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unused_bagels's avatar

What's a good outfit for a goth chick to wear in the professional workplace?

Asked by unused_bagels (1749points) July 11th, 2011
13 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I’m making a graphic novel, and I have my main character going to work. In college, she was a serious goth chick, dressed to the 9’s in movie-grade gothic paraphernalia, listening to depressing metal, buying too much eyeliner, wearing paleface makeup, etc.
Now that she’s older, her style has settled down a bit. She still dyes the underside of her hair purple (called peekaboo highlights, I think), wears dark lipstick and nailpolish, but as an adult, her experimental stylings matured into a more presentable niche.
Ruth (that is her name) works as production assistant (clipboard and headset person behind the camera) on a TV morning show that broadcasts on network television, similar to the Today Show. While she doesn’t have to wear a pantsuit, she also can’t dress like the freak in the tattoo parlor.
What are some ideas of what she can wear to work? I want her to still preserve her personal style, while also affecting a professional air as to not startle the executives.

(as an idea, I’d originally come up with this , but I’m starting to dislike looking at it)

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Buttonstc's avatar

Start watching reruns of NCIS and you’ll see plenty of ideas.

The character of Abby is an extremely capable (genius level) computer forensics technician with an obviously demanding professional job and there’s no question about her “gothiness” or her great sense of style.

Great way to counter negative stereotypes.


ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I love what you came up with. What don’t you like about it?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Well tailored pants suits with super nice shoes and bags as the focus pieces, plain cotton button down shirts, vintage chotsky pins/brooches on the suit lapels.

unused_bagels's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I dread drawing it multiple times. However, I did look at Abby @Buttonstc and DUH! Why didn’t I look at her before?

I think I might be able to change the top with Abby’s wardrobe in mind and keep the rest of the outfit.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@unused_bagels ah, that makes sense. I could see why that might be a hassle. I do think you have the right idea, though.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Also, you might want to check out and for more ideas. They are similar to Polyvore, but you can drag the clothes and put them on models, see how they fit on a body.

gambitking's avatar

one word: STEAMPUNK

tastefully Goth since 1925

syz's avatar

I second the Abby recommendation.

syz (35938points)“Great Answer” (0points)
Buttonstc's avatar

I seriously doubt that either Abby or a PA on a TV set would be tripping around for an 8–10 hr. workday in boots with heels that high :)

Don’t TV sets have all kinds of cables and wires snaking all over the place. I cant remember what Abby’s regular footwear is like, but I’m quite sure I would have noticed heels that extreme :)

The only footwear choice of hers I remember is when she wore saddle shoes along with her plaid skirt and white blouse, a la gothicky Catholic schoolgirl. She really does have a style all her own :)

But for your PA girl, no matter how diehard a goth she is and regardless of how cool they look, I just can’t imagine her running around in heels that high all day (or that they would allow it in that type of workplace. Sitting at a desk is a different story) she could break her neck if she doesn’t watch her step :)

But you know who else I thought of even tho it was quite a while ago? Did you ever watch Daria on MTV (she was a spin-off from Beavis and Butthead, except much funnier, and way smarter humor)

She had an artsy goth friend named Jane. I’m sure there must be archives of the series somewhere on the net. It might give you a good idea for what works for repeated drawing and such. Jane really was a cool character.

I miss that show. It was so intelligently done. It was great.

Just my two cents worth.

unused_bagels's avatar

@Buttonstc not to discount your points (au contraire, it already is pointed out when she gets late for work and curses having to run in heels), but I can’t see Ruth in combat boots like Jane (I should have pointed out she’s also size 16ish), and heels accentuate her body style better. They do have cables, and also I’d considered giving her a goth dress with long flowing sleeves, and that was also impractical for anyone who had to work in a stressful pen and paper on the go environment. I think I’m going to keep the heels, simply because as an artist I can ignore certain things that are inconvenient (think movies that tone down collateral deaths in superhero fights, ignore that bullet wounds kill most people, etc).

Jane is more of the badass tomboy that Ruth was going to be at first, back when her name was Josie, and she had hair like Fairuza Balk in American History X, loved automatic rifles, and worked in a diner. Since then, she’s gotten more girly.

Find me some girly black combat boots and I’ll reconsider.

Buttonstc's avatar

You’re right. I had forgotten that Jane wore boots. And I would never suggest that for a ladylike character such as yours.

I also belatedly remembered that Jane was still in high school and not yet out in the professional world.

I can’t for the life of me remember very much at all about Abby’s regular footwear choices when not portraying a character. I’ll have to start paying more attention as I watch each week.

And your point about suspension of disbelief for fantasy characters is well taken. It was kind of in the back of my mind even as I typed :)

Touché. Your character creation, your reality.

Haleth's avatar

I second @gambitking on the steampunk. Great idea.

As it happens, I’m just starting out in the workplace, a size 14, and went through a goth stage that I grew out of. So I have a few thoughts for your character’s outfits.

It’s true that high heels are flattering, but there are a lot of other things you can do to look good, other than wearing heels. Wearing well-tailored clothes that fit properly is important. A-line skirts, well-cut blouses, boot-cut trousers, belted trenchcoats, structured blazers and dresses that nip in at the waist are all very flattering and professional.

You don’t really have to wear all black for people to get that you’re going for a goth look. Especially if you’re starting from dark hair and makeup, it’s possible to widen out the rest of the color palate in the outfit and still get the same effect. A girl in one of my art classes had black hair with blue undertones and wore chunky black combat boots and delicate white sundresses all the time, and that look really worked. But you can also use jewel-tone colors like turquoise or garnet, or muted colors like charcoal, navy blue, or taupe.

There are so many different variations and expressions on the goth look. You’ve got everything from Victorian corsets and bustles to futuristic looks like the cast of the Matrix. I dressed a bit like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club. Seriously, this question is a blast from the past. Anyway, one common thread in some of these more elegant looks not like mine is an element of fantasy, escapism, or taking inspiration from different times. You could give your character big, bold vintage jewelery in distressed metals, for example. Somehow I feel like chunky jewelery is flattering/slimming, too.

I made an outfit here as an example of some of these ideas.

dasiagrayson's avatar

I think she can wear a knee length skirt for here professional look. with the well fitted shirt.

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