The Traditional Goth

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These are the gothic originals. Those who have pretty much started the scene. Those who are the key members of it. These traditional goths are those who either started listening to Bauhaus, or would have at the time the band first appeared.

There is a stereotype on top of this stereotype of goth. That being that they are wary of newcomers to the scene. That they look at all the other goth types in this article and shriek in horror. That to them, goth is only this type. And nothing else.

And sure, there may be some members that believe this. However, on the whole, many of them know what it’s like to be ostracised. Especially those who were around at the start of the goth scene. They can be just as welcoming of change as any of the other goth types in this article.

Traditional Goths can be young or old. They can be in professional jobs, freelancers, or jobless. The Traditional Goth is as varied as a human in any other group.

Just like the history of goth itself, The Traditional Goth started out as an offshoot of the punk scene. It is what punk would be with a focus on aesthetics as opposed to a lack of them. A focus on black as opposed to other colours.

Tradtional Goth Fashion

Hairspray is in fact vitally important to the traditional goth. You can expect poofed up hair styles. A mess of hair that is yet something aesthetically pleasing. Of course, the typical hair colour is black.

Clothing wise, Traditional Goths are the most likely to follow the all black style. It is very rare to see splashes of colour on a Traditional Goth. Black tops, black trousers, black fishnets, black gloves. Black everything.

Fishnets are an important component. Feminine Traditional Goth Fashion dictates that any short skirt must be followed with fishnet tights. Masculine fashion also follows suit. Although here the fishnets tend to be on the arms. Gloves made of a fishnet material are especially common.

Although standard material is used, Traditional Goths can also go for leather, PVC and vinyl. In tops, dresses, trousers, coats, shirts. In fact, all of the fashion items. Again, all of this clothing is black.

The only other colour you might see on a traditional goth is silver. This comes from the accessories they attach to themselves. From the Punk scene, you might see a few wallet chains. These don’t always have to be attached to the trousers though. They can also be used on the tops, jackets and coats that they wear.

Necklaces are not unusual to see either. Sometimes these are simple chains. Sometimes they include crosses. Sometimes stars. Sometimes pentagrams. Sometimes just whatever pendant takes the fancy of the traditional goth.

Dangling silver earrings, on both feminine and masculine people, are also quite common.

You can also occasionally see collars or ribbons on a Traditional Goth. Just like with The Fetish Goth, this might indicate something else than a simple style choice. So always take caution before commenting on it.

Make up favours heavy eyeliner, heavy eye shadow, bold (or black) lipstick choices, and plenty of foundation. This is probably where the idea of goths not getting enough sun has come from.

Traditional Goth Music

To listen to traditional goth music is to listen to the history of the gothic culture.

Here you will see the essential bands of goth. Expect a Traditional Goth to be able to recite all of the lyrics of Bauhaus effortlessly. Expect a traditional goth to know a dizzying array of dance moves to Sisters of Mercy. Expect a Traditional Goth to have posters of Siouxsie and the Banshees in their bedroom. If the Traditional Goth is old enough, they probably also wrote love letters to Robert Smith of The Cure. Alien Sex Fiend and The Birthday Party are also common traditional gothic bands.

Traditional Goths will also have an appreciation of the music that led directly to goth. So expect them to listen to Joy Division and The Velvet Underground as well as old true punk bands like X-Ray Specs.

Multicultural Traditional Goths can also have a few german bands in their loved band lists, including Einst├╝rzende Neubauten.

Traditional Goths have a special relationship of the new music that is becoming associated with the movement. Some of them will look down on anything that has its roots in industrial. So EDM, Aggrotech and the like. Others are perfectly fine with it, even if it’s not their own cup of tea.

Some Traditional Goths do enjoy some of the newer wave of music. Because of the aetherial, soundscape nature of old goth bands they can be fans of a lot of new death-folk and neo-folk artists such as November Novelet and Death in June.

Traditional Goth Interests

There is a reason why goths are stereotyped (positively) as being artistic. Traditional Goths started it off.

At a time where the kind of goth clothing wasn’t as readily available, Traditional Goths followed the punk ethos of customising and creating their own clothing. Many traditional goths still uphold that tradition today. Being ready to turn any piece of clothing into a piece of art with the addition of rips or safety pins.

Because of the focus on subtle yet hauntingly beautiful lyrics, Traditional Goths can also be poets and writers themselves. Expect love letters and wonderful works of romantic fiction from your typical Traditional Goth.

Their sense of fashion also tends to extend to their home as well. Expect to see a lot of black furniture. Lace and velvet are also very common to see.

You might also encounter an old record player in a Traditional Goth’s home. Collecting original music of the goth culture is a sub-hobby of many traditional goths.

Traditional Goths might also try their hand at making their own music. Maybe they were or are even in a band.

The passion for the music makes The Traditional Goth an amazing person to know. Chances are, if you are friends with one, you will spend many an evening with them listening to music and drinking some good red wine (or even Absinth). Spending time with a Traditional Goth is a great way to have a crash-course in both goth and friendship.

(Header Image By John Verive (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr).

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