Saturday, January 18, 2014

Slaves of the Fashion Industry

 Happy Saturday and a Happy New Year to you all!

Let's start 2014 on a topic considered to be a great pillar of gothic culture- fashion!

Due to the grand amount of snow we had here, this last week at work has been exceptionally slow. No one wants to go look at glasses or get adjustments or even make their appointments in snow and subzero temperatures. Since all of my work was caught up, I decided to pass the time flipping through the most recently copy of InStyle that happened to be lying in my office.

Yikes. Just... yikes. I did not see style. I did not see fashion. I saw shapeless garments in clashing colors with celebrity endorsements. I saw slovenly, overpriced ensembles that absolutely no one would be able to pull off.. and yet, I know far too many people that buy into it all and mindlessly follow these gaudy trends.

Fashion is fun, yes, as it should be. It shouldn't have rigid rules.. but you still have to make judgement calls and just realize if something looks awful. No wonder there's an expiration on these fads, ie "those pants are so 2012!" because no  one really likes them to begin with!

The great thing about us goths is that our look overall is (more or less) timeless.. we borrow influence from beautiful eras of human history- Victorian times,  medieval era, ect.. fashions that have already stood the test of time and passed with flying colors... we stick to basic black and intricate details with subtle accents of varying shades of silvers, reds, and purples. Of course gothic fashion has its own internal trends every decade, but most of us still roll our eyes at the passing fads of stirrup pants and baggy sweaters.

But no matter what decade it is, there is one feature in gothic culture that stays constant-- we wear what we like, what makes us happy, what brings us back to golden times in our lives-- and we do not let the opinions of others dictate our wardrobes. We discover our fashion influences beyond the glossy, air brushed pages of Cosmo. In the music we listen to, in the museums we visit, the antique shops we browse, the funerals we attend.

 What amused me most about that particular issue was that it was the dress for 'your shape' issue. Now listen here, fashion industries, this lady knows a bit about dressing with generous curves, and your 'style tips' flatter NO ONE. Also, your 'diverse body shapes' all look the same, more or less.

 .. and anyone who falls beyond these 'diverse' body types is exiled to the land of frumpy granny muumuus.

 So one can only imagine my frustration with this magazine and their definition of fashion. I had a chat with two of my closest lady friends and we decided we could make a better magazine ourselves. If we ever did, I already know the summary of my article. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

DARQUE~FASHION! by The Gothic Optician

Want to conceal and flatter your hips?
 Fashion magazines suggest donning a tent made out of your least favorite bed sheets. Don't fall for this!

 The secret is balance. Emphasize your waist and balance your hips. Hiding is just lazy. Fishtail/Mermaid skirts are made for full hips! Plus, it looks quite fancy.

Image found on Pinterest
 Want to make your bust appear fuller?

 InStyle recommends covering yourself in an oversized sweater to convince others you're hiding something big.
 Yeah, because it's common to confuse Bill Cosby with Dolly Parton.

Instead, try a baby doll/ empire waist style. It shows off the bustline and flatters the tummy.

Ruffles also do this.

 Again, thick belts give the impression of a smaller waist, therefore, a larger bosom.
Belts are just awesome. They're my current favorite accessory. They have the torso-defining capabilities of a corset, but are a better choice for more casual settings.

Want to slim your arms?

Most fashion publications advise, yes, you guessed it- dressing yourself in bag lady fashion.

No one looks good in shapeless clothing-no one. Always accentuate your curves; always embrace the body you were blessed with. Once more, my personal advice, is balance. Both bell sleeves and bat wings sleeves trim your upper arms while putting off an air of enchantment.

 Want to make your look more exciting?

 Most fashion 'experts' say the best way to look exciting is to wear as many loud, obnoxious, gaudy colors as possible.


A more aesthetically pleasing way to spice up your style is with detail- detail, that is, that compliments the complete look rather than clashes with it.

And speaking of accessories and details....

I have found this to be rather helpful when picking out necklaces.

In closing, my dear friends...

People are going to look at you. Odds are, if you're reading this, you're different. People are going to stare, so give them plenty to stare at- chains or lace, fishnets or ribbons, studs or ruffles, velvet or vinyl- wear what you love and hold your head up high!Be you, because that's what makes you beautiful!

And don't over think it! Be like Marla Singer from Fight Club- just throw some things together. I guarantee you that if you wear it with confidence, it'll look 1000x's better than these outfits that overpaid wardrobe assistants have carefully planned and pieced together to look as though it was thrown together.


Think for yourselves- you don't need some uppity priss with a grey streak in her hair with her token gay friend in his mid-twenties tell you what you what to or..*ahem* what not to wear.

Stay fierce and stay spooky,
Sea, the Gothic Optician, A.B.O.C.


  1. THANK YOU!!!! I adore your style Sea and have started following your advice with a lot of my fashion choices anyway, but this needed to be said! While I don't always follow "the trend" when it comes to fashion, I do try to keep my wardrobe fairly well up to date (with my own personal dark but geeky flair of course). However, recent fashion "trends" have left me looking at them thinking "What the hell are they wearing???".
    If "Darque Fashion" was a real magazine, I'd definitely buy it! I think we need to either find a magazine like this or seriously look into creating one ourselves!

  2. LOVED this post!!! It really pisses me off when I see one of those "dress for your body type" articles in a magazine and all of the women they show look the models. Not that there is anything wrong with that body type, but very few people look like that! Don't say "apple shape" and then put a picture of a 6 foot tall 110 pound model! ARGH that picture of the "little black dresses for your body type" that you showed makes me so angry! I happen to be a busty woman who is a size 9 or 10. Not one of the dresses that they showed would be flattering on me. Images like this are very frustrating to me because the message they send out is that you can only be fashionable if you are super thin even though the article purports to tell the pear-shaped people of the world that they too can be stylish. *END RANT* Anyway, great post.