Have you heard of Pastel Goth? The term may seem unusual considering the Goth aesthetic is typically associated with all things dark and is certainly far from being cute. It may surprise you to learn that this alternative aesthetic is the total antithesis of what a traditional Goth is. However, there is one thing that connects the two despite major differences: irreverence. So if you’re a non-conformist with a taste for all things cute, try this one on for size!
What is the Pastel Goth Aesthetic?
Some people might mistake Pastel Goth for being the same thing as the Egirl aesthetic, but this isn’t the case. Unlike today’s egirl and eboy, who are most active on social media websites such as Twitter or TikTok, Pastel Goths first gained prominence through Tumblr. It is also less about projecting a curated image online and more of an alternative lifestyle that tiptoes the fine line between creepy and cute.
Pastel Goth is perhaps the only aesthetic where you’ll find cute imagery mixed with more disturbing themes such as blood, gore, and offensive text. This is a brand that’s completely their own. You may find crosses, skulls, and bones when it comes to Pastel Goth clothing, but the way it is used is very different from the traditional Goth aesthetic.
Unlike other Goth aesthetics, this particular branch of the subculture pulls from many different influences. For example, you’ll find elements of J-fashion styles such as Lolita and Fairy-kei mixed in. Punk accessories such as skulls and crosses are also used liberally when it comes to Pastel Goth outfits.
The colorful hairstyles and haircuts might also be reminiscent of emo and scream fashion. Though, more modern Pastel Goth hair tends to stick to less shocking hues. You might even find some mixing Korean, Japanese, and Anime styles to create something uniquely their own while still staying true to the community’s roots. The bottom line here is to have fun and be creative when expressing oneself through fashion.
Pastel Goth vs. Traditional Goth Aesthetic
The Goth aesthetic as a whole places emphasis on individuality and boldness when it comes to self-expression. However, not all Traditional Goths consider Pastel Goths as part of the larger community. To better understand this and define the line between the two, let’s dissect the origins of each one.
Traditional Goth encompasses history, music, literature, and art. It is basically as close to the originators as you can get. Those who consider themselves as such often have a deep knowledge of all these things and actively participate in the subculture. On a more surface level, there’s also a great degree of difference when it comes to style. Trad Goth aesthetic is mostly comprised of dark clothing, religious iconography, minimalism, and equally dark makeup looks. Basically the antithesis to what Pastel Goth is.
As for the true origins of Pastel Goth, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. It is clear, however, that it has roots in East Asian street fashion. This means that most people who follow this alternative fashion tend to be disconnected from the history of the Goth subculture as a whole or simply don’t actively partake in it. Pastel Goths also tend to be fashion-centric and their music also doesn’t match up with what is considered Gothic.
It is important to note that while some Goth purists tend to dismiss Pastels as not being part of the subculture, there are also those who are more accepting of it. After all, aside from celebrating the individual, it still takes inspiration from the darker side of life. The only difference is that Pastels tend to express it in a more joyful and cuter manner.
How to Become a Pastel Goth
Are you thinking about giving this alternative aesthetic a try? Here’s an easy Pastel Goth guide.
Pastel Goth Clothing
When it comes to dressing up in Pastel Goth style, you can purchase clothes for various mainstream and independent designers or you can also pursue DIY projects. In fact, making or customizing your clothes is inherent to alternative fashion. This way, you don’t need to spend too much money and simply turn even common thrifted clothes into something more special. Here are the key Pastel Goth styles you should keep in mind:
- Choose fun pastel colors and don’t be afraid to mix things up!
- Patterns are also great and there’s plenty to choose from. You can use this to add more edge to your looks as well.
- Layer on the accessories. Some might say that these accessories are essential to a Pastel Goth outfit. Not only can these add color and detail, they are also often used to “darken” up a look.
Pastel Goth Shoes
There’s plenty of fun to be had when it comes to choosing shoes. You can go with the classic Goth options such as chunky boots, Mary Jane heels, or even creepers. Most Pastel Goths choose very tall platforms so you might need to practice your balancing skills if you want to try that out! Some tend to stick to black since it tends to fit any outfit, but you can choose colorful ones as well. Pair these with your choice of frilly socks, embellished or ripped stockings, and colorful knee high socks to make your Pastel Goth outfits stand out more! There are many great alternative fashion shoe brands such as Demonia but even Doc Martens has options for you to choose from.
Pastel Goth Accessories
There are many different types of Goth fashion accessories available that you can incorporate to your look. This includes coffin bags, antique accessories, and lace adornments. However, to make it true to the Pastel Goth aesthetic, why not give these DIYs a try? Harnesses and chokers are some of the trendiest accessories right now and you can make your own unique piece quite easily!
Aside from these, you can also put on big earrings. The trend within the Pastel Goth community is wearing huge resin earrings and necklaces that feature familiar Goth symbols. That said, don’t be afraid to incorporate well-known kawaii characters to your look as well. This includes Hello Kitty, Kuromi, My Melody, and even Sailor Moon.
Pastel Goth Hair and Hairstyles
Their hair is a Pastel Goth’s crowning glory and it is also the feature that really pulls the complete look together. Aside from choosing the right color for yourself, you can add more creativity to your hairstyle through accessories. There’s plenty to choose from, including headbands, clips, bows, and even veils! There are also accessories such as cat ears, horns, and bat-wing headbands that perfectly suit Pastel Goth hair.
If you’re not ready to commit to dyeing your hair, you have the option of wearing colorful hair extensions or wigs. There are plenty of good quality ones online; some have already been styled so you don’t have to do much to it. Remember, there are no rules to the Pastel Goth aesthetic. So if you’re new to it, these are all great options to look into.
Pastel Goth Makeup
For creating a Pastel Goth makeup look, you’ll notice that it borrows plenty from traditional Goth makeup. Black lipstick is quite trendy, but do make sure you contrast this with colorful eyeshadow. It’s always about mixing light and dark, though you can always play around with it. Face gems and glitters can also be used to create a more eye-catching style. You can take inspiration from other similar alternative lifestyle makeup styles such as cybergoth and glitter goth!
Pastel Goth Boy Styles
Pastels may bring to mind feelings of softness and femininity but it isn’t just for one gender. There are also many male fans of the Pastel Goth style and they can easily pull it off just as well as the girls. If there are egirls and eboys, you’ll most certainly find a similar dynamic when it comes to the Pastels. Who says boys can’t wear pink, right? Even they can enjoy the Pastel Goth aesthetic.
If you want more ideas, try taking inspiration from high fashion and street style. You can add Pastel Goth elements through your accessories, hairstyle, and makeup if you choose to wear it. Just like the girls, be fearless with your approach. This alternative aesthetic is genderless so wear glitter if you want to! Male Goth fashion need not be limited to just dark colors.
Popular Pastel Goth Icons
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of these popular Pastel Goth celebrities.
K-pop star Alex Christine or AleXa may not always be in Pastel Goth clothing, but she has some great examples for beginners to choose from. She has the colorful hair down to an art form, and manages to pull off the concept with ease.
If you want an edgier look to your outfits, she’s the best inspo to check out. Other K-pop Goth and Pastel Goth groups whose styles can be inspiring include Dreamcatcher and Pixy!
If you’re looking for something more feminine and whimsical, Melanie Martinez will provide you with really great outfit ideas. Not to mention the fact that she also produces amazing music, which many Pastel Goth enthusiasts listen to. While most of her outfits are inspired by dolls or vintage children’s clothes, you can always opt for more “grown-up” Pastel Goth outfits by customizing.
Monster High Characters
If traditional Goths can take inspiration from Disney Villains, Pastels can look to Monster High for the same thing. From Draculaura to Frankie Stein these characters will certainly provide you with plenty of great ideas for Pastel Goth outfits.
Some fans of the show have even copied hairstyles that the characters have worn before. If you think this show is just for the kids, wait until you see the looks people have created that are inspired by it.
Harajuku Street Style
They are seen as some of the most fashionable young women and men around the world. This comes with good reason as the streets of Harajuku have greatly influenced even some of the biggest fashion brands at present. Their colorful presentations aren’t just eye-catching, they are also innovative and refreshing.
For Pastel Goths, you can draw plenty of inspiration here. From the Gothic and Punk Lolitas to the more urban hypebeast fashion. You can create a pastel look that’s uniquely your own by incorporating all the things you like in it. From winged-sneakers instead of chunky boots to wearing armor with your lace, let your imagination run wild!
Japanese music, such as Visual Kei, is also worth checking out. Many of their artists place extra emphasis on appearance and stage attire so they’re always at the top of the latest street trends. Most popular Japanese clothing stores also ship worldwide, so if something catches your fancy and you have the budget for it, you can always get your hands on what everyone in Harajuku is wearing!
She may not have worn a lot of pastels in the Death Note anime, but Misa Amane is a great example of creepy and cute. You can take inspiration from how she styles her outfits, mixing darker elements such as crosses, black lace, and other Victorian accessories with cute hairstyles and doll shoes.
Her hairstyles are easy to copy as well. Misa likes to put a multitude of clips to her dyed hair, which anyone should be able to easily pull off. To give her style that Pastel Goth edge, just switch up her usually black outfits with more colorful ones! In the anime, you’ll find plenty of candy-colored inspiration but most will likely gear towards the Gothic Lolita look. Do know that you can still take inspiration from them and layer on some toughness by adding more metal or leather to the outfit. Even the daintiest Victorian doll-look can be given a Pastel Goth edge with just a minor tweaks.
Honorable Mentions: Jazmin Bean, Poppy, Tommy Heavenly6, Kerli, and Marina and the Diamonds.
Pastel Goth Brands
There are a number of brands that cater specifically to Goth makeup and the alternative lifestyle, but for those who work with color, these might be limiting. We suggest purchasing from both mainstream and indie brands so you get the best of both worlds at an affordable price!
Pastel Goth Makeup Brands
- My Pretty Zombie
- Notoriously Morbid Cosmetics
- Rituel de Fille
- Darling Girl Cosmetics
- Too Faced Cosmetics
- Jeffree Star Cosmetics
- Baby Bat Beauty
- Necromancy Cosmetica
One of the best things about some of these brands is that they are actually vegan and cruelty-free. Because they produce things on a smaller scale, you get a better guarantee when receiving quality products. The only downside is that they are usually a bit more expensive than your drugstore brands such as Wet and Wild, Maybelline, and Rimmel. Like we’ve said earlier, you can mix and match to stay within budget. Another reason to check out these indie cosmetic brands? They tend to have some of the most creative and collectible makeup packaging. For example, Too Faced often comes out with theme collections that will satisfy any Pastel Goth’s style. This is one way of getting your money’s worth!
Pastel Goth Clothing and Shoe Brands
- Mad Modesty
- Banned Apparel
- Sourpuss Clothing
- Hot Topic
- Demonia Shoes
Finding cute pinafores or babydoll dresses is no easy task. Some bigger designers do carry these designs, but those also come with hefty price tags. So, like your Pastel Goth makeup, try mixing and matching with your clothes too. You can purchase certain items from big brands, while thrifting or going on secondhand online markets for your clothes! Don’t be afraid to look through listings on eBay or Etsy for local designers that cater to your needs. The prices in these websites are usually competitive so you might be able to save a few dollars by doing so. It can be a really fun activity once you get the hang of things, too.
Pastel Goth is All About Having Fun
When it comes to trying out the Pastel Goth aesthetic, the one thing you have to remember is being confident. Remember that it’s all about self-expression. While there are certain stereotypes associated with it, don’t allow yourself to be boxed in. Once you have all the essentials down, you can add your own twist to it. This is the thing that makes it enjoyable and unique to your style.
Don’t spend too much money in the beginning either! Exercise your imagination and creativity to come up with Pastel Goth outfits from items you already have at home.