The gothic punk look is one that is often misunderstood. In actuality, goth and punk are two separate subcultures. Punk is more closely drawn to the punk rock music scene, and many punk and rock music fans are mistaken for being part of the goth subculture.
Goth, rather than being based upon any certain type of music, is seen as its proponents more as a means of personal expression. Often, dressing in the goth style is a reaction to feeling separate from those around them, whether as outcasts, or as a general feeling of just being different.
The gothic look draws its influences from many sources. Clothing typically emulates that of the middle ages, Victorian age, or early twentieth century. The make-up is heavily dark, with use of black eyeliner by both male and female goths.
This cosmetic style is thought to be influenced at least partially by the early silent film actress, Theda Bara, whose large eyes, dark make-up, and dark hair was especially striking on screen.
While gothic punk isn’t a style all its own, it’s common for goths and punks to share some similarities in their dress and attitude. Both are fiercely independent and believe strongly in self expression.
Typically, both are meticulous about their specialized hair styles and make-up. It is in choice of color and fashion that the two differ the most.
Punk clothes are often deconstructed. That is, they are purposefully torn, or they can look unfinished, and additionally, they are usually modern.
Goths, on the other hand, rely on well-fitted garments and convey their style through choice of color, fabric, and most importantly, accessories, and their clothing is usually based on earlier centuries’ fasions.
The other typical focus of gothic clothing is on emphasizing sexuality. The goth look is often revealing. Fitted garments and corset accentuate the female form. Hose and tights are ripped to showcase the legs, and tight pants on both genders have the same effect.
Both punk and goth dressers reject mainstream styles and sensibilities, so it is common for people to confuse or combine them into a sort of gothic punk.