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Gothic Fashion History: Everything You Need To Know!

Gothic fashion and culture are hard to narrow down. With so many branches and movements within this varied subculture, it seems like everyone has a unique take on what they consider gothic fashion. However, the million-pound question that everyone wants to know the answer to is: where did gothic fashion start? First, to understand the roots of gothic fashion, we have to analyse where gothic fashion came from by examining the influences which created it. So let’s dive into all the things we love about gothic fashion, the beautiful, dark, and different origins, by exploring its cultural and social history.

Where did gothic fashion originate?

A woman wearing victorian mourning attire on a beach

The Victorians

We couldn’t write this blog about gothic fashion history without mentioning the Victorians, their lifestyle and customs. While gothic fashion has evolved extensively into modern cybergoth and pastel goth, the classic Victorian goth style is still at the heart of the movement. 

So what is Victorian gothic fashion?

Essentially gothic mourning attire, Victorian gothic clothing is predominantly black but is often accented with dark hues of purple, deep reds, or greens. Due to high mortality rates, death was ever-present in the Victorian era. Whereas now society tends to view death and darkness as ‘taboo’, the Victorians considered these elements as being very much a part of their everyday lives and were very open about death. Their willingness to confront

mortality led them to use their clothing to express a state of mourning. Everything was black to express the deep sorrow of their loss, then as time went on during the ‘half-mourning’ period, the colours lightened to grey tones. Men wore black gloves, a dark suit, and if they wore a hat, it was notably accessorised with a black band. For women, mourning dress was very strict with lots of black, often scratchy crape material, and widows often wore a black veil that could be changed to white later on. While men were only required to wear mourning attire for a few months, women were required to wear theirs for two years. Since it was considered bad luck to keep mourning clothes in the house after the mourning period had ended, they were often disposed of and so it was commonplace for Victorians to buy new mourning attire. Since 1994 fans of the Victorian goth aesthetic have descended on the North Yorkshire town of Whitby for the annual goth weekends which have grown to become one of the world’s premier goth events. 

Glam rock, punk, and The New Romantics

Siouxie Sioux with red hair tips and dark eye makeup

These pioneers of gothic fashion arrived as a direct result of the punk scene. The glam rock era of the seventies with sequins, boas, and makeup was fading and the aggressive anarchy of punk rock was circulating across the UK. 

Peter Murphy shirtless and about to dive into a crowd

In August 1979, the dawn of the gothic movement as we know it today began with Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi is Dead’. An entire generation was suddenly exposed to the presence of one of the founding fathers of goth: Peter Murphy. Although Murphy now denies that he’s ‘all about’ goth and doesn’t consider himself to be part of the culture explicitly, his influence on gothic culture is huge, along with Siouxie Siu who is often credited with epitomising and creating gothic fashion. The glamour of David Bowie, the intensity of acts like Patti Smith and Iggy Pop, along with the melancholy anguish of Joy Division, and then the flamboyance of The New Romantics allowed the goth subculture to further emerge into the eighties. Despite this mix of influences, the fathers of gothic fashion are often cited as Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy and Robert Smith of The Cure. 

Who created gothic fashion?

There were proponents of the gothic style way before Siouxie Siu, Peter Murphy, Bauhaus, and Robert Smith. Plenty of proto-goth style icons purposely used the goth aesthetic to make a statement and not simply because it was a result of that period’s sartorial conventions or social movement. These gothic fashion icons existed before the well-known ‘creators’ and deserve a lot more recognition for their contributions to gothic fashion and subcultures.

Theda Bara

Actress Theda Bara wearing dark smouldering eye makeup and bold lipstick

Silent film star Theda Bara can be considered as an OG pioneer of gothic fashion and is known as ‘America’s first goth’. Her gothic fashion stepped outside traditional 1920s attire with her dark eye makeup, revealing yet spooky clothing, and general gothic appearance. She was the original Hollywood ‘vamp’ and created the vamp and femme fatale stereotype we can recognise today. Even her name was explicitly goth: born Theodosia Burr Goodman, the movie studio changed her name to Theda Bara; an anagram of ‘Arab death’. Her backstory was created to evoke even more mystery and intrigue. Publicity for the star mentioned her interest in the occult and claimed that she was ‘born in the shadow of the Sphynx’ and travelled to Paris to become an actress. In reality, Theda was an American born in Ohio, and well, she’d never even visited Paris let alone Egypt! She made herself the revealing costumes and wigs for her films, most of which were lost thanks to a fire at MGM studios. The surviving images of Bara have become iconic and showcase her love for long black clothing, revealing outfits, dark eye makeup, and an intense look. 

Morticia Addams

The Addams Family drawn by Charles Addams

Let’s not forget the original Adams Family! Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pudsey, Uncle Fester, and co. have been goth since 1938. Created by Charles Addams, the world’s first gothic family had a profound effect on culture thanks to their attitude, dark humour, and wardrobe. However, it was the matriarch of the family, Morticia, who inspired goth style with her long black dress, pale skin, black hair, and dark lipstick. Not only was Morticia effortlessly elegant and always beautifully spooky in the comics, television series, and later the movies, she also was the main reason why our next gothic fashion icon propelled goth fashion into the mainstream from the shadows. 

Vampira 

Actress Maila Nurmi as Vampira in a black corseted dress

Vampira was the original princess of darkness. Born in 1922, Vampira was the brainchild of actress Maila Nurmi who created the character after seeing Morticia in The Addams Family comics. She hosted a late-night horror movie show on the newly born medium of television and her blood-curdling scream as she emerged from her coffin bed was beamed into the living rooms of thousands of Americans. No one had ever seen a human being like Vampira sipping on a ‘vampire cocktail garnished with an eyeball’ while bidding goodnight with ‘pleasant screams’. She’d introduce each horror film but her personality contrasted sharply with her look. She was aloof but friendly, sarcastic yet genuine, and her sharp puns were part of her charm. Her long dark dresses, heavily corseted waist, sharp eyebrows, and long straight black hair made her the antithesis of the popular rockabilly look often associated with the 1950s. Nurmi wasn’t just Vampira in costume, her interest in alternative subcultures, the occult, and all things unique shows that it wasn’t just her love for gothic fashion that made her a goth at heart. Vampira’s character and style influenced horror movie night host Elvira, who became a nineties icon in her own right by combining her Valley Girl schtick, wit, and the goth aesthetic. 

From the Victorians to horror icons and comic book heroes, our round-up of the heroes of gothic fashion, both unsung and celebrated, is as eclectic as the movement itself. Why not take inspiration from your favourite gothic fashion pioneers with men’s clothing and women’s clothing at Attitude? Finish off your look with our collection of women’s footwear and men’s footwear, as well as gothic accessories for women and men’s accessories online now.

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What is the goth aesthetic in 2021 and how has it evolved?

At Attitude, we’ve been thinking long and hard about one question in particular: what does it mean to be goth in 2021? With so many pockets of the goth aesthetic and subculture exploding and evolving over the last few decades, the word goth has become synonymous with multiple cultural and social milestones. So let’s examine what it means to be goth in 2021 and look back at how the goth aesthetic began! 

What is the goth aesthetic and how has it changed over the decades?

Black female goth poses in black alternative clothing in a foggy setting

The goth aesthetic is hard to pin down. For starters, being goth is so much more than just an aesthetic. It’s a culture that has birthed multiple subcultures across decades and taken many misfits and those who feel like outsiders under its wings, giving them a space to feel comfortable. Despite there being an endless spectrum of goth aesthetics and culture, each part of the movement shares one key element: a passion and love for what many would consider dark and macabre. While the song ‘Bela Lugosi is Dead’ by Bauhaus has often been credited with starting the goth subculture, it’s very easy to also see gothic influences stretching as far back as the early 16th and 17th centuries in art movements like the vanitas, baroque music, and literature such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. Victorian mourning attire has also been a huge part of the goth aesthetic over the decades, while early silent film stars like Theda Bara are seen as very early goth icons. This appreciation of darkness, melancholy and macabre bleeds into the aesthetics of each goth subculture across the ages. However, from the eighties until today, there have been massive changes to the goth aesthetic in a very short time. So, let’s explore the rapidly changing goth aesthetic from the eighties and beyond. 

The 80s and 90s: goth aesthetic blooms in the shadows

Woman wearing gothic makeup including black lipstick and winged eyeliner looks through a gap

Born from the punk scene emerging from the seventies, the goth subculture we know today emerged from the music scene shaped by Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Joy Division, and The Cure. During the seventies and eighties, people who marched to their drum were more isolated than today. Imagine a world without the internet, where the landline was the height of technology and the only places you could hear the latest tunes were the local bar or Top Of The Pops. Those who became enamoured with all things goth began going to clubs like The Bat Cave in London, while the north of England became a real hub. It’s not hard to imagine why with its brooding hills, archaic buildings, and thriving music scene. 

The eighties goth aesthetic is where the culture’s love affair with black clothing began and the iconic ‘trad goth’ look was born. Think big hair, winged eyeliner, and long black clothing. While this may not seem so shocking in 2021, in the eighties it would have been quite a surprise for those unaccustomed to the subculture which caused many goths to be harassed for their appearance.

By the nineties, the emergence of grunge and alternative rock like Nirvana, Marilyn Manson, Depeche Mode, Placebo, The Manic Street Preachers, and Nine Inch Nails, evolved with the goth aesthetic over the decade. Cinema and television also began a love affair with all things goth. Vampires and witches became very en vogue with Interview With The Vampire, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and The Craft becoming the antithesis to the mainstream’s obsession with all things preppy and pink. The monochrome palette of the trad goth aesthetic began to incorporate pops of colour with bright lipstick, chokers, piercings, chunky boots, and beaded gothic jewellery. Skirts grew shorter and shorter, underwear became outerwear with lingerie-inspired slip dresses and hair became rainbow bright with the arrival of Manic Panic and Stargazer hair dyes on the market. Little did anyone know that goth culture was about to change thanks to a major advancement in technology.

The 00s: Goth aesthetic evolves online

white woman with bright red hair poses with a mask

With this huge technological shift, goth culture splintered off into numerous subcultures and movements. The cybergoth aesthetic emerged and took notes from both the rave scene of the 90s, the gothic lolita aesthetic and steampunk influences. Rainbow bright hair dye was contrasted with masks and corsets, buckles, belts, and chunky alternative footwear like platforms that made a statement. Makeup was suddenly bold, bright, and dark, a real mix of fantasy and the original trad goth palette that made cybergoths appear like real-life Andy Warhol pop art prints. With the arrival of the emo and scene kids on MySpace, each isolated group could come together and form their own connections. However, this new renaissance of goth culture was still overshadowed by the prejudices faced by goths and the tragic death of Sophie Lancaster caused the mainstream to realise the difficulties faced by the community. Goths became recognised as a group affected by hate crime and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation started their work educating people about accepting subcultures and minorities.

The goth aesthetic in 2021

What is the goth aesthetic in 2021? It’s whatever you want it to be. As the internet opened doors to other subcultures and opened minds, in general, our identities have changed to become more fluid and the same can be said for the goth aesthetic and cultures. Even the mainstream culture has begun to accept goth culture with soaps like Coronation Street including goth representation with one of their most beloved characters, Nina. After initially a bumpy start embracing all these different subcultures, the trad goths are now accompanied by the younger generations of nu-goth and pastel goth. The hair may not be as big and there may even be less monochrome in their outfits, but the eyeliner is still winged and the passion for all things macabre remains in the younger generation of goths who were raised on the internet. The nu-goth movement in 2021 breaks the mould by blending trad goth aesthetics with the current mainstream trends for a sleeker, subtle yet still monochromatic aesthetic. In contrast, the pastel goth barely wears any black. This particular gothic aesthetic emerged from the kawaii style in Japan and has swept across the globe with its ‘creepy cute’ look. Instead of dark colours to showcase their appreciation for the darker elements in life, the pastel goth prefers the preppy pastel palette of baby pinks and blues that is cute, with smaller hints of elements of the macabre. While these are just two of the main subcultures emerging in 2021, there’s now also psychobilly goth which is a blend of rockabilly and goth, health goth that takes inspiration from athleisure, and the most meta of variation of cybergoth, the Tumblr goth. 

Pretty pastel goth with purple hair, blue eyeshadow and green eyeliner poses for the camera

Whichever goth culture and goth aesthetic you feel at home in, you’ll able to find your look right here at Attitude. Check out our gothic aesthetic style guide and then find your clothes, shoes, accessories, homewares and gifts that showcase your take on gothic culture.

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11 Must Visit Cemeteries Around The World

It’s no surprise that fans of alternative music and fashion are known to indulge in the darker side of life. A fascination with death is often at the centre of some of the best alternative works, making cemeteries a must-visit destination for many of us who enjoy the alternative lifestyle. 

Visiting cemeteries may seem like a morbid pastime to mainstreamers, but they can offer some of the most beautiful views and peaceful atmospheres in the world. Plus if you’re not there for the tranquillity and photograph opportunities, many of the cemeteries in our must-visit list offer you the opportunity to visit the final resting places of some of the most famous celebrities and notable historical figures that are no longer with us. 

From cemeteries that give you excellent sightseeing opportunities to completely unique cemetery experiences from different cultures, we’ve put together a list of cemeteries that will turn you into a die-hard tombstone tourist.

Oh, and quick note, these are certainly interesting times we live in, so please only travel if it’s safe to do so and ensure you follow all local regulations and government advice.

1. Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

 
 
 
 
 
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One of the most famous cemeteries in the world and one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is iconic for its high profile residents and sweeping landscapes. A cemetery that you can spend a full day in, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is home to celebrities such as Johnny Ramone, Maila Nurmi (Vampira), Judy Garland, Jayne Mansfield, Chris Cornell and many more besides. If you’re not there for the sightseeing, you can watch regularly scheduled movies on the Fairbanks Lawn for a truly special cinema experience.

2. Père Lachaise Cemetery – Paris, France


Often described as the finest collections of deceased human talent in the world, Père Lachaise necropolis is an unmissable morning or afternoon out while in Paris. Many tourists flock to the gravesite of Jim Morrison to pay their respects, but you can also find Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Chopin in amongst the beautiful gardens. Fans of funerary architecture and art will be spoilt with the variety of gothic graves, burial chambers and ancient mausoleums that spreads across the 44 hectares of Parisian burial ground.  

3. Highgate Cemetery – London, UK

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The most popular of London’s magnificent seven cemeteries, Highgate Cemetery based in north London features notable gravestones including George Eliot, Karl Marx, Douglas Adams and George Michael but to name a few. If Highgate Cemetery looks familiar, you may have seen it appear in British horror films from the 70s such as Tales from the Crypt and Taste the Blood of Dracula. Another 70s throwback you may spot after dark is the elusive Highgate Vampire that struck fear into the hearts of Londoners and was the cause of multiple cases of vandalism in the now picturesque Highgate Cemetery you see now.

4. Green-Wood Cemetery – Brooklyn, NY, USA

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Inspired by Père Lachaise, Green-Wood Cemetery is situated at one of the highest points in Brooklyn, giving you stunning views of both the Manhattan skyline and funerary architecture in the foreground. Aside from residents such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Louis Comfort Tiffany, Green-Wood Cemetery also boasts a beautiful park with picturesque ponds, long-established trees and an 1861 Gothic entrance gate to enjoy as you stroll through the tombstones, monuments and brownstone mausoleums. 

5. St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery – New Orleans, LA, USA

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Near the iconic French Quarter of New Orleans stands the 18th-century cemetery of St. Louis No. 1. One of the stand-out features of the St. Louis Cemetery is the placement of its graves. New Orleans sits below sea level, meaning that all of the vaults had to be built above ground. Nicolas Cage has purchased a tomb in St. Louis that he intends to be buried in, but current residents are rumoured to include voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and the notoriously cruel slave owner Delphine LaLaurie (who you may remember were both portrayed in American Horror Story: Coven!)

6. Okunoin Cemetery — Koya, Japan

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The largest graveyard in Japan, Okunoin Cemetery can be found nestled in the valleys of Mount Koya, Wakayama, circling the Kobo Daishi mausoleum. Mount Koya is a World Heritage site known to be the headquarters of Shingon — a sect of Japanese Buddhism. Featuring over 100 temples, Okunoin is built around the mausoleum in which the monk that founded the spiritual site is interred. The 1000-year-old mausoleum is lit by thousands of brass oil lanterns which have been burning constantly since the monk’s death. Filled with unique headstones and quirky monuments, the surrounding Okunioin Cemetery is a peaceful and entirely unique experience away from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s city landscapes.

7. St Mary’s Cemetery – Whitby, UK


Whitby is already well known among the alternative community for its links to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. St Mary’s cemetery overlooks the iconic Whitby Abbey and gives you the view of the town and seaside that inspired Bram Stoker to have Dracula land on its shores many years ago. Aside from the incredible views of Whitby Abbey itself, there are a few oddities for you to explore among the gravestones — look out for Humpty Dumpty and Tom Thumb’s gravestones in particular!

We don’t think there’s a better view for the deceased than here at Whitby. How many cemeteries overlook the sea like this in the UK?

8. Graceland Cemetery – Chicago, IL, USA


Graceland cemetery in Chicago, IL, United States, was established in 1860 and has 121 acres of land for its mausoleums and graves. The cemetery is also a certified arboretum of more than 2000 trees and with the typical Chicago snow in winter can look rather picturesque. It’s also one of the main locations used in the urban fantasy series The Dresden Files, with the statue in the picture coming alive; okay so that’s the main reason it’s on the list, sue me!

Interred here are quite a few notable people, including Amabel Anderson Arnold, responsible for organising the first woman’s lawyers association in the world; Augustus Dickens, brother to Charles Dickens, who died penniless in Chicago; and, Sarah E. Goode, the first African-American woman to receive a United States patent.

9. Xoxocotlan Cemetery – Oaxaca, Mexico

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Surrounded an ancient chapel, Xoxocotlan Cemetery is a crowd of rickety headstones that are treated as the centrepiece of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico. The celebrations begin on October 31st with the decoration of the headstones which includes building altars, lighting thousands of candles and adorning the cemetery with marigold petals. The atmosphere of the Day of the Dead is an incredible experience that involves spectacular street processions that see families bringing offerings of food and flowers to the Xoxocotlan Cemetery to celebrate the lives of the departed.

10. Glasgow Necropolis – Scotland, UK

 

 
 
 
 
 
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To the east of Glasgow Cathedral is the magnificent Glasgow Necropolis — a name that literally means city of the dead — a Victorian cemetery that sits on a low but prominent hill that gives you fantastic views of the city below. With over fifty thousand burials, you’ll be able to discover monuments in a broad spectrum of architectural styles with many designed by famous architects such as Charles Rennie Macintosh, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson and JT Rochead. Cross the “Bridge of Sighs” at the main entrance to begin discovering this multi-faith cemetery and keep an eye out for notable graves such as William Miller, the poet who wrote the rhyme Wee Willie Winkie, and the famous chemist Charles Tennant.

11. Merry Cemetery – Sapanta, Romania

 

 
 
 
 
 
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While many of the cemeteries on this list will be filled with typically grey tombstones and monuments, Merry Cemetery in Romania is a beautifully colourful contrast. Known for its skilfully crafted and painted wooden crosses, Merry Cemetery is an uplifting cemetery to visit that often contains poetry, limericks and anecdotes on the many epitaphs of its residents that each heavily feature a wicked sense of humour. This humorous style of epitaph, often seen with an accompanying humorous painted image, is a tradition started by Stan Ioan Patras in 1908 and is now carried on by his apprentice Dumitru Pop.

We hope that we’ve helped you add a few more death tourism destinations to your travel wishlist!

If you’re planning on visiting any of these incredible cemeteries this year, whenever travel opens up again, make sure you dress for the occasion with our holiday shop at Attitude Clothing!

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The Goth Vegan Revolution

Goth Vegan Punk Vegan

The vegan lifestyle is booming. Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 185% increase in vegan products available in the UK and the annual Veganuary challenge saw 440,000 people sign up for the 2021 challenge before the month had begun, up from a mere 3,300 in its 2014 launch.

But how did this grassroots movement get so big? And what have goths got to do with it?

The Vegan Diet

Veganism is primarily associated with diet, and more and more high street retailers and restaurants are now providing vegan alternatives. Whereas only a few years ago you’d have to sniff out a vegan-friendly store in a quiet part of town, you can now find vegan food filling the aisles at supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsburys, and even in more unlikely places such as Toby Carvery and Pret A Manger.

This kind of accessibility has led to a boom in vegan influencers, and if you haven’t checked out gothintheraw on Instagram, you’re missing out on some seriously delicious dark delights that are completely vegan and completely gothic too.

Pro Vegan Diet

The Vegan Lifestyle

Changing to a vegan diet is a huge part of it for sure, but for most vegans, a change in menu isn’t enough. There are a few key motives for going vegan, the most popular being animal welfare, environmental concerns, and health. The first of these two reasons tie in not only with diet, but with fashion and beauty choices. That’s where we at Attitude Clothing have been quietly working away, waiting for the mainstream to catch up.

Gothic Vegan Influences

The alternative scene has always driven change, so it stands to reason that we’ve been fighting the good vegan and vegetarian fight for many years before it hit the mainstream. Hippies and punks were the leaders of adopting a vegan lifestyle back in the day, and have continued to champion the cruelty-free way of life ever since – even after the culture changed to include a huge cross-section of people from all walks of life.

Vegan Revolution

Vegan Fashion For Everyone

Mainstream fashion brands are starting to sit up and pay attention to the increasing demand for vegan leather and cruelty-free fashion and beauty products. Ethically conscious consumers are making a cruelty-free approach to fashion high on their list of priorities when shopping, and while many high street retailers are catching up, alternative brands have already got huge ranges of vegan-friendly clothing and cosmetics for you to choose from.

Straight Edge Vegan Punks Lead The Way

For a long time, straight edge punks had the monopoly on the vegan lifestyle, but looking at our vegan collection we think it’s clear that goths and alternative fans of all kinds are now taking the torch and paving the way for the alternative scene to get more involved in saving animals and the environment. Whichever alternative subculture is your favourite, you’ll now be able to find vegan-friendly fashion, vegan footwear, and vegan cosmetics including vegan makeup for you to enjoy with a squeaky clean conscience.

Vegan Fashion

When we talk about vegan clothing, we’re usually talking about vegan leather. A lot of the vegan womenswear and vegan menswear you’ll find at Attitude Clothing contains some form of vegan leather whether it’s made from it entirely or simply has a few design features made from vegan leather. Whatever the style, you can be sure that vegan fashion in our collection is entirely cruelty-free and available from some of your favourite alternative vegan brands including Punk RaveRestyle and more.

Vegan Footwear

For many years, the best boots around were made from the finest leathers, meaning that a kickass pair of alternative boots or classic goth boots were far from vegan. However, we have good news. Tons of the biggest names in gothic footwear are on the vegan train and there are now huge ranges of vegan boots and vegan footwear for you to choose from. Check out women’s vegan footwear and men’s vegan footwear in our collection, by some of your favourite alternative footwear brands such as Demonia, TUK Shoes and New Rock.

Vegan Cosmetics

Cosmetics companies have long been publically against animal testing, but how many of them actually commit to removing animal cruelty or involvement with their beauty products as a whole? Here at Attitude Clothing, our vegan cosmetics are 100% vegan and therefore 100% cruelty free throughout the whole process, from production to creation and testing. This means that when you shop our vegan beauty products, you’ll find vegan cosmetics including vegan makeup, vegan hair dye and more by brands that are completely committed to the vegan cause such as Mermaid Salon, Manic Panic, and Medusa’s Make Up.

We’ve only mentioned a few of the gothic and alternative brands that are involved in supporting the vegan revolution, but you can check them all out in our full vegan collection at Attitude Clothing – a hub for all things alternative and cruelty-free. Together, we believe that goths and vegans can make a difference!

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Alternative Christmas Songs [Our Top 35 For Your Playlist]

We love a good Christmas playlist here at Attitude Clothing, but of course we like to put our alternative twist on the occasion! Alternative Christmas Songs are one of the best ways to kick off the season. There are so many to choose from, but we’ve put together an easy to browse list of our favourites to get you started this Christmas! From pop punk heroes Blink-182 to the legend himself Corey Taylor, there’s something for every alternative music fan right here at Attitude Clothing. Turn up the volume and get into the festive spirit!

1. The Darkness: Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)

Released: December 2003

Festive Fact: This song was tipped to reach number one in the official UK singles chart, but was beaten at the last minute by a cover of “Mad World”. Their battle for Christmas number one is considered one of the closest in recent years.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Don’t let the bells end Christmas time, just let them ring in peace.”

2. Corey Taylor – X-M@$

Released: December 2010

Festive Fact: Corey recorded this single for The Teenage Cancer Trust. Though the song makes it sound as though Corey isn’t a fan of Christmas, he took to YouTube to clarify that he enjoys Christmas as it means he gets to see his extended family. He actually just finds the frustration of people who don’t like Christmas hilarious.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Fa la la la la go fuck yourself!”

3. Reuben – Christmas Is Awesome

Released: December 2007

Festive Fact: This single was written as a semi-serious attempt at the Christmas number one spot. While the video was a huge success on YouTube with over 100,000 hits on the first day, an error in the VPL registration of the track led to its tragic disqualification from entry into the UK charts.

Our Favourite Lyric: “We’re sorry about all of that “Nailed to a cross” business”

4. Blink 182 – Won’t Be Home For Christmas

Released: 2001

Festive Fact: Despite its widespread popularity, the single was only charted number one in Canada and stayed there for 5 weeks. No other Blink-182 song ever made it to number one in Canada.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Oh god I hate these Satan’s helpers”

5. My Chemical Romance – All I Want for Christmas Is You

Released: 2004

Festive Fact: The Mariah Carey classic was covered by Gerard Way and the members of My Chemical Romance for the LA based alternative radio show Kevin & Bean on KROQ-FM.

6. The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)

Released: 1989

Festive Fact: This single was featured in the film soundtrack for Christmas With The Kranks and was covered by Joey Ramone on his second posthumous album Ya Know?

Our Favourite Lyric: “Snowball fighting, it’s so exciting baby”

7. August Burns Red – Carol of the Bells

Released: 2008

Festive Fact: An openly Christian band, this single was recorded for an album from The X Series, a collection of compilation albums by BEC Recordings which choose artists exclusively signed to Christian rock labels.

8. Twisted Sister – Heavy Metal Christmas

Released: 2007

Festive Fact: This song featured on the album A Twisted Christmas, which was the seventh and final studio album by Twisted Sister. The entire album takes classic rock riffs  from bands such as AC/DC, Thin Lizzy & Black Sabbath, and gives them a festive twist.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Twelve silver crosses, Eleven black mascaras, Ten pairs of platforms, Nine tattered t-shirts, Eight pentagrams, Seven leather jackets, Six cans of hairspray, Five skull earrings, Four quarts of Jack, Three studded belts, Two pairs of spandex pants, And a tattoo of Ozzy…”

9. Small Town Titans – You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch

Released: 2017

Festive Fact: Small Town Titans decided to do something different for the holidays, so arranged this dark, bluesy, sinister version of “You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch”

Our Favourite Lyric: ALL OF THEM

10. Weezer: We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Released: 2008

Festive Fact: Originally recorded for an Apple iOS mobile game, Weezer’s pop-punk version of a holiday favourite is a short and sweet punked-up alternative that’s a must for any punks Christmas playlist.

11. The Smashing Pumpkins: Christmastime

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Christmastime was released on the alt scene’s premier seasonal charity compilation, A Very Special Christmas 3 and recorded at the same time as The Smashing Pumpkins’ fourth album, Adore

Our Favourite Lyric: And secretly, the gifts you hide, the fun awaits for you inside”

12. No Doubt: Oi To The World

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Ska might be lost to the alternative scene of days gone by, but what better time of year for a throwback than Christmas? Oi To The World was created as the skinhead’s solution to a Christmas Carol and appeared on the B-side to ‘Happy Now?’ from the Tragic Kingdom album.

Our Favourite Lyric: If God came down on Christmas Day, I know exactly what He’d say, He’d say Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins, and Oi to the world and everybody wins!”

13. Def Leppard: We All Need Christmas

Released: 2018

Festive Fact: It’s easy to think that Def Leppard tracks already have some miles behind them, but this festive track was released only in 2018! Good to know they still have it in them.

Our Favourite Lyric: ‘Follow your heart, and let love lead, this Christmas’

14. Chris Cornell With Eleven: Ave Maria

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Featured on the very same compilation album as The Smashing Pumpkins’ Christmastime, Chris Cornell’s cover of the classic carol Ave Maria is a bittersweet reminder of this late alt legend’s enduring talent.

15. Eels: Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas

Released: 1998

Festive Fact: B-sides really do hold some seasonal treasures, with this holiday gem being found on the B side to ‘Cancer For The Cure’ on Eels’ Electro-Shock Blues album.

Our Favourite Lyric: There’s a yuletide groove waitin’ for you to move’ 

16. Amy Winehouse: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Released: 2004

Festive Fact: An incredible live recording of one of our favourite seasonal pop songs for the BBC Radio 2 Christmas special, The Gospel According To Christmas

17. The Killers: Don’t Shoot Me Santa

Released: 2011

Festive Fact: One of the edgier titles for one of the six annual Christmas songs The Killers’ produced between 2006-2011, this one was a charity release raising money to help in the fight against AIDS.

Our Favourite Lyric: Oh, Santa, I’ve been killing just for fun Well, the party is over kid Because I, because I got a bullet in my gun’

18. Queen: A Winter’s Tale

Released: 1995

Festive Fact: The psychedelic vibe in this Queen Christmas song is made all the more beautiful when you realise that the record was released posthumously after Freddie Mercury’s death.

19. David Bowie & Bing Crosby: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy

Released: 1982

Festive Fact: While many mistake this hugely successful festive duet as an original, it’s actually a cover of a track first performed by the Trapp Family Singers in 1951.

20. Beck: The Little Drum Machine Boy

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Appearing on the Just Say Noel album, this seven-minute dive into robotic funk was released just a few months after the hugely successful Odelay album.

Our Favourite Lyric: ‘That’s the Beeyatch Holiday robot funk’ 

21. Tom Petty: Christmas All Over Again

Released: 1992

Festive Fact: This Tom Petty festive track appeared on the predecessor to A Very Special Christmas 3, the double-platinum compilation A Very Special Christmas 2

Our Favourite Lyric:Now let’s see, I want a new Rickenbacker guitar Two Fender bassmans Chuck Berry songbooks, xylophone’

22. Bon Jovi: Please Come Home For Christmas

Released: 1992

Festive Fact: A cover of the original Charles Brown version, this A Very Special Christmas 2 release actually made it into the top 10 in the UK and Ireland.

23. Grateful Dead: Run Rudolph Run

Released: 1971

Festive Fact: One of many covers of Chuck Berry’s original rock n roll Christmas classic, this version was sung live at Madison Square Garden in New York while the youngest original member of the group ‘Pigpen’ was still alive.

24. The Kinks: Father Christmas

Released: 1977

Festive Fact: Part festive tune, part social commentary, this holiday contribution from The Kinks packs a punch.

Our Favourite Lyric: Father Christmas, give us some money We got no time for your silly toys Father Christmas, please hand it over We’ll beat you up so don’t make us annoyed’

25. Pearl Jam: Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time)

Released: 1991

Festive Fact: This very early track from Pearl Jam ended up being rerecorded live for their compilation album Pearl Jam 20 in 2011.

26. The Pogues (feat. Kirsty MacColl): Fairytale Of New York

Released: 1987

Festive Fact: At this point it’s basically mainstream, but its alternative roots absolutely earn Fairytale of New York a place on any alternative Christmas playlist – even if it was recorded in the height of summer!

Our Favourite Lyric: Happy Christmas your arse I pray God it’s our last’

27. Low: Just Like Christmas

Released: 1999

Festive Fact: In a break from their usual slow alt-pop vibe, Low recorded a Christmas EP that crammed in a ton of Christmas spirit as a special gift to their fans.

28. The Fall: Hark The Herald Angels Sing

Released: 1995

Festive Fact: Mark E Smith might be the last person you’d expect to release a Christmas album, and yet The Fall released more than one in their time! 

29. Cheap Trick: I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Released: 2017

Festive Fact: Originally performed by The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, this modern festival classic was performed on Saturday Night Live by Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz and Chris Kattan.

Our Favourite Lyric: All I know is that Santa Claus Don’t care about breaking or applying laws’

30. Poly Styrene: Black Christmas 

Released: 2010

Festive Fact: A truly dark Christmas release, Black Christmas was inspired by the killing spree of a man dressed as Santa Claus in LA. On a more festive note, Poly Styrene wrote the song  in collaboration with her daughter, Celeste.

Our Favourite Lyric: I’m dreaming of a black black Christmas Black smoke glows against a midnight sky’

31. Phoenix: Alone On Christmas Day

Released: 2015

Festive Fact: Phoenix requested that they be allowed to cover Beach Boys’ Mike Love’s song for Bill Murray’s A Very Murray Christmas and actually features Bill Murray on the track.

32. AC/DC Mistress For Christmas

Released: 1990

Festive Fact: Angus Young explained that the song was written about Donald Trump and thinks it’s the funniest song on the album The Razors Edge

33. Run-D.M.C: Christmas In Hollis

Released: 1987

Festive Fact: Christmas In Hollis is a track from the very first A Very Special Christmas album – the band actually refused the song when first offered to them!

Our Favourite Lyric: My name’s d.m.c. with the mic in my hand And I’m chilling and coolin just like a snowman’

34. Jimmy Eat World: 12.23.95

Released: 1999

Festive Fact: This Christmas tune featured on the album Clarity which is often hailed as one of the best emo records of all time.

35. Loose Tapestries: Can’t Wait For Christmas

Released: 2016

Festive Fact: Hold out through Noel Fielding’s Christmas themed nonsense for a brilliant rap from the one and only Idris Elba halfway through the track

Our Favourite Lyric: ‘And my wife is a walnut, She’s a Christmas walnut’ 

Whatever you’re listening to this Christmas, you can find all of your must-have gothic Christmas decorations and gothic Christmas gifts here at Attitude Clothing.

Attitude Culture

The Dark Origins of Christmas

Lore lovers, rejoice. This festive season, we’ve been digging deep in our sack of gothic gifts to discover the dark origins of one of our favourite holidays – Christmas. Though Christmas is all sugar plum fairies and candy canes now, it wasn’t always that way! We’ve got some chilling facts about Christmas that will get you in the festive spirit in no time…

The Pagan Winter Solstice

From ancient times, the season that we now know as Christmas was a midwinter celebration called The Winter Solstice, or Yule. A pagan festival, The Winter Solstice was a time to celebrate the fact that the worst of winter was over, and the people could look forward to longer days with more sunlight in the near future. Ultimately, everyone was celebrating the fact that they were the ones to have survived another winter.

Yuletide & Odin’s List

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule (or Yuletide) from December 21st right through to until January – burning fires and feasting for a full 12 days (though nowadays we tend to celebrate all December!) Yet the holiday took a more fearful turn in Germany, where many people believed that the pagan god Odin would observe his people from the sky during the winter solstice, deciding who would survive the winter, and who would not…almost as if he was making a list, and checking it twice?

Saturnalia Worship & Mithra

In warmer regions such as Rome, the people celebrated Saturnalia during December in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture – once again to celebrate the end of the worst of the winter. It was a time when the social order was turned on its head, slaves and peasants ruled the city and celebrated with plentiful food and drink – the first instance of the winter solstice as a charitable season.

Christianity vs Pagan Festivals

When Christianity was still a new religion, nobody even thought to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Only in the fourth century did Pope Julius choose to celebrate the occasion on December 25th, conveniently timed to overshadow and absorb the traditions of Yule and Saturnalia. A bloody battle between pagan holidays and Christian rule ensued, and by the middle ages, Christmas had almost completely replaced the ancient pagan holidays.

Santa Claus

With Christmas came the legend of St Nicholas. The legend varies from culture to culture, but they all agree that he was a benevolent man, a protector of children celebrated for his charitable nature. In Scandinavian culture, the same figure appears as Sinterklaas who eventually made his way to America by the end of the 18th century as Santa Claus – a magical being who flew from house to house delivering presents to deserving children…but what happened to the not-so-deserving?

Krampus

Every protagonist has an antagonist, and just as the Christian God finds his counterpart in the Devil, Santa wasn’t the only creature visiting houses during the Winter Solstice. In Belgium, the Netherlands and Austro-Bavarian cultures, misbehaving children in could expect a visit from the terrifying Krampus, a half-goat, half-demon that at best would leave a lump of coal, and at worst would kidnap the child, never to be seen again…

If any naughty children thought they would get away with a couple of weeks of good behaviour before Christmas, they’d be in for a shock – Krampus wouldn’t wait until Christmas Day to punish the unworthy. Krampusnacht continues to be celebrated across many European regions on 5th December. Combining both Christian traditions with pagan roots, Krampusnacht sees parades offerings of Krampuslauf (schnapps) and the exchanging of Krampuskarten (greeting cards depicting the terrifying Krampus).

The Krampus has inspired a lot of Yuletide fear over the years, even inspiring his own (tongue-in-cheek) film:

Christmas Riots

Americans didn’t truly embrace Christmas until the 19th century, and it didn’t have the smoothest start. Christmas had become a time for the poor and unemployed to riot in huge gangs. In a tradition inspired by the earlier celebration of Halloween, Americans demanded fine food and drink from the upper classes and caused trouble if their demands weren’t met. Deciding that the violence must end, communities were urged to gather together, rich or poor, to celebrate the closing of the year in the same way that Christmas was celebrated elsewhere.

Cleaning Up Christmas

Back in England, the Christmas tradition was also changing. Previously a time of hedonism and a huge festive celebration, the holiday was turning into a more peaceful and family-oriented time. In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the tale A Christmas Carol which spread a message of charity and kindness which resonated with both English and American societies.

As Christmas became even more popular in America, it was reinvented as the perfect family holiday. Old customs lifted straight from the pagan days such as decorating trees, sending cards to family and friends and exchanging gifts became an essential part of the Christmas tradition. Eventually, this commercialised reinvention became the accepted celebration of Christmas all over the world.

Since then, Christmas celebrations haven’t changed much,  but we’ve spotted some of our favourite hedonistic elements of the ancient Winter Solstice traditions creeping back in: eating, drinking & being merry!

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas in the modern or old tradition, you can find all of your must-have gothic gifts here at Attitude Clothing.

Attitude Culture Music

Ultimate Halloween Playlist

Spooky season has arrived! Whether you’re the type that celebrates Halloween all autumn, the whole month of October, or even just on October 31st, we know that having a good Halloween playlist is half the fun. 

We’ve put together our top 35 Halloween playlist picks perfect for getting yourself in the Halloween spirit or creating that spooky Halloween party atmosphere. If you’re creating a Halloween playlist or simply don’t have the time to trawl through Halloween playlist YouTube yourself, check out our ultimate Halloween playlist here at Attitude Clothing.

  • 1. Thriller – Michael Jackson

  • Regardless of what kind of music you’re into, you can’t have a Halloween playlist without Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s the OG Halloween tune that comes with its very own spine-chilling dance that makes it perfect for parties – plus it features horror legend Vincent Price if it wasn’t already iconic enough.

  • 2. Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett

  • A holiday favourite since the 60s, the graveyard smash Monster Mash is one of several novelty Halloween songs in this list that just can’t be missed off your Halloween playlist.

  • 3. The Time Warp – Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast

  • Performed hundreds of times on film and stage, the Rocky Horror Picture Show has a cult following for fans of the alternative and out of this world. The Time Warp is one of the most famous songs from the musical, and is a party favourite for all seasons! Combine the iconic dance with the weird and almost supernatural horror vibe of Rocky Horror makes The Time Warp a must-have for your Halloween playlist.

  • 4. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

  • Written from the point of view of a serial killer and with characters such as Alice Cooper and Hannibal Lecter in mind, Psycho Killer has appeared on slasher TV and film soundtracks ever since!

  • 5. I Was A Teenage Werewolf – The Cramps

  • Inspired by the 50s movie of the same name, I Was A Teenage Werewolf is one of many songs by The Cramps that references classic horror movie titles. The perfect Halloween playlist pick for fans of punk and classic horror movies!

  • 6. Feed My Frankenstein – Alice Cooper

  • The Alice Cooper song Feed my Frankenstein is famed for its appearance in 1992’s Wayne’s World where Alice is seen performing the track live on stage. Featuring guest appearances from Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Nikki Sixx, and Elvira, Feed My Frankenstein is a star-studded Halloween themed affair.

  • 7. Dragula – Rob Zombie

  • One of Rob Zombie’s most recognisable songs. Opening with a line from Horror Hotel spoken by Christopher Lee, Dragula’s horror roots run deep by drawing inspiration from the drag racer from The Munsters, “DRAG-U-LA” and even features the Munster Koach in the music video!

  • 8. Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones

  • Sympathy for the Devil is a legend of rock that has a history cemented in alternative pop culture and spooky incidents. When The Rolling Stones first released the track, there was a tremendous backlash from people who thought they were black magicians worshipping the devil, but audiences actually celebrated this flirtation with the dark side to Mick Jagger’s surprise. 

    At the Altamont Speedway Free Festival in the 60s, it was rumoured that concert-goer Meredith Hunter was killed while the Stones played Sympathy for the Devil, and at the studio where the band were recording the song for the 1968 film of the same name a huge fire started as they played which caused huge amounts of damage to the studio and their equipment. 

    Guns N’ Roses bravely took the song on in 1994 to be featured in the closing credits for Interview With A Vampire – but this too was ill fated as it caused an incident that would see Slash leave the band; he’s since said that Sympathy for the Devil is “the sound of the band breaking up.” – play either version at your Halloween party at your own peril!

  • 9. People Are Strange – The Doors

  • Famously covered by the band Echo & The Bunnymen for the soundtrack of The Lost Boys – while it’s been covered plenty of times since, it’s often the Echo & The Bunnymen and version and The Doors original that stand the test of time. An anthem for outsiders, People Are Strange is a great Halloween hit for your playlist.

  • 10. Bark At The Moon – Ozzy Osbourne

  • While Bark at the Moon may seem like a werewolf song on the surface, the music video has many more supernatural delights. The Bark at the Moon music video depicts Ozzy Osbourne as a Jekyll & Hyde character, appearing as a mad scientist who takes a potion that transforms him into the werewolf seen on the album cover before he’s committed to a mental asylum at the end of the video. Spooky stuff!

  • 11. Living Dead Girl – Rob Zombie

  • Another Rob Zombie track packed full of horror movie references and appearing on many horror and thriller films since, Living Dead Girl has more than earned its right to appear on any Halloween playlist. Samples from films on the track include Lady Frankenstein Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left and Daughters of Darkness, while Rob Zombie also references Vincent Price’s villain in Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and the 1974 film Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS. Living Dead Girl appears in Bride of Chucky and the remake of Psycho as well as The Crow: Salvation Soundtrack in 2000.

  • 12. Ghost Town – The Specials

  • Offering a bleak but realistic view of Britain in the 80s, The Specials’ Ghost Town transforms Britain into a ghost town worthy of the spookiest and most haunting settings. Although not strictly Halloween themed, the title and ghostly sound effects are enough to tip in into Halloween playlist territory!

  • 13. Bat Out of Hell – Meatloaf

  • The 9:52 epic Bat Out of Hell has inspired a TV series and a musical in its name and has been honoured with the official “Classic Song” title for its enduring appeal. Inspired by Hitchcock’s Psycho and following the tragic journey of a biker in love which ends in a fatal crash, Bat Out of Hell may only have a tenuous link to Halloween with its title and imagery, but it’s sure to be a people pleaser at any Halloween party.

  • 14. Welcome To My Nightmare – Alice Cooper

  • The title track to one of Alice Cooper’s most successful albums, Welcome To My Nightmare is a staple of many a Halloween playlist. The shock rock legend even performed this spooky song on The Muppet Show

  • 15. The Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden

  • Another devil-centric song to cause outrage amongst religious groups, The Number of the Beast quickly became one of Iron Maiden’s most popular songs thanks to the controversy stirred up through protests and organised burning of the album. Inspired by a nightmare band-founder and bassist Steve Harris had after watching the sequel to The Omen, The Number of the Beast opens with a reading from The Book of Revelations by actor Barry Clayton for extra spook-factor.

  • 16. Highway To Hell – AC/DC

  • A great party tune which would be one of the last lead singer Bon Scott wrote before his death, Highway To Hell fits in with the Halloween theme while just being a good song to get everyone in the party mood.

  • 17. Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix

  • Packed full of voodoo symbolism, Jimi Henrdix’s Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is hailed as one of the greatest pieces of guitar work ever recorded.

  • 18. Fear of the Dark – Iron Maiden

  • Halloween is a time of facing your fears and phobias – according to lead singer Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris wrote Fear of the Dark about his own literal fear of the dark! 

  • 19. Ghostbusters – Theme Song

  • Written by Ray Parker Jr as the theme for the 1984 film, Ghostbusters swiftly became much more than a theme tune. Covered by artists such as Run-D.M.C, The Rasmus and Fall Out Boy over the years, Ghostbusters has become a staple of Halloween parties and pop culture at large.

  • 20. This Is Halloween – Marilyn Manson Cover

  • Written by Danny Elfman for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, This Is Halloween is a classic Disney song that celebrations all things Halloween. Still featured in Disney parades today, This Is Halloween is great for Halloween lovers of all ages, but if you’re looking for a slightly darker take on the original, we can’t recommend the Marylin Manson cover enough. Recorded for a special edition of the film’s soundtrack called Nightmare Revisited, Manson appears along a huge range of alternative artists to cover the soundtrack in full.

  • 21. Kidnap The Sandy Claws – Korn Cover

  • Another track from the Nightmare Revisited that we just couldn’t miss is Korn’s cover of Kidnap The Sandy Claws. It might live in that uncertain place between being a Halloween song and being a Christmas song, but we’ll take any excuse to listen to this killer cover.

  • 22. I Put A Spell On You – Hocus Pocus Cast

  • Many will argue that no-one can do I Put A Spell On You better than Nina Simone, not even Marilyn Manson himself, but those people haven’t seen Hocus Pocus. Fans of the film will understand just how brilliant this cover of I Put A Spell On You is and why it’s a must for any Halloween playlist.

  • 23. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

  • Though a seemingly innocent song about eternal love according to songwriter Buck Dharma, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper has some spooky undertones. Many believe that the song is actually about a murder-suicide pact, and the cover art certainly points to a strong connection with mysticism. Whether it was intended to have a creepy undertone or not, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper has appeared in spooky settings such as the movie Halloween and in the intro of Stephen King’s novel The Stand

  • 24. Zombie – The Cranberries

  • A protest song written about IRA bombings, the title and metaphor of a zombie throughout the song mean that The Cranberries’ Zombie has appeared on many a Halloween playlist throughout the years – and rightly so! Regardless of the real meaning, it’s a great song that’s stood the test of time all year round, but especially at Halloween. 

    If the sound of the Cranberries isn’t up your street, why not take on this heavy metal cover of Zombie from Bad Wolves performed in Dolores’ honour instead?

  • 25. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

  • Bad Moon Rising is a song about the impending apocalypse (though often interpreted as a song about a werewolf) that has appeared on a huge range of horror movies and TV shows from An American Werewolf in London to Twilight Zone: The Movie, Supernatural, Teen Wolf and The Walking Dead.  

  • 26. Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

  • The music video for Heads Will Roll is what gives the song a true Halloween edge. Directed by Richard Ayoade, the music video sees the band perform for a dancing werewolf who then transforms before killing the band and audience – in the gory conclusion,  Karen O continues to sing despite her head being severed from her body. 

  • 27. Disturbia – Rhianna

  • Okay most of us wouldn’t describe Rhianna as alternative, but the killer music video to Disturbia has given the song a reputation for being a Halloween favourite among the mainstream, so we thought we’d give it a mention. Beginning in a surreal, circus-like torture chamer, Rhianna appears in a prison, a gas chamber and covered in tarantulas. A departure from the norm for pop stars, Disturbia is worth adding to your Halloween playlist for the creepy video alone.

  • 28. The Addams Family – Theme Song

  • Everyone’s favourite spooky family The Addams Family have become as iconic as their theme tune. Played on harpsichord and featuring the famous finger-snaps, The Addams Family theme song has appeared across pop culture from The Simpsons to Elvira over the years making it an instantly recognisable Halloween tune.

  • 29. Hells Bells – AC/DC

  • The first track on the Back In Black album following the death of Bon Scott, Hells Bells begins with a haunting bell slowly tolling before the band kicks in with another Halloween party favourite.

  • 30. Red Right Hand – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

  • A signature song from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the title is heavily influenced by John Milton’s Paradise Lost in which the red right hand is referred to as the vengeful hand of God. While the song may reflect on power from above rather than below, the threat in the song is palpable scoring in an appearance in the first three films of the Scream franchise and films such as Hellboy and Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant long before the Peaky Blinders picked it up as their theme song.

  • 31. Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus

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    Often considered the first gothic rock record, who can resist the disturbing sounds of Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead? Though horror movie star Bela Lugosi died 23 years before Bauhaus would write the song in his name, it mourns the death of this horror film star who did so much to establish the image of the modern vampire in his 1931 appearance in Dracula. Hugely influential on goth culture, Bela Lugosi’s Dead has appeared in numerous films and tv shows from The Hunter to Supernatural and American Horror Story: Hotel to name a few. 

  • 32. Tear You Apart – She Wants Revenge

  • Speaking of American Horror Story: Hotel – this scene featuring the song Tear You Apart has become one of the most iconic from the American Horror Story series. Introducing Lady Gaga’s character The Countess and her lover Donovan played by Matt Bomer, the song has become synonymous with the sexy vampire vibe ever since.

  • 33. Mr. Crowley – Ozzy Osbourne

  • Inspired by the infamous Aleister Crowley and a deck of tarot cards, the song Mr. Crowley is packed full of occultist symbolism. Starting with a haunting keyboard solo and featuring one of the best known heavy metal guitar solos. A classic heavy metal song with a seriously occult influence, you can’t miss it off you Halloween playlist. 

  • 34. Tainted Love – Marilyn Manson

  • We all love the Soft Cell original, but Marilyn Manson’s version of Tainted Love is an unmissable alternative take on the 80s pop hit. Manson’s version became a top 5 hit in tons of countries across the world and even won a number of Kerrang! Awards for the single and accompanying music video. If the original didn’t have enough scary stalker vibes for you, Manson’s version certainly will.

  • 35. Blood – My Chemical Romance

  • Released as a hidden track on the special edition of The Black Parade, Blood is a short but sweet track about vampiric bloodlust that starts at 1:30 on the 14th track of the album. It’s a hidden gem that’s more than worthy of a spot on your Halloween playlist!

    Honestly, this list could go on forever – but if you’re making a must-have Halloween mix with an alternative music twist, we think that these tracks are a great place to start! 

    Anything we’ve missed off that you think we should add to our Halloween playlist? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to pick up your perfect Halloween wardrobe here at Attitude Clothing.

    Attitude Culture

    A Guide to Deathrock Fashion

    What do you get when you cross goth with punk? Deathrock. The bastard child of two of the biggest alternative subcultures, Deathrock is as dark as it is theatrical. A performative style, Deathrock found its way onto the post-punk scene in the 1970s and has held a special place in our hearts ever since.

    What Is Deathrock?

    Combining the romance of the gothic movement with the edge of punk, Deathrock is a unique style that dials up the theatrics. It’s a style that leans heavily on DIY elements and customisation, meaning that not only can you buy clothing that already fits in with the Deathrock genre, you can also get creative with your favourite goth and punk styles to shift them into Deathrock territory. Simply take classic punk rock and gothic styles and add campy, spooky elements of horror to get that Deathrock look.

    Where Did Deathrock Come From?

    The post-punk scene of the late 1970s saw the emergence of Deathrock. London’s Batcave nightclub was considered to be the birthplace of goth, and it’s in this same venue that Deathrock found its UK roots. Deathrock’s popularity surged after bands in the genre such as Alien Sex Fiend and Specimen gigged at Batcave and lured fans over from the trad goth scene.

    In the US, punk bands such as the Misfits and the Cramps were using horror to embellish their punk style. While these punk bands didn’t claim the Deathrock name, by the 80s, Deathrock had well and truly hit LA’s hardcore scene. At the Anti-Club in LA, bands such as 45 Grave and Super Heroines grew the darker flavour of punk that Deathrock offers. 

    How Is Deathrock Different from Goth?

    While goth focuses on motifs of death and darkness, Deathrock amps up the horror. It takes on a real pop-culture influence that features monsters, ghouls and gore in a more theatrical way than mainstream goth. The sound of Deathrock music is more punk than straight-laced goth, and the style follows suit. With punk and horror influences layered on top of classic gothic style, there’s no mistaking one for the other. 

    What Does Deathrock Sound Like?

    Horror was part of the alternative music scene long before Deathrock arrived. From novelty horror acts like Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s Monster Mash to theatrical rock acts like Alice Cooper, there were plenty of horror-based influences for the likes of the Deathrock band 45 Grave to draw on. 

    One of the most influential Deathrock icons was Rozz Williams of the band Christian Death. Here they are doing their thing in the video for the song “Church Of No Return”:

    If Christian Death isn’t your bag, another huge band on the Deathrock scene were 45 Grave. Their frontwoman Dinah Cancer goes by many titles from the Queen of Deathrock to the High Priestess of Deathrock and even the Goddess of Deathrock. See Dinah in action with 45 Grave in the video for the song “Party Time”:

    How To Get The Deathrock Look

    Deathrock might rely on a lot of DIY to bring in that punk vibe, but if you’re looking for a quick route to the Deathrock look, there are a few different styles that you can reach for straight away.

    Deathrock Clothing

    Punk had a huge influence on Deathrock, so punk staples such as fishnet tights, ripped jeans and tops featuring punk motifs like safety pins are sure to set you on the right track. You can even borrow oversized tops from the grunge scene, but if you stick to the punk side of things and blend in some gothic elements, you’re sure to be on your way to a successful Deathrock look. Don’t forget to include a generous helping of campy, pop-culture horror into your look!

    Deathrock Hair

    Since you’re combining gothic and punk looks for the theatrical effect of Deathrock, it stands to reason that the best Deathrock hairstyles are the most iconic from each subgenre. A mohawk with shaved sides or super backcombed hair is going to be the perfect finishing touch for your Deathrock look. Why not finish off your Deathrock hairstyle with a horror-inspired hair accessory

    Putting together your own Deathrock look? Browse our gothic clothing and punk clothing collections at Attitude Clothing to find pieces you can layer and customise to get that horror vibe in no time.

    Attitude Culture Music

    Goth vs Emo: What’s The Difference?

    Out there in the mainstream world, the alternative scene can look like a confusing mix of black clothing and loud music. From their outsider’s perspective, it can be hard to understand the nuances that define each alternative subculture. While some subcultures like pastel goth or rockabilly have stand-out features that make them clearly separate from the umbrella of ‘goth’, other subcultures such as emo can get lumped in with a generalist ‘goth’ term.

    To give the mainstream a break, we can kind of understand why. For those that aren’t directly involved in the alternative scene, emo could easily be mistaken for goth going through a wild teenage phase. There are some similarities, but there are also many differences if you choose to look more closely.

    In case you’re a mainstreamer looking to get a peek behind the goth vs emo curtain, or you’re an alternative fashion lover that wants to make sure they’re getting their alternative basics right, we’ve taken a deep dive into whether goth and emo are the same thing…

    Before we get into similarities and comparisons – let’s take a look at some un-nuanced definitions of that ‘goth’ and ‘emo’ mean, look like, and sound like at their core.

    How Is Goth Defined?

    No matter what your customary Google tells you, goth in this context does not relate to the Germanic tribe who invaded the Roman Empire – thanks for trying though Urban Dictionary and Merriam-Webster. We’re sure that many of the goths we’re referring to think that this tribe are absolute badasses, but when we talk about ‘goth’ here, we’re referring to the music and fashion subculture.

    Goth in this context is defined as a person who listens to gothic music (from Bauhaus to Marilyn Manson) and dresses in gothic fashion (black, black, Victorian-influenced, black, punk-influenced, black).

    Because of goth’s affiliation and fascination with Victorian horror, pagan worship and ancient magic (spelling may vary), it’s often thought that goth was the original alternative subculture, but in fact, goth music culture primarily arose out of one of the other pillars of the alternative community – the punk movement.

    When Did Goth Start?

    The goth culture began right here in the UK in the early 1980s – bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Damned were creating a gothic rock sound that was directly influenced by their punk predecessors. Some argue that goth started in the late 70s when The Damned first broke the scene, but it wasn’t until things snowballed in the early 80s that the term goth was coined by the media.

    What Was Goth Like In The 80s?

    Influenced by dark theatrics, tragic romanticism and anything morbid, morose or even taboo, gothic culture became the distinctive sound of reverb, woeful lyrics and an all-black uniform that drew inspiration from the Victorian era of penny shockers and the punk scene it hailed from.

    Teens across the UK and the US seized this cultural movement and by the 90s began to make it their own. Dressed in their uniforms of boots, backcombed hair and thick black eyeliner, paired with a mandatory all-black wardrobe, the goth scene took on a life of its own and paved the way for future gothic subcultures.  

    How Did Goth Develop?

    The classic 80s goth was eventually left behind as styles and trends developed. The late 90s and early 00s saw the goth scene produce musicians such as Marilyn Manson, Emilie Autumn and The Dresden Dolls – all of whom brought their unique gothic flavour. By this time, goth had become an umbrella term in the media for subcultures including nu-metal, post-punk and cybergoth. The lines between what was ‘goth’ and what wasn’t became blurred, and eventually the term ‘alternative’ began to circulate as a catch-all for these subcultures.

    What Does Goth Look Like Now?

    As with much popular culture nowadays, goths tend to turn to the gothic pioneers of the past for their gothic music fixes and influences and can take their pick from years of gothic style and fashion to create their own unique styles. Some may argue that the era of the classic goth is fading away in lieu of other subcultures from pastel goth to health goth and beyond, but with gothic clothing at the centre of alternative Instagram culture and so many alternative wardrobes, we can’t see the original spirit of goth culture leaving us any time soon.

     

     
     
     
     
     
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    How Is Emo Defined?

    One such subculture that developed as a result of goth’s rise in popularity was emo. The definition of emo largely comes down to defining the music, which places great emphasis on emotional lyrics, expressive visuals and a confessional tone. Reading like the angsty diary of a teenager, it’s no surprise that the emo charge was primarily led by a younger audience grappling with the feelings that emo music portrayed.

    Visually, the emo fashion took cues from gothic clothing but pushed its way into a more mainstream streetwear style that plays into the idea of ‘geek chic’ – typically geeky t-shirts were paired with v neck jumpers and tighter than tight skinny jeans, with glasses, black dyed hair and a super-long side fringe also ranking as emo must-haves.

    How Did Emo Start?

    While emo was simmering away in the 90s, by the early 00s emo ripped straight through the alternative scene and all the way into the mainstream. While a handful of alternative musicians had made it into the mainstream, this was the biggest wave of alt music to make a cultural impact with consumers that otherwise wouldn’t have engaged with the alternative scene. Bands such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco were all counted among the most famous emo bands to come out of this era of alternative music, standing on the shoulders of early adopters of the emo sound such as Dashboard Confessional, Weezer and Jimmy Eat World.

    How Did Emo Develop?

    Emo branched out almost as soon as it became a defined subculture. One of the most successful offshoots of emo was screamo. The sound of screamo was much more aggressive, taking on frantic beats and hair raising vocals that kept the screamo scene largely underground. Bands such as Thrice, Poison the Well and Alexisonfire were all staples of the screamo scene, keeping a more alternative vibe to the emo subculture that was otherwise becoming more and more mainstream.

    Why Was Emo So Controversial?

    Emo had a pretty big PR problem. Because a lot of the lyrics dealt with themes of mental health and emotional distress, the music got a bad reputation for playing a part in creating a culture of depression – the worst accusations suggesting that emo music encouraged and glamorised self-harm and suicide. Bands that would have typically been labelled as emo railed against the term in order to disassociate themselves from the darker side of emo culture and media-bias. It’s this connotation that ultimately led to emo being discouraged, causing many to fall out of love with a subculture that had once created a huge sense of community – especially on online platforms such as MySpace.

    What Does Emo Look Like Now?

    As the scene moved on, emo moved back underground with its offshoots like screamo. It wasn’t until the mid to late 2010s that it reared its head again, this time being heavily sampled by hip hop artists from MC Lars as early as 2004 to Lil Peep and XXXTentacion enjoying much more recent success – a success that was to be short-lived as both artists tragically died not long after peaking in the mainstream music charts.

    The Key Similarities of Goth vs Emo

    The key similarities between goth and emo include:

    • Romantic themes – both deal with themes of romance such as unrequited love in their music and both talk about the object of their affections in a reverential way that makes their crush seem otherworldly or unattainable.
    • Black-based fashion – both feature black heavily in their colour palettes. However, goth clothing takes this to an extreme whereas emo encourages pairing bold colours such as red, purple and green with a black base colour.
    • Dramatic makeup – both use eyeliner and other bold makeup looks to create their distinctive styles. As with clothing, goth makeup tends to be very black and white whereas emo experiments more with bold colours.
    • Association with death – both have an undeserved reputation for inciting violence and glamorising death in mainstream media, but even this association with death has distinctive nuances. Emo was accused of promoting self-harm, whereas goth was accused of promoting harm to others.

    The Key Differences Between Goth vs Emo

    The key differences between goth and emo include:

    • Musical origins – goth developed from the punk scene and bears many similarities to punk music, whereas emo strived for a much more mainstream appeal that took on a pop sound
    • Style influences – gothic clothing takes inspiration from Victorian fashion and punk style, whereas emo clothing is much more pedestrian and accessible by the mainstream. Some would argue that the popularity of kawaii clothing has taken the place of the cute but deadly vibe that began with emo.
    • Longevity – goth has long been a subculture on the alternative scene and has remained in a semi-mainstream light for many years. Emo enjoyed greater mainstream success, but only for a relatively short period of time before it was pushed back underground. Bands disassociating with the emo subculture meant that a lot of the culture’s pioneers are now redefined in the alternative umbrella or have changed their sound to appeal to other subcultures.

    Are Goth and Emo the Same Thing?

    No. While there are certainly similarities between the two due to the emergence of emo from the origins of gothic culture, there are key differences to be found even in the similarities between the two that define emo as a separate alternative subculture in its own right – though both fall under the ‘alternative’ umbrella.

    No matter how you identify, if you’re a part of the alternative scene we’re sure to stock alternative fashion that’ll keep you feeling part of your community all year round. Take a look at our alternative menswear and alternative womenswear collections to get inspired with Attitude Clothing.

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    Glam Rock Style Guide

    Glam Rock Print

    Glam rock has always been one of the more colourful alternative styles. Evolving from traditionally darker and more masculine styles such as goth and punk, glam rock offered glitter, colour, and androgynous style in spades! But what is glam rock? Where did it come from? Is it still relevant to the alternative scene? We’ll answer all of your glam rock related questions and more in our glam rock style guide!

    What Is Glam Rock?

    First made popular in the early 70s, glam rock was characterised by its iconic sense of fashion just as much as its sound. Famous for its predominantly male-centric bands and their eccentric, feminine sense of style, glam rock brought all the hard-hitting volume loved by rock fans and brought a healthy dose of glitter and mayhem along for the ride.

    While glam rock had a distinct look and style, a large part of glam rock was the attitude. Glam rock musicians created larger than life characters that they played out in a theatrical way – think about Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust, one of the pioneers of glam rock, and later in the glam rock movement, Alice Cooper. Both presented these huge personalities with a distinct look and performance style that played into androgynous style and a heavy rock sound.

    What Does Glam Rock Sound Like?

    Glam rock sought to stand out from the mainstream rock tunes of the 60s – rock might have been a rebellion, but glam rock was a “rebellion against the rebellion” according to Robert Palmer. The sound of glam rock relied on heavy guitars and a hard-rock feel, drawing on punk influences and big personas.

    Bands and artists such as David Bowie KISS, Def Leppard and Motley Crue are among some of the biggest acts commonly known as being pioneers of glam rock, but artists such as Queen, Elton John and Alice Cooper all contributed to the glam rock movement that continued from the early 70s right throughout the 80s.

    What Does Glam Rock Look Like?

    The main appeal of glam rock was in its androgyny. The concept of men wearing flamboyant and feminine clothing was still a shock to the mainstream in the 70s, but led by musicians such as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, the rock scene began to welcome the glam rock look with even the most staunchly ‘masculine’ fans growing their hair long and wearing makeup.

    From platform boots to feather boas, the glam rock look invited in all kinds of larger than life looks that clashed colours and prints then covered them all in glitter. Some of the more common styles and patterns you’d find on the glam rock scene included:

    • Spandex jumpsuits
    • Platform boots
    • Glitter
    • Leather jackets
    • Flared trousers
    • Metallics
    • Silk shirts
    • Velvet jackets
    • Silk scarves
    • Feather boas
    • Animal print

    What Is Classic Glam Rock Style?

    The ‘classic glam’ era ran throughout the 60s and 70s – the fashion side of glam rock had started to seep into the mainstream via bands such as Led Zeppelin and T.Rex, but it wasn’t until the 70s that David Bowie created his Ziggy Stardust persona and rang in the classic glam rock era. His theatrical performances as Ziggy Stardust, combined with his fashion choices which included androgynous clothing, glittery boots and bold patterns, inspired other bands and artists to get bolder with their looks too. From the New York Dolls to Sweet, classic glam rock set itself apart from the traditionally masculine rock that had been popular in the 60s.

    What Is Post Glam Rock Style?

    While we might associate glam rock with bands such as KISS and Motley Crue, it wasn’t actually until the 80s and the post glam rock style that these bands became famous. These bands paid homage to their glam rock predecessors, but went much bolder again with their looks to create offshoots such as glam metal, heavy metal and hair metal. Men’s hairstyles got bigger and more backcombed, the androgyny of the 70s leaped into cross dressing and gender bending territory, the music became heavier and the style with it, loading on studs, spikes and tons of makeup.

    What Is New Era Glam Rock Style?

    Glam rock faded back underground after the 80s, but many alternative fans and musicians were still taking note and drawing inspiration from the glam rock musicians of the 70s and 80s. Lady Gaga has often credited David Bowie as her fashion inspiration, and rock bands such as Black Veil Brides incorporate glam rock style into their look for a blend of goth, punk and glam.

    Is Glam Rock Still Alive?

    Glam rock bands who are still performing such as KISS and Guns n Roses still play heavily into the glam rock look, plus bands who idolise (and parody!) the glam rock style such as Steel Panther are keeping the glam rock look alive even today.

    How Can I Get The Glam Rock Look?

    Glam rock is all about creating a loud statement with your clothing to back up your loud personality – so make sure you take patterns and prints, clash ‘em together and go for a more is more approach! Anything that strikes you as colourful and flamboyant but with a punk edge should serve any glam rock look, and make sure you get experimental with the hair and makeup too! Check out our punk fashion collection as a base, then rummage around in our cosmetics collection to complete your look.

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