My New Goth Style in the 21st Century with DressLily

Way back when…meaning 25 years or more back…when I was in high school (Yikes…my 25th high school reunion is in the planning process), I was a little bit Goth. I dyed my hair the blackest black even back then. And I would use to baby powder on my face to get it as pale as I could. The darker the lipstick and the heavier the eyeliner, the better. Combat boots were my favorite footwear. And black was my favorite color. Unfortunately, I also hid from cameras so there is not a photograph to be found of my 90’s Goth style.

*This is a sponsored post. I received this dress in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

But that little Goth girl still lives somewhere in my soul and I feel inspired to bring her out every now and then. As you can see, I have still have the black knee high combat boots stashed away for when I am feeling Goth-inspired. My hair is still the blackest black so the transition can be made easily.

When I ordered this red lace dress from DressLily, my intention was not to style it as Goth. Although, I am not sure what my intention was…I had just been on the search for a red dress for such a long time, I figured I would give this one a try.

When it arrived and I tried it on, that’s when I got a bit confused as to how I should style it. It’s a lot of red. And it’s really short. And a wee bit sheer. And very lacy. But not dressy lacy. It’s sort of a casual lacy dress. One that calls for a more casual style. I stood staring in the mirror wondering how the heck I should accessorize it. I am not a huge fan of the red and white color combination (it reminds me of gimmicky Valentine’s Day). Black was the only way to go…which triggered that old Goth spirit to resurface.  But with a more modern 21st Century twist appropriate for a woman in her 40’s.

Although some may not think that a dress this short and black knee high socks and boots is appropriate at all for a woman in her 40’s. To that, I say “Ha! I will wear what I like!” Thank you to Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb, I have tossed all fashion rules out the window and I dress in a way that makes me feel great. I also refuse to place myself in style box…my style oscillates from Goth to preppy to boho to rock and roll to sassy to vintage to feminine to grunge…Some may call me fickle, but I am remaining true to myself by always keeping my fashion on the edge.

So tell me, do you wear what you like or do you abide by strict fashion rules? Do you ever resurrect a style from your youth? Or have you remained true to your youthful sartorial choices through the years?  How has your style evolved?

Outfit Details

Dress: Openwork Plus Size Lace Dress c/o DressLily (Unfortunately, this dress is now sold out. But DressLily has lots of other fun, pretty, and even Goth style red lace dresses).
Vest: A few years old from Target (Similar here).
Boots: Really old. I think I purchased these at Journey’s. You can view their current selection of combat boots here.
Necklace: Shelbee’s Shoppe (Sold out). But DressLily has a whole array of similar wrap chokers. All of them are under $5.
Bracelet: Cato Fashions (No longer available, but you can view their selection of bracelets here).

Wearing what I like on the edge,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

38 Responses

  1. Ha! You look totally appropriate for a woman in her 40s who has confidence in her own unique style. Don’t ever change! Always love the idea of pairing something feminine (lace dress) with something masculine-ish (black boots). And I love red, though it is tough to match with other colors. But black and red is a classic combination. I also like red worn with leopard prints.


    • Theresa, thank you so much for this marvelous compliment! And that vote of confidence to stay true to myself. I do love a good leopard and red pairing as well. But the style of this dress was so weird…I think leopard is a little dressier than the dress even though it is lacy! I don’t know. This one baffled me from a styling perspective!


  2. Yes ma’am you should wear what you like and own it! This look definitely says grown up goth and you pulled it off marvelously. You look great in this dress and the combat boots and vest give it that fabulous edge!

  3. Shelbee so cute to hear you was a goth. You look great in your style 25 years later 😉
    XO Tina

  4. Those boots are AWESOME!

  5. Nice. Look like that you are on your 10th. Some of us, have been out of high school 30 years.

  6. To wear an outfit you feel convidant in is most important. Because you can see if a woman feels comfortabel in the way she wears het clothes! And you radiance selfconvidence! And I aplaud that! I also wore black in my puberty, punk as we called it!

  7. Love it,. the Goth reference. You certainly pull of this look in fun way! Pretty dress and I love that you don’t sacrifice your own style by adding the boots. Cool!
    Have a great week!
    jess xx

  8. When it comes to fashion I find myself……LOST! I’m not a shopper and finding clothes that I love, that are comfortable, and that look great is a hard combo. I wish I had more fashion sense that fits into my real life.

    • Oh no, Becky! You just need to find someone to help you! Another person’s perspective is always helpful in determining what suits your body type and then once you find that, you just stick with it! If there is a way I can help you remotely, please feel free to email me! Also a great fashion blog to follow that offers fabulous styling tips for all body types is Get Your Pretty On. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  9. It looks great! A grown up goth looks suits you. You seem comfortable in that skin but not gimmicky looking. I had a short-lived punk phase in HS. Torn fishnets, pink highlights in hair. ….ah, those days!

    Elizabeth /

  10. LOVE this pretty colored dress! Your confidence and fun personality always shine through!

  11. I could see myself in this dress when the weather warms up, I like these tunic style dresses. Not sure I could pull of the goth look like you can though 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Alicia! Usually, I would wear a dress his short over leggings or jeans, but I have been much more daring lately and it’s too hot for pants anyway. And I think you can pull off any style that you like as you are wearing it with confidence!


  12. Great mix of soft & edgy fabrics. Love the socks especially.

    Kara Aragon

  13. I don’t abide by fashion rules, I wear what I like! I like how you wore your red dress, embracing your inner goth girl!

    Pumps and Push-Ups

  14. I really love the way you styled this dress. I can see the Goth influence but it is very elegant and chic!

  15. Loves! Perfect outfit on you Shelby. Yass! I’m also having a linkup if you would like to join. Have a great weekend 🙂

  16. You look cool and edgy in this outfit! Thanks for linking up to Top of the the World Style.

  17. I love this goth inspired look! That dress is adorable and those boots and vest give the outfit a nice edge! I’m sharing this outfit as my top two pick for #TFF linkup tomorrow! I hope you will stop by and linkup again!

    Doused in Pink

  18. loving those boots! super cool look!

  19. After exploring a few of the blog posts on your blog, I seriously like
    your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site too and tell me what you think.

Leave a Reply