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Goth Costume Ideas

Dark hair and light skin are hallmarks of goth fashion.

Goth costumes tie in well to Halloween because of the inherent link between the holiday and the color black and the fantasy of goth culture. Whether authentic tributes to history’s gothic period or an homage to the youth movement, goth costumes can transition from Halloween to nightclub or party hopping easily.

Fetish Fashion

  • Both men and women wear fetish gear such as cuffs, chokers and vinyl or leather pants. Men can wear fishnet tops with or without a layer underneath or a vest on top. Women may wear fishnet hosiery and visible lingerie such as corsets or slips. Make your own costume pieces from scraps of leather cut to the size of your neck or wrists with snaps or ties glued to the ends for fastening. Women can create a simple tulle slip by gathering a length of tulle with a long machine stitch and inserting an elastic waistband at the top. Wear it under a short skirt with fishnet tights and black boots.


  • For both guys and girls, goth makeup usually includes paling the face and darkening lips and eyes. Influenced by vampire myth, goth makeup normally consists of white, black, dark reds and sometimes fantasy colors such as violet or blue. Apply the makeup more dramatically than would be used during daily wear. Use black eyeliner thickly around the eye and lashes. Use dark blood-red lipstick, or black.


  • When accessorizing your goth costume, wear shoes that complete the look. For both sexes, combat boots look great, especially with multiple rivets and buckles. Girls can wear heels with buckles or studs, and guys may wear a heavy dress shoe in black. Take a pair of shoes you already own and can afford to sacrifice and glue on spikes or studs. Canvas high- and low-top tennis shoes that come in whimsical colors or patterns may add a splash of color to an otherwise all-black costume or contrast with hosiery or pants colors. Add neon or black laces to a pair you already own.


  • Dye your hair for a goth costume using black, dark blue or plum temporary hair color. Coordinate your hair color with your clothes, or use a color that suits your character. As an alternative to dying your entire head, use streaks of fantasy colors such as purple, bright red or neon pink. Both men and women may spike hair up or wear it down close to the face, flattened over the eyes. A girl can wear her hair in a half-up style, down on the front and sides with a spiky ponytail on top.


  • Women can wear crushed velvet skirts or tops with trench coats. Thrift and vintage stores sometimes carry these items. Purchase something that fits and dye it black at home, or add studs, zippers or chains as trim. Men wear baggy slacks, sometimes with zippers or change. The pants can be black or red or other colors. Wear a white shirt on top with a pinstripe vest