Clothing News and Press Releases
Have a read of our most recent news. If you'd like to check out some older articles head to www.gothic-clothing-web.co.uk. You can also find our blog at www.thealtside.co.uk. Plus as you're here, we'll let you in to a little secret, there's a nice little 6% discount code over on our links page www.katesclothinglinks.co.uk.
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Summer Festival Fashion
Guest blogger Natasha Scharf looks ahead to the summer festival season with Kate’s Clothing.
The (slightly) warmer weather is here, which means it’s festival season! There are some really cool music events out there, all offering you the chance to catch your favourite bands while soaking up that unique festival atmosphere. Here are some handy hints on looking your best while you’re partying in the great outdoors.
When packing for festivals, remember that the weather can be unpredictable so grab summery items, warm layers for the evening and something waterproof just in case! This doesn’t mean compromising your personal style; the key is to choose versatile pieces that can be layered and alternated. Fringing, harnesses and slashes are big news at the moment and so easy to wear and maxi dresses are brilliant for effortless glamour. So are this season’s witchy wide-brimmed hats, which are a great way of keeping the sun off your face. Chunky pendants and studded belts are brilliant for rocking up your look, just make sure everything’s well-attached if you’re going crowd surfing!
Fishnets are the best festival tights because they actually look better the more ripped they are – wear them on your legs with cropped shorts or miniskirts, or on your arms under a slogan t-shirt or oversized vest. One word of warning: make sure you use sunblock underneath unless you want to be modelling a checkerboard for the next week or two!
Jeans or leggings are festival essentials but instead of plain, try patterned or customised pieces to make you stand out from the crowd. A sweater, hoody or biker-style jacket will keep you cosy when the sun goes down. I love the brilliant Necessary Evil Gothic Hoodipac – it’s a unisex hoody that packs down to a bag within seconds and also doubles up as a pillow. If you get caught out in the rain, a black bin bag makes a great DIY rain poncho but when it comes to footwear, stick to comfortable flats, boots or wellies and leave your Hades heels at home to avoid getting stuck in the mud!
Spending several days in a field can get dirty so stick to breathable fabrics that can be flung in the washing machine afterwards. If you’ve got space in your luggage, a fleecy blanket and squishy pillow will bring a bit of home comfort to camping and a well-packed mug is perfect for your morning brew (or beer!). Don’t forget the outside of your tent – a waterproof flag or painted decorations will not only look great but make it a lot easier to identify your tent in the field. Glow-in-the-dark tent pegs and glow sticks are also good budget choices.
Hot showers aren’t always possible at festivals so pack baby wipes and stick to easy-to-manage hairstyles – braids and dreads are great for longer cuts – or try a beanie hat. Dry shampoo is perfect for everything else and can even help prevent vibrant hair dye from fading. Sunglasses cover a multitude of sins but once you take them off, keep your make up smudge-free with semi-permanent eyeliners and lip stains, such as those by Stargazer. One word of warning: the inside of your tent can get really hot during the day so keep any lipsticks and eye pencils in a cooler bag to prevent melting – I write from personal experience! And avoid packing pressurised containers like aerosol sprays, which can explode inside tents.
Whichever festival you’re going to this summer, have a wonderful time and don’t forget your toilet roll!
Here are some of our favourite alternative-friendly outdoor music festivals
Download, Donington, UK 12-14 June
Vans Warped Tour, USA (various), 17 June-8 August
Waken, Hamburg, Germany 30 July-1 August
M’era Luna, Hildesheim, Germany 8-9 August
Bloodstock Open Air, Walton on Trent, UK 6-9 August
Natasha Scharf’s books ‘The Art Of Gothic’ and ‘Worldwide Gothic’ are available through Amazon and other retailers.
Kate's Clothing Talks 'Working Mums' with Guest Blogger Jane!
Although 90% of the time here at KC we just want to take about gothic fashion and alternative subculture, we are a team of strong women with some big womens issues close to our hearts, so we thought we would take the opertunity to shine a light on one of the issues we hold really dear, being a working mother! Here at KC we don't descrimiate against mothers and are happy to be flexible around school runs and baby care, but we are always so shocked to hear about the working tales of woe from other mummies we know... so we asked Jane, a friend, a writer, and a mother, to write a guest blog for us talking about her exerience and what she knows abour juggling life, work and motherhood.
Life as a Working Mom
Hi, I'm Jane, and I'm here as a guest blogger.
This time three years ago, I'd just found out that I was pregnant and was in a bit of a daze. Over the following few months, I thought a lot about plans for the future. I'd spent the past 10 years focused on my career (I managed the Supply Chain for a vending company) and had my suspicions that it might just go down the drain once I'd had this baby! I decided I wanted to go back to work once my maternity pay finished, when the baby was about 9 months old (he'd be fine in a nursery, I'd no longer be breastfeeding, and of course, he'd be sleeping through the night by then, wouldn't he?). I planned to work 30 hours over three days, so that my salary only dropped by 25%. In reality I was working 50-60, rather than 40, hours per week back then (although I struggled to keep this up as I got more heavily pregnant - luckily I had a great boss, who took work off my hands and understood that I could only handle working 40 hours, as opposed to the 'hours that it took to get the job done' that I was contracted to work).
So, fast forward around ten months and I have a three month old that just does not want to sleep / be put down / go to anyone but me - nothing unusual there, but I started panicking about the thought of going back. What if this doesn't change? How am I going to handle never getting any more than two hours solid sleep, then driving four hours + up to Newcastle at 5am (a regular journey) to sit in meetings for the day? How am I going to be able to produce accurate figures for the board reports when I can't think straight? Never mind that, how am I going to get to work on time and in clothes that do not have baby sick / snot / poo on them?!
The thought of returning to work filled me with dread, but if I didn't go back, could we afford the mortgage? Could I live with myself if I chose to leave my career behind? (I feared losing touch and never being able to go back to a job at the same level as I left at). At the same time, I didn't actually want to go back, as my priorities had changed and my world had been turned upside down. I didn't care about vending machines any more - didn't care about the logistics of getting coffee from A to B (with the sole exception of A being the the kitchen cupboard and B being me - said coffee still being hot was a bonus).
I was very lucky and the decision was taken out of my hands. The company was in a bad way as a result of the recession and every department was cut down to an absolute minimum. I guess those at the top thought that if they could manage without me for nine months, they could manage ongoing. I was made redundant and got quite a decent payout. A quick calculation told me that (when I took into account nursery costs) it would've taken me working until January 2015 (close to two years away at the time) to take home the total amount that I got in redundancy pay. So, we tightened our belts enough to live off my husband's salary and, rather than leaving the redundancy money sat in the bank, decided to spend it on a camper van (well, it's a sensible motorhome really, but that makes us sound like we're in our 60's!) and plan lots of cheap family holidays.
Incidentally, at the point I would have gone back to work, my son was still breastfeeding every two hours (including during the night). I was just starting to get a bit of my evening back, as I could sneak away for about 45 minutes each night (until he was eight months old, he wouldn't sleep without me next to him, so I was in bed at 8pm every evening). If I had gone back to work, the entire day when I was working would be spent at work / in bed. He still didn't like to be put down (I'd discovered slings by this point and naps were often taken with him on my back so I could get stuff done) and he certainly didn't like going to other people. I think I'd have felt like I was torturing him if I sent him to nursery.
So, that's how I ended up as a stay at home mom until my son was just over two years old. Turns out it was tonnes harder than I ever could've imagined, and certainly harder than the job I'd left behind! I was (mostly) happy though.
I started getting a bit twitchy a few months back. Wondering if I could handle going back to work... Or, more to the point, if I could handle not going back to work - the terrible twos had hit and I was starting to feel that my son and I could do with some time apart. I thought time at a childminder's, with other kids (and without me), would help his social skills, might help with his development and would make nursery seem less of a shock when he reached three.
A paid job came up on a local project to increase breastfeeding rates in the area. I was already involved in the project as a volunteer and I got the job. As the majority of the work that the project does is home visits to moms who are struggling to get feeding established, hours cannot be guaranteed, so myself and my colleagues are all on zero hours contracts. We let the project manager know when we're available to work and she schedules in the visits if and when calls come in. There are a few regular clinics and support groups we attend and occasional phone cover is necessary. There's been a lot of negativity surrounding zero hours contracts in the media recently, but I'd say that, as a working mom, the job is ideal. I have no commitment to work set hours and I have the flexibility to offer to work when I have childcare and no other plans. We get paid holiday 'rolled in' to our hourly rate, rather than a regular payment when we're off. The down side is that there's no guaranteed income - so I cannot be sure that I'll get work to cover the cost of the childminder. I enjoy the job enough that I'm happy to just break even, and so far I've been earning a bit extra after the childminder has been paid. Plus, a bit of time apart is doing my son and I good. His speech seems to have really come on since he's been at the childminder and my patience levels have increased after a bit more time spent talking to adults!
Through another volunteer, I was offered a job working one day a week at a kitchenware shop. It's lovely and quiet sometimes, so I get to drink a cup of coffee in peace and without worrying about a toddler putting his hand in it. My lunch gets interrupted by customers, but not once has one of them tried to eat the ham of my sandwich or lick the butter off the bread. I get to chat rubbish about the weather and sometimes I can even sit here and write this. In short, I come here for a break!
I know how lucky I am though. I'm playing at having a job. When I tot up childcare and petrol costs to get me to the shop, I'm earning about £1 per hour and a total of about £7 per day. When life interferes, for example the day my son was unwell, it's just not worth it - I lost half a day's pay and still had to pay the childminder in full. If we needed the money, I'd have to look for a job similar to my previous one, along with the stresses and long hours that it brings. I've looked for other jobs and have struggled to find a happy medium (we get by fine, but it'd be nice to be able decorate our very 70's style house. I dream of no more woodchip).
In so many ways, the business world just isn't geared up to support working moms. In particular, moms who want / have to go back to work soon after having a baby and also want continue breastfeeding face a struggle. It's good practise for employers to provide moms with breaks to feed their baby / express milk, to allow them somewhere private to feed / pump and a fridge in which to store expressed milk, where necessary. However, there is no law covering this, and the only legal requirement in relation to breastfeeding workers is that they are provided somewhere to rest. Getting baby to mom when they are ready to feed might not be achievable, and many moms who pump find that they struggle to get the milk out. Breastfeeding is largely hormone driven and whilst a pump can try and imitate sucking, it certainly doesn't give that rush of love that holding your baby close does, therefore it takes a while to get an amount of milk equal to what your baby would take directly. Ultimately, the result for many women is that their milk supply drops, and this tends to be the beginning of the end of their breastfeeding journey. Some women are lucky and find that their baby will wait for them, not taking milk during the day (if baby is older and taking solids, they may have other sources of calcium, such as cheese or yogurt), then feeding a little more when mom's back to make up for the break. Our bodies are amazing and will often adjust to this no problem.
Not to mention that feeding an older baby or toddler can often be frowned upon (it's worth bearing in mind that worldwide, the average length of time that a child breast feeds for is four and a half years. Also that the World Health Organisation recommends that children are breastfed until two years and beyond). Every mom feeding a toddler has been asked at some point 'are you *still* feeding [insert child's name here]'. Even those of us who are confident in our decision to feed our toddlers can be hesitant to do so in public for fear of reaction. To go into the workplace as a breastfeeding mom must be daunting to say the least!
Then there's the childcare side of things. As childcare cannot be put through as a work expense, or a cost of running a business, many of us moms are in the position where we aren't much better off working. By that, I don't mean we're better off claiming state benefits (although some may be), but that we're better off just staying at home and looking after the kids for a few years, not paying out a fortune to someone else to bring up our children. In my case, I was lucky, I got made redundant at just the right time, but staying at home is not so easily done when you're the boss!
Which leads me to my first morning in the Kate's Clothing office. The first thing I notice is that in amongst the desks is the biggest playpen I've ever seen, complete with toys and bouncers suitable for entertaining (or at least attempting to entertain) a baby whilst mom works. Kate's there with her baby and we're both free of our toddlers. Within five minutes, there's a rumble and Kate has poo on her hands and leggings - the baby is held at arm's length while wipes, a nappy, clean clothes and carrier bags are sought out. Juggling work and a baby is not without it's interruptions. Breastfeeding in the office isn't questioned - if baby's hungry, he gets fed.
I met Ruth KC's book keeper, whose hours are flexible around the needs of her kids. They're a bit older, at 10 (twins) and 15, but it just shows it's not only the early days where an understanding employer makes a difference.
Now, I'm not saying that every workplace needs a playpen, but a bit more flexibility and support for those women who want, or need, to go back to work would go a long way. Some employers are wise to what they get with a working mom - someone who can multitask under pressure and who can get massive amounts of work done if only given an hour of peace! Others only see the potential for cancelled childcare and sick children. Or, as a previous boss said to me 'I'm not hiring a woman, she'll only end up off on maternity leave'. Needless to say, I was a bit wary of breaking the news to him when I fell pregnant!
In Autumn 2015, the government are making changes to the existing childcare voucher scheme. Put very simply, the current scheme allows parents to pay towards their (registered) childcare pre-tax, to a maximum of £55 per parent, per week. Those with more than one child of pre-school age will find it likely covers a very small amount of their costs. The self-employed cannot get childcare vouchers, and those in employment can only take part in the scheme if their employer signs up for it. If childcare is considered an expense of working (which, by making a part of it tax exempt, the voucher scheme does suggest it is), then surely all costs for all parents should be tax exempt?
This brings me fairly smoothly on to new scheme, whereby the government will cover 20% of costs up to a maximum of £10,000 per annum, per child (a much more realistic amount). It will also be open to the self-employed. Some won’t be eligible under the new scheme, for example if one parent earns less than £2,420 a year, but if their partner is in an existing voucher scheme, they can continue with that (unless their employer withdraws it).
So, a step in the right direction from the government? Many more working parents will certainly be able to get help with childcare costs. Let’s hope employers follow suit in encouraging moms back into work (where they want to work) and allow more flexibility for working parents.
For more information on this and other similar topics check out mumsnet here: http://www.mumsnet.com/
Gothic Latex Clothing NOW at katesclothing.co.uk!
Kate's Clothing are very proud to announce the arrival of a BRAND NEW LATEX COLLECTION! From the creators of Slaughterhouse Couture Latex comes SHOCK AND ROLL LATEX, an ultra foxy collection of gothic occult latex designs, ideal for you to have some serious fun in!
However it is super important to remember that latex is not your average fabric and you will need to take care of it very differently to anything you have worn before. We're not saying it is hard to look after, just different! In fact, probably easier, but still DIFFERENT!
So, to remove the mystery and give you the longest life from you latex clothing, here is some helpful info from the Shock and Roll on the subject!
- Gothic latex clothing
First up: The Importance of Correct Sizing
This is the first port of call when buying anything.... get the right size for you! :Latex can be a little different to your average fabric, so here are a few pointers!
When selecting the size of your new latex garment always refer to the size measurement chart provided. Latex is flattering to ladies of all sizes and proportions but getting the right size is essential to this. If the garment is too big you will find that it gapes, wrinkles and bunches up in an unsightly fashion. If, on the other hand, the garment is too small it will create bulges where you don’t want them and may be more prone to tearing or damage due to over-stretching.
Next: Dressing Up!
Now that you have your lovely new garment it’s very important that you abide by a few rules when getting dressed. Some garments are going to be more tricky than others to put on but, whatever your garment, it is essential to be patient. It is most certainly worth the effort for the finished look.
ALWAYS watch out for nails! Being too quick or rough with latex and long nails is always a recipe for disaster. Also, put your heels on after you step into a garment, shoe heel through the back of a dress or skirt is a very common and avoidable mishap.
The same rule goes for any sharp jewellery you may be wearing and be aware that body jewellery metal, fake tanning products, and exposure to sunlight can cause irreparable staining to latex garments.
Using talcum powder on the inside of the garment and on your body can help ease the process of dressing immeasurably. So we say ALWAYS TALC YOUR GARMENT BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO DRESS!
Dresses - Ensure the zipper is pulled all the way down and step into the dress, never overhead! Believe me you can get stuck! Pull the whole garment up over your hips with a bit of wiggling until it sits around your waist. From there pull the upper of the dress on and then start working the garment down for a sleek comfortable fit.
Leggings - gather legs and dress much like you would a pair of tights, but with even more care! Same with long sleeve tops.
The Fun Part: Shine It Up!
Now that you’re all dressed it’s time to add that last touch of magic to your garment… Shine! You can get shine products online or on high street shops like Anne Summers.
Using a lint free cloth pour a small amount of your chosen latex shine out and start to buff over your garment, paying special attention to the seams. A wax on technique works great! If you find you are getting a white residue then just add a bit more polish over it, it’s simply some of the talcum powder used in production that has released from the seams. Once you’re all shiny you’re ready to go! Don’t forget to take your bottle with you for touch ups throughout the night although a lot of the best clubs now have free shining stations where you can go to get buffed if you lose your shine!
Finally: After the Party
Aftercare and Storage; This is perhaps the most important section when it comes to owning and enjoying latex! The care you show your latex will be directly proportionate to how long the pieces survive and look amazing. Mistreatment leads to irreparable damage that not even a miracle will be enough to resurrect it. The following is the ideal scenario for ultimate aftercare!
While your latex may have come off in a pile on the floor it will need attention as soon as you can!
First wash your latex in a sink with warm water and Fairy liquid or mild shampoo, then drain the sink and rinse the bubbles off.
Refill your sink and add in a few drops of your chosen latex shine product and pop your garments back in. Mix around and then hang to drip dry over a bath preferably.
Always use wooden or plastic hangers as latex is most susceptible to metal staining when wet.
After a few hours it should be ready for storage. Best case scenario is a dry cleaning bag hung up in the wardrobe. If you don't have one available then a black bin bag is perfectly adequate. The biggest advantage of this method is that next time you go out your latex is ready to wear, just pull it out and put it straight on!
If you need to store your latex little more hidden away then after step 1 allow to drip dry and then douse in talcum powder and you can fold and store in a zip seal bag. The downside to this is that if left too long the fold can create permanent creases.
ALWAYS re-cover any metal on your garment with tissue or scotch tape to avoid contact staining when in storage!
NATASHA SCHARF DISCUSSES THE'CLASSIC GOTH' LOOK
Guest blogger Natasha Scharf explores the ‘Classic Goth’ look with Kate's Clothing
(Above: Natasha Scharf and her books ‘The Art Of Gothic‘ and ‘Worldwide Gothic‘)
Goth began almost by accident in the UK in the late 1970s. It started as a morbidly-tinged but unnamed style of music that incorporated the dark clothing worn by those who favoured and performed it. Within a few years, it had evolved into a subcultural movement in its own right. Goth fashion, like the music that forms its soundtrack, has changed over the years: from Siouxsie Sioux’s punky stage wear and Dave Vanian from The Damned’s vampiric attire through to elaborate Victorian and Rococo-inspired outfits and the witchy neo-noir drapes that have also been picked up by the high streets, goth is constantly evolving.
At this year’s LondonEdge tradeshow, there was a noticeable return to a more classic, or trad goth look with companies embracing luxury fabrics, such as brocade, jacquard, velvet and lace in black or deep jewel colours. Some brands, such as Punk Rave, Killstar and Hellbunny, have blended these with contemporary streetwear styles and 1950s clothing for an updated look. There were tailcoats for both sexes – Chic Star have some great budget options – and plenty of long, frilled skirts for the ladies. These look just as good worn with collared or high-necked blouses, inspired by Japan’s Elegant Gothic Lolita style, as they do with more relaxed corset-style tops which can be teamed with a bolero for extra versatility. Long, draped sleeves are great for a more vampiric look and keyhole necklines reveal just enough flesh without too much being on display.
Necessary Evil Gothic Clothing
I remember a friend of mine once explaining that, back in the ‘80s, the goth girls wore long skirts whereas the punks wore minis. These days, the boundaries are a little more blurred. For an easy everyday goth look team miniskirts and dresses with patterned leggings or dress them up with a pair of fishnets for clubbing. Top the look off with elegantly spiked boots (check out Hades’ amazing Raven ankle boots, which have a touch of HR Giger’s Alien about them!) or New Rocks and plenty of black eyeliner!
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Let’s not forget the lads! Although the traditional male goth look borrows its cues from more flamboyant 19th century styles, modern interpretations incorporate military jackets and slim-leg trousers, which are easier to wear than the skin-tight styles that were popular in the early ‘80s. Faux leather and PVC adds a touch of gothic rock to your wardrobe when dressed up with a fishnet top or down with a slogan or band logo t-shirt.
Jewellery brands Alchemy and Cherry Loco are bang up-to-date with their brilliant eye-catching designs. The former uses non-toxic English pewter and sparkling Swarovski crystal while the latter has a quirky range of chunky acrylic necklaces and earrings based around bats, spiders and Ancient Egyptian amulets. Prong is another brand that gives classical styles a make-over with unexpected touches. Must-have accessories include a lace or quirky handbag, gloves and a parasol for the warmer weather. For the gents, add lots of jewellery, statement belts and an optional top hat.
These days, vibrant hair dyes and unusual lipsticks are much easier to find than they were in the past. Black may be the colour of choice for many goths but dark red and deep purples can also look great on lips and in your hair, especially when it’s crimped and backcombed! If you’re too shy to dye, or work/school prevents it, then wigs and clip-in streaks are a good compromise.
Although many of the acts that pioneered the gothic sound deny being part of that scene, their dramatic music still makes perfect listening. Load this top five onto your music player for the ultimate ‘80s goth experience!
Bauhaus – The Passion Of Lovers
Siouxsie And The Banshees – Spellbound
The Sisters Of Mercy – Alice
Fields Of The Nephilim – Moonchild
The Cure – Lullaby
Natasha Scharf’s latest book ‘The Art Of Gothic’ is available now through Omnibus Press (UK) and Backbeat Books (North America). Buy now on Amazon HERE
The Sisters Of Mercy
Siouxsie and the Banshees
ALTERNATIVE AND GOTHIC CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
There is nothing like that deep feeling of dread when all the Christmas decorations go up in your local town. If you are anything like us you fear the hustle and bustle of busy high street shops as you trawl through the mountains of tacky giftware, desperately trying to find something relevant to your friends or family!
Unfortunately we can't change all that... but we can help you with something... When it comes to that Alt/ Goth in your life, we have all the good gift ideas! So consider that quirky person taken care of and have a nose through our TOP ALTERNATIVE AND GOTHIC GIFT IDEAS!
To make this extra easy we have broken up our gift guide as follows:
TOP 10 GIFTS FOR UNDER £20 – A run down of our top 10 token gifts ideal for your friends or as stocking fillers!
TOP 10 EXTRA SPECIAL GIFTS FOR HER – These are definitely gifts for that special goth lady in your life!
TOP 5 EXTRA SPECIAL GIFTS FOR HIM – Treat the Gothic gentleman in your life so something awesome this Christmas!
PART 1: Top 10 Gifts for under £20
Banned Gothic Skull Bag: Hand bags are great gift as they are 'one size fits all'... you just need to get the style right! Find it HERE Find it HERE and ALL BAGS HERE! ALL BAGS HERE!
Prong Jewellery Spiked Cuff Beautiful, sparkely and spiked, who couldn't love this for an alt Xmas gift!Find it HERE Find it HERE and ALL PRONG JEWELLERY HERE! ALL PRONG JEWELLERY HERE!
Manic Panic Melodrama Eye Make Up Kit Make up is a great gift, especially as Manic Panic's is vegan and cruelty free! Find it HERE Find it HERE and ALL MANIC PANIC HERE! ALL MANIC PANIC HERE!
Pamela Mann Brocade Tights Fancy tights make for a great token gift, as the stylish and hard to get wrong. Plus they will fit a few different body sizes and shapes!Find them HERE Find them HERE and ALL TIGHTS HERE! ALL TIGHTS HERE!
Studded Leather Belt Belts are such an easy and versatile accessory. They can suit a range of styles and can fit a range of sizes too! Find the Skull Belt HERE Find the Skull Belt HERE and ALL BELTS HERE! ALL BELTS HERE!
Alternative Fleece Blanket Great for wrapping up in over the winter period, always a welcome gift! Find this Blanket HERE and all Homeware HERE!Handheld
Mirror From Alchemy Gothic Alchmey Gothic not only make excellent jewellery they also make some cool gifts too! Find this Mirror HERE and all other Alchemy Items HERE
Vampire Bats Wrap Earring This individual wrap earring feature beautiful black bats! Another great piece from Alchemy Gothic! Find it HERE and more Jewellery HERE
Frankenstein Wallet Wallets and purses are excellent gifts as they are always useful and one size! Find Frankenstein HERE and other Wallets HERE
Dark Kitty Mug Mugs are great as they are super useful plus they can feature great designs. You can find the Dark Kitty Mug HERE and a horde of other Gothic or Geek Inspired Mugs HERE
As a mainly ladies clothing store
, ladies dress sizing is always a hot topic here! It is super important for us to cater for all our customers (present and future) with a great range of clothing in the sizes they require, and as women come in all shapes and sizes, this is not the easiest of tasks!
We often get a messages or comments on our social pages from our plus size customers, saying that they don’t feel we have enough plus size clothing, and highlighting that the average dress size in the UK is increasing and size ranges should reflect this. Ladies, we agree with you! We need a wider range of items available in a wider range of sizes!
Sometimes we get messages from Ladies who feel insulted and alienated because of the lack of plus size alternative clothing that is available – not just in our store, but everywhere. We also get a few complaints with regards to how we talk about sizing and what we refer to a S, M, L, XL and so on. Ladies are upset to hear a UK 14 being called a large. Again we agree!
However this doesn’t make the retailers, the brands or the manufacturers bad guys! We wanted to write a blog that explains sizing from a retail perspective to see if we could dispel some of the negativity around it, and get things moving towards the positive!
WHY ISN’T THERE MORE PLUS SIZE CLOTHING AT KC?!
Lets tackle the hottest issue first, the one we receive the most emails about.
“Why isn’t there more plus size clothing on the Kate’s Clothing website?”
Ladies, as the KC team is made up of Ladies and Gents of ALL sizes, let me tell you we would LOVE to have all of our pretties in a size to suit everyone! We are passionate about alternative clothing and gothic clothing, and we want you all to have the pretties you want in the size you want, unfortunately there are a few challenging reasons why this can’t be the case!
The main reason is that not all manufacturers make all items in a large range of sizes. Here at KC HQ we always try to stock the biggest size range available to us in each item, so often if we don’t have it in plus sizes it is because the item does not exist in Plus Size (This can also be the case for the extra small and petite sizes too!) However things have been steadily improving over the past 10 years and you should know that it is NOT because alternative clothing brands don’t want to cater for you!
When Kate’s Clothing began, the standard size range was UK 8, 10, 12, and 14… a size UK 16 was a rare treat for the alt. girl, but slowly over the years we seen size UK 16 become a standard in brands size ranges and size UK 18 being more and more common place recently too! This is because the clothing companies are listening to you, but change takes time… and also plenty of money (!) which is one thing a lot of our beloved niche brands don’t have a lot of! It takes a lot of investment to create clothing and it is seriously hard to predict what designs will be popular in general, let alone what will be popular within a particular size range. It is important to remember that so every time a brand creates some clothing it is a gamble and a risk that could end a company or brand, and when you add the cost of creating expanded sizes ranges to that you at least doubling that risk!
We are glad to see some of the larger companies like Hell Bunny leading the way and manufacturing plus size ranges in more and more of their popular items. We hope that with plus sizes becoming more available to the stores, the store will intern buy more plus size ranges increasing the demand for them. This should then allow some smaller companies to take the risk of creating plus size ranges too, as they are able to see them working in lots of store with lots of other brands! We can see the beginnings of this with niche brand Kreepsville666 who recently started adding UK size 18 to their ranges because they are listening to the demand of fans and stores!
We cannot talk about plus size clothing, without talking about the Gothic Clothing Brand Necessary Evil! Necessary Evil have tried tirelessly over the years to increase their plus size range and listen to their fans, they are champions of the Gothic Plus Size movement. If enough fans shout out and say they want to see a particular design in plus sizes Necessary Evil will try so hard to make it happen!
We really want to change the perception that brands purposefully ignoring plus or petite size women. It is so important for fans to recognise that brands can’t make every thing in every size, making larger size ranges takes a huge amount of investment. However we understand that it is also important for brands communicate with their fans. Then if the fans really create a demand for something, the brand can respond! So well done Necessary Evil for taking things forward and being pro active! They even took public steps towards spreading plus size love by sponsoring ‘Miss Plus Size UK’ contestants!
For more information on PLUS SIZE Clothing and the mystery behind sizing bracket, read more over on our Alt Side blog!
Feel free to email us with any further questions at enquires @ Katesclothing.com (remove the spaces!)
A bit of a favourite at Kate's Clothing, Necessary Evil is the real deal, designed by people who love gothic and alternative clothing. It's all about styling and creating shape and generally comes in black. Most items come in sizes 8 to 18 with a few styles in plus sizes too.
Brand websites: www.necessaryevilclothing.com and www.necessaryevil.org.uk
Necessary Evil Online Catalogue
Necessary Evil Facebook Page
New Rock New Rock Boots are one of the most iconic brands in alternative and Gothic culture. They have an extensive back catalogue of alternative shoes and boots, with style being worn by Gothic stars such as Marilyn Manson, Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. They have even been used in Sci-Fi programmes such as the much love Dr Who!
With a reputation for being long lasting, hard wearing and comfortable like a second skin these really are a brand you should know about!
New Rock Boots UK Stockist Website
New Rock Boots UK Facebook Page
New Rock History
New Rock Wiki
Chic Star Chic Star is a super interesting clothing brand, and really is one to watch! To our knowledge they are the only brand that lets you vote for the designs you want to see made. They show case lots of great pieces and the most popular become real! They are also well known for having the most extensive plus size ranges in alternative fashion! Something we are really happy to see more of. Their clothes fall in to two main categories which are Traditional Gothic Clothing and Retro/ Vintage/ 1950's inspired clothing. Be sure to give them a look, as there is something for everyone in their extensive collection!
Chic Star Facebook Page
Chic Star Design Voting
AderlassGermay legends, Aderlass have been making incredible Gothic and Steampunk clothing for years. They make ultra desirable clothing that is built to last, unlike a lot of the alternative pieces you see today that are cheap and disposable. Aderlass you heavy fabrics and their pieces are not cheap but I think you would agree they are well worth the money!
Aderlass Facebook Page
Red Queen's Black Legion (RQ-BL)Join the Red Queen's Black Legion of style with RQ-BL's amazing range of Steampunk Clothing and accessories. This brand create extremely stylish clothing and cool accessories that can really make an outfit. Well know for their LED Bio-punk and Steampunk goggles, harnesses and belts, they also make a stack of awesome corsets, blouses and skirts. Everything they do have incredible attention to detail and is full of stylish authenticity so crucial to Steampunk Fashion!
RQ-BL Brand Website
Alchemy GothicOne of the ORIGINAL Gothic brands, established in 1977! Alchemy Gothic is definitely your first port of call when it comes to affordable and yet striking Goth jewellery. They make pieces that are high impact with amazing attention to detail and reference to the true heart of Gothic culture, and this is not only true of their jewellery but also their giftware too! With ultra Gothic trinket boxes, mirrors, ornaments and glassware, there is something for everyone!
Alchemy Gothic Facebook Page
Crazy Colour Hair DyeKeeping you hair bright and you style vibrant, Crazy Color is a long established and well loved brand of hair dye that we can't get enough of! All those perfect shades and hues that you see people sporting at your local gig venue can be found and achieved through crazy color, and for a great price too! You can have all the semi-permanent, bright, hair dye fun with Crazy colour!
Crazy Hair Dye Fan Website
Hell BunnyThis brand have been the forerunners in alternative style for over a decade! Hell Bunny are one brand that are always 'On Trend' when it comes to alternative fashion. The championed the alt scene's move into retro vintage style making vast collections of stunning, affordable, 1950's inspired swing dresses, but also 'kept it real' with a range of rock inspired classics, known as the 'Hell Bunny Black' range.
Hell Bunny Facebook Page
Hell Bunny Twitter Page
Hearts & RosesHearts & Roses are an excellent value alternative brand for ladies clothes. There's a great range of vintage and Gothic style inspired pieces at affordable prices.
Hearts & Roses are an excellent value alternative brand for ladies clothes. There's a great range of vintage and gothic style inspired pieces at affordable prices.
Spin DoctorThe Steampunk dream brand! Spin Doctor are responsible for making Steampunk style accessible and affordable, creating a large range on awesome Steampunk inspired clothing that is stylish and easy to wear. Plus they also have some awesome signature fabrics, unlike anything you have seen elsewhere! We recommend you check out their occult print in black and golden brown, really stunning!
Spin doctor Facebook Page
Manic Panic We have a real soft spot for Manic Panic here. Tish and Snooky who own and run the brand at absolute rock and roll legends. They were real punks, then backing singers for Blondie, and then the gave us hair dye and cosmetics that are environmentally responsible, kind and not tested on animals, ppd free and VEGAN! You don't have to compromise you morals to not compromise on style thanks to this brand, it's leaders and their ethics! Manic Panic represent everything rebellious and free about dying your hair, they have a vast range of colours and kits to make your dying experience great! Plus you should really have a look at their cosmetics, like their dye, they are high pigment, long lasting, vegan, and cruelty free!
Manic Panic Wiki
Manic Panic Facebook Page
Kreepsville 666 Original Scare-wear! Kreepsville made B-movie horror style cool again, taking horrorbilly style to the next level and making it available for everyone. If you live Halloween then you will love kreepsville. Take a look at their zombie inspired, skeleton loving, curve cuddling designs. That is not all, Kreepsville make some awesome merchandise for some of our much loved cult icons and movies. Check their ranges for ELVIRA, VAMPIRA and MARS ATTACKS!
Kreepsville Facebook Page
TUK T.U.K. born in the UK, raised in the US of A. Purveyors of the almighty classic creeper as well as a non stop supply of updated underground styles for men and women. If you like flat shoes, Punk Shoes, 1950's style shoes or boots, TUK will have something for you! Their colourful collections delight us every season as we see fresh designs and also the return of much loved motifs including the kitty character that appears across the toe of some of their excellent anti pop heels and flats!
T.U.K. born in the UK, raised in the US of A. Purveyors of the almighty classic creeper as well as a non stop supply of updated underground styles for men and women.
Punk RaveIf there is one alternative clothing brand that has set the alt scene on fire it is PUNK RAVE. They have redefined Goth fashion, updating it's classic ideas with modern fabrics, making those traditional gothic designs we all love to wear a lot easier and more practical! Punk Rave have also added some Visual Kei and J-Rock flare to Gothic style giving it a much needed up date and pulling it into the now. Not afraid of detail, asymmetry and edgy style, Punk Rave really are the now of Gothic fashion!
Punk Rave unique clothing.
Demonia Demonia the epitome of Gothic shoes and boots. If you haven't heard of this brand, where have you been? Demonia are the go to brand for Goth shoes and boots! Champions of the Chunky heel but no stranger to a stiletto, this brand have mastered the weekend shoe and have options for every party occasion, ready to make you drool!
Demonia the epitome of Gothic shoes and boots.
BannedFresh on the scene Banned Clothing are making some really desirable clothes and accessories. From Rockabilly and 1950's to Trad Goth and heavy rock, Banned make a great variety of pieces. Be sure to take a look at their Steampunk bags and wallets as well as their horror inspired pieces... and if it's summer they do a good swim suit too!
DirectionsRocker, Punks, Goths and Rivitheads have been using Directions hair dye to create their 'do' since the 90's. A great a brand of alternative hair dye specialising in bright colours in all kinds of shades, there is a colour for every occasion in their collection. Plus they come at a very affordable price! You can team up your Directions dye with their colour protection shampoo and conditioner for longer lasting effects.
Directions Hair Dye
Crazy Hair Dye Fan Website
Disturbia Fabricated discord since 2003, Disturbia have created many memorable and powerful designs for the new wave of heavy metal guy and girl. Famous for their subversion of culture and stereotypes, they make casual clothing for a disillusioned generation, parodying big brands and using occult imagery to create powerful designs.
Hades Hades, the ultimate in Steampunk shoes and boots. Each pair of Hades shoes has a story and is so uniquely detailed that you can always pick them out of the crowd. With almost their own cult following
Hades, the ultimate in steampunk shoes and boots.
KillstarA new ear in cult occult was born with Killstar clothing. Filled with references of modern cult culture and occult symbolism, these stark black and white pieces are taking over the alternative world. Packed with outrageous attitude, something the alt scene has been crying out for, Killstar's clothing is for the bold, the bitchy and the ultra stylish!
Killstar Facebook Page
Sourpuss Rockabilly USA brand Sourpuss are not only famous for their awesome 1950 inspired new American clothing but also their 50's inspired and Gothic inspired homeware too! We love their bats blankets and bats towels the best. Be sure to take a look at their nautical themed swing dresses and drag race inspired bowling dresses, all bursting with American diner culture!
RestyleAnother modern brand inspired by the nuances of Trad Goth! Loved mainly for their accessories that showcase Goth culture such a The 'Edgar Allen Poe Book Bag' and various vampire pieces, they also make some great clothing too. Clothes from Restyle fall into two camps, printed ultra cool T-shirts, or serious Gothic attire... Both equally exciting in our books.
ANTIBrandANTIBrand are the ultimate in every day alternative wear. Really affordable, well designed and easy to wear, ANTIBrand makes perfect base wardrobe items that do not compromise on style! With great footwear at brilliant high street prices and leggings perfect for casual wear, you need ANTIBrand in your life!
AntiBrand clothing boots and shoes
SpiralWell known for their detailed prints depicting everything Gothic from wolves, to bats, to dragons, to reapers! Spiral have been making alternative, Gothic and heavy metal clothing for what feels like forever! A staple brand in every rockers wardrobe, everyone has something Spiral in their closet, and if you don't maybe it's time you got some. They make perfect comfortable, casual, alternative clothing that flatters all shapes and sizes!
Spiral printed t-shirts, dresses and ultimate gothic classics.