Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen, Olivier Theyskens… the goth trend has been dominating the runways of a number of fashion designers in the industry for decades. The goth look has also been translated to the general society among those with an affinity to the melancholy and subdued. Black flowing dresses, pale-faced makeup, layers of mascara and thick eyeliners, and lips painted in shades of black or deep red are the signature looks of the goth style.


Colour 101 for the Goth Girl

Contrary to popular belief, the goth get-up is not necessarily dominated by a wave of blackness from head to toe. Apart from black, the goth colour scheme is usually made up of dark and muted colours such as wine and burgundy, dark brown and deep purple. Contrasting their dark outfits with bits of white is usually a common sight too.

Of course, not everyone who puts on a dark ensemble is channelling their inner goth. Some people naturally gravitate towards dark and muted colours, either wearing all-black from head to toe (giving the wearer the bonus effect of a slimmer figure) or combining neutral colours together with nary a bright and bold shade in sight.

If you are in this camp and are keen on experimenting with adding colours to your wardrobe, check out the following tips on how you can instantly liven up a dark outfit:

Pile on the Accessories

Amping up a dark outfit with colourful accessories is a great way to start off your journey towards wearing bright and bold shades. If you are not ready to display lots of colour in your outfit, you can add a nice touch of detail by wearing a pair of minimalist earrings or a necklace with a small, brightly-coloured pendant. When worn against a black top, for instance, these accessories will stand out just enough without grabbing too much attention. If you are feeling more daring with your colours, you can opt for statement jewellery such as a pair of dangly hoop earrings or a chunky necklace. For something more minimal but still attention-grabbing, put on stackable rings in either gold or silver. Mix and match the ring designs such as going for minimal bands as well as rings accented with gemstones.

Wear a Colourful Inner Layer

Layering your clothes is another easy way to add colour to an otherwise muted outfit. To add a pop of brighter shade but still stay true to your goth style, wear a colourful top and keep the rest of your outfit dark. For example, you can layer a black leather jacket or box-cut blazer over your top so that just a sliver of colour shows through. This technique is also great when you are keen to experiment with prints but not yet brave enough to carry off the whole printed outfit shebang.

It’s All in the Details

If wearing an entirely bright-coloured top is still too much for you, how about opting for clothes with subtle but colourful details? For instance, opt for tops with little embroidered patterns on the hems, a pair of jeans with colourful patches stitched onto them, or a leather jacket with chunky gold or silver zippers. Minimal details like these can break up the monotony of a dark outfit just enough that it keeps your outfit interesting but still keeps you in your dark comfort zone.

Go Bold with Your Shoes

If you are not keen on adding colour on your clothes or accessories, how about diverting the attention all the way down to your feet? A bold-coloured pair of shoes paired with clothes in a muted colour scheme will liven up your entire outfit instantly. Just imagine an entirely black outfit complemented with a pair of canary yellow heels or sunset orange ballet flats. Unexpected pairings like that are certainly attention-grabbing, no? You can even up the statement level of your shoes by wearing something with a heavier look such as chunky oxfords or platform boots. Even if they are in bright colours, the more masculine styles of these shoes will go perfectly with your dark ensemble.

Colour Up Your Face

If makeup is part of your everyday getup, why not play around with the colours by implementing brighter shades? A dark-coloured outfit can easily be softened with a subtle and more minimal look such as wearing pink or mauve lipstick shades or applying a wash of peach eyeshadow to your eyelids. If soft makeup looks are not your thing, you can pair a daring makeup look with your outfit by painting your lips in bold shades of red, purple or coral. Or experiment with unique eye looks such as creating an electric blue cat eye or lining your eyes with glitter eyeliner. There are even mascaras in shades other than black to allow you to coat your lashes in every bold shade your inner goth heart desires.