top of page

It Girl Glossary: How to Dress Like a Whimsigoth

Stevie Nicks, The Craft, Mazzy Star. Musicians and movies like these are as hypnotising as the style and the it girl developed from their influence during the mid 90s. But what makes this aesthetic it girl worthy? The whimsigoth is ethereal, magical, mystical. She holds sleep in her eyes because her body clock follows the moon. She smells of the incense wafted around her room. She is as deep as her magnetic eyes feel — autumnal, hazy, and as a result, unforgettable.

Before delving into the magic of the whimsigoth, it’s important to recognise the roots of this aesthetic. Although the gothic style has been around for centuries, notably during the English Victorian era, this subsection surfaced as a popular style in the 1990s and is largely inspired by Wiccan and Pagan culture, and the 70s occult. This shines through in themes and motifs such as tarot cards and divination, celestial imagery, raw crystals, and candles in intricately inwrought holders. In a nutshell, dressing whimsigoth is the equivalent of going to trial in Salem or 17th Century Essex in the chicest way possible.

To truly understand the effortless beauty of the whimsigoth in media, iconic free spirits like Stevie Nicks, Phoebe Buffay from Friends, Alice Cullen from Twilight, and Willow Rosenburg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are all excellent examples. The Craft, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed and Practical Magic were all created at peak popularity of the whimsigoth style. Here’s how to capture her elusive look.

The style itself is a collection of rich, autumnal colours and earthy tones. Silhouettes are long, flowing and flared in the form of bell sleeves or bottoms, midi skirts (often tiered), and long dresses. Sheer organza and chiffon, warm and sensual velvet, as well as knitwear suitable for the autumn season this aesthetic thrives in, are crafted into the luxury-hippie genre of clothing. This is combined with more masculine leather in the form of jackets, boots (usually knee-high) and skirts.

Rich and chocolatey colours such as wine reds, olive greens, and dreamy purples are contrasted with natural neutrals like cream, black, brown, and grey. Details and decor are more abstract with a handmade feel, such as embroidery, vintage lace, or messily intricate crochet.

Femininity is expressed through the flowing, unstructured lines and natural imagery within patterns, colours and the overall feeling of the ensembles. The use of natural imagery illustrates both the masculine and feminine parts of this style by playing on the duality in nature itself, such as poison and medicine or night and day. Furthermore, it displays the connection to earth and space rooted in the aesthetic. Masculinity is also highlighted in the use of leather, and larger, chunkier footwear and jewellery.

A staple outfit in the whimsigoth’s wardrobe which she reaches for almost every (late) morning comprises a warm toned midi skirt of an abstract pattern and a long sleeve or camisole of a similar colour. She throws on a jacket, preferably brown leather, or perhaps a crochet cardigan or bolero and zips up her Doc Martens. Her hair is down, wavy and flowing or in a claw clip to keep her wispy outgrown fringe away from her face.

Her lived-in eyeliner and lined lips compliment not only her crescent moon earrings and seemingly endless crystal necklaces, but the confident smile she wears, the essential accessory of any it girl's outfit. She puts in her earphones, playing Fleetwood Mac or perhaps some Kate Bush as she absent-mindedly leaves her home, knowing she is the magnetic, enchanting individual that has become so peerlessly iconic today.

Written by Miranda Webb

Edited by Lucy Eaton


bottom of page