The Gothabilly Style Guide

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Gothabilly is a fairly recent subculture that was born from 1950’s rockabilly and 1980’s Goth. Imagine a cowboy with a Mohawk and dark eye shadow and you’d start to get the idea. This fusion of two already distinct styles truly equates to something unique, and perhaps a few years from now it won’t be uncommon to see a “Gothic Elvis” walking the streets.

The Rockabilly Style Guide (1)

Shoes and Boots

It’s always best to start with footwear and then work your way up the body.  When it’s comes to gothabilly the best approach is unisex shoes. High heels are usually worn by rockabilly girls, while boots are worn by punks. Black and white Converse hi –tops are the perfect medium. Doc Martins could also work if you wear trousers; however, they should be avoided if you are planning on wearing a dress or skirt.

Skirts, Jeans and Dresses

Most rockabilly girls will either wear high waist jeans or short puffy skirts. If you opt for jeans, the classic stone washed denim will really enhance the retro vibe. White and black, or red and black polka dot patterning is perfect if you prefer rockabilly dresses and skirts.

Cardigans and Jackets

Keep your upper half black, regardless of what you’re wearing. Although cardigans are classic rockabilly pieces, they don’t blend particularly well with gothabilly. A few stylish tears, however, could add enough character to make them work with your attire. Leather jackets are your best bet.  Stitch a band patch into the sleeves to show off your musical taste and create something a little more unique.


This is where you can give pretty much any rockabilly getup a Gothic edge. Wear long silver necklaces with traditional cross motifs, or use skull themed rings for a darker image. Studded bracelets and neck pieces will also give your attire a darker look.


Makeup is probably the most important element of the Gothic image. Without it, it can be difficult to distinguish one style from the other. Wear dark eye shadow and deep red lipstick. Use powder to make your skin appear paler and give yourself the ghostly porcelain doll look.

If you are thinking of a style change and want to turn some heads, consider taking the gothabilly approach.

About the Author

Josefine Andreasson regularly writes for gothabilly and alternative clothing blogs. She is currently building her portfolio as a fashion writer.


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