“Summer” and “goth” aren’t exactly an ideal combo. Black layers don’t usually make good warm weather clothes, and it’s hard to keep a pale complexion without them. But if you’re going to brave the heat, the best way to do it is near the water in a gorgeous, foreign country you’ve never visited before.
Croatia has been having a serious tourism boom in recent years, thanks in no small part to Game of Thrones. I’m not a fan of either the books or the show (gasp! I know!), but you definitely don’t need to be to enjoy visiting the country. Coastal cliffs paired with water so blue that it seems unreal and ancient architecture around every corner…the place is just plain beautiful!
Cafe Buza is mentioned in just about every Dubrovnik travel guide, and it’s for good reason. The drinks are nothing special, but where else can you sit cliffside with castle walls rising behind you? What’s nice about the bar area is that it’s open to the public, meaning you can hang out even if you don’t order something. I actually walked in with a drink from another bar and no one batted an eye.
There were a lot of interesting cemeteries in Croatia, but unfortunately I only had time to visit one. I’m not even sure what the name was – it’s a small cemetery between Bobovišća and Ložišća on Brač. While the cemetery itself was quaint with some lovely tombstones and memento mori, the view was it’s best feature.
Of course, the trip gave me a good excuse to stock up on some summertime goth goodies, like this pool float from Blackcraft Cult. And goth-inspired swimwear and beach accessories are getting easier to find these days (thankfully).
If you’re thinking of heading to Croatia, here are my tips:
Bring water shoes. The beach shores are almost entirely made of rocks (there are very few “sandy” beaches in Croatia), and if you plan to go swimming in the waterfalls at Krka National Park (which I recommend), the lake bottom is nothing but slippery rocks. I didn’t have any water shoes, and I sure wish I had.
Uber is present in the major cities, but not always super useful and not always cheaper than a traditional cab. I try to avoid using Uber when possible because of their questionable business practices and the fact that these types of sharing services undercut wages for service industry workers. However, sometimes in countries where you don’t speak the language, Uber makes getting around easier because you can simply put your destination into the app. If you’re going to use Uber in Split, be aware that drivers can’t pick you up anywhere; there are designated “pick up” spots in the city.
Finally, don’t believe anyone that tells you Croatians are cold, unfriendly people. Multiple people told me this before the trip, and I found it to be completely untrue. Nearly everyone I met was warm, friendly and happy to help a lost and/or confused tourist.
Summer can be a bummer when black is your favorite color. Black isn’t exactly the most comfy choice when the temperatures soar, and all that exposed skin threatens your perfectly pale complexion. But fear not, our dark summer shopping round up will help you cultivate the ultimate resort goth look while the rest of the world dons their colorful sundresses!
Summer can be quite a challenge for those of us that prefer pale skin and black layers to tans and floral jumpsuits. But I do love lounging by a pool, especially when there is a well-stocked bar nearby. Fortunately, this summer’s swimwear collections are bursting with black mesh details, perfect for a goth-friendly summer getaway.
My latest discovery is Australia’s Seafolly. Their Mesh About collection features a variety of fishnet-inspired styles available in black.
La Blanca’s current line is also chock full of black mesh details this season. You can find La Blanca at a lot of major retailers too, if shopping online for swimwear isn’t your preference.
Carmen Marc Valvo is riding the mesh wave this season, too. I love this interesting one-piece option, particular for the full coverage cut on the bottom. So much of this season’s swimwear features super high cuts on the bottom with lots of cheek showing. I’ve got no gripe with other women sporting such revealing bottoms — if that’s what your comfortable with, go for it! But if you’re like me, and your buns and thighs are not your favorite feature, here’s a suit option that might suit you better.
One more fabulous option that can’t be overlooked comes from Altar PDX. The Portland-based shop’s Hourglass swimsuit is part of their houseline, and I recently learned that you can order one custom built to your measurements at no extra charge! And at $77, that’s a pretty darn good value.
Now comes a really tough challenge: finding interesting, dark-inspired swimwear for men! Got any tips? Be sure to send them my way!
The right piece of jewelry is an essential part of any outfit. Recently I was shopping with a friend, and I tried on a little black dress – a ’20s-inspired silhouette with a dropped waist and some ruffle details. “It’s cute,” my friend commented, “but you’ll have to wear some tough jewelry to tone down the girliness of the ruffles.” She was right; adding a heavy metal necklace made it look much better.
Working in a fairly conservative office, my jewelry is also a way for me to add some edge to my “office appropriate” outfits. While I’ve been known to sport a skull ring or two to a meeting, even a very basic, minimal piece of jewelry can bring add a hard edge to your look, and I’m totally obsessed with subtle but strong minimalist metal jewelry.
I already own one necklace by Osteal Jewelry and it’s quickly become one of my favorite pieces. Unlike the larger crescent moon necklace that I already have (seen above), these stamped brass necklaces are delicate but still maintain a raw quality.
Wolf + Sadie is another brand that nails modern minimalism with their pieces. This stem finger duster ring is somehow both subtle and extreme.
Speaking of rings, Elemental Luxury’s collection is full of gems (both figurative and literal). This Tibetan phantom quartz ring is currently on sale, which makes it even more appealing. I really love the silver cross paired with it in this shot, even if it’s not currently available in their Etsy store.
If there’s one shop that I’ve fallen head over heels for, it’s the Small Beast. These triangular bangles are simple with subtle texture details and would definitely be eye-catching when worn. And I love the aesthetic of their Omen necklace, which also features some delicate rough textures on top of its clean lines.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some shopping to do…
I’d love to say that Menswear Monday will be a weekly occurring post, but it’s so challenging to find good, dark-inspired menswear that a weekly post seems unlikely. And when I say “good” dark-inspired menswear, I mean men’s fashion that has a dark sophistication, with subtle touches of edgy, off-center influences. Trying to find gaudy, over-the-top gothic* men’s clothing is a snap. As is finding totally mainstream, vanilla menswear. That sweet spot in the middle? So. Challenging.
The UK site ASOS has been a bright spot in the search for dark-but-understated menswear, and fortunately for those of us in the States, they ship to the U.S. (and pretty quickly at that). In particular, they carry a lot of items from the UK brand Religion, which is hard to find in the U.S. The brand’s kneeling skeleton is a logo that I’d happily sport on my clothes.
Updating the classic button down with gothic materials adds interest without creating a campy look, as with the skull collar tips on this Religion shirt or the faux leather on this shirt from Vito.
The addition of leather takes the basic black sport coat up a notch as well.
Moving away from ASOS, River Island‘s menswear line is worth a look. The lines on this reverse lapel blazer give it just a hint of “The Count,” don’t you think?