WAR-drobe stories (aka building a goth wardrobe pt. 1, boots & shoes)
Hey there, Internet!
It happened. And that a lot lately. Emails and PMs asking how much I spent on my wardrobe so far and if there would be some advice I could give for building a gothy wardrobe. At first that question got me pretty much confused (or more the fact that it appeared more than once or twice lately), I have seen some of those guides before but thought they would be some nice inspiration when you got too confused in your wardrobe and maybe needed some inspiration or motivation for changing a bit or for clearing your wardrobe rather than being an actual guide on how to start dressing a special way but while talking to those lovely baby bats ( ❤ ) they indeed were asking how I would start to change my wardrobe / clothing jewelry these days and how I did ‘back then’ when my fabrics turned black, when I was on my pupils budged / pocket money. Telling me that today there is so much to shop that it is simply confusing for someone who just found their love for the darker subcultures. Got me thinking for a while.
So I found my first ‘bat family’ when I was just 11 years old. Back then (1998) there were not so many and easy to find goth stores, maybe when you were living in big cities but not in a tiny town like the one where I grew up. And online shopping? We barely had internet over here in Germany. I was happy for the ‘eldergoths’ who took care of me. Even though we did not have that word back then, simply amazing creatures who were 10 to 20 years older than me, some were in the punk or goth subculture for 10 years or more, they enjoyed taking care of that little girl over here so I got some help and inspiration for my DIY projects or sometimes I would even get a piece of clothing or accessorie, new or handmedown as present, lucky! Talking about being lucky, I was totally in love with the designs of Lip Service so when I learned about online shopping and after a lot of begging my mom sometimes would let me use her credit card for a USA lip service order!
Note: I did have some color phases when I tried to mix a piece or two into my wardrobe. Did not work for me but a girl has to try what a girl wants to try. If you like some of your ‘mainstream’ clothes who would have the right to tell you to throw them away? Nobody. And if you want to dress like a happy rainbow glitter faerie so please do it. Clothes should make you happy. I actually do have some friends who are still the gothiest person on earth in their hearts but due to job restrictions or issues their kids had at school because of their darkling parents or because they found their love for some color they changed their style to something more mainstream. Some would still throw on their gothy stuff and tease their hair on the weekends, some would not. Still friends. So stay with the people who adore you for the person inside of you, not for what you wear.
Whatever, after I thought about that topic for a while I thought I would do a small series on this blog (and while doing so, maybe take a closer look at my wardrobe – you know those moments that you realize you have too much of this or are missing that? Let me see what is hiding in the corners – even though I usually dig through my stuff once a year and sell what hasn’t been worn. Unless my heart is connected to it, of course.)
those that will remain: Iron Fists Walking in my Web Heavy Sole Boots, Doc Martens patent leather 20-hole boots, Solovair 8-hole stompy leather boots with steel cap. Right pic are my working boots, white 8-hole Doc Martens. All the other shoes and boots don’t get enough love and hence will face ebay soon, yay for some empty space in my wardrobe!
So when I started the first thing I wanted were shoes. Before, I was wearing Buffalo plateau shoes, blue and white, they were the only ones available in my size (EU41.5 / UK 8 / US10-11). Did I mention how horrible the shopping situation was? In the beginning I even used a sharpie to paint them black. For shopping some shoes you should know your feet and what style you currently shop for and what style you would like to go for. Someone who is more into 80s/90s goth might want to buy different boots than those who enjoy fetish, military, cyber or lolita. My advice would always be to start a pinterest or moodboard, we do have the technical advances of the internet so we should use it! Most companies these days have shoes made from leather and vegan alternatives for some of their designs as well.
My very first gothy boots were Doc Martens. Nothing is ever wrong with simple black stompy boots. Perfect for clubbing nights, days on the town, spent in nature or actually I think for everything. Even with a ballgown, let them stare, they probably never will understand how comfy they are once the blister days are over! I buy a new black 8-hole pair every 3-5 years and also have a white pair for work and a 20-hole pair in shiny black pvc as well as maybe 2-3 on my wishlist that I am sure I will never actually buy anyways. I am not a huge shoe collector, really I usually only have like 6 or 7 pairs at the same time – even my exes did have more shoes than me.
I then wanted a pair of heels, never wore high heels before, they hurt my feet, were super expensive and I hated them, even though they did look amazing and made my booty look not so much like that early, tiny teenage girl that I was but more like a womans, wasn’t worth it for me. New Rocks in Black / Purple if I’m not mistaken, I never even liked purple, they are no longer with me like so many other shoes afterwards. Today I do understand that my feet need plateau soles in heels and better have thick heels or none than those tiny spiky ones, I have 2 pairs of Jeffrey Campbell heels, they do feel amazing (Lita Night Spikes – those that look like unicorn feet with spikes – and Litas in black fishnets) and I sometimes wear them at home or when visiting friends or for photos or when I am sure there will be no uneven ground and no alcohol at an event. If the ground is not even I can’t dance in them. When I’m drunk I get clumsy and simply fall down. I still drool over some New Rocks, Fantasma or Hades heels but I know they would spend more time in a corner of my flat than on my feet so that is not going to happen unless I win the lottery. When you adore the metal heels of New Rocks, they also come with heels that are less extreme and Demonias latest collection has some metal heels as well and they have some really pretty plateau boots and shoes in general!
Oh and while we are talking about things that maybe will never happen, Wellington boots! Even in the worst rain I will stick to my Docs, lately there appeared some beautiful designs though, with skull/roses prints or in black with military inspired lacing on top of the rubber, those could convince me, maybe. Sandals will probably never be a part of my collection either, the shoes with less fabric in my collection already don’t get enough love because I hate when my feet get cold. 40°C in summer? You will still find me wearing my boots. Thinking about some of those black jelly sandals or flipflops for the swimming pool though. My sport shoes gave up a while ago so I currently stick to my stompy boots but my previous ones usually were Capezio or Asics.
As for lolita girls or any other playful female styles you might find the ones you like with TUK but be careful with the zippers, I killed some of my blackmilk leggings with them (three pairs of TUKs have been in my collection that I remember, we don’t like each other, they won’t last long for me but I have friends who love them and say they are lasting forever while their Demonias broke fast – those last forever for me though, they also do have some nice Mary Janes available.)
And of course, every 80s/90s goths favourite Winklepickers, these lately seem to be everywhere again as well which I consider a good thing. Remember my post about The Gothic Shoe Company? I learned that my feet feel cold in my pair and probably will sell them and get a boot-kind-of pair. BTW, I’m wondering why they never replied to my questions…?
Another brand you could browse would be Iron Fist, last time I checked they would not ship directly to Germany though but you can easily get most pairs at resellers like attitude, beserk, find them on ebay or amazon. Lately Killstar released their first collection of shoes as well! Tempted to buy a pair but those heels, trying to resist over here! When you are afraid of online shopping though you might find something for your needs in town as well, if the boots are too boring for your likings try adding some spikes, spiderweb or bat paints or exchange the laces with chains! For the people who prefer soft fabrics even chucks can look good, depending on how you style them!
So my collection is now cut in half, these will head to ebay: Demonia Sprite01, my Winklepickers, Jeffrey Campbell Fishnet Litas and Lita Night Spikes (Unicorn shoes)
Uh, so my shopping list now has black jelly sandals on it, two different pairs of Demonia boots (Clash 430, Sinister 203) as well as a new pair of Capezio dancesneakers and maybe, if lucky enough to find them in my size (EU41.5/UK8/US10) the YRU Qloud Gis. And I threw some of the shoes to an ebay pile that won’t be worn anyways because of cold feet. No matter how beautiful they are, shoes are made for walking, dancing and simply to be worn, not as decoration! I think that’s not too much for a wishlist though!
What are your preferences in shoes / boots? How did you start you collection? What is currently on your wishlist? Have a nice evening!