Romantic Goth

Romantic Goth is a subgenre of Gothic subculture that incorporates elements of Romanticism, a cultural and artistic movement that originated in the late 18th century during the Romantic Era (1770 – 1850).

Compared to other variants of Goth, Romantic Goth is considered a relatively lighter and more cheerful form, with a focus on expressing oneself through art and a romantic outlook on life. The subculture places less emphasis on vampire and Victorian motifs, which are more prominent in other sub-styles.

Moreover, Romantic Goth fashion is heavily influenced by the aesthetics of live-action role-playing (LARP) and sets itself apart from the softer styles of Goth culture, such as Woodland Goth. The subculture is primarily defined by its fashion and music, which often incorporate elements from related sub-styles like Vampire, Fairy Goth, and Victorian Goth. Moreover, the Romantic Goth movement is closely tied to Gothic literature and art, which have influenced the imagery and themes found in Goth music.


Romantic Goth often features vintage, Victorian, and Edwardian clothing styles, including corsets, lace, and long flowing skirts or dresses.

Fashion under Romantic Goth may also include:

  • Lacey dresses
  • Suits
  • Tailcoats
  • Flowing materials
  • Black jewelry or any jewelry with dark colored stones
  • Lace chokers
  • Corsets
  • Any formal victorian style attire

Color Shades

The color palette typically consists of darker shades, such as black, purple, and deep reds, with a focus on texture and layering.

Make up

In Romantic Goth fashion, soft makeup is typically preferred, with a focus on creating a pale, porcelain complexion through the use of pale foundation. The eyes are emphasized with smokey eyes, which typically involves using darker eyeshadows to create a smudged and blended look around the eyes. “Cat’s eye” eyeliner, a style that emphasizes the outer corner of the eye, is also commonly used. Dark lips, such as deep red or black, add a dramatic touch to the overall look. Swirling eye patterns, often referred to as “gothic eye makeup,” are intricate and unique designs drawn around the eyes using dark eyeliners and eyeshadows. Together, these makeup techniques create a signature gothic look that is both beautiful and mysterious.


Romantic Goth outfits include typically most accessories associated with the romantic fashion such as top hats, gloves, chokers, and boots or shoes with a Victorian or Edwardian style. The Romantic Goth subculture also draws inspiration from Gothic literature and the aesthetics of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Media & Pop Culture


  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë


  • William Shakespeare
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Charlotte Brontë
  • Emily Brontë
  • Anne Rice


Neoclassical darkwave, dark cabaret, and ethereal wave music with operatic influences are the most favored type of musics by Romantic Goths, who are drawn to its melancholic and passionate mood. As the subculture emerged from the 1990s scene, Romantic Goths may have a preference for music from this decade. Notable Romantic Goth bands include:

  • And Also the Trees
  • Black Tape For A Blue Girl
  • Dead Can Dance
  • Faith and the Muse
  • Hexperos
  • Human Drama
  • Lisa Gerrard
  • Maedevial Babes
  • Miranda Sex Garden
  • Mors Syphilitica
  • Nico
  • Requiem in White
  • This Ascension
  • This Mortal Coil
  • Ashram

Role-Play activities

  • Deep thinking/daydreaming
  • Falling in love
  • Watching romance/mystery films
  • Reading dramatic literature/sad romance stories
  • Listening to music at home/with friends
  • Making vent art
  • Crying
  • Crying over lost lovers
  • Staying away from crazy clubs/concerts
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