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..

Monday, 4 June 2012

Red Blouse, Black Suit: A Work Outfit

Spiders On My Jacket ✥

This week is Red and Black Week, a blogging event organised by the wonderful Victorian Kitty of ::Sophistique Noir::. I'm starting my posts on the theme with a work outfit. Looking darkly stylish in the work-place is Sophistique Noir's speciality, so I thought I would do a post on the subject as my first entry for this theme. This is pretty much my style for most days at work. It has rarely got warm enough for me to not wear a blazer of some sort. Sometimes I even wear a v-neck of some sort over my blouse for extra warmth! It is early june, and this is today's work outfit - a trouser suit, warm vest beneath, and a blouse.

See, I can be business-like and such - I'm not all frills!
Photograph by Raven

One side only replaced to show difference.
Blame me for the bad photo.
The trouser suit started off as a rather dull suit from Tesco. It had hideous buttons - cheap plastic copies of real regimental buttons. I felt that the cheap reproductions, and their place on a non-military, non-regimental jacket was disrespectful as well as unsightly, so I removed them and replaced them with some art-deco buttons that remind me of Spider Man's logo. The new buttons are spidery enough to appease my liking of creepy-crawlies as decorative motifs, but abstract (and with too many legs) so are not too obviously spiders, and not too Gothic for the work place. Since I have modified this blazer - and switching buttons is an easy and very minor modification - I have incorporated this jacket into several outfits, some of which were far removed from work-place style!

I am aware my pen is upside down.
Photograph by Raven

My new ring
As it is red and black week, I thought I incorporate a few more dashes of red. I am allowed coloured nail-polish at work, as long as it is not too outlandish (no neon green, black, electric blue, etc.) and as red is a fairly acceptable colour for nails, I decided to give them a good coat of a shade similar to my blouse. In the photographs they appear a lot warmer in tone than the blouse, but the difference in reds is far less noticeable in person. I do take some of my rings off at work, for practical reasons. I did not used to do this, but with the warmer weather making my fingers expand, and with having been at my new job longer, I have decided that it is just more comfortable (as well as more professional looking) to remove some of my rings. I have, however, for this photograph, retained the ring on my right little finger with the red stone. This is a new ring I bought myself as a congratulatory present when I received my first pay-cheque from my new job. It is too large and too easily caught to actually wear to work, though. 

Attempting to look like I am paying attention and taking notes.
Photograph by Raven.
The notebook is black and white flock in a damask pattern, bought from a mainstream retailer (WH Smith, I think). I like accessorising according to my aesthetics outside of clothes and jewellery, such as in my notebooks, laptop covers, etc. My next plan is to get the vine-patterned black metal cut-out design office equipment - e.g letter rack, stationary tidies, waste-paper basket, magazine files, etc. Currently my mug is black gloss with white matt vines. I feel that it is quite possible to make every aspect of work life stylish but still professional. A key element in being Goth at work is keeping things within mainstream boundaries and from mainstream sources, but to balance that with an aesthetic that is in keeping with your tastes. I think it is best to be more minimalistic and sleek than normal, and to cut down on the kitsch aspects (no plastic skulls, stick-on spiders or gaudy patterns for me) but that is just my opinion. 

10 comments:

  1. I really like the jacket, substituting buttons like that is a good idea ^_^ And I agree with your take on using more mainstream or minimal goth-inspired elements at work, its pretty easy to do and keeps professional/work environments from feeling too sterile.

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    1. I'm not sure how many button-up garments I own where I haven't switched the buttons, partly because so much stuff comes with uninspiring plain plastic buttons. I was thinking I'd probably change the buttons anyway, but seeing them as a poor pastiche of real regimental buttons sealed it. It's a form of appropriation, and whatever one's sentiments towards the military, it seems disrespectful to me.

      Yes, it doesn't take much to personalise work things. I think one has to remember that the idea is to personalise, not "gothify", to be true to oneself, not flag-waving for the subculture.

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  2. I love your jacket, the new buttons zing it up a lot. I just noticed your hair color; is it aubergine? I've started dying my own hair aubergine, my bangs and roots are purple already, but it's not easy to get rid of the black...
    Anyway...:)

    I think, accessorizing according to your personal taste at work is the best way to keep the otherwise-so-conventional-and-faceless 3m² you get to spend half of your life a bit more cosy. ^^

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    1. The colour of my hair is aubergine, indeed. I did bring out the colour a bit in the photographs because it was a rather dingy day when the photographs were taken and it looked almost black. My hair is naturally a rather dark brown. I initially dyed my hair with Schwartzkopf's "Midnight Violet" but I think there was some sort of error because it came out burgundy instead, about right for one of their other colours! I then went over it with Directions 'violet' and it came out just perfect, but washed out mostly after 3 washes. I'm going to try again, see what happens, as the shop I bought the Directions from gave me a replacement jar free.

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  3. I would definitely wear this outfit to work! The button change is subtle, but such a huge improvement. You are so right about that whole last paragraph. There are so many ways to integrate your true personality without going over the top in a professional environment. You are masterful at it!

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    1. Thankyou very much! Coming from you, this is the highest of compliments *blushes*. And as to being masterful at integrating ones true personality with one's professional persona without going over the top, I think that accolade resides better with you!

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  4. That outfit is so stylish! And I love your hair and lace-like pair of specs.

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    1. Thankyou! I get a lot of comments online and in Real Life about the specs, but they're only from Specsavers! http://domesticatedgoth.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/spectacles <- I wrote more about them here.

      I love my purple helmet of hair but purple seems to be a colour that needs a lot of maintenance! It seems to want to fade to burgundy very quickly.

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  5. I love the idea of replacing the buttons! Recently I bought a long 90s dress I liked the cut of, that had nearly no buttons left, so I ordered skull buttons online. I loved the finished project!

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like an really snazzy project? Any pictures on your blog?

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