GOTHIQUETTE - “Capes, Drapes and Other Flammable Things”

By Auntie PanPan

Auntie PanPanAh, yes…springtime at the annual graveyard picnic. Woe be it to you if you have nothing to plonk down onto the ground to sit upon so as to not ruin your velvet and leather hobble skirt or have a wet spot on your butt in the tall wet grasses overlooking the local family tombs in the wee hours of the morning. There is only one thing that can save you that is much more pretty than a piece of newspaper to sit upon. Capes. Trench coats. Cloaks and leather jackets. The gothic drapery (aka: capes/trench coats/jackets) are the finishing touch to a outfit that can not only look fantastic when you go out to the club, but also is a form of protection in many various ways. Your gothic drape is your standard trademark portion of your outfit when you are going out. Leather jackets are always a must. Capes are too bulky for the most part, especially if you get a cheesy one. Trench coats have their proper time and place. We will be going over each article and for each gothic purpose each item is best suited for.

Capes: The cape, or capelet in truth, has no true place in the modern club unless you have a body that can wear it correctly, or made of the proper materials. Why you might ask? Most capes I have seen out of clubs are made of the Halloween discount department store quality: plastic and rayon. The classic Dracula red & black or white & black knee length capes which are way too shiny for their own good. Also if you leave the red and black rayon Dracula capes out in the sun for too long the colors fade to yellow and crap purple…ain’t rayon interesting? Truth is: If you are going to be in the club scene for any length of time and don’t want to be laughed out of the front door don’t wear a Dracula cape. If you get in the way of a wandering candle you will be burned. I have timed how long a cheesy vampire cape takes to burn…28 seconds if made out of rayon. Now imagine that with you wearing it. Right…not good.

Capelets look, in my personal opinion, like a part of the great cloak that is missing the bottom half. Capelets are only good as a table cover. Ponchos were dorky in the 70’s and they are still dorky today unless the poncho can be converted into a cape. Ponchos have no place in the club scene anyway. If you are trying to be cheesy for a reason, or trying to go for the classic Lugosi look, get a cape that is at least floor length. The shorter, the tackier. Make sure that it is at least satin or embroidered linen, or embossed velvet is nice. Hood or no hood is entirely up to you. If you are intending to go out on midnight romps in the night, capes will really not protect you.

Cloaks: The best place to buy cloaks are at the local Renaissance Faire. Any pirate goth or Rennygoth worth their weight in angst has one cloak. The difference between a cape and a cloak is the thickness and the material. Most cloaks are very heavy material. Not always the best for a goth club. However, if you work faire and need something to pass out in that will keep you warm in the cold, this is the thing for you. Cloaks come in all shapes and sizes (wool, fur, brushed velvet, you name it). If you go out traipsing a lot out under the moonlight after the clubs…at least keep your cloak in the car. Cloaks are great for snuggling up to the ones you love and can easily hide two people underneath. Cloaks make great blankets and instant sleeping bags to keep you warm also. It’s always best to have one in your wardrobe arsenal.

Leather Jackets: Every biker has one. Every rebel owns one. The timeless leather jacket. Anyone who loves their jacket has a personalized quality on theirs: patches, chain mail, paint…whatever. Most leather jackets are great to go to the clubs because if it gets too hot, it doesn’t matter, because you still look cool. You don’t mind sweating all your damn makeup off because you look hot. It’s all good. Everyone needs a leather jacket...hell, I own one! Has over a zillion uses and has a certain style to it.

Trench Coats: If you want to summon the forces of darkness. If you look dorky in real life, get a trench coat. If it’s leather or heavy black canvas…get one. I have a buccaneer trench coat that goes all the way down to the floor…everyone wants to borrow it if we end up at a graveyard or a beach or a faire. I can’t say anything bad about trench coats at all. Unless they are neon purple and look like you just jumped off the Jolly Roger. Unless you are going for the “I am the evil dread pirate Jack Sparrow” look.

Things that you should keep in mind with gothic fashion:
1. The higher the heels , the closer to god.
2. If you wear too high of heels or shoes…do not be surprised if some drunken dumbass decides to push you over on the dance floor and yell “TIMBERRR!” Yes. I have done that to someone and yes I was very drunk and I am sorry to that poor pathetic bastard with the two foot tall moon shoes. No I’m not.
3. Hair is also flammable. Keep heavily sprayed hair away from all candle light.
4. Mohawks done in “Liberties” are not to be used for ring toss. Although I have done this also.