mall goth, mall goth fashion, mall goth style

How To Be Mall Goth?

If you know anything about gothic subcultures, you’ve undeniably heard of “mall goth” - otherwise known as spooky kids or alternative kids. This term first popped up in the late '90s, yet slowly trickled off through the 2000s - until now.

The “mall goth” aesthetic and verbiage are swiftly making a revival - but many people are unaware of what this type of spooky subculture is actually about.

If you want to know everything there is to know about mall goths - keep reading. This comprehensive guide explores the dark alleys of mall goths, from their fashion choices to their music preferences - and so much more.

What is a Mall Goth?

Before we can get into mall goth aesthetics and personalities, we need to discuss what a mall goth actually is.

Mall goth is a term given to those who pair gothic aesthetics with mainstream nuances. They tend to have a passion for gothic items in ordinary shopping malls, which differs from traditional goths who prefer DIY or specialty stores for a more individualized appearance.

Their music taste also varies greatly. While traditional goths listen to gothic rock, deathrock, dark wave, and the like, mall goths prefer nu-metal, such as Slipknot, Korn, and Marilyn Manson. 

mall goth girl with red hair

Mall Goth Fashion:How to be Mall Goth

The mall goth style is definitely inspired by the Goth subculture, with plenty of dark clothing and gothic motifs involved. However, mall goths tend to include more alternative and readily available clothing items in shopping malls - setting them apart from the rest of the goth world.

Here are some of the top fashion staples of mall goths:

Dark Colors

Mall goth fashion embraces the traditional color of goths - black.

However, the critical difference is that mall goths won’t shy away from colors. Some prefer to keep things dark and mysterious, only opting for deep shades of purple, blue, and red.

Others don’t mind stepping outside of the gothic box and will throw on neon shades. They may also opt for bad t-shirts and shirts with spooky imagery.

Many garments come from mainstream stores, like Hot Topic and Spencer’s. Some favorite brands include Lip Service, Tripp NYC, Demonia, and Royal Bones.

Baggy Pants and Skirts

Otherwise known as “tripp pants,” baggy pants with plenty of dangling accessories - especially chains - are a must-have for any mall goth aesthetic. It’s not uncommon for mall goths to pair baggy pants with a just-as-baggy oversized sweatshirt.

Are you not feeling pants? No problem - skirts are also acceptable in the mall goth world. Just decorate the skirt with metal harness straps.


Chunky Footwear

Chunky boots are at the top of the list when it comes to mall goth footwear - and the chunkier, the better.

However, many mall goths also pair their clothing items with sneakers. 


Mall goths love to accessorize, and there are plenty of ways to do it, including:
  • Fishnets - Whether wearing it on your hands, legs, or underneath your shirt, you can’t go wrong with a fishnet as a mall goth.
  • Chokers - When it comes to chokers, you can keep things simple or tack on lots of eye-catching spikes.
  • Belts - Belts are a great addition to any pair of tripp pants. The more chains your belt has, the better.
  • Rings - Another accessory a mall goth doesn’t shy away from are rings. Rings are typically black or have a gothic motif, such as a cross, bat, or skull.
  • Makeup

    Like most other goth subcultures, mall goths use dramatic makeup to create a frightening appearance that garners attention.

    For example, mall goths prefer to use jet-black eyeliner and dark eyeshadow. They also opt for bolder lipstick colors, such as black, red, or purple. They may or may not adorn their face with a pale foundation.


    To finish off mall goth style, you can’t forget the hair!

    Mall goths are very well known for dying their hair funky colors using Manic Panic hair dye.

    They’ll typically seek out ultra-bright and exciting hues, such as bright red, neon pink, or intoxicating blue. Anything that creates that “wow” factor.

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