goth style inspiration
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

As a fashion editor, and noted goth queen, I'm always looking for my next favorite under-the-radar fashion brand.

So when I started seeing Marigold Shadows popping up all over my Instagram feed, I was curious. Then later, when the brand was mentioned in the secret fashion groups I'm a part of, I knew I absolutely needed to see what the fuss was about.

I reached out to the lovely humans at Marigold Shadows and they very kindly sent me some of their clothes to try. Without spoiling anything, I was truly, madly, deeply impressed. I'd go so far as to call Marigold Shadows the Zara all goth queens deserve — it's affordable, varied, and 100% awesome.

Plus, who doesn't want to support a genuinely independent, avant-garde label?

The first piece I tried was Instagram's favorite goth accessory — the Zend pleated wrist cuffs.

You've probably seen these cuffs ($17, Marigold Shadows) all over your feed, because they are 100% BRILLIANT. These detachable cuffs — available in black, white, and blue — fasten around your wrists to make any long-sleeve shirt look fancy and elegant as hell.

The cuffs fasten with chunky, easy to close snaps and look absolutely awesome.

They made me feel like Lestat the vampire, if he got really into brutalist architecture — which is the highest compliment I can possibly give.

Next, I tried the piece I was most curious about — a complicated lace-up skirt.

This is the Baghy skirt ($53, Marigold Shadows), a full skirt with elastic waistband and multi-functional ties at the front and back. I'm wearing it with a white silk shirt from my own wardrobe.

Initially, the ties on this skirt intimidated me a little — but once I had them where I wanted them, I was IN LOVE.

You can't tell me that this ($53, Marigold Shadows) isn't totally badass. It's like bondage spiderweb realness, and I'm here for it.

I wore it crossed over, then tied around my neck at the back — which also looked really cool.

Party in the front, additional party in the back. Get into it.

You can tie this midi skirt in like 60 billion different ways. You can even wear it as a summer dress! But this — with the front ties crossed over my chest — was my favorite.

And yes, the skirt has pockets. Get into it.

Then it was time to try on my third Marigold lewk, featuring a skirt that, try as I might, I would not figure how to get into.

marigold shadows review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

Just as I was about to move on, I figured out *why* I couldn't quite get into this skirt...

POW! Turns out this skirt is actually pants!

>> Click here to buy

I love a good surprise clothing item, so I was passionately into these Auster harem pants ($53, Marigold Shadows). I'm wearing them with a sheer-sleeved blouse, also from Marigold Shadows, but not currently listed on the site.

I surprised myself by really digging these pants, even though I've never worn drop-crotch pants in my life.

The pants were comfortable, beautifully made, and looked badass on me. The waist was high, but not *too* high, and sculptural in all the right ways. They also have pockets, so goth crush forever assured ($53, Marigold Shadows).

These pants are only available in one size, and they fit me perfectly — as a tall person, this is something that very seldom happens for me.

Then I moved on to this oversized mesh top, which is '90s goth in ALL the right ways.

>> Click here to buy

This is the Ashbury mesh pocket top ($53, Marigold Shadows), an oversized tee-style fishnet top that made me look and feel incredibly cool. The mesh was of really heavy, good quality, and the pockets at the front were both big enough to fit my entire life twice over.

At first I thought a shirt like this would be a little *too* cool for me. But the second I put it on, I felt like I had always been wearing it.

Comfortable. Well-made. See-through.

What more could I possibly want?

Plus, the roll-up cowl neck was really, really cute.

This is what I love about indie designers — they really GET their audience. Anyone could make a mesh tutleneck, but who save the gorgeous queens at Marigold Shadows would think to relax that and make it really slouchy and elegant?

EXACTLY. This top ($53, Marigold Shadows) is genius.

And I don't care who you are — fishnet makes absolutely everything sexy as hell.

I mean, a see-through mesh top over a slip dress? That's always hot, I don't care who you are.

After challenging my style so thoroughly, I put on this absolutely stunning ruffled dress — and was back in my element.

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It's the Alvarez asymmetrical dress ($72, Marigold Shadows), which I knew immediately I would love... and indeed I did.

From the back, there are even more dramatic ruffles — and you can see that gorgeous hemline in action.

This dress ties at the shoulder, then cascades down into a VERY wide skirt.

This is like the goth version of the red dress emoji, and I'm here for it.

And you can wear this dress over long-sleeved shirts for fall. Versatile!

Personally, I'm really only into summer dresses that will also take me through early fall when worn over turtlenecks and long-sleeved shirts. This dress ($53, Marigold Shadows) is essential.

From there, it was time to try another item that made me a little nervous — wide-legged, cropped pants.

These are the Agodon flare pants ($44, Marigold Shadows) — the long-shorts of your dreams. They're high-waisted, made from a mid-weight fabric that's heavy enough for fall but light enough for summer, and yes — has pockets. The mega-wide legs that make it LOOK like a skirt... but it isn't. I wore these shorts with a bralette and leather jacket, because WHAT IS THE WEATHER EVEN DOING RIGHT NOW.

I never, ever would have picked a pair of wide-legged shorts myself — but having worn these, I'm so glad I did.

I never realized how stuck in my own wardrobe-rut I had become until Marigold Shadows showed me the light. Tight jeans are great, but they aren't everything — sometimes a pair of mega-flare cropped pants ($44, Marigold Shadows) is exactly what you need to show you the rest of the (fashion) world!

The last piece I tried was an avant-garde jacket with ~wild~ sleeves.

Abbey hollow cut-out jacket ($64, Marigold Shadows) — a very light bomber made from slippery satin in front, and mesh at the sleeves and on the back. Most importantly, check out these POWER cut-outs at the sleeves! How cool is this?!

Though this coat wouldn't keep you very warm, it *will* make you look 75% more awesome.

Living in New York, it definitely gets too cold to wear this jacket in late fall — but if you're looking for something straight-up fashionable and amazing, and you're not too pressed about getting chilly, this is the jacket for you. I especially love how this piece took a super-basic slip dress and elevated it, without falling back on boring, overdone, goth fashion tropes.

And truly, that's what I liked the best about Marigold Shadows. Everything is just as affordable as a place like Zara — but unlike fast fashion stores, everything I tried felt truly unique.

Sometimes shopping exclusively fast fashion stores means that your wardrobe ends up looking like everyone else's. Marigold Shadows, though still a small operation, makes affordable pieces that will make you truly stand out. And who doesn't want to support an indie business, run and operated by genuinely nice people?

And more than that — trying these pieces from a label other than my usuals was a brilliant way to push my fashion boundaries. Sometimes you don't know what mental roadblocks are getting in the way of your style game until you pick up a pair of pants and realize you've never worn anything like them before.

Marigold Shadows makes me high-kick with joy.

Check out the brand online, and IRL in Santa Ana, if you're in California. I'm so happy to have taken my goth queendom to 100 with Marigold Shadows.