Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Unexpected Halloween Costumes, With Bonus Purple

First, my outfit -- I didn't wear a costume to work for Halloween. I wore a lot of purple though. Because today was my last day at Yahoo!. After 11 and a half years, I'm moving on to a new job, and I wanted to pay a little tribute, in my own way, to the company by wearing its signature color with a gothic twist.

What I didn't expect was that my coworkers had their own costume plans: They dressed up as *ME* today! I didn't notice at first because, sure, a lot of women sometimes wear black, especially in winter and on Halloween. But then a coworker came up and pointedly asked if I noticed anything different. Well, I'd never seen her wear lipstick before, and she rarely wears dresses. Or boots. Or tights. And wait, her hair isn't naturally wavy! Yep, she was imitating my style intentionally.

Then she pointed out other people wearing black dresses or jackets, wearing purple tights, wearing long scarves. My boss even put a threaded needle in the lapel of her black jacket as a symbol of my sewing skills.

I was gobsmacked. What an amazing tribute. These are some awesome people, and I'm really going to miss working with them. While I'm excited about new challenges, the people at this office are truly priceless and definitely NOT why I'm leaving. I'm honored to have worked with such smart and fun folks.

What I'm wearing:
Purple damask jacket with lace trim, made by Donna
Black sheath dress, Target
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Purple lace-up boots, Roaman's
Black & purple crystal Victorian-esque earrings, random accessory store
Jet & gunmetal cocktail ring, random accessory store
Silver & amethyst pinky ring, Acanthusleaf Jewelry

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spiderwebs for Halloween Week

Day two of Halloween at work calls for spiderwebs. Yes, I've worn this skirt to the office before, but c'mon, it's so right for this week! As I've mentioned, I made it from remnants of a Halloween tablecloth. And I think the purple makes it pop.

What I'm wearing:
Black & white spiderweb skirt, made by me | Purple ruched-sleeve sweater, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Purple velvet ankle-strap pumps, Rocket Dog | Silhouette pendant on silk ribbon, gift from Kendra | Silver cameo earrings, vintage

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skulls for Halloween Week

Since Halloween falls smack in the middle of the work week, I'm adding some extra-gothy touches to my outfits each day leading up to the holiday. Tho' I won't be wearing an actual costume to the office.

The company does have a Halloween celebration, but it's on the 30th this year (weird!), & it always ends up being mostly for the kids of employees. Adults don't tend to dress up, so the few times I have, I'd be the only one on my entire office floor. I don't mind standing out, but it's just less fun with nobody else to compare costumes & talk Halloween with.

And I default to one of my historical costumes, which can be difficult to sit in an office chair in all day, what with a corset & petticoats! So spooky accessories are it for this week.

What I'm wearing:
Black cotton blouse with lace collar & cuffs, made for me by Donna | Burgundy skirt, NY & Company | White & black skull-print scarf, gift from my husband | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black kitten-heel pumps, Aldo | Jet dangly earrings, random accessory store | Jet & gunmetal cocktail ring, Icing | Chanel "Vamp" lipstick

Do you or can you dress up for Halloween at work? Does your office have any kind of Halloween celebration or party?

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Today, I dressed to arm myself for a difficult conversation I knew was coming. I wanted to feel strong & confident & totally comfortable with myself. This outfit reflects my CorpGoth best & is even in soft, cozy materials & clothing that fits & moves easily so I felt at ease all day.

What I'm wearing:
Black & white stripe knit double-breasted jacket, Marshall's
Black T-shirt, Target
Black knit skirt, Target
Black leather knee-high boots, Clarks
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Pewter "Success" key necklace, gift from my husband, bought in Kauai
Pewter key earrings, made by me
Gunmetal & jet cocktail ring, random accessory store

What do you wear to arm yourself at work?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spirit Day

October 19th is Spirit Day -- An annual day in October when millions of Americans wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. This began in response to media coverage of suicides of several gay teenagers a couple years ago. These kids, like many others, felt that killing themselves was the only way out of the torture of being constantly harassed & bullied by their peers. They didn't know then that it could get better when they grew up. They needed support from adults & other kids to see that it's OK to be different, it's OK to be gay, it's OK to be who you are.

Goths should understand this, since we often got picked on in school for being different. And just as in the larger community, there is an LGBT presence in the goth subculture too. Let's stand together against bullying. Speak out loudly when you can, & on October 19th, all it takes is wearing purple & letting people know why.

What I'm wearing:
Black ruffled knit shirt, Newport News
Black corduroy skirt, H&M
Purple lace-print leggings, Target
Black buckle ankle boots, Aldo
Purple stripes & dots scarf, boutique store
Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store
Purple flower hair pin, random accessory store

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Status Report: A Dress & Cardigan Are My Work Uniform

I'll admit I'm cheating on my very first CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report. This is a repeat photo. Because I'm working from home this week, & there's a random heat wave, I couldn't bring myself to wear anything remotely office-worthy. But looking through my archives, I confirmed what I suspected.

My go-to work outfit is a dress & a cardi. Who can blame me? It's the easiest thing to put together on a busy morning & still look chic & professional. I collect classic sheath dresses & basic knit dresses with empire waists & surplice tops, especially in black, then look for cardigans in jewel tones, stripes, & dark florals. So simple to mix & match these kind of pieces! Add some great boots or funky heels, maybe a belt or scarf or statement necklace, & I'm out the door fast.

What I'm wearing:
Grey cardigan with sequins, ModCloth
Black knit dress, Target
Black camisole, Old Navy
Black elastic belt, NY & Company
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Burgundy/fuchsia crushed-velvet ankle boots, bought from a friend
Pink rhinestone bib necklace, Forever 21
Silver Celtic cross earrings, somewhere in Berkeley

So share a link to your Status Report in the comments so everyone can see your work uniform! And watch for the next Status Report around the start of November.

Check out the reports from:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Don't Forget About Your Status Report!

The first CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Reports are due next Tuesday & Wednesday. I hope to see what your work uniform or go-to outfit is. Show everyone the kind of outfit that best represents your classic work attire! Blog about it, add the CorpGoth icon, then share your link in the comments on my post so others can read it.

Check out the original Status Report post for complete details.

In the meantime, have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to Dress Your Gothic Self in a Casual Workplace

In many ways, my whole CorpGoth blog is an example of how to dress in a gothic / alternative / creative fashion at a casual workplace. But I thought that, after blogging for so long, I might consolidate what I've learned into tips that others could follow.  This may be useful if you're starting a new job & need to slowly introduce yourself to unfamiliar coworkers or if you're starting your career. Or maybe you've been unsure about how much of your true fashion self you really can express at work, & you're looking to combine your work & play wardrobes more.

I've worked in California's Silicon Valley all my adult life, & admittedly, this is a very casual work environment. We are known for CEOs wearing jeans & hoodies to important meetings. This can be confusing to traditional college recruits & anyone coming from the East Coast, much the less us goth types. How do you fit in but still look like you're at the office & not hanging out at a coffee shop? It's tricky because, especially if you have unnaturally colored hair or tattoos, you already have to work harder to earn respect. So dressing a smidge more conservatively may help, but too conservative & you can look out of place in a sea of blue jeans.

Here are my 10 tips for presenting yourself as a competent, trustworthy professional without entirely sacrificing your individual style.

1. Wearing all-black is a safe bet. Black pencil skirts, black trousers, black jackets, black T-shirts -- build a wardrobe of these basics, especially in high quality materials -- & you'll be set.

2. Under-accessorize. Ever hear the saying about "before you leave the house, remove one accessory"? Instead of wearing a huge necklace *and* rings on every finger, wear either the necklace or the rings.

3. Minimize references to death & religion. Skulls, skeletons, crosses, & crucifixes are potentially offensive. Yes, this imagery is found in mainstream fashion, from Alexander McQueen skull-print scarves to Ed Harvey T-shirts. But those are usually worn in a non-gothic context. When added to an obviously goth outfit, you may push the look over the edge. Tread carefully.

4. Incorporate casualwear, even denim. Goths, in particular, can be quite formally dressed. Which is lovely, but formality can appear stand-offish, even snobby, in casual workplaces. Create a few outfits that use unstructured materials & even try jeans (black is ok!) on occasion. Temper hard edges with soft so you look approachable & friendly.

5. Avoid overly sexualized clothing. It should go without saying that you'll leave the corsets, PVC, see-through shirts, stiletto heels, & bondage gear at home. But also be very wary of any clothing that has elements suggestive of sex, such as corset lacing on a jacket, D-rings on pants, or cutouts on a shirt.

6. Give a nod to current fashions. You don't have to be a slave to trends, but showing that you are at least a tiny bit aware of modern style shows that you're keeping up to date with the world in general. Most jobs today require that employees keep their skills updated & that people know what's going on currently in their industries. Fashion is another sign of being aware of the times.

7. Tone done the outfit if you have wild hair, piercings, &/or visible tattoos.  The good news is that casual workplaces often don't mind blue hair, mohawks, dreadlocks, facial piercings, &/or a sleeve or two of tats. The bad news is that, if you want to be taken seriously, you may have to dress a bit more conservatively to balance out those less-changeable parts of your appearance. You'll definitely want to overcompensate during interviews & meetings with clients, at least until you know people well.

8. Use makeup to focus, not distract. Just like accessorizing, you want to use makeup carefully & minimally. Do deep, dark eye makeup with light lips, *or* do deep, dark lipstick with light eye makeup. You want to achieve balance, not overkill.

9. Add a few colors in your wardrobe. Yes, I know, I said all-black is ok, but all-black, all the time can seem moribund. Especially in summer. And sometimes you may want or need to soften harsh edges. This doesn't mean dressing in pastels -- just add in jewel tones or stripes occasionally.

10. Don't wear anything ripped, torn, or ill-fitting. Ripped fishnets & torn jeans are for weekends only (yes, you may see torn jeans on a Silicon Valley engineer, but remember, it's the context; alternative folks have more than just the torn jeans going against them, so we can't add to it). And make sure that what you wear fits well. Get pants & skirts hemmed, jacket sleeves taken up. Tailoring is everyone's friend!

What kind of attire is standard in your office & how do you adapt your gothic / alternative style to suit the workplace? Share your tips & advice in the comments!

Related links:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Black on Black Weekend

Here's another of my typical weekend looks -- basic black. Ok, with a touch of bats. And a little bit of craftiness. But this is what I like to wear when I run errands or hang out with friends on weekends (the rare ones I'm not doing costume events, of course!). All knits for comfort, but sleek shapes for a bit of style.

What I'm wearing:
Black boyfriend cardigan, Chadwicks | Black knit tunic, American Apparel | Black bat-print leggings, Target | Black buckle ankle boots, Aldo | Long silver & copper necklace, made by me | Silver filigree earrings, Target

What kind of outfits do you tend to wear on weekends?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Americans: Are You Registered to Vote This Year?

We know interrupt the regular CorpGoth fashion blog to speak to an issue very dear to my heart: Voting. If you are an American citizen age 18 or older, you have a Constitutional right, privilege, & responsibility to vote in every election. And especially this year, we have a presidential election, which is vitally important to your life & all our lives. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, just that you must vote. Make your voice heard. Take part in the process. If you don't, you're letting someone else run your life, & why would you do that?

Early October starts the voter registration deadlines in many American states. Take a look at this site from the election commission to find out exactly when the deadline to register is in your state, & follow the links to get information on how to register. Another nonpartisan site is useful too -- Can I Vote? will help you find out if you're registered already. Also take careful look to see if your state has passed new legislation requiring IDs to vote or limiting hours at the polls. Be informed before you vote!  This site can even help you register online for many states.

Either vote absentee ballot, or get out to your polling place on November 6 and vote!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Last Gasp of Summer

This week, we experienced a bit of a heatwave -- weather in the high-90s day after day, harkening back to August, not exactly early fall. So I'm dressing pretty casual in sandals & tank tops, just throwing on a cardigan for indoor AC. Luckily, the temps are supposed to drop soon & maybe I can wear boots, tights, & velvet...

What I'm wearing:
Pink print cardigan, Chadwicks | Black embellished tank top, Old Navy | Black jeans, Calvin Klein | Black jeweled flip-flops, unknown brand | Silver skull choker, random accessory store | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store | Pink flower hair pin, random accessory store

Monday, October 1, 2012

Introducing the CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report

After having this blog around for nearly 2 years, I decided it's finally time to start some kind of theme post. And since the dear Professeur Gothique has ended her Homework Assignments, there's now a gap in the month ...

Thus, I'd like to introduce the CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report! This will be a regular feature where everyone is encouraged to showcase a work-friendly outfit based around a theme I'll announce during the first week of the month. Then, early in the week around the 15th of the month, you can post your outfit on your site, link back here, & share your blog link in the comments on my blog.

So, here's the first status report:

Subject: What's your work "uniform" or go-to outfit? Show us the typical combo you wear to the office, whether it's a pencil skirt & a sweater, jeans with a cami & cardi, a blazer & a dress, etc. (of course, if you literally wear a uniform to work, show that!). Or do you have a favorite outfit that's your dependable, "I don't have to think to make this work great" ensemble, the kind of thing that's perfect for a rushed workday morning.

Due Date: Tuesday, October 16, through Wednesday, October 17.


How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on the due date(s).

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display:

<a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>

3. Comment on my Tuesday post including your blog link.

4. Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!