Dress me for 2022!
December 27, 2021 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Middle-aged lady goth would like you to help dress her the way she thinks she would like to dress. Crone Island Give No Fucks details inside.

Y'all, I turned 45 in November and I am thrilled. I am planning some fairly significant life changes in 2022--mostly pertaining to finally starting my own business--and would like to sartorially channel my inner Goth (which used to be my outer Goth until adulthood). But I would like to be more Business Casual Goth.

Bottoms: I would like good quality leggings, or any sort of comfortable pant in either palazzo or loose from waist to knee then tight downwards. I live in Eastern Canada, so there has to be warmth considerations.

Tops: I love a boatneck, a v-neck, cap sleeves, 3/4 sleeves for summer wear. I like longish sweaters, loose sleeves, same kind of neckline like summer. Exceptions made for a really really good cowlneck.

Dresses: Maxi or midlength. No spaghetti straps.

The outfit I envision when I think of these things is a good pair of leggings, a tunic like top but more fitted, with a very pockety and slightly baggy cardigan. Shoes are often Chuck Taylors or Docs or ballet flats.

Body deets: about 5'5, 160 pounds, busty, a little tummy, long legs. Still self-conscious about the boobs (36G). I want to be able to create a really good quality black clothing capsule wardrobe, even if it means I can only pieces at a time.

I want to be comfiest business casual gothiest middle lady I know I can be. And with your help, I believe I can get there.

TIA, friends!
posted by Kitteh to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 80 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Clothes by Muriel Dombret is an Ottawa designer whose stuff is created and sewn right in her Ottawa studio. Not cheap, but excellent quality and really great timeless designs. Will also sew to fit (do they have that option on the website? I know because I've been in person.)
posted by unlapsing at 6:07 PM on December 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: a good pair of leggings, a tunic like top but more fitted

My go-to for this is the "skater dress" (see also at ASOS), which in a lot of versions I can't decently wear without leggings because I'm 5'10 and it falls a little past tunic length for me. Torrid used to be the plus outpost of Hot Topic, and they've expanded and grown up as I have, and they're still my primary source for black, charcoal, and grey clothing. Hot Topic skews real young but they do have gems now and then that go a little bit more Business Witch.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:15 PM on December 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think you might dig Hell Bunny. A lot of their clothes are cut for a larger bust and have a kind of new rockabilly femme goth sensibility. Peruse their Dark Collection, perhaps. I like their barbed wire pattern, it’s unexpected on such feminine cuts.

Extremely cool op art platforms from Hot Chocolate Design.

I think you might also find some things from Gudrun Sjoden. They focus on colorful prints but have a lot of black and neutral options too. Black leggings, lovely tunics, elegant robe jacket.
posted by Mizu at 7:12 PM on December 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you’re up for sending your measurements and getting clothes custom made, I recommend Ureshii, run by two women in PEI. MeFi user telophase recommended them here so I bought custom made pants from them that are excellent quality and fit very well.

The Victoria/Vancouver company Smoking Lily also seems like it would be up your alley. I own a lot of their stuff and it’s great quality (locally handmade) and holds up very well.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:25 PM on December 27, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding Gudrun Sjoden. They're having an after Xmas sale right now and their quality is always amazing.
posted by arrmatie at 7:26 PM on December 27, 2021

Best answer: I think about the cloak jackets from Prairie Underground a lot. They have some other pieces that might be up your alley.
posted by umwhat at 7:28 PM on December 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Sounds like you and I might be similar in build. May I make a tangential recommendation to invest in good bras to go under those clothes? Brands like Chantelle and Simone Perele run into our sizes these days (thanks, ladies with artificial enhancements). A good bra will improve any outfit (and hopefully reduce that self-consciousness).
posted by praemunire at 8:01 PM on December 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You might dig Saint+Sofia, which has a lot of what feels like either Business Goth or the less expensive, slightly more grown up version of, like, AllSaints.
posted by thivaia at 8:05 PM on December 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: What's your budget? My very best leggings are Universal Standard and they might have other stuff that would suit you, but they're spendy. Like, spendy enough that I find it actively annoying how good these leggings are.

Aakasha might have some stuff you like (cowlneck tunic, boatneck tunic, approaching parodic levels of business goth, they also have a lot of palazzo pants and dropped crotch pants which I think is what you're describing?). I can also vouch for Ureshii, the nicest people on earth.
posted by babelfish at 8:39 PM on December 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Sounds like a lot of Psylo might work for you. Also check out shops like Five and Diamond that sell clothing from several designers.
posted by foxtongue at 8:57 PM on December 27, 2021

Best answer: Turn Black might fit your vibe
posted by hellomiss at 9:11 PM on December 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Well, now I, an indescribably fatigued 45-year-old with tastes firmly ensconced in soft goth/dark boho until they’re not, have to look at all of these. I agree that Gudrun Sjoden is a good bet, especially if you want fairly mainstream comfortable silhouettes offered in black and jewel tones. Right now they have a very nice velour A-line dress on sale.

I didn’t see anyone mention Foxblood. Might be a little too scene/subculture for you and not enough Business Witch, but give it a look for relaxed black clothing. Literally meant to be somewhat mature/casual goth attire. The silhouettes are more “goth” and less mainstream, but they should still be wearable in a lot of situations.
posted by verbminx at 12:49 AM on December 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Gudrun Sjoden unleashed the elf crone in me last Fall (long dress, short jacket), and I have the catalog in my hand as we speak! I have my eyes on a sweater or two, a cardigan, who knows? I'm looking for color, but there is plenty of neutral and black if you look around. (I am turning 69 and rebelling against wearing NYC black all my life).

The sizing is generous, especially in the bust.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 3:45 AM on December 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Holy cats, these are AMAZING. I can see you folx are picking up what I am putting down sartorially. I gravitate towards wearing jeans and a top but I am tired of wearing jeans because I am too lazy. (Also I love some give for some comfort as leggings and such like don't cut into my tummy.)
posted by Kitteh at 5:08 AM on December 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Effie’s Heart clothes are all knits and therefore super comfortable. You’ll have to poke around a little to find dark colors and goth-adjacent prints but they have some good fitted tunic-y tops and soft pants. Their main business is supplying to small boutiques rather than direct to customers, so if you see a style that you like do a Google search for it—sometimes you can find it in different fabric that isn’t available on their website.
posted by corey flood at 7:17 AM on December 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On Etsy, some pieces by marcellanyc and FloAtelier should fit the bill.

You mention living in Eastern Canada... Have you discovered the magic of fleece-lined leggings? I live in Lululemon ones all winter long, but I understand Baleaf sells some decent ones on Amazon, although from what I've heard people generally find they need to size up quite a bit.

In the US, other companies to check out are Flax for summerwear and I bet Svaha Apparel has some goth-adjacent styles.
posted by Last_wave_by at 10:07 AM on December 28, 2021

I have been slowly converting my entire casual wardrobe to Universal Standard, as mentioned above--if you are willing to take some time to reach your fullest Crone status, they have excellent sales every few months, including one going on right now on their loungewear. I tend to wait and not buy anything from them full-price.
posted by assenav at 11:42 AM on December 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I love Marcella NYC for this (my vibe is NYC minimal business goth). I find their stuff to be very well made, lasts forever, and flattering on larger sizes. I wear a size 14, busty, am tall and their larges fit me well. I love their cutouts, and the materials they use feel sturdy, the jersey is not going to wear out any time soon. (These make great zoom shirts btw… I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of them during pandemic)

You might be interested in:
Bushwick tunic. (High neck, very flattering, long)
Firenze hoodie (it’s amazing, cozy, runs big)
tribeca top (Cool cutouts, but still quite modest)

They have pants too (I’ve not ordered pants from them yet, so can’t recommend) and their instagram has folks of all sizes wearing their products; they also list out the model sizes on the site and most tops have a size small model and a size large model for comparison on different body types. I also like that they pay their teams a living wage and give vacations. It takes a bit longer to get the stuff sometimes, but it’s totally worth it (in my book)
posted by larthegreat at 9:50 AM on December 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

I messed up my links—this is the "parodic levels of business goth" one.
posted by babelfish at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Shall we form a group, all us mid 40s business goths? I'm so glad to have found this thread. ♥
posted by getawaysticks at 6:10 PM on December 31, 2021 [6 favorites]

Whoops, wanted to add heavyred.com has GREAT clothes. Their hoodies and blouses are fantastic.
posted by getawaysticks at 6:12 PM on December 31, 2021

Can't believe I forgot to mention local artisan Sophie Reaptress. She works in very small batches so things are often sold out unless you jump on them right away, but you could get this thumbhole cardigan, this drapey maxi dress, or these burnout velvet leggings right now.
posted by babelfish at 12:26 PM on January 1

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