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The Gothic Color Palette

Posted by Lady Amaranth on

Photo by Marija Buljeta
Clothing from The Gothic Shop

While black is the obvious staple of any discerning Goth’s wardrobe – it’s best viewed as the starting point. The canvas on which to adorn with striking flashes of different hues to bring in your unique meaning and personality to the fore. While every color on this great earth can be woven in to your dark attire, there are a collection of essentials that are quintessentially Goth. Have a read below what each color represents and choose to weave these meanings into your outward attire.


Black goes with everything and is always a good starting point when choosing an ensemble, because it is the absorption of all colors and the absence of all light. Black is the color of the hidden, the mysterious and the unknown. It creates a sense of mystery and keeps things to oneself, hidden from the rest of the world protecting against emotional stress. It’s no wonder that black is often associated with power, sophistication, formality and elegance. While to some it can represent fear, evil, sadness, grief and death. However we can also embrace these traits, own them and use them to our advantage against those who fear them. To call this hue by any other name we’d call it ebony, jet, ink, lampblack, coal, soot, charcoal, raven, midnight, obsidian, onyx or sable.


Red is a strong color, one that demands attention. It is a striking color that is often used for signalling caution or warning – use it as such! Red is assertive, daring, determined, energetic, powerful, enthusiastic, impulsive, exciting, and aggressive and can be used in small doses or as bright bold color block statements that really do make a statement. Red is also the color of fire and blood, so is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Red is a truly Gothic color!


Second only to red, purple is right up there on the Gothic color spectrum. Purple combines the energy and strength from the color red, with spirituality and integrity from the color blue. Purple calls for creative doings and seeks inspiration and originality through its creative efforts. Purple is a rarely occurring color in nature and as a result is often seen as having sacred meaning. It likes to be unique, individual and independent – not one of the crowd. Through the ages, purple has always been associated with royalty, nobility and prestige owing to its expense (the dye was made from tens of thousands of crushed snails in a labor intensive process) and still hold that majesty. Signifying spirituality, ceremony, mystery, transformation, enlightenment, wisdom, magic, mystery and luxury it oozes all the traits characteristically Goth.


In color psychology, white is the color of new beginnings – wiping the slate clean. The color white is a blank canvas, just waiting to be written on. Although white does not stimulate the senses significantly, it paves the way for the creation of something that only the mind can imagine. It can represent reverence, virginity, nothingness, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, goodness, marriage, cold, clinical and sterility and is often used by Goths in a contrary way, to send up these meanings in a glorious riot of tatters and embellished contravention. However in some cultures white is traditionally associated with death and mourning, but here death usually means the end of one life and the beginning of another. Hence we can be born into Goth through this hue.