An office look that’s a little bit metal
February 10, 2020 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I’m a stay at home mom going back to work in an office after 2+ years at home. I’m so very tired of wearing leggings and t-shirts and flip flops. I want to use this opportunity to look a little goth/metal, a little off-kilter, a tiny bit weird and possibly queer.

I have long hair and won’t be cutting it, but an open to styling it. I’m a 16-18 and am most comfortable in dresses. I will be wearing a shit ton of makeup at work which is expected in this particular industry. I know all of these details so far are like the opposite of metal. There is a limit to how far I can take this, so for example I can’t wear combat boots, but I can wear studded loafers. I want to be right up against that limit. Specific clothing/accessory brands welcome!
posted by tatiana wishbone to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
definitely take a look at torrid's website (or go into one if you have one). a lot of their stuff trends pretty young, but they do have metal-y/goth-y things. if you want to keep your hair you could consider an undercut or shaving the side of your head.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:39 AM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Jewelry goes a long, long way.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:11 PM on February 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Undercut for sure if you want to flag queer. Can you/will you dye it? A dark red/purple or a blue-black? If you go with the undercut you can dye the short part brighter and the other hair will mostly hide it at work, if you can’t do bright colours.
posted by corvine at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Shoes, as in boots. I am out of date, but love the look of biker boots with dresses.
posted by theora55 at 1:52 PM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

lace or mesh sleeves are the most metal/goth/punk (and maybe queer) thing I’ve seen ladies pull off in professional contexts.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:59 PM on February 10, 2020

Leather or pleather tailored blazer.

Silver or gold cone stud earrings. Ear crawlers are also fun too.
posted by donut_princess at 2:26 PM on February 10, 2020

Black liquid liner in a cat eye/flipped corner
Darker matte lip colors
T.U.K. for shoes!
posted by assenav at 2:41 PM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some ideas:

Jackets (blazers, etc) with structure vs cardigans or softer pieces
Large, visible zippers and/or buckles
"Moto" style jackets/sweaters
Sheer black tights look more metal to me than solid black
Asymmetry in skirts, jackets
Animal print
All of these ideas can go in different directions depending on the specific piece and how they are styled, so YMMV.

For hair, especially if you are keeping it long and can't/don't want to do the undercut thing, I think either it can be REALLY straight and blunt cut (no layers), or go the other direction and go for a messy wavy bedhead look. I like the look of bangs with either option.
posted by misskaz at 3:06 PM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Long hair can reversibly go into a fauxhawk, some of which are probably over the edge, but here's a fauxhawk based on a Dutch braid, would be tougher-looking with the ponytail tucked under. I haven't done it on myself, but it should just be doable. Same hairdresser has more fauxhawks.
posted by clew at 3:38 PM on February 10, 2020

Best answer: I think the easiest way to work this look for the workplace is to make your actual clothes mostly minimalist pieces with something a little architectural or edgy about them, like some of the Universal Standard dresses or this (pricey) Alice Alexander jumpsuit or some of the Everlane basics, but then style them in way that leans metal.

I get all my jewlery on Etsy and love Break Astone for stuff that has a goth/metal edge but is also really beautiful. Pointy ankle boots with studs and straps, like this pair, have combat boot energy but look more "formal" than combat boots. For hair, if you don't want to cut it, would you consider something like a flame ombre look or a lavender ombre?

Basically, the idea is you keep the clothes simple so you can go hard on the accessories!
posted by Mender at 5:10 PM on February 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Oh hello I am a pro at this! Some ideas you might like:

Overtone just came out with a bunch of new "for brown" colors to add a little tint to hair without bleaching it, if your industry won't look kindly on fantasy colors. My industry doesn't care so I'm currently doing magenta with a shadow root which I feel makes it look a little more grown-up.

Moto-style boots with straps look more formal than laced combat boots and just as edgy. My work boots right now are the Miz Mooz Skye.

I live in this ear cuff which enhances my piercings without the long healing time. This is especially good with an undercut/side shave but that may be a bit extreme for your office, I don't know!

SNEAKY PRINTS. This dress didn't work on me but you get the idea. This is less sneaky but rad. Torrid has a lot of skull-and-flowers prints I love.

Dark nail colors. I let my nails get ratty because again, my industry is very permissive, but in general as long as your paint is impeccable nobody cares if it's dark grey or purple iridescent.

Knit jackets with moto styling, like this guy, worn as a cardigan. (I do not own that guy and can't vouch for it but might buy it. I have a mesh one that seems to have sold out but I got it from the same place as this velvet one which might be Too Much but is cool.) Occasionally a tricky one because like... do you wear it under a coat if it's cold?? Still haven't figured this one out.
posted by babelfish at 8:04 PM on February 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

I looooove killstar clothing - they have a range of supergoth to only-goth-if-you-look-reaaly-closely clothing, and it's all beautifully designed and well made

I wear this dress to work all the time, it looks nice and pretty until you notice the stealth skulls. This one is also fairly low-key, as is this one.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:19 PM on February 10, 2020

+1 for hidden prints, especially in traditionally femme colors. E.g., light grey bats on a pink field looks super floral.

Wear skulls as jewelry. Bonus points if they're real skulls. I know an amateur taxidermist who wears a mouse skull on a chain. Apparently multiple people have complimented her "unique pendant", then leaned in for a closer look and been surprised.

I know someone else who wore mechanical chains as bracelets. Like, a piece of roller chain off her bike, cleaned up and shortened.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 6:34 AM on February 11, 2020

Wear skulls as jewelry. Bonus points if they're real skulls. I know an amateur taxidermist who wears a mouse skull on a chain. Apparently multiple people have complimented her "unique pendant", then leaned in for a closer look and been surprised.

I have a pretty pink cameo necklace where the face is a skull. People never notice it unless I point it out, which gives great pleasure for some reason.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2020

This past question may also have some ideas: How can I look more tough
posted by wsquared at 5:05 PM on February 11, 2020

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