When Times are Tough…Fashion.

Hello from your most irregular Auntie folks.

Yes I KNOW I said more posts but, life does things.

So instead let’s talk fashion. I was talking to a Baby Bat I know and they were fairly astonished by my Gothable View of fashion. There are affiliate links in here. Marked with an * for everything not covered by Amazon or Shopstyle.

What is Gothable?

Gothable in my world are not specifically Goth things that I can and will put in my wardrobe. I think for a lot of folks, especially us Office Goths, we can’t always be decked out in Victorian Luxe a la my fave Auntie Jillian. Some of us would rather not. So let’s talk about things I find HIGHLY gothable. With two brand new pin boards.

I personally have a philosophy that if I can buy an item, I will because I like it. This also means I do frequently as I’ve mentioned shopped at places folks disapprove of for various reasons. My current booty is about chonky teen sized and a lot of jrs cut clothing fits me well so I’ve been buying some great pieces at Hot Topic. *GASP* THE HORROR.

I also bought pieces from times when Gothyish was in because here’s the thing. Most of us can’t afford to buy exclusively GOTH brands nor do all of us have the skill for DIY. I KNOW OMG THE LIFESTYLE RAWR OH GOD DIY OR DIE…ahem.

Sewing is a skill. I personally have made clothes and they looked okay but sucked. Most of the time, even if I’m recycling shit, I just don’t have the skills to make anything cool. And my efforts tend to a.) not look good and b.) wind up costing as much as retail in time, spoons and materials. So DIY if you can but storebought is goddamn fine.

For my first pinboard, I labeled it affordable Gothables. There’s stuff from Walmart, Etsy, Asos, Target etc.

The great thing about anything alt or dark flavored being trendy is that those styles become knocked off and accessible. Can’t afford Killstar* you can probably find things similar if you look that fit in your budget.

Below is my, if neither size nor budget were a consideration Goth Dream Lewks. Designer shit that wouldn’t fit me etc. I use these as aesthetic ideas mainly.

Another method of Gothables for me is accessories. GOSH. Y’all. Between Etsy, Ebay and Amazon and whatnot you can find some spooky accessories for every price point. Evil Empire links ahoy.

 These cuties are under ten bucks a pop and I personally love them. Love skulls? Can’t afford real bones? Items like this are great. Unlike when I was a babybat, it was ding dang hard to find cheap spooky jewelry that was shiny AND as these are nickel free.

Wanna DIY it? Grab some plain chokers like these and voila, slide a lil skull on it and voila. Fashion.

Would you rather buy handmade? Some of my fave shops.

UglyShyla. (Do NOT CLICK if you are scared of dolls) I really love Shyla’s pieces. I probably have four or so. She goes far to make things that are both lower and higher end prices. Nice quality.

Vandyland makes some cute necklaces. I want to say I have 2? Horror icons, movie references. These are not expensive and light to wear.

Osteal. Like bones and witchy looking pretty things made of metal? Check out this shop. I have a piece from Osteal that was gifted to me and is really nice. Very reasonable pricing.

Sumayyah Said So.  This shop is run by a dear friend of mine. I have, gosh five pieces from them? Anyway, they make beautiful jewelry including earrings, wrapped stones and necklaces. US shipping only.

Shakur Arts Studio. Looking for something really unique? Another shop run by a dear friend. They have some really beautiful and creative fiber/yarn art pieces. Yarn and beads they also make some really lovely collage art.

Wolftea. I don’t know how I found Wolftea but I have a couple of their antler pieces and I just love them. If you are going for a forest witch or Dark Mori inspo, this shop has it.

My secret to finding accessories is that I limit my search terms. For instance, search bone jewelry on etsy and find a HUGE choice of items that range from 5-10$ on up through the 100s.

This is also where I encourage you to get your thrift on. Whether online or in the shops. If you have holy grail items, set yourself some alerts in ebay or Poshmark. When I set my search alerts I usually will do the name of a style and my size. Or if it is harder to find, just the name of the style.

Here’s the thing about aesthetics. Some folks just like a Dark or Gothy Aesthetic. That’s fine. Some folks are ALL in with the culture. Also fine. Dark aesthetics being trendy isn’t the end of the world. One brand *cough Killstar* isn’t newly making being Goth expensive. This has been a thing forever, not because of trends but because capitalism. Be mad at the right thing.

And lastly, y’alls. Have some fuckin fun. Aesthetics doesn’t have to be srs business even if it is Goth Aesthetics. Enjoy yourself. Wear a crop top. Get your booty shorts on. Wear winklepickers with broomstick skirts and band tees. Do you Boo.

Hoodwitchery Problems

I have some eclectic hood witch things I like to do and whatnot and I’m coming across some issues I remember running into when I was full Witch Woo back in the day.

For my particular flavor of woo, I work and check myself to not be appropriative or gross in what I do. Call it Hood witchery, Kitchen Witchery, Eclectic Pagan- I don’t really feel attached to the name of any one tradition and as I’ve gotten older, Hood Witch is where I feel best.

Currently I don’t have a space for a full sized altar so I’ve been gathering bits and bobs to put in my bag to carry with me. I was gifted some beautiful chunks of crystals and I have a list of other things I want for it.

Now here is the problem.

Some of the things I want come from the diaspora and I don’t want to buy them from white people who group things like the I Ching, tarot, quasi Buddhism, Hoodoo, Voodoo a smattering of Santeria and other Columbused sacred things. Also, I live in Seattle so a lot of that is fairly unavoidable.

I keep searching etsy and other places and try to vet who I’m purchasing from but y’all….shit is tiring as fuck.

I don’t want to have to cleanse items of their residual Columbusing bad feelings before I can use them.

 

I’m searching carefully, I don’t need to rush the process.

My personal methodologies of magic have started to intersect with my general self-care practices and for me that feels very right.

I’m finding that right now with the rise of witchy imagery and a (at least aesthetic) acceptance of darker things, is that I cannot get away from white folkx Columbusing the magic of POC. On one hand, after so many years of my life having these interests (spiritually, aesthetically etc) and having to just deal with having zero representation save for the Columbused occasional depiction of a Loa, now there’s some representation but sometimes I have some issues.

The Black witchy aesthetic tends to mirror the White one. Thin, willowly and beautiful in expensive clothes with beautiful background images and Insta photos that are yes super beautiful to look at but for me are so well filtered and presented there’s nothing for me to connect to.

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about it. On one hand, I really do love looking at beautiful people doing stuff I think is beautiful. One of the best things about social media like tumblr (you can follow me if you wanna not always sfw) is that I’m able to fulfill the hunger I have for looking at and talking to my fellow Black weirdos. It is fucking amazing. I mean I’ve found some Black witch groups on the facebooks and it feels overall super good.

This uh, melding of the aesthetic and spiritual is great for me emotionally. I had an essay in Witch Craft magazine (read the playlist for it here and pick up a copy it is amazing) about my magic and embodying dark scary magic and that is what I crave. And for a while I was able to escape Whiteness in this and currently not so much.

As I’ve gotten older, learning to embrace these things about myself more fully and not argue with myself about it has been great. Reclamation and creating myself are very important to who I am as a human and currently this is what my remaking is made of.

So yes, I’m having some issues with this but, overall I’m making it work.

How about a Flash Back Friday photo?

Me showing a friend my big hair and when I was just starting to re-enter my wooness.

At some point when I’m comfortable I’ll talk more in depth about my woo. Suffice to say, it’s pretty all over the place like me and it is perfect.

Photo circa maybe 2013?

flashbackfriday

Some visual inspo.

So let’s talk about some of the people I find beautiful.

I know I have a few readers who use screen readers and I’ve been trying really hard to do better image descriptions, if any of y’all have suggestions as to how I can do better PLEASE tell me. I’m very not confident that I’m doing them right.

Let’s dive in.

stevie

[image description: Stevie Nicks in a black and white photo posed as if dancing. She is wearing a tophat and sheery layered dress]

Okay, my first Goth flavored love was Stevie Nicks. Y’all, I cannot tell you how many times I was buck naked draped in a blanket spinning and caterwauling Rhiannon or marching to Tusk. I’ve always found her mesmerizing and occasionally to this day I will put on a shawl and spin.

Next up, Sigourney Weaver from Alien. Yes, I probably shouldn’t have seen that movie so young but I did and frankly between her and the Xenomorph queen well….here I am. Between Ripley being the most bad ass woman I had ever seen, her angular handsome face, and how unglamorous she was and so focused on ass kickery- y’all. If I wasn’t pretty fuckin queer at birth I will say that Ripley made me. I mean-

aliens_sigourney_weaver_ellen_ripley

[Image description: Sigourney Weaver with short brown hair, holding a child in one arm and a large gun in the other. 

Looking back, I both wanted to look like Ripley AND be rescued/loved by her.

siouxsie-sioux-e1441057646207-640x421

[image description: Siouxsie Sioux sitting, she has on fishnet hosiery, tall black boots, black shorts and a black vest. Her hair is big and teased, her eyes are close.

Siouxsie Sioux. I mean. I’m a Goth you knew what it would be. I remember seeing a poster of her in my punk babysitter’s room and instantly was in awe. The sharpness of her make up, the red lips, the eye. It was everything I wanted. I fell in early and deep love with punk and goth folks because I love me some dirty not pretty/pretty glamour. Give me grimy. The torn tights, the smeared eye-

Y’all.

I had no chance.

Nothing could have stopped the Gothness.

Now, rather than load up eleventy million more photos, y’all get my drift and I’ll leave some names at the bottom of this entry.

From a very young age, say about 5-6 I understood that I couldn’t be as glamorous as any of the people I found beautiful. I was dark (way darker than I am now) and small and chubby. I had an awareness that dark chunky little Shannon did not exist within the framework of white and pretty.

I couldn’t have said that, but I understood it. What I find most interesting about it is that, it was really just a thing I settled on and didn’t dwell upon. I didn’t know yet to feel bad about it, it was just a thing and I dealt with it. So, I played dress up and I spent HOURS putting on make up when someone let me, and hours studying the walks and poses. I remember once sitting in a makeup artist’s chair while my Mom was getting her hair cut so she could do some headshots for a salon and I sat with a fashion magazine and carefully duplicated a look.

The make up artist was so pleased and I loved it so much. He was pleased that I didn’t make a mess of his stuff and that I was so quiet and glamorous. I remember how good it felt to be acknowledged and seen that way. These days I’d equate it to the moments when other Femmes and I give each other the, YASSS BITCH nod and understand we’re being pretty gay with each other.

It’s the same feeling when friends post thirst trap photos and I can say LOOK at that ass and everybody knows what it is. It’s never gross or whatever because we trust each other to see each other.

When I got to about the 5th grade, then I started to feel bad for not being White nor pretty. I started to equate White and Pretty with value as a human being. That was reinforced by living in America and being one of very few Black kids in my community. I had no mirror for myself. That is when I started to really internalize ALL the anti-Blackness.

Shit is fucked up.

Around that time I also decided that my interests in alternative style was bullshit and stupid because there was no WAY I could have ever subjected people to my fat Black ass in clothes meant for Thin Pretty White girls. I would have told you at the time that I just wasn’t interested, but wouldn’t have been able to articulate why.

That was a burden I carried early.

Outside of my bedroom dress up (which I did and still do to this day) at the time I did not let my real tastes be known. Year’s at home by myself, I learned to wear forty pounds of black eyeliner by the time I was in the 8th grade, but I wouldn’t dare do it out of the house. Parental objections aside, I just didn’t believe I was allowed to engage with fashion or beauty that way.

Through high school beauty became a painful thing for me. I couldn’t buy make up because there wasn’t brown make up for me to have access to, I was just baby woke and just learning about feminism so I decided that I didn’t need it and was weak and anti-woman to want it.

I was lying. I desperately wanted to wear my hair in a caeser (it was the 90s hoes), I wanted to wear ugly babydoll dresses and combat boots. I wanted to wear tight babydoll tshirts and just so baggy pants. I wanted to look like Adina Howard and dress like Siouxsie.

I didn’t because I was of course ALL wrong for all of that.

Later I explored a bit more. I decided since I was fat and ugly anyway, I’d just wear what the fuck I wanted to wear. I wore a lot of glitter on my face, and a lot of costume jewelry, and a lot of masc thrift store vintage clothes. I wasn’t feeling brave but, like I wanted to shock people with my body.

There wre years at the time where I was very uh, self destructive with my beauty and aesthetics because I could not realize that I did deserve them and that I could engage with beauty. Shit was hard.

As I got older, I started working it out. For a few years I was the wears ultra minis and vinyl in the daytime type Goth. I was a fancy Goth for a minute. I gave it all up and wore khakis and sports wear for a couple of years (that was awful) and through my mid-20s I was perfecting my casual Femme office gothness.

Let’s wrap up here for now. Y’all see where it all started.

Next time we talk my tastes, I’ll show y’all what inspires me on a fantastical level.

Fall Textures.

Hello sweet thangs.

Let’s talk texture and fall clothes. I’m a bit of a texture fanatic. I can be really picky about what fabrics to go next to my skin and I’m just learning what fabrics to layer.

First up, let’s talk my texture, aesthetic.

I like soft. A lot of the time I like to feel like I’m wearing something as close to jammies as possible while still rocking my aging office Goth aesthetic. Affiliate links, ahoy.

First up I’m SUPER into Old Navy tees. They aren’t the most sturdy but, as far as comfort goes can’t beat them.

I really love the shape of this Tulip Tunic Tee.  That tee comes in a few colors and I see a lot of the sizes are sold out. Keep an eye on them.

I’m a big fan of their lightweight tees as well. As I learn to layer properly, they tend towards the soft side. Pro tip if you’re really busty, the relaxed Vneck anything is going to show ALL your goodies. Get a size down or wear a cami.

My FAVORITE ON tees of all time are these. When I buy them, I buy doubles in each color. I will buy one a size down for a more fitted body con fit, and one my regular size for a slightly looser fit. I find it really easy to layer these with a nice thinner weight sweater or cardigan. For me, (hot flash city up in here) I’m not quite cold enough to be layering the chunkier knits just yet.

Essential for fall, I want soft but not fuzzy texture. I want fabrics that don’t stick together and have a little bit of extra weight to them.

I keep having visions of picking up some thinner weight oversize sweaters. I found some at Amazon that look worth a try.

This one is very cute. I love LOVE layering a cami under a sweater. Pro tip if you are entering or have entered hot flash territory. This type of sweater is thin enough you won’t boil.

Note I think this might be Asian sizing so make sure if you order to read the reviews. Check any photos.

I’m also super into this top/dress thing. Picture it over some faux leather leggings. With maybe a cardigan or other sweaterish thing. Floaty and soft.

For cardigans I have several like this one. Shawl collar and a pixie hem AND it looks soft?

Sign me up.

In my fantasy life, Fall means lots of layers. Lots of mixing things like chiffon and knits, peeks of leather, some faux fur, silky things, all over a good soft tshirt type base layer. Very Strega. For me probably because I live in Seattle, I want to let my inner Fancy Goth out. Lots of layers of skirts, velvet, and of course fancy leggings and my trusty Doc Martens.

That is my dream life. In actual life I’m awful at layering. I might look cute, but tend to not layer the right fabrics together and wind up fidgeting with myself all day. A person can dream tho right?

I think if I can afford to really redo my wardrobe I will be better equipped to dress more to my own preference in Fall.

The other thing about texture in Fall for me is that Fall tends to give me more opportunity to dress a bit more masculine at times. Fall makes me feel more masculine in how I want to present but only my clothes. I want to wear oxfords and nicely cut cord pants. Think low key dapper, cords, sweatervests, I wish I was a tie person but I hate wearing them.

Once upon a time I had quite a collection of vintage and thrifted blazers for this purpose. One of my favorite outfits I’ve ever owned was some black bootcut trousers worn with a very fuzzy ratty black sweatervest and a burgundy velvet blazer. I wore it with my Docs and always felt like a handsome Goth Prince. I’d like to explore that more. We’ll see.

For my face, I like it as always creepy matte. Dead Matte. Dolly matte. During the actual season change, my skin goes bananas. My face gets greasier, my body gets drier and EVERYTHING is wild AF. I’m still rocking with my L’Oreal Pro matte but I’m back on the hunt for the perfect powder that isn’t my holy grail Mac Blot powder because that shit is expensive as hell.

For my face I want big vampy shiny lips. I’m kind of over a matte lip. I love the color selection of matte lippies but I want my mouth luscious.

I’m also getting back into more eyeshadows since I won’t be sweating them into creased up messes.

For my nails, I’m back to wanting em yeah you guessed it, long and dark and shiny.

I tend to wear my nails quite long since I’ve been with the dude. He’s a CIS dude so no need for short nails. I’ll do a whole post about my nails later on.

Okay, tomorrow I want to do a post about what I want this blog to be, talk about my fundraiser and how I’m teaching myself to write about fashion and beauty and stuff on my own terms.

 

Fall Aesthetics- Gender Fluid Goth Feelings

It is officially Fall in my brain. The weather is cooling down and is grey and drizzly.

That means, Fall Aesthetics are happening.

Per usual since I am protective styling my hair, I changed it. I’m rocking some evil mermaid locks right now and I’m super into it. I’ll have a whole post about it soon.

newhair

[image description: photo of the author. Brown skinned person with black and burgundy long wavy hair]

So that’s the hair aesthetic right now. A little Evil Femme Mermaid.

NOW the clothes.

Fall and cooler weather means I have to wear more pants and weather resistant stuff. Can we talk about what I’m craving?

My ultimate Fall looks are lots of vampy make up (messy smokey eye, big dark lips) very Goth Femme and I like cardigans and if I’m wearing pants I prefer skinny cut jeans (but not denim if I can help it), straight cut twill pants and of course leggings.

How about some links? Some are affiliate some not:

For some masc/butch footwear can we talk about black on black Timberlands? They are pricy but I believe they are worth it. When I was in my early 20s I had some classic ones that lasted for probably six years with a lot of heavy wear. Pro tip if you have smaller feet like me, try looking at Kids Footlocker for big kid sizes. You save some cash and have a few extra finish types to choose from. The other great thing about this style of boot is that if you get the adult sizes usually the mens sizes, they are steel cap which is great.

Also, if you can’t afford Timbs, check places like Payless or Kmart for similar styles. Usually you can find them in the work boot area.

Next tip about pants.

For reference about my body. In pants I am usually a 13-15 in Jrs. In grown lady pants depending on the cut and brand I’m anywhere from a 10-14. I have big ass hams and not a lot of booty. I also loathe pants. I wear them because I don’t like my ass or cooch being cold but I hate pants. Mainly because a lot of pants tend to not fit my hips/low waist at the same time. Or my high natural waist and my hips at the same time.

My advice about pants, especially for gender fluid folks.

Find a style of ass covering that makes you feel good about your booty. Doesn’t matter if they are dude pants, lady pants, leggings, jeggings, whatever.

Now for me, let me show y’all some of what is on my wishlist.

First up I am actually wearing these right now:

These are (that is an amazon affiliate link) Jr sizing low rise straight leg twill pants.

Pros: these fit my big hams small booty self very well. The rise is a bit low but not unbearable. They are inexpensive and last pretty well. Comfy (the material softens up very nicely) and I like them. They are very easily modded. They are very plain so you can add patches or trim or whatever floats your boat.

Cons: They do stretch kind of weird. You will eventually need a belt especially if you sit a lot.They are not the quality that the dude Dickie’s usually are. The material is thinner and they will not look as good for long.

They also do come in plus sizes.

Tips for buying: I have not found them in stores so if you’re unsure, order two sizes and return what doesn’t fit. Also if you have more booty in the pants regardless of size this cut probably won’t do you any good.

I’ve got half a mind to give this style a shot as well. I like that slightly wide leg fit. That sort of cut always makes me feel a little more boy. 

 

When I’m feeling a bit less masc but I don’t feel like wearing a dress I’m super into printed leggings this year.

Behold my new favorite leggings.

hammy

[image description: a photo of crossed legs. The leggings have small light colored print]

Those are my Bloodmilk Knock off Hamlet leggings.

Okay, yes I know I bought knock offs. I’m awful and whatnot.

Real talk though. I cannot spend on a good day (they are in Australia so the prices are in AUD) like 60$ on leggings that will probably not fit me because Bloodmilk notoriously does not serve fatties.So yeah nope. Fuck those people.

My secret for the four pairs of printed leggings I’ve picked up has been ebay. Search for your print and make sure you read any feedback and reviews. Keywords you want to pay attention to in the sizing details. American vs Asian sizing. Asian sizing is going to almost always run quite a bit smaller.

Some leggings hacks, especially printed leggings.

If they are a bit too see through in the butt or crotch wear tunic length tops. If they are just a bit too small or they don’t go all the way up to your crotch, get some tight fitting undies like mens briefs and wear em super hero style with a long top.

If the waistband elastic is too tight, break that shit. Basically stretch it until you hear or feel it pop then stretch it a bit more.

If you are more crafty, you can replace too small elastic with something else stretchy to give yourself more space in the waist without sacrificing your print.

Now let’s talk about some other subtle ways to get your gender feels on without having to buy more stuff.

For me personally when I’m feeling a bit more Masc Femme, I tend to wear different jewelry. Still pretty femme but it feels good to me to wear my chunkier jewelry when I feel more masc and my  more delicate jewelry when I feel more Feminine Femme.

I’m still exploring more ways of expressing my gender and talking about it in a way that fits the type of fluidity I feel.

What else are my Fall aesthetics? Some beauty stuff okay?

VAMPY LIPS Y’ALL.

I’ve been wearing the HELL out of this J.Cat Beauty Lip paint stuff in Queen of Hearts. It is a tad bit messy and if you have any dry skin around your mouth this will be an issue. It is really full coverage and I find that playing with blotting can totally change how the product looks on your lips. Super worth it

I’m also super into Nyx lippies. Y’all they have a TON of finishes, colors, opacities etc to choose from and they are fairly inexpensive so you can get to experiment without busting the bank. Currently I’m super obsessed with the Butter Glosses. I think at last count I have six of them and I LOVE them. Pro tip: they are frequently on sale at drug stores and Ulta for great deals like I picked up some that were buy two Nyx products get one free.

I’m still on the hunt for a new coat to wear between now and actual cold weather. I am super picky and have a terrible wool allergy so that struggle is super real.

Next time, I’ll probably blog some about more gender feels, some new skin care stuff I’m playing with and my urge to Vlog.

Later taters.