A goth style can be elegant and minimal. It doesn't have to rely on solid black or vampy, blood red lipstick, nor does it need to feel "witchy." Rooney Mara's black Givenchy dress, which she wore to the Pan premiere, was a perfect execution of the soft goth look.
The actress burst onto the scene as a black-clad rebel in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. This dress, which had several sheer elements on both the top and bottom, is something that Lisbeth Salander, her alter ego in the film, would likely wear... with a little coercion! Dresses weren't really her thing, you know?
Actually, if Mara had added a pair of beat up Doc Martens and a black leather moto jacket with a hood to this ensemble, then this outfit might totally mimic the style of the character that put the actress on the map.
Instead, Mara made her fashion statement in a much more ladylike and sophisticated way. She did add a '90s touch with her thin black choker. I mean, that looks like something Tori Spelling or Shannen Doherty wore on the first Beverly Hills, 90210. The strappy heels matched the choker.
The fact that Mara ditched lipstick, slicked back her hair, and went bare-faced made her appear a bit ethereal, too.
The horizontal stripes on the bottom added depth and dimension, heightening the peek-a-boo nature of the dress. You don't see too much — just a hint of skin.
The dress had a tube shape but it wasn't constricting.
The choker actually added a little circular balance, since the top half of the dress is sheer.
The decision to forego dramatic makeup, especially the expected berry-stained or statement matte lip, was a smart one.
The slicked back yet slightly severe bun also showed off her pretty face. I also adore her porcelain skin. No spray tan OD here.
This dress would also be totally bomb if were several inches shorter. If it were a mini, it'd be equally as gorgeous. This snap sort of shows what it might look at that length.
See, you can wear a long, black dress with sheer panels and not look like you are auditioning for a part in Wicked or getting ready for Halloween.
Since you likely can't afford a Givenchy frock, of course Forever 21 has some viable options.
This maxi is much more see-through than Mara's but it's of the same spirit. ($33, forever21.com)
This mesh dress with floral embroidery is also similar to Mara's. It has more of a '60s x Cali energy, too. Just make sure you wear the right bodysuit underneath, since you don't want to put on a show. ($59, forever21.com)
This lace shirt dress is an exercise in simplistic sexiness and that shorter hem I was dreaming about. ($23, forever21.com)
The lower half of this stretchy maxi is super similar to that of Mara's frock. ($65, lulus.com)
This dress is more floor-sweeping, more sheer, and more Kim Kardashian. But it's also understated and sexy goth. ($104, asos.com)
This mesh maxi is also in the same spirit as the covetable Givenchy dress. Yet if your preference is for a more peek-a-boo bottom, it gives you that look. ($75, asos.com)
Get your elegant goth on, with Mara's Givenchy gown as your guide.
Images: Forever 21 (3); Lulus (1); ASOS (2)