just like everyone else' and refused to make YET ANOTHER tutorial for a topic that has been done to death). I've been asked how do I make holes in tights (what.) or holes in clothes. Or how do I do my makeup. I kinda know where is this coming from, as many of people who follow me are my non-gothy friends, and there are few tutorials for gothic folk in Polish language, but... I still find it strange, because all it takes is a tiny research.

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    1. I know! Seriously! I love your style, by the way.

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  5. How to articles are annoying, especially when it's an article that defines what people HAVE TO DO, some people go out of their way to fit the mold and feel inadequate when they don't.Creativity is important.

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    1. That's exactly it and the moment someone tells me I have to do something, I flip the bird and do the opposite :)

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  6. I just found your blog today and was so happy when I read this post and you really inspired me to write something about the subject as well. I hope it's okay that I link back to you in my blog post. =)

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    1. I am looking forward to reading it! Please send me the link when you are done posting, I would love to read your input

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