Spook for the Summer: Warm Weather Looks for Dark Hearts

It’s no secret that the venn diagram of “queer people” and “people who would dress themselves entirely from the Target Halloween collection” contains a lot of overlap. We can be a spooky, gothic, witchy bunch. But as the days turn warmer, long black clothes and heavy sweaters with bats on them get harder to pull off without risking heat stroke.

But never fear! There is a whole host of ways that you can express your creepy self without melting into a puddle. Even for folks who don’t spend all summer dreaming of Halloween, a little spookiness offers a nice change from the never-ending parade of pineapples and seahorses coating everything during the warmer months. Whether you’ve got a specific spooky style to maintain or are looking to mix-and-match, there’s something in here to set your dark heart aflutter.

Spooky Femme

1/ Beachin Hat
2/ Consider it Done Sandals
3/ Bat crop top
4/ Bat dress
5/ Monster Skirt
6/ Skelemingo bag

Do you wish you could walk out of the house looking like the lovechild of Elvira and Miss Frizzle? Are you constantly searching for new ways to accessorize with bat prints, bones, or occult symbols? Then you may just be a spooky femme, and you’ve got plenty of options for looking cute and creepy all summer long.

Boo-tiful Butches

1/ Bless this Mess T-Shirt
2/ Strappy Camper Sandals
3/ Cryptid Button-Up
4/ Future Corpse Hoodie
5/ Ultimate WildFang Shorts
6/ Lesbian Werewolf Hat

If your look is somewhere along the lines of dad friend meets Gomez Addams on his day off, here are options to keep you cool and comfy (plus a light sweatshirt for midnight gatherings). Whether you’re barbecuing for your ghouls or camping with some cryptids, these looks are sure to turn heads.

Fear the Utility Queer

1/ Destroy All Men Who Abuse their Power Fanny Pack
2/ Frankenstein Flip-Flops
3/ Ghost Shorts
4/ Queer Vampire Pin
5/ Nothing to Lose Tank Top ($5 from every shirt goes to the Trans Lifeline)
6/ Haunted Dessert Skirt (with Pockets)

Some days, a spooky queer is less concerned with fashion and more concerned with not dropping dead from the hideous heat of the day-star. And with having sufficient pockets in which to keep chapstick, keys, small skulls, and other necessities should you have to venture outside your lair. Here are some looks that let your queer, weird self shine without compromising practicality.

Ghoulish Grab-Bag

1/ Death’s Head Leggings
2/ Demon Summoning Skirt (with Pockets)
3/ Gender Roles are Dead Cutoff
4/ Classic Horror Shorts
5/ Suspender Skeleton Skirt
6/ Vampire Top

In need of a skirt to help you summon a demonic companion? Want a shirt that expresses your belief that gender roles should be buried six feet under? Haven’t seen anything in the previous sections that fits your style? Then these pieces may just be for you.

Horror of Party Beach

1/ Batwing Sunglasses
2/ Coffin Float
3/ Disturbia Kosmos One-Piece
4/ Macabre Beach Read (I recommend “From Here to Eternity” by Caitlin Doughty).
5/ Kraken Towel
6/ Mesh Cover-Up
7/ The Meow Tote
8/ Tomboy X Unisex Suit
9/ Tombstone Suit

Whether it’s your local lake with a horrific past, a beach town beset by vampires, or your friends’ pool, here are some items and outfits to help create your own black lagoon wherever you roam.

Adorn Your Flesh

1/ Adopocer Lotion in Deathly Dreams
2/ Fluide Starlite Nail Polish
3/ Jack Perfume
4/ Sunscreen
5/ The Black and Purple Hoe Out Lipstick and Glitter Set
6/ Graveyard Scrub

While Pumpkin Spice season is far away and pastels are everywhere, there remains a bevy of options for the spooky queer looking to coat their flesh-prison in pleasing colors and nice scents during the hot months.

Now go forth and look fabulous, you wonderful creatures of the night!

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Sam Wall

A queer writer and sex educator living in the high desert of Nevada. Her other work can be found at Death and the Maiden and Scarleteen. When she’s not writing about sex, monsters, or the macabre, she can found tending carnivorous plants and raising the world’s largest, antler-less Jackalope. Find her on Twitter @gentleslytherin.

Sam has written 4 articles for us.


  1. Bookmarking everything in the utility queer and boo-tiful butches categories for when I have more money… for now, I will use this as a style guide for my next thrift store trip! I friggin love the strappy cosmic swimsuit, too.

    (Also, I feel like folks who like this aesthetic will enjoy Void Merch. The shirts say things like “leave them at the bottom of the grave they dug for you” and “Satan take the wheel.” There are a bunch of queer-themed and feminist ones available too.)

    • I love that Void Merch is becoming so well known! I remember when they were just a small goth dating parody account -tear-.

      The owner is good people, and when I mentioned on twitter that international shipping almost doubled my order he threw in extra patches for free. 10/10 would recommend

  2. This is my favorite fashion link round up of all time. I have nine links open for me and several I’ve sent to friends, send help.

  3. Hey fellow Deathling! I love that you included From Here to Eternity (and related merch) on this list.

  4. This is great! 11/10 one of my favorite fashion roundups! I feel so SEEN by the bootiful butches section. <333

  5. *Begins to vibrate intensely* YES I ACCEPT THIS OFFERING, AUTOSTRADDLE.

    Honestly though, being a goth enby butch in summer can be a bit tricky at times, so thanks for some great suggestions! (And links to some pretty rad companies/creators).

  6. The spooky femme aesthetic is everything I aspire to be. You know how there are all these super specific lesbian categories (chapstick lesbian, blue jean femme,etc)? My queer identity is now spooky femme and I owe it all to this article.

  7. This article is a gift! The coffin pool float in particular has honestly made my day.

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