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What Does Health Goth Actually Mean?

Have you seen them too? Those Instagram posts of goth and alt models with the hashtag #healthgoth have been perplexing us for quite some time. We love a new subgenre here at Attitude Clothing, but as far as expressions of the alternative go, this one pretty much had us stumped for a while.

If you’ve been feeling the same, don’t worry. We’ve been checking out what exactly means to be a ‘Health Goth’, and we’ve picked up some great tips about how to embrace the Health Goth look and lifestyle, if that’s your thing…

Where Did Health Goth Come From?

The concept of the Health Goth hit the runways as far back as 2014, but you’d be forgiven for missing it. Slated as the latest trend you’ve never heard of by critics, Health Goth didn’t take off in the mainstream until it became something else entirely.

Before it was picked up by the fashion world, Health Goth had much more humble beginnings. Started by underground Portland pop punk duo Magic Fades, the Health Goth aesthetic aimed to transcend the social commentary of the popular-at-the-time ‘normcore’ fashion trend, moving into a clinical and sterile area of anti-nostalgia style. If that sounds complicated to you, you wouldn’t be the first to question what all of that means.

Essentially, the Health Goth aesthetic aims to alienate itself (as much alternative fashion does) from the mainstream nostalgia for 90s sportswear by stripping itself of identifiable brand logos and adopting a minimalist, black and white palette. It’s a cold and cynical look to the future of alternative fashion, combining the impersonal, technological present with an uncanny throwback to the sportswear fashion boom of the recent past.

What Happened to Health Goth?

If you’ve heard of Health Goth at all, you’ve almost certainly never heard of it in the form it was originally intended to be – a unique aesthetic that had more to do with art than mainstream fashion.

As with anything avant-garde and underground, the mainstream couldn’t wait to get their hands on it – soon Health Goth had been transformed from a niche and heavily art and fashion influenced specialist style to something simple and easily digestible – Health Goth was now being pitched as a lifestyle look for goths that loved hitting the gym.

Health Goth purists and style gurus alike were horrified that this intangible aesthetic had been boiled down to something so rudimentary, missing the point of Health Goth entirely. While it was certainly a dark moment in alternative fashion, the outrage did spark one of our favourite alternative fashion quotes from The Fader: “It seems to me that saying that Health Goth is gymming for goths is like saying that cyberpunk is Johnny Rotten doing spreadsheets on a Dell.”

And yet that’s what Health Goth had and has become – a simplified version of a much deeper and more meaningful fashion trend.

What Is Health Goth Style?

First things first, what does Health Goth actually look like? At first, you might think you’ve sussed it from the name alone – surely it’s just someone who’s wearing all black sportswear? Well, not quite. There’s a bit more finesse to the Health Goth look, despite it being all but divorced from its original intended purpose.

Health Goth draws primarily from sci-fi and cyberpunk influences, so ultimately you’ll be looking to combine sportswear with futuristic and minimalist elements. Here, get some inspo from those already rocking the Health Goth look…


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How Can I Get the Health Goth Look?

Despite a bumpy start, the Health Goth trend doesn’t look as though it’s set to fade away just yet – so if you’re wanting to jump on this unusual and futuristic branch of the alternative fashion spectrum, we’ve got some great tips to help you get involved.

Clothing that has a sportswear feel to it is the ideal choice – Rat Baby have a great selection of “sporty-gram” clothing that fits right in with the Health Goth aesthetic.

In the absence of sportswear-esque clothing, you’ll need to look for longline garments, preferably with mesh inserts. Urban Classics have some great mesh options available, but there are plenty of different kinds of mesh based garments across the Attitude Clothing site!

Wet look fabrics such as patent are great for creating that sci-fi feel – patent footwear from killer alternative brands such as Demonia make the perfect choice.

Make sure that black is at the centre of your palette, but accessorise with monochrome pieces in white or silver.

Use metallics in your makeup look wherever possible, opting for shimmering eyeshadows or chrome effect nail polish – again, try to keep it neutral or monochromatic!

When done properly, Health Goth can be a really bold and daring alternative look. For the full effect, make sure that you look for ways to work futuristic elements into each part of your look. If you’re just wanting to dabble in the Health Goth trend, feel free to just pair a couple of Health Goth elements into your everyday alternative look. We think that alternative streetwear works well with the Health Goth aesthetic if you’re not sure where to start!


Love the Health Goth trend or think it’ll never last? Let us know your thoughts!

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