Coming Out In the Wash
Published Feb 01, 2000Sorting and the cost of laundry can take hours away from listening and purchasing music. Most people have to sort their clothes because they own a variety of colours that require separation and multiple washing machines. Just think of the advantages afforded to people living the gothic lifestyle who don't spend the time or money sorting through piles of whites, woollens, and colours.
Goths just dump all their black clothes into one machine and let Joy Division's dead singer Ian Curtis sort it all out. Not sorting clothes gives goths plenty of time to spend on their Robert Smith hair and coroner make-up.
The amount of money goths spend on hair spray actually comes from the savings of only having to do their laundry once a month. Black can cover up a variety of spills, making frequent washing unnecessary; white substances are the only things that stain, so be careful with falafels and sperm.
Avoiding spills on outer wear can ensure that laundry only has to be done once a month but the savings from only having to change your black underwear once a month is phenomenal. If you have black underwear you could be wearing them for weeks. According to Marilyn Manson, in a recent issue of NME, "you take them off and think, 'There's no urine stains so they must be clean.'"
The savings from not replacing underwear allows the typical goth to spend some serious cash on PVC, frilly pirate shirts, lace and velvet coats and thigh high bitch boots. The savings begin to really add up now because none of these clothes need to be washed at your local laundry mat or dry cleaners. "You can't dry clean anything with plastic in it," say the sales vixens at Toronto's cool goth store Siren. When something does spill on PVC it simply beads off. A little Windex or vinegar and the clothes can be wiped down to look good as new. Avoid using Turtle wax car polish as it is unproven in keeping PVC shiny.
Usually at the end of a drinking and dancing session, PVC pants, shirts or corsets will just peel off like a banana due to sweat build up. While the outside doesn't need cleaning, it might be appropriate every few months to hand wash the clothes in cold water and hang to dry. Do not use a dryer - it will turn your expensive Friday night club wear into a big plastic beach ball. One should also be careful when emptying a dryer while wearing PVC, unless melting plastic to your flesh happens to be a personal fetish.
The savings in money and time are the true reasons goths dress the way they do. No one in their right mind would wear PVC normally. "The weather can make looking cool painful," is the authoritative word from Siren. "It kinda freezes in winter, but people just suffer."
Of course if you really want to save some serious dough and time, look no further than punk. Punks never do laundry because all their clothes are held together with safety pins and smelling bad is worn like a badge of honour.