Guest post: Alternative fashion philosophy

This is a guest post by my friend Valtinen, who has badass Goth style. Enjoy!

Alternative Fashion Philosophy: Representation and Availability

For me, running out of black lipstick in April is a desperate situation. The last time I did, I ran around to every cosmetic booth within a forty mile radius of my home looking for a replacement. The assistants kept telling me to wait until October when they had their Halloween supplies stocked… which is the problem. I dress like it’s Halloween every day.

It takes work — and a lot of black lipstick — to be this awesome all the time.
(Me, Lakeview Cemetery, Seattle, WA, April 2011)

I wish I could say that I have always been brave enough to wear what I wanted but I haven’t been. Even my teen phase of gothic gear was unhappily brief. I felt judged for my macabre tastes which had begun in earliest childhood. I could never find what I wanted to wear. Given the classification of Freak throughout my formative years for the few things I did manage to scrounge up did nothing to further my hopes of being taken seriously. I started hiding my alternativeness beneath windbreakers, baseball caps, and khakis, a phase of “normal” that makes me now cringe with greater regret than any other garment choice ever has.

Yes, that’s a golf cart on the left. Let’s not talk about that…
(Me, Torrington Country Club, Goshen, CT, June 1995)

I have since been able to shed the constraints of mainstream fashion which govern the masses. I know that sounds like a judgment, but judgment only enters clothing and style when you depart from fads. It’s the spoon-fed marketing, “if you’re not wearing what’s fashionable, then you have a problem,” etc. The very fact that what I wanted to wear was not just condemned by the people of my environment but by every company that sold clothing made me think that something was wrong with me, “Why don’t I like the spring colours of puce and mauve?  Why don’t I want to wear pink and green plaid pants?? If I don’t wear distressed blue jeans, will I never get laid again?!?! Oh no!!!” Eventually, I called bullshit.


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Flashback: old-school Torrid

I recently came across a coupon I had printed out from when Torrid first opened:

Remember when Torrid was actually alternative?

I love the little cartoon girls representing goth, raver, glam (?), punk, and rockabilly styles. Continue reading