If a picture speaks a thousand words, your appearance speaks even more. Avoiding stereotypes is part of the challenge of choosing your own personal style. Gothic subculture focuses on unusual, dramatic beauty, and the combination of black hair and a fair complexion is usually popular with Goths. However, by avoiding dark colors or harsh makeup, you can give yourself a whole new look. Whether you want to appear professional, casual or flirty, get creative and make your coloring work for you.

For Girls

Wear eye-catching colors. With black hair and pale skin, black clothing often looks dramatic. Avoid a Gothic look by opting for lighter or brighter colors. If your skin has cool undertones, such as blue or pink, try aqua, rich reds, turquoise or cream. For pale skin with warm undertones, such as golden or ivory, try coral, green, darker blues and earthy browns.

If you decide to wear black or dark grey, pair one dark clothing item with brighter shades. For instance, pair a black dress with a bright pink cardigan or pair dark pants with a sunny yellow blouse.

Accessorize. Gothic accessories usually include fishnet tights, gloves and ornate jewelry with studs or spikes. To avoid looking Gothic, choose simpler accessories, such as ballet flats, a classic wristwatch, a vintage pendant or a floral hair clip. Aim for feminine and colorful or polished and sleek, steering clear from heavy or elaborate accessories.

Apply soft, colorful makeup. Gothic makeup usually features heavy black eye makeup and dark, matte lips. Add a little color to your fair complexion by blending red or pink blush into the apples of your cheeks. Keep your eye makeup simple, with eye shadows or liners in shimmery neutral shades. Use a lightly tinted lip gloss.

Style your hair. Gothic hair tends to go against trends, whether spiked and angular or dramatically long. Add soft simplicity to your black hair by choosing face-framing layers or wearing a flirty ponytail. Lighten your hair with subtle auburn or brown highlights.

For Guys

Wear tailored outfits. Instead of dramatic or attention-getting clothes, aim for classic or trendy clothes that fit you well without being too baggy or tight. Pair basic jeans with a cardigan, wearing sneakers instead of combat boots. Incorporate flattering colors into your wardrobe, such as browns, navy and green, and avoid wearing all black.

Groom your hair. A short, simple haircut keeps your black hair looking trendy and understated. Keep your hair looking well groomed with basic styling products, such as lightweight gels. Avoid growing your hair past the shoulders. Your facial hair should also be clean-cut or well groomed, giving a more professional, polished look.

Choose simple accessories. A wristwatch, basic wallet and a belt with an understated vintage buckle give you a classic, professional look. For more creativity, try a leather wristband or a tie with a striking pattern. In cooler weather, a classic pea coat looks less Gothic and more professional than a trench coat.


  • If you enjoy wearing dark clothes or dramatic makeup, do not let fears of stereotyping stop you. Wear whatever helps you feel confident instead of worrying about what other people might think.