A couple of months ago, a reader wrote to ask me for advice on choosing gothic clothing for men.
Now, owing to the fact that often men don’t give a flying fuck what they wear, there’s not so much interest in men’s fashion anywhere, and the same is true in the gothic/metalhead scene. Now, with metalheads, it’s pretty easy – a metal shirt and some black jeans or camo pants and you’re done, but what if you want something a bit fancier? A bit more sauve? You’re probably going to be looking at gothic fashion sites.
And what are you going to find? Stuff like this:
Too young. Too blingy. Not nearly pragmatic enough for most guys older than 16. And that’s the problem with gothic clothing in general, and gothic men’s clothing in particular – it’s hard to find pieces for an older, more professional man – a man who favors a stylish fit to a chest full of buckles.
However, hope is not lost. I do have a few ideas:
As I personally love the concept of the utilitarian and “fashion as subcultural uniform”, I am a sucker for military-inspired fashion for men and women. Purpur is an aussie label run by Russian fashion designer Kate Musina, who takes this overdone look and gives it a modern, sophisticated twist with their “Total Control” collection. Purpur’s men’s collection is just as stunning as their ladies looks, and it’s not ridiculously over-the-top expensive (although with the aussie dollar what it is these days …)
Every gothic gentleman worth his salt needs a long black coat. The trick is to find one that looks suitably gothly without being covered in buckles and spider-print material (unless that’s what you’re into). Galler Serpentine – another excellent and long-standing aussie label – offers a range of men’s coats, including this plain black Matrix-style priest coat. Owning a few Gallery Serpentine pieces myself, I can attest to their quality and excellent fit.
Another great source of men’s fashion is cyber-wear. Some of this stuff can look a bit silly, but I love that it’s always made from comfortable, sensible fabrics. Crytoflesh sell a good mix of the silly-looking stuff and the comfortable, chilled out, reasonably-priced stuff.
And, for those of you who like a little bit of the dark ages in your dark wear, I present my favorite place for practically everything – Wulflund. Most items are casts of archaeological examples, and you won’t find better belts, buckles, broaches, leather goods, or charms. Milan – the Czech man behind Wulflund – knows his stuff. I own several pieces from here, as well.
Lots of the stuff in the You Stars ebay shop is a bit nasty, but there are some nice, somewhat trendy but interesting mens items to be found.
Cycroptix Tie Lab
I used to be a regular tie-wearer myself (I loved the funky designs, and still own about 30 ties, mostly in various colors of paisley), so I know a good tie when I see one. And these ties from Cycroptix are stunning. High quality silk ties with screen=printed designs of awesome.
You don’t have to go to specialist “gothic” stores, either. There’s plenty of decent pieces in ordinary chain stores and second-hand shops that, with a little bit of scouring, and perhaps even some DIY, can become your signature look. Remember, with gothic fashion – especially men’s fashion, especially men’s fashion for an older crowd – it’s not about what you wear, but how you wear it. A skull ring, the right choice of buttons can turn any old piece into an item of gothic finery.
Yes, I am painfully aware I’m rather lacking in resources. There really aren’t that many.