Ten years ago it was hard to walk the streets and not see a congregation of people wearing emo and Gothic attire. While these subcultures are still going strong, many of the “originals” have branched out into steampunk, rockabilly and gothabilly.
Pre-2013, the steampunk label wasn’t particularly well-known; however, due to an influx of steampunk-themed video games, interest in the fashion style has significantly increased.
Steampunk fashion is based on Victorian and Edwardian era clothing. It also incorporates modern and futuristic accessories. Steampunk men often wear high trousers, waistcoats, tophats and jackets; while the women usually wear corsets and elaborate dresses. Common accessories include fictional ray guns, which are often carried in the belt or pockets; and cogs, which are usually stitched directly to hats to create an “industrial” feel.”
The rockabilly fashion style was born in the 1950’s. Over the past few years interest in the genre has been growing. Inspired by the likes of Dolly Parton, Elvis and Betty Page, the rockabilly style is ideal for anyone wanting to achieve the “pin-up” look.
Women often wearin a polka dot motif. Red, white and black are the most popular colours and provide the perfect base to build around. One of the most distinctive features of the rockabilly style is the shape of the clothes. High waist shorts and trousers are very common, and most items of clothing cling to the body in order to reveal curves.
The men’s rockabilly style is usually a little more formal with grey or black suits and slicked back hair. The Elvis style pompadour is one of the most popular haircuts of 2013 within this subculture. People who prefer a more dressed-down approach usually opt for the “greeser” image with stonewashed high jeans, ankle biters, a tucked in white t-shit and leather jacket.
Gothabilly is perhaps one of the strangest combinations of styles and is a fashion of both Gothic and rockabilly style – surprise, surprise.
Typical traits of gothabilly fashion include sailor styled tattoos and rockabilly styled clothing in Gothic colours. Heavy use of black and red makeup is also very common – basically, whatever gives the 50’s image a darker edge. The subculture was formed out of the gothabilly music genre, which is becoming increasingly popular in the southern states of America.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the alternative culture is that it’s difficult to predict trends, and what’s popular one year may fizzle out completely the next. The attention grabbing nature of alternative fashion is designed to shock and make a statement that represents both social and political views that don’t abide to mainstream conventions. The crazy nature of alternative style is often short lived and it’ll certainly be interesting to see how these genres will change and evolve throughout the coming decades.
About the Author
Josefine Andreasson is a Swedish blogger who currently writes for. She specializes in alternative fashion and currently has plans to open her own vintage clothing store.