If you ask any layman how Gothic followers look, you will probably hear a typical answer – they wear all–black outfits, whiten their faces, and rock leftfield jewelry adorned with skulls and vampires. Yeah, every one of us has seen these mysterious young people dressed in black but does this look define Gothic on the whole? You’d probably be surprised but Gothic is very versatile and divergent. Some Gothic styles so dramatically defer from each other that it is hard to believe that they actually belong to the same subculture. We are not going to tell you about who Goths are and what they believe in. Instead, why don’t we plunge into the wonderful world of Gothic rings, pendants, necklaces, and bracelets and try to find differences and similarities in various Gothic styles? Are you ready? Let’s go!
How to Distinguish Gothic from other Jewelry Trends
Before we begin to examine Gothic styles under a microscope, let’s highlight the features inherent in most of the offshoots:
– Goths prefer silver. They can wear gold too but only if it is white. Traditional gold is not welcome because of its yellow color. This is because yellow metal is associated with the sun and Goths worship the moon. Therefore, their collections are bristling with moon-colored Gothic accessories crafted fromsilver, stainless steel, and other ‘white’ alloys.
– Along with light-color jewelry, Goths adore black items. They flaunt gunmetal-coated or enamel-covered rings and pendants, artificially oxidized silver (blackened) body ornaments, as well as leather accessories. Another trick to add a dash of blackness to Gothic jewelry is to emblazon it with black onyx or CZ stones.
– Speaking of stones, they are another key feature of the Gothic image. Just like warm-colored metals are a no-go, yellow, orange, and pastel gems are simply not on. The only exception is made for rubies, garnets, and other stones of red shades. First of all, the combination of red, black and white looks dramatic and stunning. Secondly, the red color is reminiscent of blood. Blood and vampires are, perhaps, the most popular motifs in the Gothic culture. So, besides red hues, Gothic benefits from cold-colored infusions – crisp blue (sapphire), stunning purple (amethyst), vibrant green (emerald), etc.
– Gothic also has its own signature running themes. Crosses, skulls, bats, vampires, coffins, heart and dagger, hieroglyphs, pentagrams, dragons, knights, swords, claws, and many other peculiar symbols can be seen throughout Gothic jewelry pieces.
Gothic Jewelry Styles
Now it’s time to look at Gothic rings a little bit closer. So, there are dozens of Gothic styles with unique features, symbolism, and fashion sense.
Those white-faced boys and girls rocking black unisex outfits and heavy boots are Traditional Goths. They are fans of face and body piercing, voluminous hairstyles, mesh details, and leather. They often flaunt long chain necklaces with crosses and Ankh or spiked chokers. Their hands are adorned with wide leather or chain bracelets. Traditional Goths opt for classic Gothic symbols such as roses, thorns, skulls, crosses, etc.
Unlike traditional Goths, antique Goths show off masquerade costumes: girls put on ankle-high fluffy dresses while guys rock tailcoats, double-breasted suits, cylinder hats, etc. Jewelry-wise, antique Goths enjoy delicate and intricate pieces made of lace, velvet, chiffon, and silver, with massive feminine pendants and scattering of sparkling gems. All in all, this sub-style is very feminine and romantic.
Another peculiar style of Gothic jewelry is Cyber Gothic. Infact, this style is diametrically opposed to the Antique offshoot. Cyber Goths seek inspiration in the present and the future instead of the past. They are, so to speak, Goths of the digital era. They are daft about Mohawk and dreadlock haircuts, neon and fluorescent artificial fabrics, as well as industrial style jewelry featuring tubes, wires, batteries; nail rings, spiked half-face masks, goggles, etc.
Vampire Goths inherited a lot of features from traditional Goths. They are also suckers for black clothes and jewelry but the focal point of their image is vampire symbolism. Gothic girls maycarry coffin bags, cobweb necklaces with large spider pendants, as well as rings featuring fangs and bat wings. Their faces may be hidden behind a veil or they can carry a sun umbrella. Often, their black clothes are diluted with inserts of purple, red, and green.
Tribal Goths mix Gothic vibe with a shaman and tribal aesthetic. Normally, they don’t share traditional Gothic symbolism although skull items are quite popular among Tribals. They go for massive multi-layered necklaces and pendants that are often made of contrasting metals, feature various length and thickness. Often, tribal Gothic ladies adorn their heads with heavy headpieces simultaneously resembling a crown and Indian war bonnet.
Fetish Goths prefer provocative latex, vinyl, PU, leather and mesh outfits completed with matching jewelry pieces. Those can be harnesses, corset-belts, cuff-bracelets, face masks, collars, long chain necklaces, etc. It’s curious that today we associate fetish only with sex activities while the original meaning referred to something magical, sacred or witch.
There are many more Gothic styles such as Western, Steampunk, Lolita, Victorian Goths. As you understand, their fashion sense and jewelry preferences are divergent and unique.