Internet Fashionistas, I Need To Pick Your Brains!

I am bad at fashion and also at sewing, so I am turning to the internet brain trust on this one, for a story that is trundling along and has hit a point where I might need some information.

Let us say that you are a twelve-year-old girl and you are determined to be an impressively Wicked Witch.

You are also short, plump, have a round face and regrettably frizzy hair. You rather wish that you were six feet tall and interestingly pale and vaguely consumptive and had straight hair down to your waist and cheekbones you could slice cheese with, because life.

You are not sufficiently magical to achieve this with illusions, because plot.

However, what you DO have is a very skilled tailor with impeccable fashion sense and really good stompy boots. With purple shoe-laces.

There are no adults with authority to go “YOU ARE NOT GOING OUT OF THE HOUSE DRESSED LIKE THAT, YOUNG LADY!” but you are twelve and thus going to dress age appropriately for a middle-grade book, because Ursula likes not having to eat out of dumpsters.

There is no male lead, unless you count the Igor-like character. This is not, as they say, a kissing book.

What do you wear?

My many goth and costuming friends, please advise—photolinks welcomed particularly (and I’ll approve the comments, don’t worry if they vanish into the aether for hotlinking.) I am expecting that the heroine is going to have to settle for not looking like a consumptive Romantic poetess, but still, I want her to be happy that her Mom isn’t buying her clothes and that she finally gets to indulge her gothic little heart. However, I have neither the sartorial imagination nor the vocabulary to cover this, and so I turn to you. I just need one or two outfits I can actually wrap my head around, and I can more or less hand-wave the rest.

Imagine the target audience is small goth girls who’s mom doesn’t understand why they won’t wear that nice shirt with the Dalmatian puppies on it. (I’m nearly sure that’s a viable market share…)


Wordcount: 20500 (Oh, I am so not going to make 50K…)

11 thoughts on “Internet Fashionistas, I Need To Pick Your Brains!

  1. Tanit-Isis says:

    Hmm. I recently made (and finally posted) my girls gothy/steampunk hallowe’en costumes, but I fear they might not pass the middle-school-appropriate-dress-code… My oldest is twelve. Not to beat a dead horse, but twelve these days seems a lot older than twelve was when I was twelve…

    Photos are here:

    I’m sure you’ll have lots of amazing options very, very soon. (Also, they both love Dragonbreath.)

  2. Adrianne says:

    The small stature and round face could be well served by a beehive or other “tall” hairdo, and regrettably frizzy hair is actually the easiest medium for creating such a ‘do.

    As a girl whose appearance has always resembled your heroine, I can say that one of the hardest things to learn was not to hide behind my hair. Whether it made me feel “safe” or not, it made my neck appear non-existant and my face all the rounder.

    As far as clothes go, I highly recommend Trinny Wooddall and Susannah Constantine’s, “What Not To Wear” for quickie research on how to dress an imperfect body.

  3. Hawk says:

    For plumpness, surplice necklines (uh, that means it buttons off to one side); it tends to de-emphasize the roundness. I’m not sure why, I never learned anything about design theory, but I am short and plump, and lemme tell ya – surplice neckline is niiice.

    Also, small-print flowers or none at all; I’m sure you’ve seen women of “fluffy” stature sailing about in muu-muus covered in larger-than-life frangipanis that are just…well…hideous.

    Ehm, I will also note that black isn’t the only color available. I get the whole “Wicked Witch” thing: but a good tailor will break the black up with various things. Depending on the child’s color, that could be red piping or a purple scarf or whatnot.

    As for short…I dunno. My only solution for short was to stand on a box and pretend!!

    I’d link things if I had any to link, but this isn’t usually my pidgin. Oh, I could design something, but I don’t have anything, you know, on hand. 😛

  4. tanita says:

    When I think young Goths, I think Wednesday Addams first thing. I rocked her braids … well, I still rock her braids, but let’s talk about me at twelve.

    I had a ratty black coat I LOVED – imagine the kid who would wear it indoors/out, also with black watch cap crammed down over said recalcitrant frizz. Add black tights, black cut-off jean shorts (appropriately frayed) and black high tops and/or mary janes that used to be brown but were touched up with a black Sharpie. Oh, yes, this has happened.

    I look forward to seeing your MG book!

  5. Jenny D says:

    I’ve got a niece who’s twelve, and really loves gothy clothes. Fortunately, my sister agrees and they shop for fun gothy stuff together. I think their favourite website might be useful – it’s at . (I’m not at all affiliated with it, and it’s not really my style at all, but I do enjoy looking at the gorgeous stuff there!)

  6. Tameika Ferguson says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realize this comment page went to Girls, Inc. Please ignore my previous comment, I found Caleb’s email address.

  7. brassydel says:

    Fingerless arm sleeve thingies are still “cool,” according to my 12 year old niece, but they apparently are the short wrist-length variety these days, and I should warn that she likes sparkles. So instead of black with buckles and chains, she has purple ones with sparkles (that I made for her, ‘natch). Off -the-shoulder shirts and fedoras are also apparently hip?

  8. Maya says:

    As not a goth but a very geeky round teen who wore a lot of black (both regular and pit orchestra)- I was terribly fond of a full-length black dress with a-line skirt that buttoned all the way down. It made me feel very confident, and slightly taller…

  9. Mean Waffle says:

    If you go more toward the steampunk, she could go for a Victorian mad scientist look, complete with top hat. If she’s going with tall hair, it can be a fancy mini top hat that perches jauntily on the side.

    I suppose either steampunk or goth would allow boots with thick soles and a heel. She could wear a lab coat flyaway style, so we can see the rest of her costume under it. (I googled lab coats, you can get them with ipad compatable pockets, now. Cool.)

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