Dressing in the goth aesthetic in the depths of a hot summer might seem to pose a challenge, but all it takes is a keen eye and some creativity to maintain the look while staying cool and comfortable. With a careful selection of clothing, self-expression with a dark twist is plausible during even the most hellfire of summers. Goth styles and fashions cover a wide range of elements, allowing you to curate a perfectly macabre look for summer temperatures in your locale.

Summer Goth Fabrics

In the Victorian era, people usually exchanged heavier fabrics like velvet for light fabrics like cotton, linen, and muslin. Even with several layers of petticoats, these breathable materials kept them cool and fresh. Today, fabrics like cotton, linen, and chiffon are perfect choices for your goth summer wardrobe. 

As far as patterns, floral fabrics and occult-inspired motifs add just the right amount of gothic charm and fantasy. The flowing material of a dress is not only perfect for summer but allows you to channel the style of a bygone era of novel-famed heroines. Dark colors can still come in breathable fabrics that are sure to create an undead look on the very much alive. 

Summer Goth Color Palette 

Celestial Smocked Midi Dress

Black is a staple and the cornerstone of the gothic look, but there are options to diversify the look while staying with the creepy and nightmarish aura. Other colors in the dark palette to try include deep purple, midnight blue, charcoal gray, wine red, and blood red. There is no better time than summer to experiment with hints of color. Hot days are perfect for hot colors paired with signature black. 

Cuts and Styles

No sinister summer will be complete without a peek at the mortal flesh. Donning a shorter sleeve or shorter hem will ensure that the heat and summer sun will not be antagonists while allowing tattoos and other adornment and modifications to be on full display. A Forest Finding Sundress is the perfectly wicked way to beat the summer heat while embracing the goth identity. 

Crop tops in gothic motifs can stand alone or be paired with an over-layer to add a little sex appeal and mystery to your summer look. A short skirt and a romantically moody pair of fishnets marry minimalism and ornamentation. This could also be the perfect goth regalia if you are checking out a music festival such as Cruel World or slinking into the night at an LA Goth Nightclub.

Layering Goth Styles

While it may seem counterintuitive to layer clothing in warm weather, layering is about being strategic, sexy, and sinister all at the same time. Pairing lace and other sheer materials with flowing fabrics creates an alluring combination of darkness and sublime, perfect for a cruel summer. A Hooked Up Cami and Bat Cat Kimono work well together to shroud you in an ironic summer darkness. 

A summer goth can still enjoy some summer fun. Staying cool is one way to avoid prematurely shaking off this mortal coil. Summer months mean making adjustments but in no way abandoning the luxury and mystery of the goth aesthetic.

Goth Style Accessories for Summer

A goth is only as gruesome as his or her accessories. A subtle way to continue to embrace the strange and bizarre while the blazing ball of death shines in the sky is to accessorize. The quintessential uniform of summer, Shredded Denim Shorts and a goth tee need not be basic. These summer staples easily transform when paired with just the right phantasmagoric goth accessories

The summer months are a time to experiment with bold fashion choices and show a little skin—not to sweat buckets. Leather pants may have to stay packed for now, but a Vegan Belted Harness is the perfect accessory for your goth summer wardrobe. 

Gothic Swimwear

After acquiring a large black umbrella or a lace parasol, find a nice serene spot next to a pool or on the sand to ward off the demons of the heat. Consider a dark and unique swimsuit with haunting details like mesh, corset lacing, or skull motifs. There is nothing that says that the modern protégés of the seemingly undead can’t enjoy the outdoors. 

Stay vampiric by finding shade and keeping sunscreen nearby while you tease the common folk with your supernatural style. Midnight Hour offers a variety of goth swim items to set you up to enjoy days of devilishly delicious relaxation.


Last but certainly not least is the pièce de résistance: makeup. No traditional goth beauty would be complete without adding the most iconic elements of a classic goth look. As noted in Why 80s Goth Makeup Is So Iconic, pale skin, bold lips, and a smoky eye are all ghoulish essentials. 

Be aware, however, that the sun may not be the macabre’s best friend. Consider waterproof or long-wearing products paired with a makeup primer to ensure your face is only spooky in all the right ways. A good setting spray will ensure that that pale and porcelain look stays on your enigmatic face, right where it belongs. 

Embrace the Dark Side Stylishly (and Sensibly) This Summer

A summer goth does not need to compromise on his or her signature dark colors and black clothing; just lean towards a “healthy goth” aesthetic and embrace light, flowing fabrics to stay cool. 

Summer, like every other eerie time of year, should be one in which you can feel hauntingly beautiful. No season is more intrinsically gothic than another, and even when the sun is shining at its brightest, we can still counter it with inner and outer darkness.

Midnight Hour