No matter what dark subculture you're a part of, summer has been our bane. Our dreads itch, our eyeliner runs, our boots are too hot and our vinyl gets sooooo sticky. We gaze out the window at the horrid cheery sunshine, we repeatedly check the weather channel....all the while debating how to dress the way we love and not faint from heatstroke.
Here's some tips on dressing alt in the summer. And here's a link to let you know you're not alone! http://gothsinhotweather.blogspot.com/
STICK WITH FABRICS THAT MAKE SENSE. I know you think your ass looks amazing in your vinyl pants, but gurl...get real. Pleather, vinyl, and any other unbreathable synthetic are just going to make you miserable. Stick to cotton if possible. Rip it up, get one of those 100 ways to alter a t-shirt books, do what you gotta do to make your style your own...just don't pretend you won't look a-fool dressin' like a vampire when it's 120 degrees outside. Lace always lends itself to looking romantic and alt and fashionable...and it breathes! Plus, it will show off all your awesome tattoos!
THE BOOT DILEMMA: We all love our platform kicks and our sweet, worn in Docs. It's hard to know how to how to keep the same aesthetic with a summer shoe. If you an avid platform lover like myself, I would recommend checking out wedges. They are comfortable, easy to walk in (if you're already used to platforms!) and they give you the height and look you're used to! I think it's totally possible to rock boots in the summer if you just can't say goodbye to those Docs or Grinders for a few months, but try to stick to a low style more around ankle height. They look totally cute with shorts, skirts and short dresses! Remember Garbage in the 90's? You can so rock that look!
TIGHTS TIGHTS TIGHTS! Tights are a great way to add a big style impact with not a lot of sweating involved. Go for styles that allow a lot of leg to show, like fencenets or ripped up styles. Leg Avenue and Lip Service have some great styles that we sell at the Alley and Taboo Tabou for summer looks. They layer wonderfully under shorts, skirts and dresses for a really rocker look with a touch of elegance. I just can't promise you won't get the world's weirdest tan lines!!!
CRACK OUT THE CLIPPERS! Now is the time for that undercut or mohawk you've always dreamed of! It's like built-in air conditioning! Especially good if you have dreads! I don't know if I could survive summer with mine if I didn't have an undercut!
DYE YO HURR! Hot pink, orange, red and neon colors are so good for summer looks! It will make you feel totally summery and tropical and make a big visual impact! Stick a flower in yo' beehive and you're ready to go!!!
THE MAKEUP DILEMMA: Anyone who knows me knows that I am basically a drag queen in a woman's body. My face would surely melt off in the summer if it wasn't for eyeshadow primer and makeup sealer for my eyebrows! I recommend Medusa's Makeup or Urban Decay shadow primers, and Benefit "Shelaque" to keep drawn-on eyebrows and thick eyeliner going strong all day! Also, check out tinted chapsticks and glosses for a light look with some color. I also wear fake lashes every day, and I feel they go a long way to make you look super glam without having to wear too much other makeup. Liner and lashes, gurl! WORK IT!
I hope some of these tips helped! Remember, fancy fans and parasols are fab too!
Rock on, be yourself, and stay beautiful
HI! My name is Jet and I've worked here at your fav rock shop the Alley for years now. I'm a big fan of alt hair fashion, and I've learned a thing er two in the 10+ years I've been doing synthetic dreads and craaaazy hair colors. I thought I'd share some of my tips with you.
My favorite semi-permanent hair dye brand is Special Effects, by far. I find it to last 3 to 4 times longer than Manic Panic, and it usually fades to nicer colors. All these tips would work for Manic Panic too, though. (Or whatever other brand you use...but I don't get behind those other brands. Special Effects is the shizzle).
Tips for Dying Process:
- Its says to leave it on for 20 mins, but leave it on for a few hours if you have the time. This dye just deposits (no lifting involved) so it won't hurt your lovely mane any to leave it on longer. I usually leave it on for two hours or so, personally
- Wash your hair prior to dying, but don't condition. It helps your hair soak up that dye better.
- Make sure your hair is totally dry
- Don't forget to pull the color through your ends, even if you are just doing your roots
- While bleaching your hair first will make the results more dramatic, putting this dye over natural hair colors (or dyed hair that is dyed to look like a natural color) can give a "pop" to a blah head of hair any day! Particularly nice on redheads. I recommend Nuclear Red or Cherry Bomb to put a pep in your step!
- Remember to wrap your head in a shower cap, plastic wrap or plastic bag (no one will judge you!) after applying the dye. If it dries out it will stop processing, so you gotta wrap it! Also, your body heat that is kept in by the cap will help the dye take to your locks better.
- Rinse out the dye with COLD water! Hot water opens up your hair shaft and the color will come out much more quickly!
Tips To Keep Your Color ROCKIN'
- Wash with cool/cold water as well, and use color safe shampoo! Nothing with citrus in it for sure. I use Tigi "Fashionista" most of the time. It smells like grapes and doesn't break the bank.
- Keep in mind that flat ironing/curling and applying copious amounts of hair products will make your color fade faster. Lord knows that doesn't stop me from doing it, but knowledge is power!
- Don't fantasize for a minute that swimming in a pool full for chlorine isn't going to strip your color. Get real, gurl!
- Don't be afraid to mix colors to customize! I do it all the time to match my real hair to my dread extensions. If you want to make a special color but yer scared, ask someone here at the Alley and odds are we can help you pick the right colors to mix
- If you want a better idea of what a color will look like, just Google "Special Effects (insert color name here)". There are lots of websites with pics of real people like you and me with their hair dyed with those colors. Lots of times they have pics of how they fade, too!
- Special Effects is all natural and vegan friendly! No animals were harmed and guess what...it's safe to use to dye your dog with ...if you're into that sort of thing. I can't confirm or deny if I've ever dyed my Japanese Chin.
- Softscrub will take the colors out of your shower, astringent is pretty good at getting it off your skin.
- If you are dying at a friends/your mom's/grandma's house...don't you dare use the "special towels" meant for company! Use a towel you either don't mind ruining or is the same color you are dying your hair. Believe me, I've bought enough replacement towels to learn my lesson
Dying your hair with temp colors is a fabulous way to make you feel pretty (or uh, manly) and reflect your mood. It washes out in about a month or two, so you aren't stuck with it and you can feel free to change it with your whims. It's safe for all ages, safe for pets, not safe for white towels.
Stay Beautiful, Keep Rockin' and Be Yourself
Much love, xo