Goth Summer Vacay: Croatia

“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!


C’mon, how beautiful is that water? (Kimono from Dolls Kill)
Dubrovnik, as seen from the castle walls
Buza Bar in Dubrovnik


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.


Cemetery near Ložišća on the island of Brač


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.


Guards at Diocletian’s Palace in Split
There are cats *everywhere* in Croatia (swoon)


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).


Bikini top by Ahuixa Swimwear, beach towel by Cafe Lab via Society6.
Waterfalls at Krka National Park


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.

Dark Summer Shopping Guide

resort goth shopping guide

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!

dark beach and resort fashion

1. Ab Lines 45 Black Beach Towel by Project M. 2. Crucia hat by Aldo. 3. ASOS Fabienne Studded Black Sandals. 4. AJ Morgan Round Metal Trim Sunglasses. 5. Funboy Inflatable Swan Pool Float. 6. Cleobella Mystic Dress. 7. Seafolly Double Dot Beach Tote Bag. 8. EiR Surf Mud + Zinc, perfect for protecting pale skin and dark hair!

Resort Goth: Black Mesh Takes Over Swimwear

summer goth all black swimwear

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.

Seafolly's Mesh About swimwear collection
Seafolly’s Mesh About swimwear collection

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.

La Blanca black mesh one piece swimwear
Black mesh one pieces are a big part of La Blanca’s swimwear line.

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.

Carmen Marc Valvo black mesh one piece swim
Carmen Marc Valvo black mesh one piece

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.

Altar PDX black mesh one piece swimsuit
Altar Houseline Hourglass Swimsuit

Now comes a really tough challenge: finding interesting, dark-inspired swimwear for men! Got any tips? Be sure to send them my way!

The Darker Side of Free People

It took me a while to fall in love with Free People. Initially, after seeing a few macrame tops and floral jumpsuits, I assumed it was a fashion line devoted to clothing the Coachella-bound. However, their black dresses can be downright witchy, in the most lovely ways.

Free People black lace dress
Wildest Dreams Lace Tunic – $128

If your local stockist is anything like mine, you’ll find the selection of black items in-store to be pretty lacking. A recent visit to their San Diego store turned up only one or two black items, with most of the inventory consisting of white and earth tones. But the clothing line’s website is full of delightfully dark items. Prices can range anywhere from $50 up to nearly $900, but keeping your eye on the sale section will pay off.

San Marcos Lace Maxi by Free People
San Marcos Lace Maxi – $290