The goth subculture comes from an understanding of gothic literature where storytelling was laced with fear and horror. Gothic romanticism came from a love for these subversive thoughts at a time where genders were binary, marriages were picture perfect and having a large healthy family was the epitome of the human existence. The nonconformists who were willing to see a not-so-rosy picture of the world subscribed to the alternate. Through the years goths have served the cold hard truth about life and on several occasions served iconic messages through their lens on surroundings.
Who here hasn’t walked into an office building and like noteworthy goth icon Wednesday Adams wondered, “What kind of dystopian hellscape is this?” Come to think of it corporate culture is a lot like being trapped in a gothic nightmare. From identical clothing to endless meeting requests, reports that seem to self-generate and corporate talk that’s its own code, being sucked into a churn of productivity can be quite the horror show in broad daylight.
Dressing up for the 9-5 party seems to be the natural course of action then. Armed with an austere palette of neutrals, victorian trimmings and innovative cuts, goths tend to dress well. A crossover with tailoring and riffing off on some of the most overdone styles of clothing might infuse a twinge of wittiness to your wardrobe. Sass away at the fourth mindless meeting of the day in a manner completely neutral and work-appropriate by blending a perfectly normal pinstriped suit and a sharp ear cuff. Wear your shift dresses with detachable collars or makeup in dark undertones. Being in the goth phase of your work life is about having the mindset to deliver by retaining your truest self but also with a touch of style. It is the opposite of athleisure-approved jogger trouser hybrids and normalising white sneakers in boardrooms. Goths don’t like to do things the easy way, they want to be remembered, they want to be worshipped.
Gen-Z corporate goth, who undoubtedly want to make everything about themselves insists on supplementing work wardrobes with items of distinct personal style. We leave it up to you to decide how ‘personal’ or ‘sentimental’ you want to be in an office. Will this look earn you employee of the year? Maybe not. Will it encourage some quizzical looks over the espresso machine, definitely. Goth subcultures have traditionally been about challenging the norm and owning your narrative. Let 2024 be about that.