So this topic of Witch Fashion or the witchy aesthetic seems to be making the rounds yet again within the blogging and YT community. This time around it seems to be within the Pagan community more so than the Gothic community. Since I live in both worlds and they co-mingle for me, I find this topic interesting to say the least. I've been wearing what people are calling "witch fashion" basically my whole life. I even wrote another blog post about the style back in 2016 when it was called "Strega Fashion" Since then, the name has changed to "witch fashion". But, It's nothing new folks! It's Stevie Nicks style with a gothic slant to it. Granted the style has evolved over the years and become more of a genre of Goth recently, but it still retains the same basic style of a bohemian witchy vibe mixed with romantic gothic clothing.
Images from Pinterest
The only new twist I can see within the last few years is the rise in popularity of the fashion trend called "Nu Goth" due to TV shows like AHS Coven. Big name brands like Killstar, Rogue and Wolf, and Black Craft Cult keep churning out sweaters and Tees with occult symbols and sayings on them because they sell. This newer look is more what I would call "Nu Goth" than "Witch Fashion" but maybe I'm over thinking it? Other brands like Punk Rave are jumping on the witchy aesthetic bandwagon with their own lines. And it even seems to be spreading into Home Decor as Fashion and Home Decor play off each other in trends. Here are a few examples of the newer look making the rounds on Instagram...
I have watched a few videos touching on the subject of Witch Fashion being not authentically Pagan or being too materialistic or costumey. There seem to be differing opinions but most people agree that you should be true to your own style and wear what is comfortable for you whether that be flowy dresses and shawls or just plain jeans and tees. The point is to be true to yourself and your own style. Here is some food for thought on this touchy topic... isn't every type of clothing a costume when you come right down to it? even if you dress in plain clothing every day that still says something about you. Its an image you present to the world. We like to pretend in Spiritual communities that material items like clothing aren't important but that's not really true is it? Not in this day and age. If it weren't important, than this whole discussion would be pointless. We ALL choose to clothe ourselves in costumes that portray a persona to the world. So you have to ask yourself what image do you wish to portray? A business person? a hipster? a goth? a stay at home mom? a metalhead? a hippie? a dark forest witch? Isn't that sounding a lot like labels again? Maybe you are a combination of several of those? The truth is YOU choose the persona you wish to present to the world by the clothing you wear.
Another point of contention among vloggers seems to be the use of the occult symbols on casual clothing. I address this topic in my previous article briefly but I don't think I mentioned that Gothic fashion has a long history using occult symbols. From Ankhs to Pentacles to triple moons, occult symbols have been used for shock value within the Goth or Heavy Metal communities since the 80s! Again, this is nothing new folks! In the 80s it was Ankhs (From the movie The Hunger with Peter Murphy and David Bowie), In the 90s it was inverted pentagrams (Marilyn Manson) and Rosaries with inverted crosses (The Craft and Madonna), and now we are wearing sweatshirts with all of the above! Ha! Even some good friends of mine wear custom leather jackets they made that say Satan's Seamstresses in big bold letters and a huge inverted pentagram on the back.
What I don't think everyone understands in all of this is that sometimes this is meant to be shocking and tongue in cheek at the same time. On purpose! How does that old saying go? "If you don't get the joke then you are the joke" That's Punk Rock! That's Fashion! Do you think Vivienne Westwood or Alexander McQueen cared about offending people with fashion? I suggest watching some McQueen runway videos for inspiration. Modern fashion needs a good shock in my opinion. I'm really loving this new collection from an up and coming designer named Dilara Findikoglu for spring and summer. And I even did a few pagan fashion pieces myself recently as well as authentic ritual robes.
So I think you understand my viewpoint slightly better about the topic of Occult or Pagan symbols in modern fashion. Do whatever you want to do! Wear whatever you want to wear!