Gothic Aesthetic


What is a gothic aesthetic?

What are some of its most distinct characteristics?

Does it include many subcultures?

The gothic aesthetic refers to the visuals associated with the goth subculture. This aesthetic may include clothing, makeup, hair styles, interior decorating, floral arrangements, movies, music videos, and much more. Anything visual that is related to the goth concept is part of the goth aesthetic.

Some of the most distinct characteristics of this aesthetic are black and blood red colors as well as deep purples and sometimes dark blues. Other characteristics include florals, a combination of light and dark elements, and symbolism including skulls, bats, crosses, and more.

There are several goth subcultures that fall under the goth aesthetic umbrella. Some of these include romantic goth, steampunk goth, vampire goth, pastel goth, and others. If a subculture is part of the goth theme, then it is part of the goth aesthetic as well.

The history of the goth aesthetic dates back to to the 1980s, when goth diverged from punk music and became its own scene. The styles associated with the goth aesthetic, however, can be traced all the way back to the Victorian period.

The goth aesthetic can be set apart from other fashion styles because of its focus on darkness and edgy concepts and ideas. It’s association with punk, grunge, and emo all make it stand out more noticeably as well, but goth is still its own aesthetic, set apart from these.

In the article below, you’ll find some examples of the goth aesthetic. Take your time looking through these to see for yourself which styles and images are associated with this subculture. Read on to find out more!

1. Gothic Graveyard

This composite image shows many goth aesthetic elements all rolled into one. It includes bare trees, graveyard backdrops, and bats as well as a model who is wearing a goth appropriate outfit. The mausoleum in the background adds to the overall goth sensation of this image and completes the aesthetic too.

2. Mermaid Corset Dress

This image shows a model who wears a tight corset-style dress with a mermaid hemline and elbow-length black gloves. She pairs this look with a black necklace, long black hair, and heavy black makeup. Posing in a graveyard, she exemplifies the goth aesthetic well.

3. Victorian Goth

This Victorian style goth image shows a woman wearing a long, full black dress with a black underbust corset and long bell sleeves. She is also wearing a choker and a tiara, and she is posing in front of tombstones. The black and white style of this image adds to the goth theme.

4. High Slit Black Dress

This goth aesthetic is ideal for romantic goths. The model wears a black form-fitting dress with a high slit up the leg and a deep neckline. The neckline is finished with laces and grommets, and she has paired the dress with a chunky black collar-style choker.

5. Vampire Style

This model is showing a vampire goth aesthetic. She wears high platform heels with a black dress that has a plunging neckline and a high slit up the legs. She also has messy black hair that is teased high for a 1980s trad goth flair, and she wears dark makeup with vampire fangs.

6. Elegance in Darkness

This picture shows a model who is wearing a button-up shirt that is reminiscent of corset styles. The model also wears black pants with a silver chain attached to one hip, and has long black hair to complete the look. The model’s makeup is dark and heavy in true goth fashion.

7. Black Leather

This aesthetic shows just how important some good quality black leather (or faux black leather) can be for a goth’s wardrobe. The model is wearing black leather pants and has paired them with an open black jacket and a shirtless look. The style is finished with long, straight, black hair for a vampire theme.

8. Grunge Goth

This aesthetic follows the grunge scene a little more closely than the goth, but it can be used for both. The style includes long black hair, black arm warmers, and a black sleeveless shirt with black pants. The model also has a large arm tattoo that helps complete the look.

9. Goth Home

This sitting room or dining room in a goth home is perfect for those who want to live a luxurious romantic or vampire goth lifestyle. It includes a large hanging chandelier and a white marble statue as well as a formally decorated small table. All the decor is black, gray, or red with touches of white.

10. Gothic Room

This room is particularly goth and can come across as a little eerie to some as well. It includes several religious symbols such as crosses, angels, and statuettes. It also features mirrors and Victorian-style photographs, all outlined by different types of frames to give the room a sense of disorder.

11. Victorian Home Decor

This image shows a Victorian interior space that is ideal for romantic, steampunk, or vampire goths. It includes plenty of glass and crystal displays as well as tons of different styles of picture frames, all featuring Victorian-style photographs. The display is finished with some sprays of baby’s breath and a haunting animal skull.

12. Goth Bedroom

This goth bedroom is great inspiration for anyone who is looking to put together this type of room. The room includes a large four-poster bed with black bed coverings and sheets as well as black and white damask pillow cases. The bed is finished with black sheer fabric draping over the canopy and down the sides of the posts, and the room itself features black accents against off-white walls. Overall, this room is an ideal space for any goth and can be used a springboard for further goth decor.

13. Goth Candle Display

This image shows a candle display perfect for a goth household. It includes a white candle in a glass jar, a skull, and bottles that look like they may have once contained wine. It is finished with a spray of foliage and flowers in the background to give it a romantic goth vibe.


Who are some goth icons who truly embody the goth aesthetic? SIouxsie Sioux is one of the most well-known icons of 1980s goth. However, there are plenty of other musicians in particular who can be used to identify themes and concepts of the goth aesthetic, including David Bowie, Amy Lee, and many more.

With the help of the images listed above, you should be ready to recognize just about any type of goth you might come across. You can use this information to form your own goth experiences and determine which goth styles, if any, are right for you. If you’re interested in getting started with the goth lifestyle or elevating your goth life even further, you can also use these images to give you some inspiration and help you get started.

Remember, too, that there are plenty more goth aesthetic images out there on the Internet. All you need to do is take your time looking through them to curate the right collection to inspire you as you experience life as a goth.

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