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Goodbye, Hot Girl Summer, and salutations to my fellow goblin babes emerging from their hovels to shake their fists at the autumn sky; I salute you. One way I like to think of goblincore is ‘Faeries Gone Feral’ with less nudity. Or more! I’m not a cop—live your truth. This look is timeless, slightly terrifying, and honestly: the girls that get it, get it.
You know you’re doing goblincore right if someone compares you to a YA fantasy heroine, or if people cross the street to avoid you. People (men, women, and non-binary alike) find comfort in fashion that is both functional and largely non-gendered. The great thing about goblincore is that it embraces a deep, childhood, part of us that yearns for mud and talking animals and forests that know what we’re thinking. It’s so far removed from the monotony of perfectly curated, modern design and all the obligations and doctors’ appointments that come with being human on this mortal plane.
The hours I have spent, squatting under a knitted blanket, scrolling goblincore fashion on TikTok would easily rival the time spent on both of my absolutely useless degrees, so please let me unleash and invite you into the dark fantasy world that is goblincore. Achieving this look is easier than you might think: Quality, cold-weather basics and outerwear do most of the heavy lifting, and family heirlooms can take you another 20 percent of the way (note: heirlooms in the sense that they’re old, not fancy expensive. Although that’s fun, too!)
The hours I have spent, squatting under a knitted blanket, scrolling goblincore fashion on TikTok would easily rival the time spent on both of my absolutely useless degrees, so please let me unleash and invite you into the dark fantasy world that is goblincore. Below, the essential items for a goblincore fall.
1. Accessories That Double As Decorative Weapons
Nothing says ‘Try me’ like jewelry that reminds us of our mortality! The juxtaposition of something like an accessory (meant to be frivolous and fun) and weaponry is just *chefs kiss*. Maybe just leave your dagger earrings at home before going to the airport.
2. A Locket OR Signature Pendant
Growing up my mom had a few lockets with pictures of me and my siblings, and I have never recovered from the romanticism of carrying the likeness of your loved ones around your neck. Very vengeance, very raw. We love it! Wear a chic locket or pendant to trap your beloved’s likeness and soul, or just a bespoke fashion accessory.
3. Bleached Eyebrows
Like, are you kidding? Bleached brows look so cool and ethereal— like a princess wearing a leather jacket and smoking a clove cigarette. Bleached brows can absolutely transform the look of your face, and bring more attention to other facial features.
4. Detachable Collars
Regency era meets Middle Earth with detachable collars (also known as dickey collars lol). These cuties are somehow innocent and cutesy and slightly feral all at once. There are a TON of DIY opportunities and embroidered patterns that can make these accessories one-of-a-kind.
5. Duster/trench Coats
Is it too obvious? I don’t think so! A full-body coat is the quickest way I know to appear mysterious and purposeful. The weirder, the better. A statement coat (with pockets! A must!) is a great transitional piece for fall to winter, and winter to spring. I’ve been looking for a floral/tapestry type monstrosity with a fur collar for over five years now. I’m pretty sure the Perfect Duster coat is my white whale, reason for living. Etc.
6. Chunky Boots
Yes, we’re talking the chunky boots that make some men balk and go, “really?” While I’m specifically referring to the kind of boots that you can use to stomp your enemies, tall rubber rain boots as a slightly more affordable option. Hiking boots that have ankle support can also instantly transform you into the trapped-in-a-mirror-forever/cursed-by-nymphs’ aesthetic. Also, if your boots are steel-toed it is goblin law that you are officially and forever invited to every weird supernatural revel as long as you shall live, amen.
Protect your jugular in a knife fight! Since a lot of goblincore is more loose-fitting to allow for comfortable foraging, a crystal choker gives a little more shape and high-fashion vibes to your look. Similar to boots, the chunkier the better. Bonus points if they look forged by dwarves! Layering is also recommended—think: dragon showing off its hoard of gold while maintaining a superiority complex and protecting its soft underbelly.
8. Loose Crystals
You never know when you’re going to have to bribe a troll or freak out a Hinge date that keeps ordering drinks, even though you share the chemistry of an empty, wet, basket! Loose crystals can go in your satchels, numerous pockets, or even your wallet (my mother swears by this, and she is an actual faerie queen). You can also practice your amateur metallurgy and use wire wrapping or glue to make jewelry for yourself.
9. Leather Satchels
Of every item on this list, this is the one I’d recommend researching and investing in quality. A well-made leather bag or satchel can last a lifetime and also brings to mind bog witches traversing the land and looking for rare, medicinal herbs. A good leather satchel should feel heavy in your hands, all the better to notice pick-pockets and thieves, as well as the ability to carry weird ingredients and animal bones. Or just, you know, leftovers from brunch.
When in doubt, just ask yourself ‘Would Frog or Toad wear this?’ Those fellows were onto something, and I’d like to think of them as the Forefrogs of goblincore. Children’s fantasy books and fairytales are one of the core inspirations for these looks, so just think of what brings you comfort and intrigue and cover it in moss.
May your enemies and lackluster dates suffer the sight of you in your highest power, your favorite character arc, and live in fear of your steel-toed stompers.