My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Summer Garden Goth

An Outfit Of The Day Post

This is actually last Friday's "outfit of the day" - well, I actually wore three different outfits that day for different things; work, rest and a dinner date, but this was the one I photographed, and I think it would be a bit weird if I posted every single outfit I wear. This one was a bit a fancier, and I think it looked quite nice, so I am posting it up here. The skirt is familiar - it is my favourite skirt, from Restyle, but you will see that my hair has changed quite a bit. This outfit has obvious Gothic Lolita influence, but I wouldn't class it as actually Gothic Lolita because of the stripy tights, hair, and lack of accessories. 

I no longer have a beautiful meadow right near my apartment to be photographed in, but I now live in my own house (well, Raven's and mine) and we have our own garden. It was left untended for quite a while 0 I think the property was vacant for some time over the growing season, and now it is a bit unkempt. There are some lovely rose bushes that I really must photograph, but for the most part it is scruffy and a bit overgrown in places with weeds. There are some nice fields near where I live, but I would need to be photographed by a second person, whereas I just plonked my laptop on top of the bins and used the timer function on webcam for these. There was not much time between having to poke the laptop and it taking a picture, so getting far enough away from the laptop for my whole body to get in shot while wearing platform boots was a bit tricky, especially as I am co-ordinationally challenged at the best of times! Scampering about the garden in ridiculous boots is not exactly something I am good at. 
Selfie by HouseCat
Outfit run-down: ☠ Blouse: HellBunny ☠ Cincher: Restyle ☠ Skirt: Restyle Stripy stockings: can't remember who made them, bought them in Osiris, Glasgow ☠ Boots: TUK ☠ Gloves: Accessorise ☠  Necklace: secondhand on eBay, not sure who made it. 

It's not the best set of photographs to show my new hair-dye off (I will make a post soon just about my hair), but it is now violet underneath, then a layer of royal blue, then turquoise, then spring green on top, with gradiation. I did it myself, and it took a whole day of dyeing to get it done, and lots of bleach to get my dark, nearly-black regrowth to blonde. In the next few days, expect a proper blog post on my hair in all its rich colours. The filters I used on editing these photos washed out quite a lot of the colour. In real life, it is quite vibrant. 

Selfie by HouseCat
I wasn't wearing the most complicated make-up that day. It was just thick eyeliner with wings and points, basic foundation and some lip-gloss. I was going to work later and I did not want to spend a long time on elaborate makeup just to take it all off again! 

Selfie by HouseCat
As mentioned, these are taken on my webcam, which is not the best camera. If anything, it's somewhere about "potato quality" and both low resolution and poor at handling varied lighting. I edited them in ::PicMonkey::, which is what I edit all my selfies with. The only way these could be worse if I had taken them on my phone-cam. When I have my new house set up, I am going to mount a camera opposite a relatively blank wall so that I can have somewhere to take decent outfit of the day selfies. This blog will probably end up with more outfit posts on account that I will not have as much time to write extensively. 

Selfie by HouseCat
This outfit was something of a trial run for what I am going to wear to my induction day for University. I don't want to wear a completely fancy "vampire queen" sort of outfit, nor do I want to look to plain, because then I will feel like I am giving a false impression. I think the changes I will make are to wear a plain black blouse rather than the feather print one - something less visually cluttered - with a statement necklace. I will also swap out the striped stockings for plain black tights or over-the-knee socks, and swap the platform boots for something a bit easier to walk in. As much as I love my big platform boots, I do have quite severe dyspraxia, and wearing them out and about is impractical for me.  I have a tendency to try and pretend that wearing very high heeled footwear is a good idea and do it anyway, but it always ends badly (and often painfully). I will probably also wear more extravagant makeup, and braid my hair so that all the colours show through more. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

My Reflection On The Oxford University Study Into Depression and Goth

A lot of newspapers yesterday were publishing articles based on ::this:: recent study in the Lancet by Dr Lucy Bowes at the Department of Experimental Psychology of the Oxford University, and her team, that saw correlation between teen depression, self-harm and Goth. The study was statistically modified to account for other upbringing/personal background data on the participants that may contribute to an increased risk of depression. 

First of all, I have a two things that, as a member of the subculture at the time these inquiries were made (and in Bristol in 2005 and 2006) and only a few years older than those being asked (so still a teen at that point, and interacting with other subcultural teens, possibly including a few of the cohort asked, with which I wish to mention about this study itself. Psychology and anthropology are not my areas of expertise, but I feel that I have well over a decade of experience of the Goth subculture and have tried my best to fully educate myself on the subculture I belong to (it is part of my obsessive tendencies to thoroughly read anything I can on whatever subject I fall in love with, whether it is cathedral architecture or the Gothic subculture). 

The big thing I was surprised at was that "Emo" and "Metal" never came up as identity categories/subcultures. Emo was much more of a big thing than it is now; it's a subculture that seems on the wane these days, but it was certainly very popular in the mid-to-late '00s, and there is also no category for "Mosher" or "Metalhead", which means that anyone identifying as those things would probably have chosen the closest category, "Goth", especially for young Emos, as there has often been confusion amongst babybats as to what is Goth, what is Emo, and to a lesser degree in terms of broader subculture, but greater degree in terms of music, what is Metalhead, because those three subcultures have a lot of overlapping features, and figuring out which subculture you identify with the most, or which combination, can be a bit complicated to begin with. Heck, when I was a babybat, I was probably closer to a metalhead/scene-kid, but mostly because I didn't really understand what Goth was, and was ignorant to its subcultural history and the broader range of things it encompasses. The age group - teens - also means that this confusion is far more likely to arise than if they asked adults (who also can be Goth, but that is another paragraph) and as such it is likely that this should be "young members of darker alternative subcultures" because I would imagine there are a quite a few in that group who might have been identifying as Goths for the purpose of the survey because they could not identify as Emo or Metal, in order to express subculture despite not having the correct named subculture. The way that the survey was conducted, in terms of being able to identify from 'strongly identify' to 'not at all' would counter that to some degree, but I do think that it would have been clearer to have these separate categories. As categories were not exclusive, those who felt they were part of more than one subculture could have identified as Goth as well as Emo, for example, so it would not have forced those who are still exploring their identity to chose. 

I have also noted a distinct difference in attitude towards negative emotions between Goth and Emo subcultures. I am no expert on Emo, nor one myself, and do not wish to tarnish them by misinterpreting what I have experienced, but what I personally have seen amongst the Emo/Scene people I have interacted with is that there seemed to be a greater tendency to glorify depression and mental ill-health, including self-harm, and a linked tendency to overly identify with the idea that a troubled soul a poet (or other creative type; I'm not being literal) makes. It is not that personal troubles do not make good fuel for the creative forge sometimes, but that I noticed this taken to extremes within Emo sometimes. Emo, by its definition, focuses on music that is Emotional Hardcore (derivative of Metal and hardcore Punk) and one that focuses on one's personal emotional turbulences, from depression and anorexia and other mental illness at one end, to the turbulences of life such as isolation from ones peers and heartbreak, and Goth is a much broader subculture, and while it does embrace the darkness in these manifestations, it also embraces the darkness in a lot of other manifestations. Emo seems to be more about a creative release for one's personal troubles, and Goth seems to be more about appreciating the darkness in the world around you. As such, the effect that joining the two different subcultures, or a combination of them, may have, when it comes to depression, may well be quite different. 

The second thing that I am surprised at is that they chose to look at specifically teens, and seem to be writing as if Goth is a youth subculture, something only partaken of as a teen and young person. Goth may be a phase for some, but it is a lifelong commitment to a beautiful artistic world of dark beauty for some of us. One thing I would be intrigued to know is the breakdown of how many of those that identified as Goths as teens would do so now, and how many of those who didn't might do now. Perhaps it would be interesting to see if there is any relation to those for whom Goth was a phase and higher or lower rates of depression; Goth and other dark subcultures can seem like a place of asylum in the original sense of the word - a haven - somewhere where they can safely express themselves with less judgement than from their conventional peers, and where the content of the culture can be cathartic, or a means to express painful emotions, and maybe if the connection is based more on having a safe group within which to express and be open about troubling emotions, as they fluctuate, or as other coping mechanisms and support networks form, and as adults can be less openly judgemental than teens and more mature in their understanding of mental health, some of those teens may have moved away from Goth. Some of them, like me, may have fallen in love with dark side, and stayed for good! Anyway, to better understand the relation of Goth and depression, it would probably be interesting to see whether those who identified as Goth as teens still did as adults, and how rates of depression continued, including in relation to whether or not they later left the subculture. 

The third thing is that more detailed inquiry into the personal relationship for those who identified as Goth and were showing high indications of depression, was not further explored. I think this was a large enough statistical study as it was, and it would have been hard to transfer personal experience into statistical data when a lot of those relationships are probably not easily quantifiable. Personal testimony and explanation would need to be examined, and that is not a research task I'd have any clue as a person outside of the field, on how to conduct, but I imagine those who are researchers in psychology and anthropology would probably have suggestions (and I image that there are probably a few amongst my readers). One thing postulated at the end of the article in the lancet was whether Goth music would aggravate depression in Goths, but personally, I don't think that "Listening to repeated music from the goth genre might lower mood and exacerbate symptoms of depression" as the paper suggest rings true for Goths; it might work if that music is played to people who don't have a predisposition to liking it, but for most Goths I have met, listening to our music makes us happy; that's why we listen to it! Some find it a release, some find it a comfort in knowing they are not alone, some find it cathartic, but I have never come across a Goth who finds that it makes them feel worse.

I think it is an interesting study to have been done, and I am very happy with the fact that the researchers were clear to state that CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUATE TO CAUSATION. Sadly, some of the newspapers and other media have ignored this fundamental point of logic, and some articles have been less than favourable. I am not going to link to those articles, because every page view is revenue for them. I will, however, link to this ::article:: in the Guardian written by Simon Price, who was Goth back in the '80s in London, and I think has had subcultural leanings ever since by what he said in the article. I would also like to commend the BBC on their coverage. They even interviewed one of my friends - Holly Weeping Willow; a Gothic model and someone who is professionally a Goth in other ways - for the radio, although I haven't got a link to that audio yet. Their articles on the subject have been more balanced and the main one can be read ::here::, with a more detailed personal account ::here::. While personal anecdotes can be the "enemy of good science" as Simon Price said in his article, I think it needs to be noticed that similar themes come up in nearly all of them, including my own, and it would indicate to me that perhaps "good science" ought to come in and explore those connections better with proper research. The Independent seems to have a reasonable and balanced article, but with a clickbait headline and that is ::here::.

My main concern is that people will use these findings to target Goths as potentially mentally ill, that it will fuel stigmas that we are all 'crazy' or depressed. That is not the fault of the researchers, who seem keen to avoid this, but of the way some people will use this data for their own agenda. I can't say that I don't have my own protective bias towards the Goth community, because I certainly do (the community has protected me, and I feel duty bound to reciprocate), but I am at least aware of that, and open about it, which is more than I can say for those with a bias against Goth who report in a sensationalist manner about it. 

Friday, 28 August 2015

I Was Disconnected From The Internet

I apologise to all my readers. I have recently moved house, following a trip to visit family in Wales, and I was supposed to have my new house reconnected ages ago, but there was an error on the part of our provider and internet access was delayed. I only had occasional internet on my mobile phone at places with internet access (such as cafes offering wi-fi to customers), so not enough to update my blog and inform readers. I am back, though, and I start university next week! Lots of exciting things going on right now. I will try and keep things up-to-date here, but I am quite busy, so it may be patchy. Apologies in advance if I vanish again; I have a house to renovate and a university course in architectural technology to begin!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Vampire Prince In The Lost Garden

Or at least that's how I was imagining myself in these photographs. In reality I'm neither a prince nor a vampire, and this is actually that meadow close to my current apartment that I love posing in because it's such a pretty meadow (and I am such a vain Goth!). 

I will be moving soon (very soon) and will no longer have this lovely meadow to pose in so near by, but I am sure I will find somewhere equally pretty in my new location. All the photographs are by my partner Raven. The meadow is especially pretty now it is summer and the grass is long and the flowers in bloom. I specified this part of the meadow because of how much I like the shrubbery there.

Photograph by Raven

It was a day bordering on dreich; cloudy, overcast and dull, but not quite as damp and drizzly as a truly dreich day. The skies were grey and leaden and I like how Raven capitalised on that dreariness when it comes to both the photographs and the editing. I am really grateful to Raven for his photographs. 

Photograph by Raven

I am especially happy with my make-up this day. I did deep purplish red lipstick fading out concealer close to my skin tone for an effect I have seen done beautifully both on humans and on well-painted art dolls. I think I could have done even better had I made my lips dewy with some gloss, but as it stands, it still seems quite successful to me. I think I was a tad heavy-handed with blusher and contouring, but I am still new to it. The eye-shadow was in shimmery pinks - a completely alien concept to me - and I was aiming for a look that was somewhere between natural and a bit fey. 

Photograph by Raven

I really enjoy dressing in Ouji and Aristocrat fashion - with a Gothic take on such things, of course! Most of this outfit was second-hand; the trousers are from Primark originally, and I bought them in a charity shop for £2, the pirate boots were bought secondhand on eBay, the waistcoat is vintage Marks & Spencer and I bought it secondhand on eBay, the blouse is from ZanZea and was a Christmas/Solstice present from Raven - as was the cane (which comes in useful, what with my coordination disorder), and the only things I bought new were the necklace and the gloves, both from Claire's and the Jabot. The jabot I bought earlier this year, and I know I ordered it online, but I've actually forgotten where. I have a feeling it's handmade and either from Etsy or Ebay. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Androgynous Aristocrat

It would, if you went by how I dressed in most of my blog posts, be an easy assumption to make that I am always very "feminine" by the traditional gendering of fashion. While I always love frills, I don't always go for skirts, corsets, long hair, and usual staples. I am actually quite fond of a more "tomboyish" or "androgynous" version of Romantic Goth fashion.  I love brocade trousers, waistcoats 'vests' to my American readers), frock-coats, pirate boots and ruffled shirts - the branch of Romantic Goth fashion that is derived from historical male fashion. It was not a very big step from that point to become interested in the fashion worn by the more Gothic-looking Visual Kei bands, Aristocrat fashion, and Ouji; the same aesthetic inspirations coming through in Japanese alternative cultures. There is a great overlap between Romantic Goth fashion and the Gothic Japanese street-fashions, and as I am someone that basically likes things that are frilly, anachronistically inspired and Gothic, I draw from both and mix and match. 

Selfies by HouseCat

I quite like looking somewhat androgynous. Since my late teens I have been quite curvy, which is not the most androgynous-looking shape, but I try and choose cuts and underwear that will to some degree make it less immediately apparent. I like playing with that androgyny because I don't actually see gender (the psycho-social aspect) as part of my identity. I have no particular dysphoria about my sex; I just see it as utterly irrelevant to who I am as a person, and not really part of my identity as a person on any fundamental level. but the rest of the world does not work like that; for as long as I can remember, I have had others try and define me and their expectations of me according to my sex and gender. This is one way I like play with, and try subverting those societal categories. 

Selfies by HouseCat

Being heavily made-up is probably a strange choice when deliberately aiming for androgynous, but the appearance I am seeking is something akin to more everyday, casual version of the styles worn by members of bands like Versailles Philharmonic Quintet, Moi-Dix-Mois, or Blood, and a little bit of Dave Vanian, Peter Murphy, David Bowie and maybe a small hint of Sharon Needles. I love seeing make-up on Goths and Gothic types of all sexes and genders. I think I end up looking more like an older teenage boy than a woman in her late 20's! I have a relatively angular face, which is useful in that regard. Any advice on make-up techniques like contouring to try and achieve this sort of look would be greatly appreciated.

Selfies By HouseCat

I wish I could post a full-body photograph of this outfit. I am wearing a long pirate-style coat by Dark Star which originally belonged to Raven, but as he began to bulk out more, it no longer fitted him, so I ended up with it and had it tailored to fit me a bit better. I had black brocade trousers on, and knee-high pirate boots. That is not my real hair, of course (that is still turquoise for now); it is a wig that was originally Raven's but I end up borrowing it far more than he ever wears it! I will try and get more photographs of me in Ouji and Aristocrat and whatever the Western equivalent in Romantic Goth fashion would be called. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Goth Meets Lolita: Outfit Of The Day

This is just a quick and belated outfit-of-the-day post. I wore this outfit just over a week ago, for some shopping, and I wanted to post it up here as an example of my day-to-day summer style. As I work at a school (for now, I will be leaving soon for university) and it is currently the summer holiday, I don't have to wear work-clothes 5 days a week so am taking the opportunity to dress more in my own style. 

Stripes. Photograph by Raven

This outfit is a mixture of Gothic Lolita and regular Goth. I wouldn't call it truly Gothic Lolita because it has elements that stray from the parameters of Lolita. The boots I am wearing are certainly more Goth than Gothic Lolita, and I am using my natural hair in all its unnaturally dyed turquoise colourfulness, and despite it being in a style not really suitable for Lolita (not to mention my roots are showing!). As such, I think of this as something just beyond the borders of Gothic Lolita. Also, I usually wear glasses. When I am photographed without them, it is usually so my make-up is visible. 

Outfit rundown: ☠ Bat Necklace: eBay, secondhand. ☠ Blouse and JSK: ☠ Bodyline set from the "separates" section. ☠ Gloves: Claire's Accessories. ☠ Charcoal and black striped tights: Poundland (yes, really). ☠ Boots: H&M. ☠ Bat backpack: gifted. 

Bat-bag. Photograph by Raven

I am totally in love with the bat-backpack. It was a gift given to me as a leaving present in the sweetest of circumstances, and I love it for what it represents as well as it being a cute heart with bat-wings and a wonderful embodiment of my "perky-Goth" personality. Since I got it, I have taken it out nearly every day that I have been out. Very rarely do I cry when given something, but I was so touched that I did cry this time! Oftentimes it is far more than just having a thing that is important, it is having something that is an embodiment and token of something much greater than the object itself. I know that I touched someone else's life, and that person has touched mine, and we have both made each other's lives better, even though I will probably not see them again after September, but I will never forget them. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Highland Lolitas Botanic Garden Meet-Up

I organised my first meet for the Highland Lolitas community for the 7th of July. We are a very new and small community. We had our first proper meet up as high tea at the Royal Highland Hotel back in March, but this was just before my hiatus and I did not get to blog about it. If people request a retrospective blog post about the first ever Highland Lolta community meet up, then I can probably do a blog post about it. I have organised a mini-meet at the Botanic Gardens before, and I blogged about that ::here:: but that is when there were only the three of us and we had not formed a community because our numbers were too small. There are now about 8 active memembers in our community, and our meets are usually between 3 and 6 people in attendance, so it is still a very small community. 

Photograph by Danielle
There was actually a meet up in Culloden for International Lolita Day, but I chose to go the big Scottish Lolitas community meet in Edinburgh instead (I felt a bit like I'd accidentally ended up as the 'Highland representative' as I got a few questions about our small community) and while I don't regret going to Edinburgh, I wish I could bilocate and have gone to both! A few of the girls met up on the same day as ZombieNess, which again put me in the position of having to choose, and as this was the first ZombieNess and the council were trying to guage interest to see if it would be run again, attending that with my friends seemed like a priority as we wanted to show our support on hopes of it happening again in future years. I was left feeling like I was abandoning our nascent Lolita community, and thus decided to organise a meet-up myself. 

Better size view. Photograph by Danielle

I chose the Inverness Botanic Gardens (Floral Hall) because it is a very beautiful location, has an on-site cafe that serves teas and cakes (with delightful antique-style crockery), it has both indoor and outdoor sections so we could have an enjoyable visit regardless of the weather, and because when we had our mini-meet before, they were very welcoming of us despite us all looking so very unusual, and seemed intrigued in a positive way rather than thinking we might be a detriment to their custom. It was also an all-ages venue, and as the youngest in our community is 14, I did not want anyone to feel left out. 

Sitting on a bench with my umbrella as a parasol. Changeable weather!
Photo by Danielle.

Organising the meet-up is actually quite a bit of work; I was helping girls with their travel arrangements (like which busses to take), ran a poll to find out the most convenient date and had to work out where we would meet, whether there were going to enough of us to ring ahead and book tables, etc. I think organising a meet-up that involves a booking, much larger numbers and perhaps group travel would be a really large amount of work, so I am very grateful to all those at the Scottish Lolita community who organise things like the tea-parties at the Willow Tea Rooms and the recent International Lolita Day meet (which I blogged about ::here::). 

Danielle, in a lovely Sweet Lolit outfit. Photograph by me.

We met up at the Eastgate Centre in Inverness (the shopping mall), as it is a central public space, and open enough for us to all immediately recognise each other by our outfits (quite distinct from the regular fashion in Inverness!). The initial plan was to meet up in the food-court, but all of us seemed to have the idea to go into Claire's and look for floral head-decorations, beforehand so we ended up meeting up there instead! Before I got into the mall, the weather was a bit dreich, but it had been sunny earlier, and I thought perhaps it might only shower lightly. When we got out of the mall it was more than mere drizzle, and it rapidly became downpour. We rapidly got totally soaked - or "drookit" as it is in Scots. We had our umbrellas with us, but they were useless against wind-driven rain that just blew under our umbrellas and drenched us. We did not get as far as bus to the outskirts of town in one go - we gave up, and decided to hide in the So CoCo cafe until the rain passed, or at least stopped raining quite as hard. It transpired that nobody else at the meet had tried macarons, so I bought a box of macarons to share. Once the rain died down, we walked the rest of the way to the bus, and then took the bus to the botanic gardens. The rain had flooded many of the paths, so we had to walk around the long way. Once we got to the gardens the weather started to improve. 

I'm growing! I'm growing! Photo by Danielle

I am considerably taller than all the others in the group; I am  5'9½" without heels on, and I was wearing 4½ inch heels above that, making me approximately 6'2" with heels on! Even without heels I am quite a bit taller than the other group members with their heels on, so I towered like an giantess over them. Within the hot-house, there is a room that is part of the staff area and is underneath the waterfall section and mezanine terrace; I would presume it is the pump-house for the waterfall and pools. The entrance is a door that is under the average door height, and I had fun standing in the doorway and pretending that I was suddenly growing like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, when she eats the 'Eat Me' cake!

We had a wander around the hot-houses of the Botanic Gardens, took lots of photographs, admired the flowers and the fish (there is an indoor koi pool in the hot house, and several ponds in the outdoor gardens), and then we visited the cactus house, which is my favourite part of the botanic gardens. After we had visited all the indoor parts, we visited the outdoor gardens, which are quite extensive. Several visitors took photosgraphs of us; all our outfits were on themes that fitted in with the aesthetics of the gardens, so we must have looked just right for photographs! One chap with a rather fancy camera took photographs for us, which was very nice, and then we had them e-mailed to us, which is very nice! I have been photographed hundreds of times while out and about elaborately dressed, but I have only seen about 5 of those photographs taken by strangers. In this age of smart-phones, wi-fi hotspots and social media, it is really not difficult to send me at least a link!

We then had cake and snacks in the cafe, before finally heading back into town on a double-decker bus, being quite silly and sitting at the front of the top deck and pretending we were super-heroes flying through the city! When we got back to the town centre, I found out that Danielle and one of the other girls are street performers in Inverness too - I busk playing the recorder, and they do dances and singing. I watched them perform, and then went off (and actually did some performing of my own as I often carry my recorder with me in case the opportunity comes up!).

I apologise for the lack of group photographs, but most of them include group members who are quite young, and I did not feel it was appropriate to post them on my public blog. 

PicMonkey collage of Danielle's photos. PicMonkey's clip-art.

I went for a Classic Lolita in old-school black-and white instead of outright Gothic as I was aiming for something more summery. The weather started off sunny, then went through torrential rain (hence the umbrella) complete with sideways rain (the umbrella was useless), then to rather sunny, and then back to rain again! It was really hard to try and dress for the weather because it was so changeable. The only thing that was constant about it all was the warmth and the humidity. Oh the Scottish summer!

Outfit rundown: ❀ Wig: Coscraft ❀ Old-school headdress: handmade by me ❀ White hair roses (not part of the bush!): Claire's ❀ Choker: cheap lace choker from eBay which I modified by adding a cameo from Rock and Roar and removing some of the tacky beads from ❀ Blouse: Metamorphose ❀ Black fabric ❀ Rose pin: thrifted ❀ JSK: Baby, The Stars Shine Bright ❀ Tights (rose-pattern): I've forgotten, but it was some bridal supplier ❀ Shoes: Fiore ❀ Gloves: Claire's ❀ Umbrella: Primark 

I would love constructive criticism! I would really like for suggestions on how to improve this outfit. Please remember I was dressing for summer, hence why this is not a very elaborate outfit, and why I am only wearing one petticoat with my dress. I am 5'9½" before heels, so the dress is a bit short on me, but the weather was so clammy, and all my underskirts are quite thick so I decided to just bend the rules a bit instead.